Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Shake Rattle But No Roll (Yet)

The tail end of Hurricane Katia hit Scotland yesterday evening and we battened down the hatches here in the caravan in preparation for a stormy night. And boy did it blow. Considering we are in the east of the country and not in the eye of the storm on the west, that was one hell of a wind. Our caravan is right next to a small wood and to say that the wind roared would be an understatement. Throughout the night it sounded like every lion in Africa had camped out there and did their thing incessantly for hours on end. We felt the caravan rattle and one or two gusts were strong enough to move a venetian blind despite the double glazing but a quick check this morning shows everything here intact apart from a few litter bins that aren't where they were this time yesterday - perhaps the lions nicked them.

Before the storm set in we popped into St Andrews to see the early performance of Jane Eyre at the New Picture House. I haven't read the book but I've seen earlier adaptations on TV so I had a good idea of what was going to happen. Marion studied the book in her student days and tells me that the film follows it closely. There are some good performances from leads Mia Waskowska and Michael Fassbender and the sets and locations are superb but, apart from the short scenes on the bleak moors, this is a production that does not need a big screen and would work perfectly well on TV. An enjoyable couple of hours but by no means a blockbuster. When we went into the cinema there were just two people in there. Before the film started perhaps a dozen more came in. I don't understand why, when there was a near empty cinema, all chose to sit either directly in front of us or on the same row. Animal magnetism?

It's almost time to go back to Southport. We'll miss our little retreat here in St Andrews and will miss Sarah, Duncan and Rose who will be a lot different when we are next here in November.  But on the positive side we have got a treat lined up for my birthday. Next Friday we are heading to the Venice region for a week. We've got five nights in Asolo. It was going to be four nights but the plane fare was so much more expensive on the Saturday we decided to go on Friday and spend the money on an extra night in the hotel. We've never been there before but by all accounts it is a lovely place. After that we head towards Venice and are staying on the lovely island of Torcello (above). This tiny island has only a handful of buildings including two spectacular and ancient churches and the Locanda Cipriani where we have booked three nights. I'm looking forward to it once we have got over the hassle of the flight. We haven't flown for over three years and did our best to find another way of getting to Italy but the trains and driving just didn't fit our schedule so unfortunately we'll have to put up with it.

Before we leave Scotland we're treating ourselves to lunch tomorrow at The Peat Inn. This renowned restaurant is only four miles down the road and we are hoping to get there on our bikes. If the wind dies down and the sun comes out we should be able to manage it. We had a look at the menu when we rode past the other day and it sounds delicious. Keep your fingers crossed for the weather for us.

I'll end today with a video sent to me by an ex-colleague. Seems that we Prius drivers are just as much a joke in LA as we are here.

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