Posts Tagged 'Bute'

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Looking over to the Isle of Wee Cumbrae from Kilchattan Bay, Isle of Bute

We went to Bute.

We forgot to take the bedlinen.

The toilet blocked.

The sun disappeared.

I went in a bad mood.

But these brambles picked from the hedgerow this morning on the way home were rather nice…

It’s Raining Again

Kilchattan Bay looking over to Cumbrae, BBC weather forecast: Heavy Rain Shower

Contrary to the spouse’s predictions of painful online cold-turkey for me, it was actually he who was clamouring for an internet connection a mere six hours after leaving the mainland for the Isle of Bute. Fortunately, the local hotel has wi-fi, so I made the brave sacrifice of having a glass of wine in the bar, as the spouse fought doggedly with the trackpad on the laptop. I had forbidden him to be seen using the computer mouse in a public place, but it was a decision I soon came to regret when he was still hopelessly stabbing away with his finger and swearing, by the time I had finished my first packet of cheese and onion crisps.

Once he was done and his blood pressure had returned to normal, we sneaked a quick look at the BBC five day weather forecast. It wasn’t good. In the previous six hours, the one remaining sunny intervals symbol had disappeared from the chart, along with all hope of sitting outside at any point. The daily predictions now ranged from heavy rain to light rain shower, so my mental image of glorious sunshine on the beach was swiftly replaced by visions of wandering, mid frequency-less, in the wind and rain saying “Eh?” a lot. This proved to be rather accurate.

Still, even when it’s wet and miserable, the view of the approaching rain from the sofa more than makes up for it.

What a co-incidence

Looking over to Arran from Stravannan Bay

The doppelgangers have been coming thick and fast. On Bute at the weekend, the spouse and I adjourned to a remote rural hostelry for a refreshing beverage, after spending a taxing afternoon poking about in rock pools. “Oh look,” I said as we went inside, “that woman over there looks just like my sister in-law”. Strangely, she seemed to be accompanied by apparitions of my mother, sister and Creme Egg hating nieces. After Friday’s train journey, one doppelganger was possible, I thought, but five in the one place was just too much of a co-incidence. “That is your sister-in-law” said the spouse, “and there’s your mum, sister and the girls”.

It turned out that they had all made a pilgrimage to the Isle of Bute for a highland dancing competition. We joined them at their table and it was good to find out that the champion’s legs were still in good working order after the terrible long-jumping accident in our hallway at Easter weekend. Just as my sister in-law and I began exchanging hearing aid stories from opposite ends of the table, a noisy wedding party came into the bar. The conversation began to break down.


“Can’t hear you”


“This is rubbish”

As we both gave up, I became aware of a hot breath on my neck. I turned and caught a small person giving my left ear and its contents a thorough once-over in that disarming way that only children can. I braced myself for a ” Hey…what’s that thing in your ear, auntie Moira?” but fortunately it never came thanks to the swift administration of an i-Phone to niece by my sister. A tranche of blurry photos of kilted highland dancers swiftly returned my left ear to obscurity, and after a quick demonstration of some fancy footwork in the car park, we all went our separate ways again.

Unusual bedfellows

There used to be a legendary local shop in Leith, Edinburgh called Borland’s Darts and Television. The frontage had two windows, one either side of the main door, and a sign on one side said DARTS and a sign on the other said TELEVISION. Whether you considered that darts and televisions went naturally hand-in-hand was a hotly debated matter of opinion, but for a discerning and select band of customers, it was the original one-stop shop.

It strikes me that if The Cookie Bite Chronicles was a shop, it would say HEARING AIDS on one side and ISLE OF BUTE on the other. Since we’ve all had enough of hearing aids recently, here is a picture of the sunny Isle of Bute at the weekend instead.

Hearing aid and Isle of Bute in perfect harmony


Batten down the hatches...

After weeks of freak endless crisp sunshine, the weather has turned wet and windy and, according to the BBC, a meteorological Armageddon is due to strike Scotland on Wednesday. Undeterred, the spouse and I got on the ferry and are now cosily ensconced in the Buteshack with a plentiful supply of cava and Extremely Chocolatey Mini Rolls. It’s his birthday this week and although he’s not saying anything, I know he’ll be hoping that I come up with something better than last year’s makeshift present of the wishbone from the chicken wrapped up in a handmade card fashioned from the ‘Police on Patrol’ page of The Buteman. The wishbone didn’t even work, apparently.

There has been lots of loud hammering going on upstairs since we arrived, but as long as the jackdaws in the attic don’t have access to any power tools, I think we’re safe. Our friends the mice seem to have completely vanished, and the spouse is proudly claiming the credit since installing his plug-in sonic rodent deterrent. I’m a little more sceptical of the £9.99 device, which emits an unverifiable sound outwith the range of human hearing. I could just plug the radio in and get the same result and it wouldn’t cost us a penny.

It reminds me of an old joke which goes something like this:

Two men are on a train and one of them is rolling up little bits of newspaper into balls and throwing them out the window onto the track.

Man 1: “Why are you rolling newspaper up into balls and throwing them out the window?”

Man 2: “To keep elephants off the track.”

Man 1: “But there aren’t any elephants on the track”

Man 2: “I know, it works really well doesn’t it.”

Contrary to the spouse’s claims for his sonic device, the real reason for the mice’s departure is that they have run out of practical jokes to play on us and have gone to gnaw through the brake cables on a few mobility scooters up the road instead.

More mooses loose

Stravannan Bay, Bute, BBC weather forecast: Heavy Rain

Just back from a much needed nice weekend by the seaside on Bute. Since our last visit, our resident rodents have been exercising their gnashers on all manner of non-food substances round the house. The spouse found his spare jeans had literally had the arse chewed out of them, which made me wonder yet again what kind of mice we are dealing with here. More mischievous than hungry, by the looks of it. I mean, they could have chewed any other part of the denim troosers and it might have actually looked quite stylish, but both I and the elderly residents of Kilchattan Bay are not yet ready for Peep-hole Arse® Levis. The further discovery of a holey pair of expensive and now non-waterproof trousers made the spouse panic and rush to check the integrity of the surviving buttons on the dvd remote. Fortunately all was well as it had been locked safely away after the previous attack at Christmas, but I made a mental note not to take any chances with the hearing aid overnight, since mice that can eat plastic, metal and rubber for their kicks couldn’t fail to be tempted by a nice beige National Health Service BTE.

Awww, look at his wee face…

We went out for a walk in the afternoon, and as we passed a house on a single track road in the middle of nowhere, the cute little bundle of fluff in the photo ran out of the garden, jumped up my thighs hundreds of times and totally plastered my only pair of trousers with mud. I could have fired the bloody things in a kiln and entered them for the Turner Prize by the time his canine work was done.

I don’t even like dogs, but this one was so damn cute he totally got away with it. I wanted to tie a big blue satin ribbon in a bow round his neck, kiss him and put him in a basket. Until, that is, he decided to push his luck by following us for miles along the road, pausing only to run under the wheels of passing cars and forcing them to stop. To my horror, the drivers all made rude gestures at us thinking we were the owners and I feared that we might be about to appear in the ‘Police On Patrol‘ column of next week’s Buteman. Something along the lines of CITY SLICKERS BRING BRUCHAG ROAD TO HALT WITH STRANGE TROUSERS AND IRISH TERRIER. Just as me and the spouse were contemplating divorce because I said we were going to have to walk the mile back to the canine fluffball’s house to lure him back to safety, a four wheel drive screeched to a halt and the driver’s door was flung open.

“Er, do you know whose dog this is?” I enquired, hoping to stave off a showdown as our furry friend looked up cutely from his customary position under the wheels.

“Yeah, mine.” said the driver. Phew.

The fluffball was now playing hard to get in the undergrowth, and the last we saw of him was as he was unceremoniously hoisted by the scruff of the neck into his taxi back home.

Thank you for the music

Doesn't say anything about hearing aids

Spotted this snippet of island crime in ‘The Buteman’ newspaper at the weekend and thought of my own inadvertent pianistic crimes against our neighbours…oops


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