I Haven't Changed A Bit

Dunfermline Travel Blog

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The Balmoral Chicken dish Davina made for us which included HAGGIS!

Take the stomach of one sheep, the heart and lungs of a lamb, include the fat and some onions.  Add oatmeal, salt and pepper to season and herbs to taste and then cook.  Serve with neeps (mashed swede or turnip) and tatties (mashed potatoes).  Eat.



If this sounds appetising well that is because it is and after sampling a range of delicious dishes made with Haggis at Hotel Davina, I can say hand on my heart, that I am a big fan of the local Scottish delicacy.



I say Hotel Davina, but really I should say Hotel Bianchi.  Davina, Sandro, Lloyd and Christina made us feel so welcome and after a week or so sleeping in some interesting (read dirty and smelly) hostels, it was luxury to get to shower without having to leave your clothes on the floor which invariably got completely soaked as the water overflowed from the shower onto the floor and it was luxury not to hear people come home to their bunks at all hours of the morning and then after waking me up fall into a deep slumber which involved loud snoring that reverberated through my skull and kept me up all hours of the morning while I wailed at the injustice of having noise cancelling earphones that did not do what they claimed to do which was cancel out the noise.

Sandro - perhaps the best husband in the entire world?



Another high point of staying at Hotel Davinas was the futuristic appliance they had where you put your dirty clothes in and afterwards they come out clean.  People call them washing machines, but this name doesn’t give them the praise they deserve. 



Having returned back to hand washing after leaving the luxury of family in Nederland, I count myself lucky to live in a time when washing machines exist.  I still remember back in the days when I went to university, we had to walk uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes on (as people who recall the past always seem to have the same story) and I remember I use to do all my washing by hand, including the sheets.  I remember at the time being so poor I could not give out even a dollar for the washing machine and I shouted to the washing gods that I would never hand wash again.

Charming Lloyd - Thanks for letting us crash in your room!
  Strange how quickly I fell into hand washing again with such glee and reckless abandon.  I guess it is different now – I equate hand washing with traveling and roughing it.



Before arriving at Hotel Bianchi (seriously you guys need to think about opening a B&B somewhere), we drove to Culloden, the home of the last battle to have been fought on British soil.  The two sides involved were the Jacobites forces fighting for the cause of Bonny Prince Charles, and the British Government, lead by the Duke of Cumberland.  The Visitor Centre was impressive with interactive exhibits including diary accounts, lively presentations, a 360-degree film, which catapults you into the action, audio guides of the battlefield and even a dress up box.

Appealing Christina - Thanks for letting me chase you around the garden
  It is worth the £10 entry fee or £7.50 for students as you can spend hours walking around and it is warm inside.  The day we visited, it had rained so it was nice to be indoors.



Another ‘must see’ I saw on the way was St Andrew’s - the home of Golf. 



No one really know who first started the game, but it has not always so popular.  In 1457 King James II banned it as he felt it distracted young men from better pursuits such as archery.  Now it is widely played around the world, and the Links at St Andrew is considered the home as golf has been played there since 1400 AD. 



But the real highlight of my visit to the south of Scotland has to be catching up with Davina.

Davina and me - 17 years on and we still look good PJ's and all (Sorry can't help but let the world see you lounge about in your pjs!)
  We had not seen each other since high school and she had left the year before we graduated so it had been more than 17 years since we hung out together!  Strangely, or rather not strangely, we clicked like we had all those years ago going though the photographs and laughing over the hairstyles and fashions, smiling over memories and crying over those from our class who had passed on.  Sorry Davina to have been the bringing of bad news.  I had become my parents.  They always seem to start a story and then halfway through it say “Oh, but they’re dead now.”  I always mock them for that, not sure if I can anymore. 



But one thing is for sure we have not changed a bit.  Sure some of us have had children (Davina not me) and our hairstyles are different (mine not Davina); I have grown mine from the very very short bright red curly messy bob I had when Davina left, but by all reports I look and act the same.

Culloden Battlefield
  I take that as high praise.  Obviously I was a very old 16-year-old back in the day, or maybe it is now I just have not grown up.  I prefer to think of it that way - that I haven’t grown and like Peter Pan – I haven’t changed a bit.

vances says:
Glad you got to visit St. Andrews...more 'links' with the past!
Posted on: Dec 29, 2010
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The Balmoral Chicken dish Davina m…
The Balmoral Chicken dish Davina …
Sandro - perhaps the best husband …
Sandro - perhaps the best husband…
Charming Lloyd - Thanks for lettin…
Charming Lloyd - Thanks for letti…
Appealing Christina - Thanks for l…
Appealing Christina - Thanks for …
Davina and me - 17 years on and we…
Davina and me - 17 years on and w…
Culloden Battlefield
Culloden Battlefield
My foot on the historic battlefiel…
My foot on the historic battlefie…
Old homestead at Culloden
Old homestead at Culloden
Beautiful Scotland
Beautiful Scotland
Outside Glamis Castle
Outside Glamis Castle
Driveway at Glamis Castle
Driveway at Glamis Castle
Me at St Andrews Golf Course
Me at St Andrew's Golf Course
Wearing traditional golfing gab
Wearing traditional golfing gab
photo by: Saskia007