Wednesday, June 13, 2012

569.7 kms: Queensferry-Hopetoun House-Blackness-The Binns-The Park-Linlithgow-Belsyde.

This time I need an answer, okay. Really, I mean it. I need you to tell me why, after six weeks of this, it is not getting any easier. I am miffed. No, I am actually getting cross. I'm on the point of shouting: It's not fair. I need a scientific answer. I'll just wait here while you get it ... 

While I was waiting for you I was googling. I found one answer I liked. It said it was because I wasn't having proper recovery periods. If you don't let your body recover, you get weaker and slower. It possibly makes sense. Even though I just had two days off in Edinburgh? I have had eight days off in forty-two. Wow, forty-two days! How am I ever going to be able to go back to work.


Have you seen my room? I feel like I am staying in a country manor. It certainly looks like one. I am at Belsyde House and Farm. I'd stopped in Linlithgow, hoping for somewhere to stay, but they don't have a lot of options so Tourist Info sent me down here (extra four kilometers or so) to Nan's. It was a little bit out of town so I went to the shops and got dinner provisions for a basic bite, but it turned out far from basic. Nan told me to come and eat in the sitting room. She said she would make me a coffee. I was expecting to borroow a plate and knife, and to get a mug of Nescafe, but I got a tray with a huge cafetiere of delicious coffee (I had three cups and only didn't go back for more because I want to sleep at some stage tonight—I have to let my body recover!) And then! She also brought in a plate of homemade biscuits and chocolates with ladybirds on them (not real ones).

I cannot recommend enough, if you are ever in the area, a stay here: If fact, come to the area for it. One of my fellow guests went for a walk this evening and saw a badger. There is also the very friendly ranga cat, Tess, and a miniature Yorkshire terrier who is smaller than her toy elephant and absolute cuteness to die for.

I''m all over the place. Apologies. Tired. Jittery on too much coffee.

In the spirit of being close to but completely missing the big events (like I did with the Jubillee), I missed the Olympic torch today. On the way out of Queensferry they were closing all the roads. I walked into Hopetoun House, which is both a large and beautiful stately house, and, where the bike path I am following goes through. It seemed quiet, but I figured it's Wednesday, people at work. I decided that it was time for a stop at the tea house and so instead of following the bike route around the grounds I went into the House area. I popped into the tea rooms. It was all industriousness and surprise, but I got my cup of tea and sat outside in the again shining sun. A lady approached me and asked if I was okay. Yes, thanks for asking. Are you here for the event? What event? The torch. Oh. Um, no. Turned out the house was actually closed to the public for the day because of this event. I told her I would finish my cuppa and be on my way, and asked if I could get out the back way as it seemed to indicate on my map. Absolutely, she replied. Absolutely not! They had locked all the gates. But people seem unperturbed by strangers wandering around a closed house in the direction of gates they know are locked: could you not say something! I was doing all I could to avoid having to go back to where I had come in—the long way. Two lovely gentlemen, who I never saw, and could not tell yoou what they looked like or anything about what they appeared to be doing there, were all that stood between me and a severe cracking of the ess-aitch-one-tees. They didn't tell me anything about where certain ways of getting out may be or certain things one would have to do if one were to be confronted with a small ten letter keyboard in one of those places. I didnt hear it from them. But I did manage to eventually get out of that damnable house and on my way again.

I love the Brits though, you have to don't you. They are so fabulous and polite. I had a lovely conversation about weather and the slipperiness of forest paths with a lady who found me hiding in the bushes, convening with nature. Keep Calm and Pretend you didn't see that.

I shouldn't be writing with this head on.

Good night to Belsyde House, good night to you.

1 comment:

  1. I really think that nearing SIX HUNDRED Kilometres is indeed a monumental effort, Us ordinary mortals would have probably given up by now. Your body is only just reminding you of the great work it has done. Based on that, your daily perambulation to work and home will be a doddle.
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