Sunday, 19 August 2012

day 12 and counting


The monkey people have to get out their beds very early to go and  hit  a ball round a field with a stick - into a hole that is so small and far away that you cannot see it. It seems to be a popular pastime with Scottish blokes, as does wearing the funny trousers.... I'm not sure how looking like Rupert the bear on his day off is supposed to help get a ball into a hole but  I am not an expert on the subject.

Chris Bonnington would have thought twice at the mountain of paperwork I had to do but there was a lack of clarity about the head so HWMBI decided to go and see what Saltcoats looked like and what the cakes in Saltcoats tasted like.

My totally insane Auntie used to go to Saltcoats every Glasgow fair for about thirty years in a row. I think I drove through it once coming back from Ardrossan library but I don't remember much about it, might have sneezed and missed it.

It is a strange but rather beautful place, it reminded me of the setting of Glister. Not really of  this world.  The weather was dull, hot and oppressive. People were sitting on the beach, in swimsuits yet the sky was dark and threatening,  the clouds over Arran were black but not moving in any particular direction - they looked too heavy to move.  There was no wind, yet the arms on the turbines high on the hills were spinning like Simon Rattle  on crack cocaine.

They are everywhere on the horizon, a weird vanguard on the skyline, the water in front and Arran lying low in the water like a corpse. Saltcoats feels as though it is under seige. No wonder my Auntie went bonkers.

Saltcoats sea front has pulled itself up by its boot strings. Money has been put to great use. There is a walkway with a talking wall. Locals have been quoted on marble slabs and fixed to the wall as some kind of commentary  that is impossible not to read as you walk past.  From Hannah aged 8 ' a walk on the beach is best with a dog' to Gilbert aged 80 ' My best memories are standing in line for a pokey hat, listening to the Glaswegian accents.'  That was probably my mad auntie he was listening to - she had a voice like the Ailsa Craig foghorn and was about 30 stone. She was very fond of poky hats. And chips. often eaten at the same time.

We found good latte and cake shop but the joy of joy was meeting Ruby and Findlay, two lovely
Leonbergers. Huge animated teddy bears just ambling along  the front making sure that  all was as it should be. We gave them a wee rummel round the neck and left them to it, they knew what they were about.

The paperwork took three hours.  Finished a great book, unpublished but WHAT a book. tarty noir has a new star rising.


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