After my octreotide treatment today my sister, Hazel and I take a drive to my local single malt whisky distillery. Served with water from the Lammermuir Hills this local distillery was founded in 1837. It proudly serves as one of the Four Corners distilleries of Johnnie Walker. Set in well kept gardens and knowing there are a couple of sheep that are going to the Royal Highland Show I jump at the chance of a visit to Glenkinchie Distillery. The plants in bloom bring beauty and colour to the garden. The beautiful statue sheep are an additional attraction, alongside the wonderful sculpture of Johnnie Walker and his dog nearing the entrance. As we walk in a member of staff warmly greets us and welcomes us to Glenkinchie. I certainly recommend a visit to Glenkinchie Distillery. And perhaps sample the whisky earning the title of The Edinburgh Malt.
Glenkinchie Distillery is close to Pencaitland, East Lothian only 15 miles from Edinburgh. The red bricked visitor centre nestled in farming countryside. Originally the distillery was founded by two farmers in 1825, John and George Rate. Until 1837 it was named Milton Distillery. The Kinchie burn runs through the glen and so came the new name with new licensing in 1837 Glenkinchie.
The shop has something for everyone. Gardening tools, clothing, pencils, books, bags, diffusers, cocktail kits, glasses, of course whisky plus more. A fabulous cafe. The distillery can arrange wonderful tours. For us today it is a short visit. In the first instance to see the sheep. However, while I am looking around my sister catches a bargain or five. To say the least she got an amazing wax jacket, a sweatshirt and a bottle of whisky. After all you can’t go to the distillery without buying a bottle of whisky, can you?
Midweek, mid month in April, the sun is shining Steve has just returned home to Sunny Boggs Holdings after a busy day. Bella the Labrador fetches his wallet runs up the hallway wagging her tail excitedly. She comes back down looking not quite as happy. Something else in her mouth, I spy it, she is gently carrying my make up bag. I can imagine what’s going on in her head, ah ha Mum and Dad are going out, that dreaded bag is a give away. And yes she is spot on. We are heading into Auld Reekie to see Mike and The Mechanics.
We have an absolute love for music, both playing and listening. As a teenager Genesis was music that was played, listened and purchased. Vinyl, cassettes, CDs and videos. Coming out Initially as a side project from Genesis. Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford formed Mike and The Mechanics in 1984.
We have followed this group since the beginning. Loved a great many songs written by these talented song writers. Vocals sung in fabulous tune and instruments played in rhythm to a beat that makes me feel at one.
The concert was in The Usher Hall in Edinburgh. A majestic building in the capital city. Edinburgh is the city of our birthplace. A city that we hold so dear. The one that I gave birth to both our sons. We got married in. Got our first flat. So many memories we have. Auld Reekie you have a special place in our heart.
Driving Into Auld Reekie
Driving into Edinburgh is a fairly simple one from East Lothian. Leaving our Cottage in the Boggs and drive up the single track road. Its a grand time 6 o’ clock in the evening the sun is still shining however the road is fairly quiet. As we drive up the country road its pleasurable to see the last of the daffodils hanging in there and the blossom on the trees coming out in full flow. Taking a slow drive up passed the farm fields to enjoy watching the spring lambs galloping along, chasing one another wagging their tails. As we take the approach onto the A1 I gaze at the height of the crops in the fields, the beautiful carpet of yellow taking my breath away. Now getting tall enough the heads of the oil seed rape look as though they are dancing when swaying in the wind.
To see Mike and The Mechanics……. bringing back memories……….
Approaching the city we pass the multi purpose sports centre, Meadowbank Stadium, I speak of how I remember going to the stadium as a youngster with my parents to watch the wresting. Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, oh my those were the days. As teenagers we used the stadium to play badminton, we hired courts. There is a super running track around the stadium. Meadowbank was originally built in 1970 to accommodate the commonwealth games.
Around the area of the sports centre is highly populated with a good amount of flats, colony houses, schools, churches, etc. Not to mention a wide selection of shops including, hairdressers, barbers, grocers, etc. As we vere to the left we head in the direction of Holyrood Palace, sitting at the bottom of the Royal Mile. We drive up the High Street and I’m heartened to see at 6.45pm in the evening shops still open, people walking around. The high street has a wonderful selection of shops with cashmere sweaters, Scottish jewellery. There are certainly quite a few places to sit and have something to eat and drink.
Along the Grassmarket, take a turn then find a parking space!
Heading for the Grassmarket, passing people carrying cases going to their hotel. Others walking along looking like they are heading out for the evening. Lots of inviting places to eat. Edinburgh looks busy. Driving up the Grassmarket, then hey presto we are taking a turn to drive down Lady Lawson Street. Looking for a parking space – too much hassle, for the price of it, the NCP car park. Quick and easy. Get parked and then a short walk across the road to The Usher Hall.
Taking our seats and a step back in time
As we were warmly welcomed by the staff at The Usher Hall we had both been looking forward to this Gig since we got the tickets in 2022. Super seats, excellent view. Steve goes and gets himself a cola and me a pink gin. Got to get the priorities right. From the moment the band stepped on stage they did not disappoint. Oh my goodness, the room was rocking. Of course it helped they sang my ultimate favourite Genesis song Follow you, follow me. The memories came flooding back and I thought of myself belting out as I was walking back from the university library all those years ago. The rendition of Beggar on a beach of gold was outstanding; I can visualise my Mother singing as she is dusting, the hifi playing so loud she didn’t notice me walking in the sitting room. As they sang the tears ran down my cheeks. And when they did I can’t dance and someone from the audience did the actions on the floor in the stalls. Absolutely fabulous. Yes goes without saying they burst out Living Years.
The Lights were tremendous. Only disappointment it went far too quickly. Blink of an eye and it was over. How does the saying go? Time goes quickly when you are enjoying yourself. And yes was certainly doing that. The trip into Auld Reekie to see Mike and The Mechanics was an enjoyable emotional one.