Saturday, May 16, 2009


Real Scottish weather showed up yesterday, mist, rain and wind. You can see by the photos that the sun had left us and a huge storm from the South had descended on The Borders. I have to say I wasn't really bothered by it, I came prepared for rain and the wet (I even have a fender on by bike). Somehow the clouds and the wet bring out the beauty in Scotland. It wouldn't be green without the rain. The trails we were on yesterday were about 6 miles from where I am staying in Peebles, they were designed by my friend Pete Laing. The trails are on Forestry Commission Land and, unlike most of our trails in Oregon, they were funded and built by the Forestry Commission. They are designed to be all weather trails. It is quite different over here because to make an all weather trail in Scotland means the trails are built on a bed of crushed rock. This allows for drainage, but it  is also very expensive. It has all paid off in Spades for the tourism of the Borders and Scotland. Mountain biking is more popular than golfing, fishing and hunting combined in Scotland. It is the number 2 tourist activity in all of Scotland. 
After we were done riding and visiting the local bike stores it was back to the flat to make some pies. We were having a big dinner at Pete and Ali's house and I had volunteered to make some pies. Not so simple after I remembered I wasn't at home. So off to the store to buy the necessary tools and ingredients. Pastry roller, flour pie plate etc. In Great Britain they use weights instead of volume to measure. So converting from metric weights to cups was a challenge. The first batch of pie crust was a disaster. It felt like there was too much and not enough butter. I managed to get the crust into a cake pan but it was just fundamentally wrong. I was making two pies so I refigured all the amounts and tried again. More failure, I then looked at the flour package. I had gone shopping right after my ride and I still had my contacts in. When I have my contacts in I can't see up close. The package said in big dark letters Plain White Flour, but in the light small writing there were more words, wheat and gluten free. Back to the store for more flour and a lightning quick rolling out of the doe and back in business we were. Ros took Kathy's job of decorating the pie. 
It was great to see old friends again.  Every time I have been over to Scotland Pete and Ali have hosted a dinner for me. It makes me feel quite special. I was able to catch up with Ron and Kate, my friend Kev's parents, to see Paul and Anne again (I just met them last March in Mallorca) and of course hang out with Kev, Vicky, Pete and Ali. Good times. It is a rest day today so Ros and I are taking it easy. 

1 comment:

Li'l Ned said...

Hi Kate, Ron, Kev, Vicky, Pete,and Ali.............. wish I were too. Hugs all 'round --