A selection of work written over the last couple of years.

Shopping in Callender

Come on Scotland pull your bloody socks up.   I have eyed up a special little pub for ages which sits at a place where I regularly take good photographs.   It’s normally weekend when I go there and the place always looks like it’s heaving but today I decided to give it a try.

I was full of anticipation when I went in, nice ambience etc, although it appeared a little smokey and gloomy if I am being totally truthful.  Smoke coming from log fire I hasten to add.

Service was okay, nothing spectacular, but the food, oh dear, what a disappointment.  I had haddock in an ale batter.   I nearly needed a hammer and chisel to get through it and in the end left it.  No comment was made when my plate was taken, and I couldn’t be bothered to make a fuss at the table, but when I went to the bar I told them I wasn’t impressed with my grub.   She immediately apologised and said she would have a word with the kitchen.  I was fully reimbursed for my disastrous fish dish, but would so much have preferred to have had it done right.

I took a different turn today and ended up in Callender after stopping at various points and getting some great snaps.   If you are used to good customer service please keep driving.   I suddenly realised how different the garb is up here.   It is the area of the Berghaus, the Goretex  and anything else that keeps out the rain.   The town is filled with outdoor clothing shops with prices that range from the sublime to the ridiculous.   I thought I had the job sussed when I eventually found a nice two tone job in one shop til I discovered the price tag wasn’t £49 but £149.  For an anorak that I will probably hank on a fence somewhere.  No way, so it’ll be back to Ebay and the excitement of the auction.   Failing that the charity shop hit is coming.

One shop in particular was worthy of a clip from a Les Dawson show.  There they were the two shop “assistants” leaning on the counter, yapping away.  I wasn’t acknowledged in any shape or form even though it was obvious I was a genuine purchaser or would be purchaser.   I struggled with zips, hangers, you name it, but no, the conversation continued.  Until eventually one of them went off for yes, you’ve guessed it the vaccum.  Just after 4p.m. but that was the sole thought in the mind, to get finished.  I thought sod it and left.

I thought I was almost there in the final shop which had an enormous stock, but it had rails designed for giraffes and the sizes I needed to get to, involved a bit of tip toe effort.   The dizzy bisom behind the counter must have watched me struggle until I asked her if she had a bigger size.  To which she replied “No sorry, we don’t ‘av it.”  Then stuff started getting wheeled in so again it was time to go before the doors got locked.

After the disastrous food  at lunch time I promised myself a nice coffee in Callender, but oh dear, I didn’t even get that.   It was bitter and sucked in the sides of my mouth.  So I am off now to make my own.   Next time I go out I think I will take a picnic, it is cheaper and I know it will taste okay.

Compensation for the day? Some great photographs.


Shall I return to Callender?   Perhaps, I will always give a place a second chance, but I know which shops I will be avoiding.   And I will be wearing an anorak bought somewhere I have enjoyed decent service.

Best entertainment of the day?   Watching the several  near shunts in the Tesco express car park!!


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