And these so-called vacations will soon be my death…


From a dépanneur in Keswick (the one in England, not New Brunswick) that sells, well, beer. Apparently, the Cumbrians love their home brews. I approve. The bottle on the bottom shelf, in the middle is quite nice. Yes, this is my new wallpaper.

What I learned on my Christmas vacation:

  • Langholm, Scotland is the model for the musical “Brigadoon.” It is a place that exists only in the mists of time. You see, on Wednesday afternoons, the town shuts down completely. Except for the pubs, just in case you wanted to get drunk in the afternoons and watch fitba oan Sky.
  • The Beatles are one of Liverpool’s chief tourist attractions. The original Cavern Club was torn down so a replica was built nearby. I like Liverpool. It reminds me of Saint John, only with those cool Ringo Starr accents.
  • In Rosslyn Chapel, the Apprentice Pillar is decorated with images of corn which technically is impossible because it was built before European contact with North America. I saw the pillar but did not see the corn. Also, God is buried there with the Holy Grail. Or something.
  • On New Year’s Eve in Scotland, it’s called Hogmanay. At midnight everyone gathers in the town to ring the new year in. The piper band will march through the town. The local chavs will binge drink. A skank in a mini-skirt will randomly kiss me before heading into the nearest pub, shouting, “Let’s git fooking mental!!!”
  • Single malt whiskey does not taste bad. However, after four shots, I cannot form sentences. This was my first “First Footing.”
  • The British rail system will sometimes run on time. Sometimes not. Sometimes the trains won’t show up at all.
  • The Scotsman is a good, even-handed, newspaper. The Sunday Sport is even better as it eschews commentary and facts for boobs and football.
  • The worst Chinese buffet in the world can be found in Galashiels.
  • After two days I decided wool sweaters and tweed is a cool way to dress.
  • The British are, amazingly, completely uninterested in hockey. But some fat, sweaty bloke won his 13th World Darts Championship. This, apparently, was an important event.
  • Cold is relative. While the cold and damp will chill you to the bone, it’s good for my skin.
  • Seeing the new Doctor Who on Christmas Day on BBC1 is amazingly satisfying.
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15 thoughts on “And these so-called vacations will soon be my death…

  1. Cool stuff!

    I’m reading the DaVinci Code again and would be interested in hearing more about the real Rosslyn Chapel.

    Darts! That would be a great reason for returning the Isles. I had a good run going on a board once in Killarney, Ireland between my first and fourth Guinesses.

    Glad to hear you had a good time.

  2. Here in Keswick 2.0 you missed the local Legion’s “Darts For Meat” Christmas tournament, soon followed by the Rotary Club “Pool For Meat” New Year’s extravaganza. And with the launch of the Trailer Park Boys movie, we’ll soon be up to our armpits in chav pride. See that could git ye fookin’ mental for ‘alf da price of’er UK vacation! Glad to have you back. 🙂

  3. See, the thing about Keswick, UK is that they’re too posh to pronounce the ‘w.’ No darts for meat, though, but you can stock up on expensive hiking gear. There isn’t much skiing in Britain so people find nice big hills and, um, walk up them. So there are businesses that cater to that.

    Oh, and Keswick the First has the Pencil Museum. So there.

  4. Pingback: New Year’s Parties of the Past « Formerly known as Shatnerian

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