Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Back home - Ayrshire roots

Well, March was an eventful month!

No sooner had I made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and decided to give up wine and coffee for Lent, than I was booking flights back to the UK for a funeral.

And then, before boarding the first of five flights nothwards, my retina decided to detach, again.  The flights took three long days to carry me to Glasgow.

I was greatly comforted by my wife who managed to accompany me this time. (When I had a similar problem in November, I had to fly to the UK on my own.)

I also had a lapse in my intention to forego wine, reasoning that it didnt count if I was not at ground level....

Heather at the Burns' museum, Alloway
From the airport, we hired a car and drove to Gartnavel Hospital which has an excellent eye unit.  My retina was re-attatched the next day, and I was able to attend the funeral the following day. All very fraught, but manageable with the support of my nearest and dearest, not to mention the superb care at Gartnavel.

 River Doon and the Auld Brig 

So, thanks to my younger brother and his partner, I am now recuperating in my home county of Ayrshire, famous for its bacon and its Bard, Robbie Burns.  He's Scotland's national poet, and I'd be surprised if you werent aware of some of his poems and songs, eg Auld Lang Syne.
A new museum dedicated to him has opened at his birtplace of Alloway, so I took the opportunity to visit it. One of his most famous works, Tam o Shanter, features the bridge in the photo, when a witch, Cutty Sark, chased Tam and his horse across it.

I've also had to visit Glasgow a few times for checkups, and have managed to catch sight of the famous paddle-steamer, the Waverley, on the Clyde in the centre of the city.  Ships like the Waverley carried thousands of Glaswegians "Doon the Water", down the River Clyde, to the holiday resorts of Ayrshire.

Ayrshire is also famous for its golf courses, with some such as Prestwick, Turnberry and Royal Troon (above) hosting the Open Championship over the years.  The Open returns to Troon in two years time.

I'll have to keep this short, but I will provide an update on my progress in about a month.  I need another operation, then can start to think about joining my wife again in the Falklands.  Many thanks to those who have sent me good wishes. I really appreciate them.  And I also appreciate the superb care and attention I've received at Gartnavel Hospital. I'm a lucky man.