Off to Glamis today, but scarcely had we got going when the sat nav (Tom Tom Start 60) began to play up. I have no idea what was wrong with it, but I suspect that for some reason it was not picking up the GPS signal. We abandoned the sat nav, and worked our way across country on the OS Map – the old fashioned way.
Once at Glamis the first priority – banal as it is – was to find the toilets, and when that was done we went into the restaurant in search of lunch – it was well past 1 o’clock by this time. Had a very nice ham sandwich with salad and crisps on pumpkin bread – the latter appeared to be brown bread with pumpkin seeds embedded in it. We then found the exhibition hall which was very good, but as always had far too much information to take in on one visit. It betrayed a not unnatural tension between the history of the Castle the history of the Strathmore and Kinghorne family, and that of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. A video tape was running so we sat and watched that although I could hear only the occasional word now and again. I could however see that it was nicely made and didactic periods were intercut with shots of the same party of visitors as they made there way around with their guides, who seemed to have a good rapport with children.
After this effort – it was quite a long film – we adjourned for coffee and lemon drizzle cake – to which I added a Mackie’s Honeycomb ice cream. We walked to the front of the castle amid the great activity of erecting a large modern marquee for a wedding to take place on Friday next.
Glamis village looks a pleasant spot and has a folk museum, but by the time we exited through the main street, because that is the way the exit route runs, our legs were a bit beyond further exploration.
We came home via Friockheim as I felt I must see this place with such an unlikely name – and from there we took a glancing look at Kinblethmont, where we might have booked a cottage. We decided that the place we are in – The Steading Cottage at West Seaton Farm – is far better. it is only costing us £300 for the week, but we reckon it is one of the best equipped cottages we have ever stayed in – not in flashy luxury features, but in the things that make it homely, and make it “work”.
As we entered Arbroath we spotted the Jasmine House Chinese restaurant and take out, so I persuaded J. that we should have chicken and sweetcorn soup, plus I had chicken and ham spring rolls, which were much nicer than plain vegetable.
(Once we returned to the land of wifi an email from Tom Tom beseeched us to update our sat nav with an important GPS fix. GPS fixes are regular items, but important ones are rare. My guess, unproven as yet for correctness, is that this is what lay behind our sat nav’s inability to fix on a route for any length of time. I took a laptop away with me, but it runs on Linux and Tom Tom, although requested by various users decline to produce a Linux Tom Tom update programme.)