On Tour NC 500 – Day 4

On Tour NC 500 – Day 4

Sunday 3rd June

Good morning everyone from sunny North Berwick. 

That’s enough of that.

 Today we travelled to the NC 500 starting point in Inverness by way of Edinburgh.

We didn’t in fact visit Edinburgh which is scheduled for later in the trip.

A:- Did I mention previously that the roads in Scotland are immeasurably better than those in England?

 Well if I haven’t then I’m doing it now.

It was quite an uneventful journey really with the maximum speed limit being 60mph for the majority of the way except – and I couldn’t work it out why it has been put in the way it has – there were stretches on which there was an experimental 50mph speed limit for HGV’s which meant of course everyone has to travel at 50 mph.

Why don’t they just say we are trying a fifty mile and hour speed limit and have done with it?

Where we are staying is in fact about six miles outside of Inverness and a mile from Culloden Moor but perhaps of more interest a mile from the Culloden Battle site.
Phot of Culloden monument

For the uninformed the Battle of Culloden was fought between the Government forces – the English – and the Jacobite combined clans under Prince Charlie – the Scots or more accurately the Gallant Highlanders -on the 16th April 1746 which resulted in a decisive victory for the Government Forces and effectively killed off any future Scottish Rebellion.

It has to be said that there are many in Scotland who have never really settled into the England – Scotland relationship and hence we have Scottish Devolution and a strong Scottish National Party.

But back to Culloden.

Many don’t know but Liz even though she was born in Coventry – call her a Brummie at your own risk – is actually the daughter of an Irishman and Scotswoman?

Which in my book makes her a “Celt”.

So imagine my shock and horror when as we walked to the Culloden Visitors Centre that she made the following statement, “do you think they’ll let us in free seeing as how we won”?

Woah steady on there tiger – you lost – you can’t just renounce your heritage and that of your parents.

Of course there was a serious – well not so serious debate on whether she was English or not – which I thought I was in with a chance of winning until she came out with a classic.

“I’ve decided I’m going to take the best bits and the bits I want from all of it and reject the bad bits”

Now that’s what you call international cosmopolitanism. 

Anyway we visited the Battle Site and seeing as how our grandson has been given his mother’s family name – she is from Scotland – of Simpson we checked to see if his clan – yes I accept that Finn is part Scottish and I’m sure he’ll be brought up to be justly proud of it even if he is a kiwi – fought at Culloden.

From what I can tell the Simpson family name is a branch of the Clan Fraser (I’m sure Finn’s other grandad will correct me if I’m wrong – so yes his long past forefathers were there.

Before you ask I have absolutely no idea why money has been left on the stone marking the graves of the Clan.

By the way the sign outside of the Culloden Visitors Centre has on it the phrase –

“Our blood is still our fathers, And ours the valour of their hearts…”

I’m not sure I know of another nation who having lost a major battle and as a consequence the war still promote it all as a Glorious Defeat.

But then again this is Scotland and it appears their attitude – of which I strongly approve – is very much along the lines of you may have won but don’t ever think you beat us.

Incidentally the weather today has been brilliantly sunny and hot which brings me to another issue.

All the way up to Culloden we kept passing flashing road signs telling us that a “Yellow Warning” has been issued!!

My assumption given that we haven’t seen any rain and the reputation Scotland has for miserable and dour weather is that a “Yellow Warning” is issued to warn the fair skinned red haired population that the sun is coming out.

A:- Talking of stereotypes – who is? – I am – I actually love watching and listening to the comedian known as Frankie Boyle. I say known as deliberately because with his red hair and massive ginger beard he meets the stereotypical Scot except I have yet to meet a red haired ginger Scot who is overtly aggressive so I’m beginning to wonder.

Is Frankie Boyle like the political comedian/satirist Jonathan Pye someone acting the part and is he really a public schoolboy from Surrey?

Back to the travelogue – this is Day 4 and we haven’t even set off on the NC 500 yet however as we sit here drinking beer in the sunshine from bamboo reusable mugs I’ll finish off with another Liz classic.

She has just said “I like drinking out of these because no-one knows what you’re drinking”
The problem is she even kept a straight face and said it as if she really cares. 😄😄

Cheers everybody?