Sunday, 20 February 2011

Hello Old Fruit

I'm just recovering from a lengthy bout of laryngitis. What should I make of the gales of laughter that greets this news when any of my friends hear about it? As if they cannot conceive of my existence without the power of speech. I know I talk a lot but ..... Actually, they have a point. However, it's been surprisingly peaceful, resisting speech. I've discovered it's possible to have a thought, without immediately vocalising it. Who knew. I suspect my other half has been having a peaceful time of it as well.

Clearly, I've been suffering from an even longer bout of virtual laryngitis. So my sincere thanks to Isabelle for her well-timed comment on my last post, which happened to coincide with my own stirrings of interest in trying to pick up this blogging lark again.  I also finally managed to install and operate the software for my new camera. Only taken me 3 months.

Last weekend, we were lucky enough to be invited to share the birthday celebrations of our dear friend R. A 'biggie'. There's no bus pass involved, but he may find himself on the SAGA mailing lists.

We spent the weekend in what is probably the most unusual holiday cottage in the UK.

This is The Pineapple - a Landmark Trust property near Falkirk. It was built in 1761, as part of an elaborate summerhouse, along one side of a walled garden. It is flanked by gardeners' cottages which have now been converted into a 2 bedroom  holiday property.

No one really knows the reason for Lord Dunmore deciding to build a massive pineapple shaped folly in central Scotland, an area not renowned for its tropical fruit harvest. Pineapples were something of a status symbol in the 18th century, imported by the wealthy from the Caribbean. I remember seeing special pineapple growing glasshouses at Chatsworth House.  So I suppose he was just showing off.

The cottage is quite bijoux - and you have to go outside to get between the living area and the bedrooms, and more to the point, the toilet. So take a kaghoul. It was fine for a weekend though. And you get to sit in the Pineapple itself, which is like a very glamorous conservatory. It must be marvellous in the summer. Even in the chill and drizzle of a Scottish February, we managed to brave it for about half an hour, to drink birthday champagne by candlelight.

And we saw our first snowdrops of the year.

Best of all, I got to enjoy all the pleasure of birthday cake and champagne, without being the one turning 50 - yet. 


  1. Oh, welcome back!!!

    How lovely not to be 50 yet. Enjoy your youthful bloom while you have it....

  2. What a wonderful place to spend a birthday weekend! Perhaps it will be your choice when you do turn the dreaded "50"?!?!
    And welcome back! :-)