What I’m Seeing

The title covers what this is about……

10 – Gathering Of The Clans 2009

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Here we go then, GOTC 09. Thursday afternoon at half two I escaped work and headed from Leicester to Scotland. I wanted to be North of Glasgow that night. I made Balloch at the South end of Loch Lomond for half eight and found myself a B&B above an Italian restaurant. There was a pub opposite so my mission for the day was complete.

GOTC09

GOTC09

The local brew of choice was Tennent Extra Cold Piss so when in Rome as they say I got in on the act and polished off half a dozen then went for fish and chips down by the river.

GOTC09

GOTC09

I found another pub and sat for a while at the bar with a lady midget and a tall bloke who talked like Lurch off the Adams family. The barman only had one ear which only added to this freak bars charms.

Back at my digs later I found an attraction to the artwork in my room. Italian art has always interested me after seeing that film about the bloke who painted church ceilings on his back.

GOTC09

The next day after the finest full English breakfast cooked by an Italian in Scotland that I’ve ever eaten I hit the trail for Ullapool. Fine weather spurred me on at first.

GOTC09

I filled up at Tindrum and managed to get 29 litres in the tank then headed North on my favorite “A” road in the British Isles. Glen something or other?

It looses it’s fascination when you come over that bridge and turn left for Fort William though, I never enjoy the bit along side the loch for some reason. At the Commando Memorial I stopped to take a photo, the first time I’ve done this even though I’ve passed it at least once a year for the last six years. I’m glad I did now.

GOTC09

GOTC09

GOTC09

While there I heard two bikes ride by then pull into the car park. Flash of the Gap and Tuned In had found me.

GOTC09

We rode on together to Ullapool, and experienced a bit of inclement weather for the first time that day. Although when we got to the camp site the weather cleared up while we stuck the tents up.

With the tents pitched Flash got his Jägermeister goggles on and the inevitable started.

GOTC09

It was all very civilised at first, sat under Flash’s tarp partaking a mid afternoon snifter seemed innocent enough. Oonyack and Rabmack joined us with a bottle.

GOTC09

Then a couple more bottles appeared. Klanky and a gent who I didn’t catch the name of joined us.

GOTC09

Then it got messy………….

Jez joined us with another bottle and Oonyack made an effort to leave, I think he was sensing something was not quite right. He didn’t get very far though.

GOTC09

Den found us and showed off with his brand new invisibility wig.

GOTC09

Not to outdone, Floyd supplied a rather large bottle of whisky complete with it’s own dispensing pump.

GOTC09

The pile of empties was growing

GOTC09

Rab gave us a fine rendition of “I belong to Glasgow and Glasgow belongs to me”, which was nice enough but a little out of place at 3pm on a Friday afternoon.

GOTC09

At this point we all got up to stretch our legs and fall over a bit.

GOTC09

Rab carried on singing, the lyrics were lost on me, but it was nice and loud and seemed to have a lot of feeling behind it.

GOTC09

Oonyack sussed out how to stand while the grass swayed beneath his feet like a North Sea trawler in a force nine gale. Rab closed his eyes and hummed a tune.

GOTC09

At this point Floyd took it upon himself to show everyone his WWF wrestling skills. He’s obviously watched a lot of it as he’d got it down to a tee.

GOTC09

Oonyack tried a mid body swerve on Floyd but it went horribly wrong and he ended up coming off second best.

GOTC09

He had a sit down and tried to collect his wits. This wouldn’t take long at this stage.

GOTC09

The effort was too much and his brain bailed out…….

GOTC09

We had men in hedges, men wrestling and men on their back gibbering. By now you’d think enough was enough and maybe an hour sleeping the pleasures of the drink off would be a wise choice.

Not if your Scottish it’s not. Ronno produced yet another bottle.

GOTC09

And Floyd turned his attention to taking down the biggest man there. Rab hit the deck.

GOTC09

Then Oonyack hit the deck, for the umpteenth time.

GOTC09

At 5pm the Skye boys retired to their bunks and in doing so got re-named Clitboy and Fannieman. Never mind chaps, some of us can hold our drink and soime of us can’t. We went to the pub for some early doors

The walk to the first pub was along the front and we had some nice skies to look at on the way. There were GS’s littered all over Ullapool.

GOTC09

GOTC09

In the Ferry Boat in some of us had a bite to eat, Tuned In spent most of his time in there waving at himself in a mirror, odd bunch these Irish.

GOTC09

We moved from there to the Caleigh Inn where Floyd kept a close eye on Flash, I think he planned on taking him down as well later.

GOTC09

We moved on again to The Argyll and took over the bar en-mass. Flash took the opportunity to get a bit of beauty sleep in.

GOTC09

After this I lost the ability to use a camera or see straight. Walking home at midnight with John Plane we spotted a bar still open, The Seaforth Bar. We decided a night cap was in order and dropped in for one. Inside we found Andy T and joined him for a swift one.

I managed to get into my tent at half one in the morning. It had been a long day and we still had Saturday to deal with

Saturday turned out to be sunny and slightly painful at first.

GOTC09

I put the coffee on and pondered on what to do with my day.

GOTC09

I decided to do feck all and to sleep a lot. In the evening we all went to the pub again which made a nice change from sleeping. The big Stornaway ferry was in at the harbour and Oonyack had surfaced to greet his sweetheart.

GOTC09

We wandered into the Argyll and for the second time that weekend the artwork caught my eye. Can anyone explain the meaning of this monstrosity?

GOTC09

Note that they’d screwed it to the wall to deter art lovers from ripping it down and dropping it in the nearest skip. The Argyll suffered us for a while until the ignorant barman asked us to give up the tables for people eating in the pub.

So we left.

GOTC09

Back to the Caleigh Inn and a can of Irn Bru for Clitboy.

GOTC09

The carpet in there was a treat to behold….

GOTC09

Next up was the slightly confusing Ceilidh Place. It was a combination of coffee shop, bar, live music venue, bookshop, hotel and souvenir shop. I found the bottled cider rather pleasant though.

GOTC09

There was a guitarist playing the most depressing dirges I’ve ever heard so headed outside where a few others had had the same idea.

GOTC09

Assorted Tossers mingled.

GOTC09

GOTC09

A nice sky, our camp site and yet more bikes were the veiw from outside the bar.

GOTC09

On the balcony above us the Scottish Clique looked down on us mere mortals

GOTC09

Den donned his smoking jacket and smoked.

GOTC09

In the window of the bars en-suite bookshop was a tale of one mans struggle to achieve something quite amazing that a lot of people said couldn’t be done. There was also a book by a bloke from America.

GOTC09

On the way back to the camp site Flash stopped off at the bunkhouse toilet to empty his piss bag from the night before.

GOTC09

And that was Saturday over and done with. Much delight, as Flash would say

Sunday morning and 350 miles ahead of me was a challenge. I decided to watch everyone else pack up then wander off at dinner. Floyd stowed what remained of the monster whisky bottle.

GOTC09

Beatle faffed and fannied around and then found he couldn’t get his leg over his bike because of all the crap he’d packed on it. He had a helping hand to mount it but I did wonder what he was going to do when he needed to stop for fuel.

GOTC09

It seemed a few had sore heads.

GOTC09

Popeye spent a long while looking for his sunglasses. I could have said something but he seemed happy enough.

GOTC09

Ronno toiled in the blazing sun like a trooper.

GOTC09

Tash asked him if he knew why Oonyacks bunk smelled of sick.

GOTC09

I watched everyone leave and then got packed myself. I planned to spend a night out in Sunderland with Sir James Burton. A few more beers wouldn’t go amiss. The ride down was quite sedate and I reached Funderland by the Sea at half five. On the way down I pulled in here for a photo or two.

GOTC09

GOTC09

Not a bad spot to hit 60k. We did a few bars, the first being an Irish bar with yet another guitarist, only this time he was knocking out some decent tunes.

GOTC09

GOTC09

We then found Brian in here. Isn’t this just a classic looking British boozer, makes you feel proud?

GOTC09

Then back to JB’s local and even later a traditional British kebab shop.

GOTC09

This was on a wall outside one of the pubs, anyone know what FTM stands for?

GOTC09

And so today I wandered down the A1 home to Whatton Manor. Best GOTC yet? Too right it was. Thanks for setting it up for us

GOTC09

Written by whatton

June 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm

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