Beachy waves and a glimpse of spring in Edinburgh

Dear Cath,

I know we’ve both been so busy this last little while. Too much happening. At this moment you are getting a potential house inspected and then off to Detroit, and then Oregon! Egads, lady, how do you do it?

Whenever things are more busy I feel like I have to share more pics with you because I haven’t gotten a chance to tell you all the things. Inconsequential things like, my hair actually behaving some days. I’m trying to air dry it more often and sometimes it comes out like this (just added a teeny dollop of avocado oil to the tips):

beachy-waves

And spring has sprung in Edinburgh! We also still have plenty of grey, cold and wet days, but there are some glorious rays of sunshine thrown in for good measure. One day I even went bare-legged… and went all goose-pimply:

I’ve never seen bluebells before (I don’t remember them from years previous in Edinburgh — too cold?) but they pop up everywhere, pretty cemeteries included:

bluebells

Bleeding hearts always remind me of our garden in Maryland. Ooo I so miss them and the peonies, lavender, lilac and lily of the valley!

bleedinghearts

Do you remember the cherry blossoms in the Meadows? Last year the blossoms froze before they could bloom. I was holding my breath until they opened all the way. Just lovely, aren’t they?

edinburgh-cherrytrees

And a requisite Castle pic:

spring-edinburgh

I know Atlanta is already hella hot. I can’t remember what heat feels like, but I can imagine almost warmish!

I hope all your conferences go well. And house buying! Eeeee so exciting slash I know incredibly stressful — I so wish I was there to walk around the house with you and squeeze your hand.

I’ll show you pics of the castle we went to last weekend in the next letter/post. You will love it. It’s kind of Bloomsbury meets Renaissance holiday home.

Miss you ooodles and love you like bluebells love May!

Lar

 


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Sunny Edinburgh

spring-dress

edinburgh-sunny

Dear Cath,

Can you believe how sunny it is in these pics?! And blue, blue, blue sky as far as the eye can see (which isn’t far because of the hills and stone edifices everywhere). And yesterday was actually warm enough for us to sit out in the sun. Matt got a sun burn on his forehead and I look exactly the same shade as in the middle of winter. Do you tan easily? I feel like I must naturally have SPF 85 in my skin.

But still — sunny! Things are so much better when it’s sunny. My bones relax and everybody is wonderful. It’s like being tipsy on vitamin D. Though that wasn’t quite enough to scare the monkey-brain away when I had my check-up this week for endo. But to make myself feel better post-appointment I hit the harder stuff: retail therapy. Did I tell you they now have a homewares department at the big H&M on Princes Street?!

I bought a-this pillow (Standard Vintage Edition No. 3 of what? A newspaper? Pillow fluff wrapped in an enigma, printed on sustainable cotton):

h&m-home-2

And a-thiiis pillow which I’ve been lusting after for two years on their website. It’s washed linen and feels heavenly soft:

H&M-home

This weekend has been even more indulgent — no more shopping but lots of eating-off-the-“diet.” We met up with friends and went to Spoon. It’s about a 10 minute walk down Nicholson street from where you lived. Right across from the Festival Theatre. I’ve never been there for brunch and it was delicious. They even had proper American fluffy pancakes which they smothered in yogurt, honey and slivered almonds:

pancakes

And look! I had my first plate of kippers for breakie! I felt very Jeeves-and-Wooster at the morning buffet. They were delicious though incredibly bone-y:

kippers

I had to take the requisite coffee photo as well because Matt showed me that the updated version of the Google camera app can do this really cool out-of-focus thing (also used it in the photo of me at the top of the postie). Isn’t it lovely? Makes me look like I know what I’m doing with a camera — or at least a phone camera:

flat-white

A girl could get used to this: sun, gluten, linen pillowcases. Apparently that’s all it takes.

I hope you had a linen-pillowcase kind of a week/weekend too!

Miss you so much — more than any amount of sunshine and pancakes can make up for.

LOVE,

Lar

 


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Living in a Scottish Castle

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Roslin-castle-door

Last week Matt’s family came to visit us in Scotland — it was schwonderful and I miss them already. But do you know what was the icing on top of the trip cake? We stayed in a castle. A for real castle. With a turret and everythang. And dungeons, people. Dungeons. It would have scared the bejebus out of me staying there alone, but luckily I had my nephews to hold my hand when I wanted to go exploring:

Roslin-castle-stairs

Originally (we’re talking 1590s-1700s) the castle looked a bit more like this (that house-y bit to the left is what we stayed in):

Roslin-castle-drawing

We spent most evenings by a roaring fire in this room (the portraits looked way creepier at night with the fire flickering):

Roslin-castle-lounge

Cath and I have stayed in a number of grand houses via The Landmark Trust (in Italy, Cambell Town, and Aryshire). The difference with this ole pile is that it’s still owned by the St. Claire family (aka the Earl of Roslin and his brood) who’ve been around this neck of the woods since the Norman Invasion. So Roslin Castle still feels quite lived-in, what with the ancestral portraits, photos with the Queen (for reals) and such. And it’s quite cosy, you know, for a castle (she says like she’s stayed in lots).

Roslin-castle-couch

Roslin-castle-details2

So what does one do in a castle all day, you ask? Drink tea, eat copious amounts of clotted cream with warm scones and sunbathe in the courtyard-which-used-to-be-the-great-hall-in-1590 natch:

Roslin-castle-courtyard

Roslin-castle-details

We had lovely dinners in this red dinning room which is supposedly haunted by a lady in white (wayyy creepier at night when it’s just lit with candles — but good creepy).

Roslin-castle-dinning-room

Roslin-castle-dinning

Another thing to do in your castle? Take timed self-portraits — such good backdrops for blog photos! But know that if you are staying in a castle with nine other souls (or more — lady in white and co.?) someone will walk in when you are doing your blogger posing and then you end up looking like a startled prairie dog:

Roslin-castle-tapestry

This was the stair down to one of the bathrooms. When I was little and in princess-mode I never imagined Princess Buttercup et al descending the turret stairs to the toilet. What do princesses need loos for?

Roslin-castle-turret

Roslin Castle is situated right above a gorgeous glen that acts as a sort of three-quarter moat (Yes, a moat! And there was a bridge over the moat!). So lots of lovely walks to be had. And it’s just a short walk up the hill to Rossyln Chapel of The DaVinci Code fame. Rosslyn Chapel is beautiful and really magical even if you don’t care for the Dan Brown-iness of it all.

Roslin-glen-mill

Roslin-castle-ruins

Do you want to hear some modern day magicalness surrounding Rossyln Chapel? Weeeeell, we went up to the Chapel for mass on Sunday. When I walked in I noticed this lovely young Asian woman in the back pew — one notices such things in more rural parts of Scotland where the general population is decidedly not Asian nor young. Halfway through mass I noticed she’s waving at me and mouthing the words “Lar.” Holy smokes! I know that lovely young Asian woman!

Three and a half years ago Cath and I met the author Cheryl Tan at the Decatur Book Festival and got to interview her for this here blog (read the interview here). So a writer from New York met a blogger from Atlanta once in Decatur, and then they meet again in Roslin, Scotland nearly four years later?! What are the chances?

Lesson to be learned here? All Asians do know each other. Red coats are in. Rosslyn Chapel is magical.

Cheryl-tan-author

(Cheryl, I’m still so excited about this! And I’m so glad I’ll get to see you in a few weeks post-retreat!)

So, hows about it guys? Have I finally convinced you that Scotland needs to be number 1 on your places you must visit now? If you come, we’ll go castle hunting together.

—–

Dearest Cath,

Even though this year has been utter poop in a lot of ways, it has also been the exact opposite of that. I got to see you like FOUR times in six months and we stayed in a villa in Italy. And now me in a castle. Next stop? Move over Karl, the AsianCajuns are staying in Versailles.

The only logical next step, non?

It’s only been a week, but I feel like I haven’t talked to you in 20. We have to stop being busy and just skype each other all day. What are you doing? Whatchu you got on this week? When are you coming?

LOVE YOU!!!!

Lar

 


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In a Land Far Far Away

AsianCajuns-cath-lar

Missing this lady (to the right)!

I left Atlanta two weeks ago and have belly-flopped back into Edinburgh life, splashing around trying to distract myself from missing Cath. So sorry for leaving you guys in a Lar lurch. Recovering from surgery and then jet lag and then a cold while heading back to work hasn’t made February my favorite month, but it has kept me busy enough to trick myself into thinking Cath is just right down the street. Not across an OCEAN. Damn you, Atlantic! When you get so big?!

To combat my twin blues, I’ll post some piccies of Cath and I together in Seattle way back in mid-January. Ahhhh bliss!

AsianCajuns-seattle Walrus-carpenter-seattle

Oh wait! There’s also some photos of Edinburgh to combat the angsty twin mumblings. A hodge-podge of a post this is!

The following photos are from my trampings around Edinburgh (the top one is of Edinburgh Castle on a rainy day — i.e. almost all days). It really is such a wonderful place to visit. Don’t let my lack-of-a-twin-sister moaning put you off. Look at all the nice things you can do here: ogle old buildings and storefronts, sniff flowers on rain-soaked (everything here is rain-soaked) pavements, have lunch in old church crypts by the window, eat delicious carrot cake whilst you gulp your tea. It’s a heavenly story really. It’s just missing one or two (or 20) key players.

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trotters-edinburgh

edinburgh-flowers

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hendersons-vegetarian

carrot-cake

 

—–

Dear Cath,

I really am sorry my blogging has ground to a halt. Like you (but less successfully and ambitiously), I’ve tried to keep busy so I don’t have to think about our distance. Not only has this not gotten easier… it’s gotten harder! Two main things that make me feel less like myself here in Scotland: 1) not having you around and 2) lack of vitamin D. In that order. But see with #2 I’m thinking about just going to the tanning salon down the street (I know bad, but you know what this constant dirge of grey is like) — voila UV light in my eyeballs, tricking me to believe I live in southern Spain. But how, oh how, do I find a place that has Cath holograms. I need one of those shops on my block. Sometimes I’ll glance really fast past a mirror and think it’s you or see someone from behind that looks like you (and me too?) — and that’s all the more crushing.

Ha-RUMPH.

At least I get to see you on skype today!

Lovingly,

Your far far away sister Lar

 


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AsianCajuns at Auchinleck House

AsianCajuns-Auchinleck

Cath and I spent seven glorious days together at this Georgian estate, once the family seat of biographer James Boswell (not to shabby, Bozzy!):

Auchinleck-house

Auchinleck-house-ary

Isn’t she lovely? We rented her with a dozen other wonderful friends from The Landmark Trust to spend the week reading, watching movies, taking long walks in the Ayrshire countryside and eating and eating and eating. It was all very Jane Austen, if JA wore skinny jeans and watched Lord of the Ring movies on a projector. She must have left those bits out of her Pemberly descriptions.

I still can’t get over how massive the house is. We had 11 people in our party and were constantly loosing each other. The dinning room was cavernous, the library had squashy couches and the kitchen had an industrial stove. What more could you ask for, really?

Auchinleck-house-interiors

Here’s part of the gang eating in the kitchen (yes, even the kitchen is fancy pants ):

Auchinleck-kitchen

And to work off the piles of food and drink, we tramped around the muddy farms surrounding the estate during the day:

auchinleck

moss-time

hawthorne-berries muddy-boots

And then of course, there was the main event: Thanksgiving dinner!

Auchinleck-Thanksgiving

American readers, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too. Canadian, British, et al readers, we hope you are having a wonderful start to the holiday season. Tell us what you’ve been up to this past week.

—–

Dear Cath,

At this very moment you are flying over the Atlantic somewhere — noooooooo. How did that week go by so quickly? I love that we’ve gotten to be together so much this past year for two people living on opposite sides of a ginormous ocean. But somehow I get even more homesick for you when I see you more?! I don’t like it! ARGH!

I know I should stop moaning because I’ll see you in four weeks (yahoo!!!) but I don’t think I’ll be truly happy until we are living within spitting distance of each other again.

Love you to Auchinleck and beyond!!!

Lar


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A Long Weekend in Brigadoon

dunalastair estate home farm

dew rose cottage

cosy tea

Scotland is notorious for its rainy temperament, but even at its most cranky it is one of the best places in the world.

Most of our five days in Perthsire have been cold, windy and rainy, but when the sun shines I swear this place looks like something from the pages of Brothers Grim. This from a girl who was never that interested in fairy tales and who used to think nature was best left alone to the bugs and people who enjoy the sound of water-proof clothes rubbing together.

So be warned: I’m going to bombard you with pictures in this post. I want you guys to get a taste of the magical place that is the Highlands of Scotland. And then come for a visit.

Here’s a few pics of the wee cottage Matt and I stayed in:

dunalastair rose cottage

dunalastair-cottage

scotland oatmeal

One of Scotland’s famous peaks, Schiehallion mountain, covered in snow — this was our view from the front door of our cottage:

schiehallion

This has got to be the Brigadoon  bridge. Is that Gene Kelly behind that peat bog?

brigadoon bridge

We drove through Dull, Scotland: sister city (village?) to Boring, Oregon. Cath and I have been fans of the Dull & Boring Facebook page for a few years. Boring, don’t feel left out. Next time I’m in Oregon, you and me have a date!

Dull Scotland

Matt and I foolishly decided we are now, after two years of living in Scotland, as hardy as Scots. Foolish! Foolish, I tell you! Hiking in the driving sleet and freezing rain is not for us. Don’t let Matt’s triumphant stance with walking sticks fool you:

hiking dunalastair estate

p.s. Just because something is labeled water-proof (North Face, I’m looking at you) does not mean it’s water-proof in this damp country. We were soaked to the bone in water-proof trousers, jackets and hiking boots after 20 minutes of schlepping up this hill.

Enough griping! Look what happens when the sun does comes out. It’s autumn and the Highlands turn into gold:

golden light autumn

One of the highlights of the trip was going to the wee village of Fortingall and ogling the oldest living organism in Europe: a 5,000 year old Yew tree! It was 56 feet in circumference before the Victorians got souvenir-happy and chopped the base to bits. It’s still growing though and mightily impressive:

fortingall yew oldest tree

Fortingall yew

Another fun “fact” about Fortingall? Many questionable sources claim that Pontius Pilate was born here. Yes, here, this teeny village of Fortingall in the heart Scotland. And, yes, that Pontius Pilate from the Bible. Apparently, Pontius’ dear ole dad was stationed up here with his Roman legion. So maaaaybe? Anywhoodles, I find the Oldest Living Organism Yew Tree way more awe-inspiring than Ponti P.

Speaking of myths v facts, Loch Ness is no where near Perthsire, but we figured these tees would be appreciated near any loch. So we had a mini photo shoot by Loch Tay:

loch ness monster

 

See anything, Matt? Nope, just a questionable shadow and ripple across the loch:

explorers

Egads! The Loch Tay Monster is sighted. Lar flees, Matt runs to the rescue:

loch tay monster

And one last picture of Brigadoon (aka Dunalastair Estate) because it just looks so unreal:

view rose cottage

Hope you guys didn’t get carpal tunnel in your scrolly finger. I promise my next post won’t be so long. But aren’t you Scotophiles now? Come rain or shine, this fairy land won’t disappoint.

—–

Dear Cath,

I can’t wait to see pics from your mountain weekend!!! In some ways, bits of Perthshire look EXACTLY like northern Georgia. There’s more trees than on the west coast of Scotland and the mountains look kind of similar from afar. I’m guessing you guys didn’t need three layers of clothing made out of wool and Gortex to go tramping around the Blue Ridge mountains.

And as nice as long mountain weekends are, I don’t like that we couldn’t skype! Miss you oooodles! We must skype midweek then, okay?

Love you like water loves Scotland,

Lar


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A Sunrise in Perthshire

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Cath and I are both on mountain weekend get-aways: she’s in the Blueridge Mountains in Georgia and I’m in the Highlands of Perth in Scotland.

I’ll do a proper post for Monday, but I had to share these misty sunrise photos with you! It was breathtaking in person and my non-existent photography skills don’t do it justice.

I wish you were here to gulp in big lungfuls of this air with me: it is sharp and cold and so clean. And its so quiet here. Once in a while birds twitter, the wind rustles the autumn leaves, the cows moo, but otherwise it’s utter stillness. I think this city girl is turning into a country girl in her old(er) age.

Matt and I are staying in a wee stone cottage complete with a crackling fire, tartan rug and bedrooms tucked under the eaves. I’ll show you more Scottish country twee-dom in Monday’s post!

—–

Dear Cath,

Matt and have gone into serious hibernation mode here in Perthshire. It’s freezing rain most of the day, so we’ve holed up in our roasty, toasty cottage and eaten our way through lots of vegan/gluten-free meals. Gluten-free toast (with coconut oil and manuka honey — soooo good) and lots and lots of roiboos tea.

It’s been getting dark here around 5, so last night we went to bed around 9 pm, as in we were asleep by then! Hence my ability to be up way before sunrise.

Hope you and Troy are having a wonderful time up in the Blueridge Mountains! Can’t wait to hear all about your trip! Are you guys hibernating as well?

LOVE YOU like mountains love mist (they do),

Lar

 


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Cemeteries, Skeletons and Stretchy Pants

Edinburgh-cemetery

Edinburgh-castle

I didn’t think about this at the time these photos were taken, but I hope it doesn’t weird you guys out that I look so cheerful in a cemetery. I know headstones and buried bones are morbid, but I’ve always been a sucker for old stone (Cath too — she just was partying at a cemetery in Decatur a few weeks ago). If they are in the middle of the city like this one in the pics, they are beautiful, serene green spaces tucked into bustling urban life. This particular cemetery is just below Edinburgh Castle — a pretty darn good view if you are going to rest your bones anywhere for eternity, eh? (Sorry, too morbid again?). And I do enjoy reading headstones and thinking about what those people living in 1830 in Edinburgh must have been like.

Even if you still aren’t a fan of tip-toeing around burial plots, doesn’t it get you into the Halloweeny mood?! It makes me want candy corn and caramel apples, and to smell bonfires crackling.

Since our two year stint in the UK began, it seems more and more people are embracing Halloween. Nobody knows what candy corn is (or Milk Duds) and it’s still sometimes tricky to find pumpkins, but there are more decorations this year than the previously. Just look at these at our favorite local, FYUL. Martha would be proud!

FYUL-Edinburgh-HalloweenFYUL-halloweenFYUL-latte

Re: the stretchy pants. I’m afraid Cath will continue to have to be the lone fashion inspiration on this blog. Apart from having a teeny tiny wardrobe these past two years, I’ve also discovered the joys of leggings and jeggings! Those black stretchy things that even at their peak of trendiness a few years ago made onlookers feel ambivalent at best and like they got a dose of TMI at worst.

But I’ve embraced leggings and their pants-pretending cousins, jeggings, whole-heartedly. My abdominal area is still not quite back to normal after my surgery 10 weeks ago, and an elastic waist band feels like a gentle hug rather than a corset like my skinny jeans do. And they are perfect for layering cosy sweaters and tees. If you are worried about a TMI situation occurring (or is that me just being paranoid?), layer longer tees under your shorter sweaters or blouses.

ferragamo-vara

Outfit details: gray cardi Lands End, black tunic and leggings New Look, fair trade necklace by Mettle, shoes are Vara by Ferragamo

———

Dear Cath,

I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with this nasty virus right when you are meant to be in NYC! I wish I could be with you to give you chicken soup and then fly with you to your conference. I’ll be thinking about you all week and sending you lots of healthy, happy vibes from Edi!

Love you like candy corn loves Oct. 31,

Lar


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My Love/Hate for Autumn

FYUL-AsianCajuns

Clear, cool days. Crunchy heaps of leaves. Crisp air (a cliche, but it is so crispy, isn’t it? Not another word for it). Pumpkin-spiced, cinnamon-y coffee drinks. Scarves and wooly sweaters/jumpers when they are still a novelty to layer and not just a means of keeping the winter from sapping your body heat. Oooo it’s all so good isn’t it?

Living in Scotland, we start fall early. Right at the beginning of September to be exact. The temperatures dropped, I started wearing layers and drinking even more cups of tea (something that doesn’t really slow down in the summer in Britain — a cultural difference I’m still slightly confused about. Hot tea on a hot day cools you down, you say? I tried it and I’m not buying it!). Curling up in a cozy blanket and lighting a chai scented candle. Yes. You feel good, autumn. You really do.

The flip side to autumn wrapping it’s luxurious cozy arms around me is… the impending darkness. Living in Edinburgh we are pretty far north — on par with Sitka, Alaska. I don’t know much about Sitka (was there a Sandra Bullock/Ryan Renolds movie set there?), but it sounds cold and northern. Edinburgh isn’t the same kind of cold, but it is the same kind of dark. By the middle of December the sun will have set by 3:39 pm. That doesn’t sound too crazy until you factor in the angle of the sun before it sets — it’s just 15 degrees or so off the horizon. All. Day. “Long.” Making the days dusky rather than, well, sunny. And the sun is just barely above the horizon after 2:30 pm, so it is pitch black by 3:30. Oooo I’m getting shivers down my sweater-swathed back just thinking of it!

I remember even living in southern Atlanta I would feel a twinge of sadness knowing the days were shortening, but before living in Edinburgh I had never experienced dusk all day — a sun rise so low it doesn’t clear the five story buildings that populate Edinburgh.

So as much as I love the change of summer into glorious fall, I also inwardly panic. So what do you do with the panic? You bring out the big guns: the sun lamp, the vitamin D pills, the whisky, the making-the-most-of-it by planning a holiday someplace with a fireplace and stacks of books. You learn how to hibernate.

But before Matt and I go into deep hibernation mode (I think we are about four more weeks before we can’t tear ourselves from our sun lamp-lit flat), we are trying to soak up Edinburgh’s goodness. We have to because during the winter there’s a lot of mumbling, at least from me: (grumble, grumble, rubs hands together) “Why is it so dark, why is it so cold and windy! We’re inside and it’s still windy! Why is the freezing rain horizontal? How is that possible?.” Repeat. And repeat until… oh.. end of April. Wah wah. Whine whine. I’m a deeelight to live with in the winter, I can tell you!

But there is a lot about Edinburgh that is spectacular in the mean time. This stony city was made for the riot of colours autumn wears and the coziness you feel safely tucked away in a pub or café. Matt and I just discovered a new neighborhood haunt called FYUL (that stands for Food You Utterly Love, though I like to pretend it’s an Icelandic word I don’t understand). As you can see in the photos, the decor is gran’s living room meets salvaged loft space, and the food is delicious. Oh and do you see — the chairs are wearing tweed! I love a good tweed-covered anything (including vintage cars). We’ve already been three times in the past week. It’s so good it might actually keep us from hibernating the entire winter season.

FYUL-scone FYUL-decor Matt-FYUL  FYUL-food

FYUL-Edinburgh

Don’t forget to enter Cath’s Fantas Eyes giveaway below, lovely readers. I’m pea green with envy — such lovely sunnies.

——

Dear Cath,

I know you’ve Instagrammed FYUL but I had to do a proper post and tempt you even more! Today when we went back I got the veggie plate and the muesli again. Deeelicious! Matt got the soup with the crusty bread. That’s one of the hardest things being on a gluten-free diet — no eating the crusty bread with the toasty soup or the grilled pita slices with the humus. Le (grand) sigh.

Has hints of fall hit in Atlanta just yet? I can’t remember exactly what it felt like this time of year. The leaves haven’t actually started to change here, but the air certainly has. I forgot how beautiful Edinburgh can be on a blue-blue sky day when you can see for miles and miles.

I wish we could cozy up together under a faux-fur blanket and watch You’ve Got Mail while drinking spiced hot drinks (I can’t bring myself to say Pumpkin Spiced Lattes when I know I can’t drink the coffee or the milk — I’m going to learn how to make vegan chai that’s delicious  — I’m gonna!).

Sending you lots of love from autumny Edinburgh!

xoxoxoxoxo,

Lar


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Vintages Cars Rahhh!

Vintage-car-rally

Vintage-fashion

1950s-accessories

What is a vintage car rally? From what I can gather (from first-hand experience two weeks ago) is that you get together with other vintage car owners, drive around the countryside like something out of a BBC mini-drama, and then picnic whilst sizing up everyone else’s retro wheels. And you can dress up if you want.

Now I’ve never owned a vintage car (unless you count a 1991 Buick Park Avenue), but I happen to know a dashing couple who do (see Juliette and Chris below). And then I had the chutzpah to invite myself along when they mentioned they were going to a vintage car rally one weekend. Ooo me! Me! Me! I’ll go! I’m sure I endeared myself to them bouncing around the back seat and asking lots of boring pertinent intriguing questions about vintage British cars and the people who buy them.

1950s-fashion

vintage-car-drive

(Above) Just look at that wee rural lane we’re driving in! Convoying behind our fellow vintage car rally-ers!

(Below) What the back seat looked like: Juliette’s Harris Tweed purse and my hat mingling with Juliette’s car pillows. I love having car pillows in your car in lovely patterns. Maybe wouldn’t work as well in a Chevy Lumina or Ford Fiesta, but in a 1958 Morris Minor — just the right amount of practicality (lumbar support) and charm.

Harris-tweed

My favorite car of the day (apart from our Morris Minor), this gorgeous Ford Model T:

Model-T-vintage-car

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The Model-T’s owner had covered the exterior (yes exterior) in soft dove grey leather (yes leather!) and the interior in Harris Tweed! A Scottified American vintage car — spiffy!

And who doesn’t like a well kept 1960s/70s Mini Cooper (below) — I wish they were still so cute and dainty. Their previous proportions were probably far less safe, tis true:

mini-cooper-vintage

Oh wait, I lied. The Model T-weed (get it? har har) was my second favorite. This guy was my favorite, favorite:

vintage-AA-motorcycle

He was part of the AA (we know it as AAA in the States). He’d travel around in his motorbike to rescue stranded drivers with his side car chalk-a-block full of handy bits and bobs: first aid kit, gasoline, torch (flashlight), booklets and a wry Scottish smile (see that? What a lovely man):

AA-motorcycle

AA-motorcycle-books

Ohhh here was another favorite (turquoise below):

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It was an all day affair. We convoyed to Glenkinchie Distillery, ate our picnic in the grass, wiggling our toes in the sun, ooohed and ahhhhed over the pretty cars, then back in our cars for our afternoon convoy to a lovely estate, tea and cake and awards given. I feel so utterly British. Like a 75 year old British man. Vintage cars, crazy rallies where they picnic on the croquet green and eat cake, and at home by 6 pm. Ahhh yes. Fits me to a (Model) T. Puns. I should add puns to the me-as-an-old-man list.

Have you guys ever been to any sort of car rally, vintage or no? I really thought the best part would be getting to dress up all vintage-y, but I totally forgot about that bit in the end and just enjoyed being along for the ride.

———-

Dear Cath,

When we win the lottery, we’ll buy a wee cottage up here for summer days just like this. And a vintage something on four wheels. Pack a champagne picnic and pretend we fell out of an Evelyn Waugh novel.

Italy: THREE WEEKS!!!!

xoxoxoxoxo,

Lar

 


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