Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Great Scot!

After perhaps the most lackluster transatlantic flight I've ever had (cough*US Airways*cough), I have arrived in Larbert, Scotland. Still tired, I will keep this brief and go read my book (The Yiddish Policemen's Union* by Michael Chabon).

My first impressions of the country, particularly in comparison with Ireland, are colored with surprise at the number of trees that make up this landscape. In Eire, the view was all open fields and rolling hills. Here, the wilderness seems more wild, a land where barbarous war once raged and where thanes** ruled from mighty strongholds.

Upon our arrival at the house our friend Sue has swapped for her own, we were given a tour and then whisked off to do things. Very tired, of course, and just trying to stay busy. We went to the renowned Callendar House, known for housing lords and monarchs for centuries. It was very big and very pretty and reminded me of the Muckross House in Killarney but sans all the grounds that make up Muckross Estate. After that, we went to the ever-exotic grocery store, where we stocked up on supplies for the week and where I made an exciting discovery...

In Tralee I had the great fortune to discover a delightful green beverage known as a Fat Frog. Though the original Fat Frog is comprised of 7 secret herbs and spices, you can easily make it yourself, if you have the right ingredients. I had high hopes of recreating it for my friends back in the States but much to my chagrin, I was unable to find all three of said ingredients: Smirnoff Ice, WKD Blue Vodka, and Bacardi Breezer Orange***. The Ice was no problem, and for the WKD I substituted UV Blue, adjusting the proportions because, while UV Blue is straight flavored vodka, WKD Blue is a spritzer-type drink, like the Ice. That left only the Bacardi Breezer, but for the life of me I have not been able to find it. I tried substituting other orange-flavored things, but it never quite worked. So, cutting to the chase, I found all three ingredients in this Scottish grocery store in resealable liter bottles, so I will be enjoying all the Fat Frogs I wish over the next week.

Then I took a nap. Now I'm awake until bedtime, so I better get to that book.

*Unequipped with Wi-Fi and unable to upload my own pictures to this computer, I will try to make up for my current lack of multimedia with more amusing/educational links than usual.
**See also, The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
***In equal proportions. 

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