Comments: 26
Quite the week!

Cawdor Castle looks fab - I should check it out if I'm ever in the area.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
It's a lovely castle and the locals are very friendly. :)
Including the minotaur?
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Yup.
Very good. Another type of mythical creature that doesn't deserve its reputation!
BrokenTune 5 months ago
*sighs* Them tellers of tales have a lot to answer for.
The Minotaur was cool.
He was all, come on in, have a look at the amazing maze, and if you get lost, I'm here at the centre and might even give you a vantage point to figure out how to get back to the castle.
Flagon says, roaryay!
I don't know what I'd have been more p'd at -- having to trek all the way to Strathclyde and all the associated bureaucratic hassle or finding out just waiting a couple of days would have let me accomplish as much, with only a 10 minute walk involved. Decidedly NOT an auspicious beginning to the week. (Nor the surgery. With you all the way on not appreciating detailed descriptions ... either before or during. Hope it all heals as it should.)

I'm glad you were able to make the week end on a high note, though. Love Cawdor (and its garden! :D) as well -- Macbeth or no, it's a must stop on every trip to Scotland (and, in addition to Elgin, pretty much the only thing that makes me want to go to Inverness ... not a fan of the city at all.) Did you see they even make their own wool (and wool products)?
BrokenTune 5 months ago
I'm decidedly pissed off at the entire process so far. As for the trip to Glasgow, I tried Edinburgh first but couldn't get through on the phone and had to leave a message to make an appointment - which they responded to 5 days later by which time I had already been to Glasgow.
At least the guy did phone me straight away to say there was a problem and he did try and make arrangements for me to not have to go to Glasgow again, but still the fact that there was no need if only they had put a note on the official website to say that the Registrar's Office here would be able to hold appointment from xx/xx/18 was just infuriating. Fair enough for me to be able to take a day off at short notice and be able to afford the train ticket to Glasgow, but I bet there are plenty of people who'd be thinking twice about the expense. Gaaah, ... At least the registrar here that I spoke to felt the same way about the ridiculousness of it.

As for Cawdor, I was very tempted by the woollen products. I was also very tempted on the way up (and back) to pop into Johnston's in Elgin. I had the best woolly blanket ever from them about 20 years ago and it was with me until it finally unravelled about 3 years ago. Best blanket ever!

Maybe on the next trip up. :D

I actually quite like Inverness, but it depends on what you're there for.
True! And how well you're able to place the directions given on street signs there on a map. It's of course become less of an issue over time, but I remember getting seriously lost there during my first two visits -- not something that's bound to contribute to the joy of a visit. :D

So much administrative aggravation could be avoided if the left hand knew half the time what the right hand does ... (here, if someone had actually thought of letting the people maintaining the website know of the new appointments being offered). You'd think with Brexit being constantly in the news and causing all sorts of headaches on a daily basis, *some*one would have remembered this might be a good idea ... (not that I have much confidence in the average German city being better about this sort of thing. Bonn is, for the most part, but that still doesn't make a trip to city hall a particularly enjoyable experience.)
Flagon asks, roar! Did you make blankie-caves with it? They're like duvet-caves but made with blankets! V. cosy!
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Well, the current (as of ten days ago) response from the German authorities on the question of dual nationality in the wake of Brexit still seems to be "We're aware of the issue and are considering it.". That's been the same response for the best part of the last year. *rolls eyes* Kinda running out of time here.

Like I said, the whole process has been nothing but frustrating.

From getting personalised emails from TM to the Home Office posting an update on their website a couple of weeks ago that said they "had learned from the Windrush scandal" (that post has since been taken down. I guess someone caught on that this sort of admission of liability could cause trouble.) to the latest kerfuffle ... it's been nothing but a mess.

Anyway.

I can see how getting lost in Inverness can dampen your enthusiasm for the place. I had a similar experience with Perth. Got lost there every single time I passed through for years. I still try and avoid it.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
@Arbie: I'm sure I must have. That blanket came with me everywhere I went, everywhere I moved, and I even kept it when it already started to disintegrate into strips.
Re: Perth: Hah. Yes -- try finding your way to Scone ... and back again to the A9.

After Germany took years to get its act together allowing dual citizenship to people born as Germans at all (IIRC it was only made possible in the late 1990s or early 2000s -- before that, if you applied for citizenship elsewhere you automatically lost your German citizenship), one just might consider it par for the course that it's not considered a priority in connection with Brexit, either -- I mean, it was a hot-button topic literally for *decades* with regard to the kids born to Turkish parents before government and parliament finally saw sense and changed the law. Then again, it also seems the current priority is decidedly more on extending German citizenship to Brits -- the husband of a friend of my mom's applied and was approved without a hitch in no time at all, and I'm hearing the same thing from other quarters as well. Because Brits wanting to become Germans is obviously much more of a success story ... (sigh).

Personalised e-mails from Theresa May -- seriously? Wow. Fingers crossed they did learn something indeed -- and not merely, how to cover their butts after having made a public admission of that kind.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Re Perth - yes, it's easier to find Scone if you don't follow the signs for the A85 because there is no signs for the A85 in Perth itself, only at either end of it. So, you're better off heading for the Broxden roundabout and figuring out the general direction A9, A90, M8 etc. from there.
But of course, one needs to know in the first place that there is a roundabout that lets you do that.

Been there, done that. So many times.

Re dual citizenship, according to our Ministry of the Interior, the granting of dual citizenship is pretty much automatic if the other one that is being applied from is a EU one. So, that's probably why it works smoothly right now. The question is what will happen after the UK leaves the EU.
Yes, that's why many of the Brits living here are in such a hurry, too, of course. This whole thing is such a hot mess -- it boggles my mind how anybody can fail to see that at this point.
"So it goes." 5 months ago
Oh dear, what a week. (I recently have been in a fight, which will apparently continue until October or me giving up driving in a state that has the worst public transport ever, with my local government who told me I had to drive to the other side of the state, but when I got there it turned out I didn't have to...and I'd actually misplaced one of my papers.) So I feel your pain on the first day and just reading the rest of it made me feel panicky. I'm so pleased you got to see all the beauty by week's end! And thank you for the lesson. I think I knew only one main fact and learned all the rest from you, so thank! Now I feel I must reread Macbeth, but I won't b/c rereading Shakespeare always results in me signing up for a class, so I can't do it right now.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Oh, no. Not you, too, with a bureaucracy mess. :( I'm so sorry to hear.

What kind of classes does Shakespeare make you sign up to?
"So it goes." 5 months ago
Usually some sort of literature class or a straight up Shakespeare class. (Also a few drama classes, where I learned I cannot act my way out of a paper bag.) Shakespeare in written form (rather than seeing the plays performed) makes me feel woefully unprepared for reading. It never fails, if I read Shakespeare, I will sign up for a class in understanding it (and yet still always feel like I fail to grasp it, despite the classes...) As for the bureaucracy, I can't blame them for the fact that I misunderstood the reams of papers I was supposed to bring, but it would've been nice for them to tell me I could go w/o an appt to my local Dept of motor vehicles (and also, for them not to charge so much or be so mean.) Oh well, I'll live, and eventually I'll get my new license which says I'm a real US citizen (not a Trump law - a post 9/11 law that my very liberal state decided not to implement until the very latest date...)
Murder by Death 4 months ago
Oh! I've heard about this law - something about your drivers' licence being part of a bigger id system or something? I actually just read about it in a book... that cozy about the editor... What a pain. I wonder what hoops I'll have to jump through when the time comes to move back ::groan::
Person Of Interest 5 months ago
What a trying week but glad to see your weekend helped make up for it. Thanks for sharing the pics. Love the gun display! Really wish we could decommission more weapons and turn them into art.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
The gun display was pretty cool. :) There were a lot of quirky bits in the castle which made it really good fun to have a wander around.
Murder by Death 5 months ago
Bureaucracy sucks. I've only had one hideous brush with it - when I went to NZ last year and Australian customs told me - as I was leaving for NZ - that there was a 'problem' with my visa and wouldn't be allowed back in. It seems I have two visas - a permanent resident visa and a travel visa, but nobody ever told me about the travel visa, or notified me of its expiration/need for renewal. I spent a tense two days on the South Island trying to figure out how to get to the North Island - because that's where the embassy was, of course - only to finally figure out, via my own hours of googling (the people I spoke with on the phone certainly had no idea) that there was a website I could apply for renewal on. 24 hours and 500 dollars later, everything was fixed.

As TA says. hope the sutures heal as they should - and also the 'explain beforehand, not during' bit.

The pictures are fabulous - I don't think it ever occurred to me that people still live in castles, save the royal ones, of course; the only castle's I've seen to date are ruins/museums. I'd love to see a living castle... Glad you got the chance to see this one and had such gorgeous weather for it too!
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Visa issues are a special kind of hell. :( There is just no other way to describe this.

Lived-in castles are pretty cool because they do seem to have that imprint of the owners in them. Even when you visit one that (is not privately owned/lived-in) and has furniture, it is not the same. Those tend to have a museum vibe to them, whereas the lived-in ones just seem to have this feel of being alive in a way. Now, try and let that sink in without thinking of ghosties. :D
Murder by Death 4 months ago
No, I totally get what you're saying! I went through a fully furnished but uninhabited castle in Wales, and while it was gorgeous, it was also obviously soulless/empty. But just looking at your pictures, this castle looks lived in. From the very first interior shot I could tell it was ... I keep going back to 'breathing' which is not quite the right word, but as though you expect someone to come into the room at any moment and offer you a drink. :)
BrokenTune 4 months ago
Exactly. With this one it was quite a strong vibe, too, because there were new books mixed with old, old paintings but also modern pieces, etc. photographs of the family etc. It was just a lovely castle.