Do You Remember an Inn, Thingy?

I worry that the day will come when I won’t remember anything at all. I tend to draw what remains of the tattered and frayed cloth of my memory around me against that cold dawn.

It follows that I get seriously concerned when I come across things about which I think I should have known. Take siskins, for example. I am assured by Google that they are small and active finches with narrow bills which are common in Scotland.

I’ve been common in Scotland for over 60 years but I do not remember having heard about siskins until I saw them cavorting about the bird feeder at the Loch Garten osprey site in 2006. I have to accept, however, that they must have been there all the time and that I just mistook them for green finches. Or possibly yellowhammers.

And then there are Werther’s Originals. For those of you not fortunate enough to live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we started getting these adverts a few years ago where a rather creepy old man fed toffees to a small child on the grounds that his grandfather used to do the same to him. No recollection of said toffees from my youth and I was relieved to find that they only arrived here in 1997 or thereby.

So, until the Alzheimer’s finally kicks in, I separate unknown things into siskin or Werther.

Which brings us to the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company as mentioned by Christopher on more than one occasion. With particular reference to their whisky flavoured tea. For which, without being judgemental, they should, of course, rot in Hell.

Whatever. Christopher seems to like the brew and I still live in hope that he is going to come to Embra and allow me to entertain him here. I thought, therefore, that I would check out the aforementioned Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company to see if they did tours and/or tastings.

Google advised me that their shop was off Sir Harry Lauder Road in Portobello. I naturally had to keep right on to the end of said road to get there. This is a Jock joke which Sheona and JW (to whom a Good New Year wherever he may be) will get straight away. For the rest of you:-

Anyhow, Christopher, I got there and it transpires that we are talking Werther and not siskin. Founded in 1991 as a result of a management buy out.
Embra Tea

Not really worth crossing the road for let alone keeping right on to the end of it.

Contrariwise, Embra is still well worth visiting if you happen to be passing.

26 thoughts on “Do You Remember an Inn, Thingy?”

  1. John: I am largely committed to being in Embra from the evening of 25th June to 29 June, depending on flights to London City and then on to the Grand Duchy. My goal this year, before heading to the Far East, is to visit all four constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

  2. JM, it’s gratifying to read that Backside is not the only one whose memory plays tricks, although I’ll get some stick when he wakes up. He’s a B-person, as you might guess.

  3. I agree with your verdict on whisky flavoured tea! What an abomination. Even the roughest, cheapest whisky is far better than any form of tea, which I cannot stand, except for white tea.

    Just to add some fuel to the fire, did you see who was awarded the title of best whisky last year?

    Actually, the best whisky I tasted in 2014 was English, from Norfolk! Mrs FEEG and I bought a bottle from M&S just in case the Referendum last September produced a silly result. πŸ™‚

  4. Not being either a tea or a whiskey drinker – I’ll give whiskey flavoured tea a big big miss.

    Don’t know siskins – but do know Werthers, despite their arrival UK post my departure.

    I couldn’t get to Embra last year – got caught up with Mother and the NHS – but I do know Harry Lauder.

    Thanks for the post πŸ™‚

  5. Flavoured teas are an abomination, filthy muck and hideously popular in the Pacific NW.
    I have to launch an expedition (intrepid) up to Canada to get decent Yorkshire tea.
    My old girl was an Earl Grey dishwater with lemon slice type of person who always accused me of drinking ‘Navvy’s tea’ of the ‘stand the spoon up strong’ persuasion. We rarely saw eye to eye on anything in life!

  6. Frgot the forgetting or never knowing.
    Gets to a point when you can’t even remember what you might have known!
    Mind you relative selective amnesia is a godsend!

  7. If you have any sense you don’t ask for tea here!! But it is always served hot here in the NW.
    Mind you the coffee in the NW is excellent not like the deep south where they dip the (singular) bean tied to a string in a multi gallon vat!
    Another appalling solecism is being offered here half and half cream with tea and not milk, oh my God!!!

    I am sometimes known for the remark that they need to re run the Boston Tea Party with their current efforts at tea. If this is the best they could do no wonder they had to have the first practice go round. Sod the taxes taste alone got it what it deserved.

    One must not be too churlish about WA food though, splendid cheap red wine from the Columbia river basin, the best dark red eating cherries ever from Yakima to Wenatchee and those brilliant sweet WallaWalla onions that knock the socks off the Spanish stuff, you can eat them like apples they are so sweet. Oh, and the cob nuts.
    But the tea is best to give a big miss!

  8. CO: Amazon sells Yorkshire Gold with free postage and packing. I am working on a 1.1 pound pack at the moment — bought in England, of course. I’ve also been taken by Whittard of Chelsea’s 1886 Blend — China and India teas together. I will likely buy a large pack before leaving the UK in April.

  9. Interesting Christopher, I’ll check it out. but I rather like my intrepid jungle travel to Canada to watch the immigrants and thank God they can’t get over the border!
    Plus we both have a sneaky liking of Tim Horton’s crullers, the like of which you cannot get north of Mississippi!

    Whittards prices are a joke, more money than sense!

  10. CO: I simply flew into Canada, far easier than driving. Also, far faster when travelling to distant parts of the Great White North. In a few years I plan on returning to Canada for a cross-Canada rail holiday. “The Canadian” from Vancouver to Toronto, then by commuter train to Ottawa and Quebec via Montreal before taking another train to Halifax. Not quite sure I’d want to live in Canada, but its scenery is lovely.

  11. I can’t remember – oh dear – whether I wished you personally a Happy New Year, JM. Thank you for the Harry Lauder – he was the laird of Auchenshoogle, wasn’t he? I have recently had to encourage a cousin to “pit a stoot hert tae a stey brae”. ( Family disasters always seem to happen in batches.)

    Anyway, a good New Year to you and Mrs M from Sheona aka Miranda.

  12. Good morning, Janus.

    Miranda is Thingy.

    There is a myth on Google that Miranda was a Jockess called Miranda Macintosh who Belloc met in the inn in 1909 and that he wrote the poem and gave it to her 20 years later. This is not true as she was two years old in 1929. Here is her version of events:-

    “It has been suggested in various web sites that I, Miranda Mackintosh, am the original Miranda to whom Hillaire Belloc refers in his poem ‘Tarantella’. This is not true. Hillaire Belloc was a life long friend of my father, Hugh Mackintosh, and our family. In 1929, when I was two years old, he wrote it out on vellum and gave it to me as a present. In an accompanying letter to my father he explained that the poem had evolved over twenty years and that the poem he had given me was not the final version, nor indeed the one that he preferred, but that it had the merit of being the original one. It has been suggested by a distinguished historian that the Miranda referred to could have been the mayor of a small Spanish town with whom Belloc often went hunting.”

    Mind, I prefer this inn remembering song myself.

  13. Hi Sheona. A Good New Year to you and yours.

    I see you beat me to it but at least Janus now has all the information he could possibly ever need Miranda-wise.

  14. JM, I felt somewhat slighted by my exclusion from:
    “This is a Jock joke which Sheona and JW (to whom a Good New Year wherever he may be) will get straight away.

    I know the song very well and grew up listening to Sir Harry. “Soooooosie MacLean, when are you going to change your name” and

    Many years ago, when I was a lad of 4, I was awoken early one morning to be told that we were all going on holiday to a place called Paradise Island. Santa Carolina, its official name is off the coast of Mozambique. I recall that in the early hours as we drove to the airport, to board a DC3 Dakota, trying to visualise the what the Paradise would look like. I had an image of 2 large dice rotating on the top of a tall building. Pair of dice. (I really did have that image.) You would think that as a good Catholic boy I would know what paradise was, but I think we just called it heaven.

    In any event we arrived on the island which was very beautiful and had a lovely holiday. But I distinctly remembering walking round the island and singing “Keep right on to the end of the road”, at the top of my voice.

    I have not been back to the island since then, though we were in Mozambique for Christmas at Vilanculos. I gather that the old hotel has is in a state of sad neglect, though allegedly the staff treat visitors with the same colonial courtesy that they did when Portugal still ran the country.

  15. I suppose it sounds a bit pathetic saying that I grew up listening to Sir Harry. But such is the influence of a Jock mum living far away from her Highland roots. To be fair, I also listened to Kenneth Mckellar. “Roaming in the Gloamin” and all that.

  16. I think my favourite Kenneth McKellar song is “Song of the Clyde”;

    You can even see the paddle steamer Waverley, which is still going strong.

    My grandmother was a great fan of Harry Lauder and I remember that at a performance of a pantomime at His Majesty’s Theatre she was singing along so happily to “Keep right on to the end of the road” that the dame insisted a bouquet be fetched for “that dear old lady down there”.

    JM, I hate to mention this but shouldn’t it be “whom Belloc met”. Perhaps Google got it wrong.

  17. Oops, English Usage Alert! Backside says the modernists (= lazy speakers) now accept ‘who’ as accusative. Savages! 😱

  18. Janus, I can’t believe the modernists would know what was meant by the word “accusative”. O tempora, o mores.

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