29 thoughts on “For John Mackie”

  1. Deep Joy, Christopher.

    We will be in Embra then and look forward to meeting you.

    We can firm up details in due course but just for now:-

    1. How long are you here for?

    2. Have you arranged accommodation?

    3. What would you like to see?

    4. Will you have had your tea?

    No 4 is just there for Janus’s usual anti-Jock gadflying. Please tell him that I am not speaking to him until I have recovered from the red-raw wounds of staying up from 10 pm last night until 6.30 am or thereby this morning to watch Scotland snatching our usual defeat from the jaws of victory at yet another sport.

    I’ll give him bloody Spartans when I am talking to him again!

  2. Fine that Janus. You are forgiven.

    It was your empathy as opposed to any suggestion of sympathy wot done it.

    We have both been there far too many times in our sports-supporting lives, were they English, Scots or British disasters.

    Bring on the weekend when I hope that ‘we’ will beat Sri Lanka.

  3. Thank you, John.

    1.My plan is to stay until Tuesday, 30 June before flying back to Luxembourg.
    2.I have a reservation at a B&B, but that is flexible and can be cancelled.
    3. I would like to see the Old Town, New Town, Holyrood Palace, Scone and some of the surrounding countryside.
    4. I will have to buy tea, preferably enough to last me a year in China. Yes, I know, I bring tea to China.

    I will inform Janus of your distaste for his antics and knavish tricks. He really must keep Backside in check.

  4. Excuses, Backside, excuses. Ordnung muß sein! Frechheit verboten!

    I just booked tickets for a day-trip to Belfast. This year, I will visit all four constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

  5. Janus: if that is what he holds, tell him that he has to first fill in the required 50 forms at the Bundesordnungmußseinverwaltungsamt to get the correct Frechheitsbedürfnisbefreiungszertifkat chit.

  6. Hi again Christopher

    We’ll probably have to take this private and off blog in due course but let’s move on for the moment and keep the rest of the Chariot in the loop. Just in case they are bothered.

    Talking of moving, we will be decanting ourselves to a bungalow in mid March. We will be rewiring, replumbing, reflooring and redecorating but that should all have happened by June.

    At the moment, we live about 500 yards from the New Town. It will be just over a mile away after the move. The Old Town, complete with the Royal Mile and Holyrood Palace, is about 10 minutes away by bus or car, so no problems with them.

    Scone is about 40 minutes away by car and I will be happy to take you there and back by tourist routes that, I hope, might be of interest.

    Festival-wise, you will have missed the Summer Solstice so are probably safe from starring in any remake of ‘The Wicker Man’.You also just miss the Festival of Leith so there will be no Proclaimers nonsense to bother you. You do, however, jet into the midst of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Magic Festival if case either are of any interest.

    And if your plane gets in early enough, I might be able to rush you to this conference on ‘Feeding Better Behaviour, Learning and Mood: The Gut, Brain and Nutrition Connection’ in my own, beloved Uni of Embra. How many words would you use for that title in German?

    Anyhow, back to accommodation. We would love to have you staying with us for the duration of your Embran expedition but there is a problem if you are not dog-relaxed. Dougal is friendly but can be quite demanding of visitors until he gets to know you..

    If you are not a dog person, please let me have the details of your proposed B&B booking in case we can use local knowledge to find you something better?

    And possibly cheaper.

  7. JM, I genuinely hope that your plan to re-everything your new abode in a matter of weeks is not optimistic. My beloved live-in architect made a similar plan for this house but unfortunately the scope for craftsfolk to procrastinate should never be underestimated. Meantime – all the best for a smooth and eventfree move.

  8. JM, at what point of Christopher’s visit will you show him the best thing to come out of Edinburgh?

  9. JM: yes, of course. Until then, we can let the other charioteers salivate at my good fortune.

    The film festival sounds intriguing, especially if they have new films from Japan and Taiwan. Often very high quality and, as of yet, under-rated in the West. Unfortunately, as my flight isn’t scheduled to arrive until 7:20 PM, I may not make it to that conference. Nota bene, in German the conference would have fewer words because half of them would be combined into senselessly long words that could almost pass as sentences in more sensible languages. I shall ask my mum what she reckons it would be — she works in healthcare.

    In general, I get on well with dogs. Mostly, they like me and I generally like them. My reservation is at the Garfield Guest House. Because of the frequency of my travels, Booking.com frequently gives me discounts.
    We can worry about this a bit later on.

    As a rule, I defer to those who know an area better and would be happy to let you plan things as you see fit.

  10. Good evening, Sheona.

    I can’t remember if you think of yourself as a Weegie,in which case the joke would insist that the best thing to come out of Edinburgh is the M8. Alternatively, if you are claiming Aberdonian sheep-shagger status, we are, of course, talking the M90. Both are fine roads but they are far better when they are heading towards Embra rather than away therefrom. In my opinion.

    Whatever, I intend to take him out by the M90 to Scone and to bring him back by the M9/M8 via Linlithgow Palace. Such larks!

  11. i think it is one of the triumphs of this site that brings people together in such generous spirit. (Thanks Bearsy, Boa and Soutie for running the show.)

  12. I’m a Glaswegian by birth, JM, but also take it badly if people make unkind comments about Aberdeen. I remember that the first time I saw the comment about the best thing to come out of Edinburgh was in a German magazine – “der Zug nach Glasgow”. The journalist was the German mother of a school friend, living happily in Aberdeen.

  13. Good evening, Christopher.

    I have some good news and some bad news for you about the Garfield Guest House. I went along there today to check it out.

    Good news-wise, it is on the correct or North side of Princes Street, where all sensible Embrans live. There are fine views of the Old Town skyline to the front over the playing fields of George Heriot’s School.There’s bound to be a cricket match or two there on Saturday 27 March. Try to get a front room so you can watch several teams of “flannelled fools at the wicket” – I don’t know if you have ever tried Kipling but it’s one of his best, in my opinion.

    There are, as advertised on the Guest House website, bus stops outside the front door. One bus will take you right up through the centre of the New Town and deposit you on the Royal Mile at the heart of the Old Town within 10 minutes. Go the other way and you can be on the Royal Yacht Britannia in no time at all.

    What might be bad news is that the Garfield Guest House is up for sale. Given the area and the very reasonable request for offers over £699,995 for a 10 bedroom guest house in a good area of Embra, it might sell very quickly. I think it likely that any transfer of ownership could take place just before you arrive. That’s assuming, of course, that the new owner intends to carry on the business and has no other plans.

    In normal circumstances, Mrs M and I would have insisted that you stay with us. It’s the fact that we are moving ourselves and relying on a whole series of refurbishments over the next few months that gives us pause.

    Whatever. It will probably be all right and you are, almost certainly, welcome to stay with us and Dougal the dog for your Embran trip.

    Yo be safe, however, can I suggest that it might not be a bad idea if we found you a backup lest both the Garfield Guest House and Chez Mackie let you down?

  14. That’ll be a plea for help then, Bearsy or Boadicea or Soutie?

    Lovely blue links but not working. Sorry. Do you need the http: links to fix them?

  15. Oh, dear. This does rather increase the risk of complications, doesn’t it?It might be best, then, to have a third possibility. As June approaches, we can sort out the last of the details. I am a fatalist, after all.
    I suspect it is in the Trierer genetic code — we have consistently been bested by the French.

    Thank you for reminding me about the Royal Yacht. I have always wanted to see it and rather hope they’ve done her better than the Americans have with the Queen Mary.

  16. Christopher. Well done for winning, and when we went to see the Britannia, it was presented very well. A very interesting visit. That was about 8 years ago, though.

  17. FEEG: thank you! I am very much looking forward to seeing it and Embra in general — though I am somewhat nervous about the political climate, with the Scottish Nazi Party seemingly doing well in the polls.

  18. Hi Christopher.

    Update time. I drove past it today to check and the Garfield Guest House is still on the market. That suggests that the existing owners will be in charge for your arrival in June.

    Whatever. I am almost certain that our new house will be fit to receive you by then and that there is no need to plan a third way. The newly delivered Ikea sofa bed is in place in our guest bedroom. It looks like it’s going to be Garfield or us.

  19. Hello John,
    thank you for the update.
    Please let me know if everything will be ready by
    early June. If so, I can easily cancel my reservation.
    Thank you again.

  20. JM, IKEA is big here. Nothing like losing the will to breathe on several floors of Scandinavian modern flatpacks, imho. Nice beds though. 😉

  21. Good evening Christopher

    Mrs M and I would like to invite you to stay with us for your time in Edinburgh. Our new abode is still a work in progress but it’s not that bad, in our opinion, and your welcome will be warm.

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