My flight was smooth and uneventful, and landed in Glasgow a little early, which was good, since it had been marred by navigation issues which caused the cabin crew to say "all electronics must be off, yes, even your Pokemon machine, yes, even your iPod." It was a sad, sad situation for a Seanan. When I landed, it became even sadder, as my phone had run out of minutes while I was in Ireland, and I thus could not call Amal to let her know I was there. I mooched back and forth in the airport for a while, sadly, until she materialized, all smiles and hugs and help with my luggage, and got me out of there.
When we arrived at the apartment, everything smelled like home. There was a chicken roasting in the oven and a pot of stock simmering on the stove, and I promptly decided that this was the best of all possible worlds. I was set up in the guest room, added to the wireless, and introduced to the two fabulous resident magpie cats. Amal quickly discovered that she could thrust things at me, and that I would then read them. This became a popular party game over the next few days.
Oh, the places we went! Oh, the things that we did! We visited the two biggest cheese shops in Glasgow, and assembled two glorious cheeseboards, including Bonnet (goat), Isle of Mull Cheddar (yellow), VJ Cabrales (DEATH BLUE), Old Lochnagar (cheddar-ish), and Dunsyre Blue, all from I. J. Mellis, and Isle of Mull Cheddar (white), Killeen (goat-gouda), Basajo (white-wine blue with grapes!), and Coulommiers (Brie), all from George Mewes. There was not a bad bit of cheese in the bunch.
I must, however, take a moment to focus on the Cabrales. This cheese was given in response to my request for an aggressive blue. "Aggressive" does not begin to cover it. This cheese was the Ghost Rider of cheeses, judging your sins and refusing to forgive them. It was so strong it was physically painful to eat more than a sliver at a time. I am in love. I want twenty pounds of it.
Amal and I walked Glasgow, enjoyed cake at Once Upon A Tart, and bought heather gems. She saw me have my first Victoria tart and my first rose lemonade, both of which engendered bliss face. We watched Doctor Who and made plans for the future and chatted about anything and everything, and it was lovely. I cooked her and Stuart goat. I snuggled their cats.
On Friday, we drove two and a half hours to Amal and I could hike off into the fields of Carterha and touch Tam Lin's well. This will be a post all of its own, and soon.
On Saturday, we went to the Scottish Owl Centre, which was perfect and sublime and like nothing I had ever done before. I want to go back.
Sunday we shopped, rested, ate, and made our farewells, and Monday morning, I got on a train bound for Swindon. It was nowhere near long enough. It was the perfect length of time. Scotland was beautiful, and its people even more so.
I want to go back.