It is a very distinct pleasure to mention that I will soon be off to the U.K. for about a month, a glorious benefit of not taking extra days off and also of owning one’s own business. I leave in less than a week: this coming Monday afternoon, and it is a privilege for me to make this a yearly excursion, all in thanks to my very generous friends across the water, old academic connections that are still blossoming, and the most perfect staff ever to keep a game store running. A brief itinerary follows:

The jewel in the crown of this trip is centered upon the first ever Jacobite Studies Trust conference, a charity organization of academic scholars who have formed a savvy coalition to promote the continuance of sober and relevant Jacobite studies. The panel essentially includes every living scholar that has contributed to the discipline, and many who we have been reading and scrutinizing for years. In addition to late nights at the bar with our profs and patricians, there will much social greasing based around the possibility of gaining a Trust disbursement award for impending scholarship. We are the next generation of these gents, and it is a function like this where we draw the lines of battle. I have been weighing options for over a year now as to which path to take, which supervisor to annoy with my New World obstinacy, and which university to regard as a future home. The schema is open, but this will help. We split the conference in two by attending a whisky-soaked banquet dinner with live Stuart-era music. A roomful of seemingly civilized academics will let it all hang out and all the suppressed dogmatic nuances will erupt, Vesuvius-like, that have been brewing for years. Sadly, this will be the undoing of us all. I can’t fucking wait.

One of the highlights, not to be understated, will be a lecture by our very own dear hermiston, of whom I am exceedingly proud.


There’s the old boy right now. Rest of the programme is here.

We spend four days in Londinium before buzzing northward across the border to where it’s a bit more congenial. A night in Aberdeen before nabbing a Vauxhall and meandering across the North-east to Inverness. Two weeks of wrong-sided driving down Loch Ness, up to Applecross and the highest road in Britain. Across the sea to Skye and some much-needed time in Portree (and my lovely Café Arriba). Island Hopping on ferries to Mallaig and Tobermory, perched high above the harbor in a cottage owned by the Beeb.


Then it’s off to Iona for a pilgrimage to Columba’s landing pad. Perhaps a stumble down the hexagonal steps of basalt leading to Fingal’s Cave, if we’re not too tipsy from the long days of sunlight and whisky, warm conversation and catching up over local Mull cheeses and wheat crackers. A brief jaunt to Oban, and then northward into the Western Highlands, where Glencoe waits silently, the ancient forest of An Torr, blasted Rannoch Moor and all of its desolate wonder. In the 18th-century safety of Drover’s Inn, we’ll play cards and catch a local traditional session as hikers come out of the hills and drop their heavy loads by the fire to dry, as they have done here for three centuries before.


From there we roll into the Central Highlands and settle in mild Pitlochry, a nest of comfort in the center of the country surrounded by rich foliage and richer history. We’ll walk the gardens of Blair Castle and say hello to the ol’ Murray boys, pay tribute to the California Redwoods in the vast plantation that the Drummonds have collected from around the world, perhaps count the rings of the fallen ones. Back up through Kingussie with a tip of the hat to the barracks at Ruthven, still keeping watch over the wilds of Badenoch. And finally a re-entry into the uncommon grays of Aberdeen for a bit of calming relaxation from our spirited relaxation.


With still a week to go, it’s back to Edinburgh, which could very easily be a month-long excursion by itself. As with every time I return, there is no stress, no concern. Thanks once again to the generosity of anonymous_seth and gingiber, I’ll have a familiar bed and a home base that is more home than many in which I have resided. I look forward to seeing a gaggle of friends and familiar locales, and I marvel at settling into an easy routine at some of my favorite places while exploring new ones that I’ve never had the chance to enjoy.

While I’ll be bringing over some gifts, I earnestly entreat my dear friends there to mention any trinkets or tokens they might like me to courier over the Drink. I’ll be back in Edina on Fri, 27th July and will finally return to San Francisco on Sat, 4 August. Many mornings at City Cafe and Elephants, many days at the Jolly Judge, and many evenings at The Monkey, as per usual. My U.S. phone will be working the entire time and I’ll have my laptop near, so please feel free to get in touch by voice, text, or e-mail. From Scotland: 001 415 990 7415


To friends over there: can’t wait to see you very soon!
To friends over here: love and misses until early August!

33 Responses to “Itinerary.”

  1. psymbiotic Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Safe travels my friend!

  2. pisica Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 3:28 am

    Argh, that's my final week of work and the week after AD is on holiday, but if you're hanging around the city maybe we can swing by Elephants!

  3. eskimolimon Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 4:43 am

    If you're feeling really brave and full of superhuman Scots spirit, you can swim to the Giant's Causeway from Fingall's Cave.
    Have fun… Victoria Street looks nice in your photo.

  4. angledge Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 7:22 am

    To friends over there: can't wait to see you very soon!
    To friends over here: love and misses until early August!

    From friends in between: wish I could go with you!!

  5. hermiston Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Wish you were coming too!

  6. angledge Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 7:52 am

    I love that photo of you in the newspaper, too.

  7. thefastone Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Well chap, Looks like your safe from my company, as I am currently residing on a ship just northeast of Holland… where I expect to be for at least the next 3-6 weeks…
    But that looks like a cracking trip that you have lined up, I have to say, You realise that You are getting to travel my homeland far more that I have ever traveled it… although I have to say that Ive not been to Skye for ages well over a year, and sont expect to be going back any time soon… Her Mother and Sister Live there, about 15 minutes (depending on whether its me that driving or not… I could be less…) north of portree, in Staffin and Flodagary, right up near the tip of the island…
    Which is nice…

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    I hereby bequeath you the time and leisure to go enjoy your own fucking country. Seriously, enough with that leaky tub on the North Sea, already!
    Sorry I'll miss you; we'll make up for it next year, for sure.

  9. podle Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 8:03 am

    I'm wishing you the best possible trip – it sounds fantastic and amazing and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.

  10. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    You're a darling for being so sweet. Catch you in a couple short weeks with stories and pictures!

  11. scotis_man Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I hope you have a great time, my friend.

  12. Anonymous Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Have a great trip! ~(*

  13. alison_ella Says:
    July 9th, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Woo hoo!!
    Can't wait to see you again, sorry I've not managed to get my little ass in gear and come too you for a visit but I promise I will now that I am making money!!

  14. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Re: Woo hoo!!
    No probs; you've been a busy bee. I'll be in town on the eve of the 27th and will be near for a week if you're around.

  15. alison_ella Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Re: Woo hoo!!
    I was planning a visit on the 3rd I think maybe the 4th, But I'm sure I could come through any day that suits you for a quick drink and a big hug 🙂

  16. darkstones Says:
    July 10th, 2007 at 1:53 am

    The Applecross road is spectactular – if it's a clear day you can see across to Skye.
    Hope you get a chance to come out and see the church.

  17. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Which day between the 27th and 4th would be best for you?

  18. darkstones Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    30/31/1st would all be fine by me 🙂

  19. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Kay. Will mail you when I'm in town and we'll take it from there?

  20. darkstones Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Nice One!

  21. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 6:48 am

    How would you feel about having Seth, Lara, and I pop 'round to yours tomorrow (Tues) evening sometime around 8:30? They're dying to see the new place, as well, and Lara has offered transport if you're not already booked.
    What say you, auld chum?

  22. darkstones Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 7:06 am

    That would be super – I haven't seen S&L for ages. Will you need fed?

  23. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 7:08 am

    So pleased to hear this! I'll ask them tonight and get back to you right away. And anything we can bring, naturally, is a matter of course. Just say the word!

  24. darkstones Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 7:31 am

    I've got lots of wine/booze here, so no need for anything like that. I'm really looking forward to seeing you 🙂

  25. handworn Says:
    July 10th, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    In the 18th-century safety of Drover's Inn, we'll play cards and catch a local traditional session as hikers come out of the hills and drop their heavy loads by the fire to dry, as they have done here for three centuries before.
    Sounds amazing. Wish I was there, too. Have fun (like I need to wish you that!).
    (The Tolbooth– that's the ancient prison, right?)

  26. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for the kind wishes – and now it's your turn to head out for a while and enjoy yourself!
    Ja, the Tolbooth served as a prison since the 16th century.

  27. gingiber Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 7:41 am

    Looking forward to seeing you. I guess you departed yesterday, so by now you will be somewhere in blighty.
    Mail me with the dates you will be with us, just so we can make sure we are around and can let you in and get you sorted.
    I think Grevo is looking forward to sleeping on your head already 😀

  28. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 17th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Yes yes, can't wait!
    In Lochcarron just now, but will be in town the afternoon/evening of Friday the 27th. I'll be heading out again on Saturday, 4 August. Does this work for you lovelies?
    *fluffing my hair for a comfortable Grevo experience*

  29. gingiber Says:
    July 18th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Sounds great to me.
    Looking forward to seeing you on the 27th.

  30. Anonymous Says:
    July 23rd, 2007 at 5:26 pm


  31. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 25th, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Wow, how great to see you pop up here. I'm sorry to say that I've missed this mail by only a few days, but we did have some good time spent in Arriba last week, as always, and were served wonderfully by the always-kind staff there. It's a regular for me whenever I find myself in Portree, and a highlight of any trip to Skye.
    I should be back by fall of next year, Stevie, and very much looking forward to getting in touch with you then. French-Indian/AWI is a particular love of mine, so you can bet there'll be some late-night chats over tea and coffee. Don't be shy about dropping me a line before then, and thanks again for saying Hi!

  32. kynon Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Cafe Arriba
    First off – nice to meet you on Thursday night!
    Secondly – I second the praise of Cafe Arriba – back in May, I was on Skye, and in Portree, for the first time in my life, and had the good fortune to go there for food after a long day touring around the island – it was splendid!

  33. FunkyPlaid Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Re: Cafe Arriba
    Yes, really great to spend some time drinking and chatting. I've seen you around LJ-land for ages, but it's a pleasure to finally match face to profile. Expect more of the same next fall if you're around and keen to Monkey-ize for a while. Should be back 'round September '08.
    Isn't Arriba wonderful? It's the perfect respite for the entire island. They really go a good way to creating the right atmosphere – and the drinks and chef are simply amazing. Glad you loved it!

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