Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day Seven of Eleven

Day Seven.
Stirling Folk Club.
Scotland!! The drive up from Newcastle to Scotland is full of glorious vistas and picturesque stone villages. The sun is gone again but the moors are still beautiful.

We stopped in Wooler, where John went to the Angel pub and I walked up and down the town, seeing some very interesting landscapes in The Design Room gallery, and having lunch at Ramblers Cafe, where Dawn and Ivan make good coffee.

We had another change-of-driver stop at Lauder - we swap driver every hour - where there was another interesting gallery called the Flat Cat.

In Scotland the weather cleared to broad blue skies. We had sweeping views of Edinburgh and the Forth as we drove in and up to Stirling. We parked at the Rugby Club, where the folk club meets, and so does a very noisy aerobics class. The grounds of the club have a spectacular view of the Wallace monument and its escarpment. We walked into town in the beautiful sunlight. Our way took us over the footbridge where the Battle of Stirling happened in the 14th century, and past the lovely river bank, through the pedestrian tunnel and up the hill past St Mary's, to  the town centre, which is a carbon copy of high streets everywhere. But either side of the central section the shops get more interesting. We ate in town and walked back to the Rugby Club, entering it through a swarm of sweating aerobicists.

This is a club that really knows how to sing, and when Big John did three songs to start off, he did one with a quirky story about a beggar who gets conscripted. It reminded me of Bert Murray, my grandfather, both the way he sang and the stories he loved.

We stood in front of the high-octane tartan curtains and started with The Briar and the Rose. There was a visitor from Glenfarg Folk Club, Issy, and I could tell we'd won her heart with that one.

We had a terrific night with everyone at Stirling. John's voice is still not 100%, because he hasn't been able to rest it this week, but he is taking care of it and singing well. Quite amazing.

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