A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

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A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:12 am

A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

This will be my first JT biker gathering since I moved to Bonnie Scotland and I've decided to do a 2 day run. Be great if any of you XJROC can come along, all the details you need below.


We will set off from The Robins Nest pub car park, Gilmerton Road, in the South of Edinburgh at 09:30 Fri 17th July.

https://uk.local.yahoo.com/info-2055020 ... ins%20nest

We will ride West around the A720 Edinburgh Bypass and over the Queensferry Crossing then up the M90 before turning right and taking more interesting roads through Fife and stop for lunch at 'The Clattering Brig' cafe near Fetercairn

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restauran ... tland.html

From here we will ride over the Cairn O'Mount and onto Banff for our overnight stay in The Fife Lodge Hotel

https://www.fifelodgehotel.com

When booking rooms here mention Boxertrix to get a 10% discount on the B&B rate I have negotiated :wink:

We will eat in the hotel where the food is very good and they have a decent whisky collection too :occasion5:


Next morning, Sat 18th July we will head West through Dufftown then turn South at Tomintoul and ride one of, if not thee best routes I know following the A939 past the Lecht ski slopes then picking up the B976 to Crathie and then the A93 past Braemar Castle and through Braemar itself before climbing again and passing through the Glenshee Ski Slopes. Onto Blairgowrie and then skirting the edge of Perth before arriving back in Edinburgh Sat evening. I will book us all into a lovely restaurant I know in Edinburgh, The Salisbury Arms were the food, wine and service is superb :D once I have definite numbers.

We will stop for coffees and 'comfort breaks' over the two days when required.

If you want to ride up and stay the Thursday night 16th July refreshed and ready for the start Friday morning I'll leave you to book your own accommodation in Edinburgh because they are many and varied for all tastes and budgets. We can meet up for a pint to start the adventure off in a local pub on Thursday night too if anyone fancies that. Trip advisor or booking.com are my go to sites :wink:

If you are staying the Sat night that would be great too so we can talk bollox about the amazing roads and scenery we will have just experienced 8)

I will post menus from 'The Clattering Brig', Fife Lodge Hotel and Salisbury Arms when I receive them for pre-orders, which I will collect from you and forward on to the relevant restaurant.


Over to you :thumbup:



Please Only Post Here If You Are Intending To Come, These Threads Can Get Outta Hand When Trying To Keep A Tab On Who's Attending etc, Thank You.
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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by ryan1983 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:27 pm

Checking dates with work mate maybe a go and Vicki may even come too 😮😮😮😮😮

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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:42 pm

ryan1983 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:27 pm
Checking dates with work mate maybe a go and Vicki may even come too 😮😮😮😮😮
Awesome 👌 Just so you know, Carolyn is not coming 😉
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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:02 pm

I've spoken to Linda at the Fife Hotel in Banff and just need the ok from Nicola on Wed 15th and were on. she will take bookings and no one will be charged anything if Nicola says no :thumbs:

So, this is going ahead :eusadance: :applause1: :drunk: 8)
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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:36 pm

And so day one came and went and what a day it was :D

I was up at 4:30, all ready, packed, bike loaded, everything on board, shower, breakfast, then work intervenes and I’m running late to my own Meet :| I also got a text from a guy in Edinburgh that him and his Mate had decided to cone for the day and they would meet us at the Bridge (Queensferry crossing) Ok, I replied, we’ll be there about 10am.
I pulled onto the Robins Nest Pub car park, said my hello’s, introduced myself to those I didn’t know and a quick talk about how the day would hopefully go and confirmed that everyone knew the ‘2nd man drop off’ system, and we were away at 09:35.

Roll call : :book:

Herman (Peter)
Boxerscott (Chris)
Archie (Alan)
Lozboxa (Loz)
Rob - not on the site
Jeznewsome (Jez) - who was only with us for today
And Last but certainly not least our Boxertrix.com leader, Paul, who had very kindly agreed to be my Tailgunner for the day :salute:

The guys who rode from outside Edinburgh this morning had rose through rain but the weather was now dry and fingers crossed, that’s how it would stay.

I lead the Boxertrixsters down onto the Bypass and west around Edinburgh, up the M8, along the M9 onto the M90 and over the bridge. As we went passed the slip road on the left just before the bridge, I looked back up it and waved to Martin, who was joining us there, he waved back and that was the last time I saw him :dontknow: hey ho.

Up the M90 about 8 miles and we pulled off at Glenrothes/Crook of Devon where we met Ewen, who had rode down from Kinross and who I’d arranged to meet there :thumbleft:

We were literally stopped for 1 minute, Ewen had his helmet on and we were off again without hesitating. We headed straight East on the B9097, skirting along the South edge of Loch Leven and the sun started to poke its nose through the clouds and do you know, it looked very promising 8) We joined the A911 at Auchmuirbridge and followed it through to Windygates seeing very little traffic, with no incidents and everyone in tow, where we joined the A916 all the way into Cupar. Ah, Cupar, never to be forgotten for a couple of good reasons :wink:

I had committed the schoolboy error of not filling up before we set off on a days ride and so pulled into Tesco to fill up. Everyone followed and did the same, only, one of the group decided he would try the black pump, rather than the green line the rest of us :dontknow: Now you may ask Why ? How ? As we all did in our own heads but nevertheless, turns out these BMW R nine T Racers don’t actually run on diesel and thank god Chris realised this during filling his glorious bikes tank and didn’t attempt to actually get more miles to the gallon on this run by using that mucky, horrible, smelly oil thick stuff. He had realised his mistake and did the ‘walk of shame’ away from the pumps and relayed his story to us. Ok, no dramas, I told Chris not to move :lol: and I led the group to Cupar Motorcycles, a planned stop and the very helpful and kind guys there sent one of their lads out of the workshop in a van to syphon out the derv for Chris and he was back with us in no time at all, all sorted :cheers:

The second reason Cupar will live long in the memory is for one of those incidents you see, and you just don’t believe your eyes that it is actually happening, right infront of you and no, You’ve been framed’ we’re not filming. While at Cupar Motorcycles, we stood outside the shop and ‘chewed the fat’ while a couple were fiddling with a new MV Tourismo Veloce, apparently it had a 1000 miles on the clock and looked very nice I’ve got to say, as all things Italian do, especially cars and bikes - and their women - and their food :D One of the Guys from the shop cane out front and pushed the bike around the back of the shop, to sort something I guessed and soon forgot them. NOT FOR LONG. As we stood chatting, this MV, with just the man on board, and from the back of the shop, totally out of control, the bike jerked left, then right and into a metal gate post along a wall, at full throttle. Not content with that, as the bike fell into its left side, the guy bravely kept the throttle pinned :shock: spun away from the gate post and round in a circle on the floor where he and the poor bike came to a stop. Help arrived from the shop staff and the bike was wheeled around the back of the shop once again for a check over I’m guessing. It turns out, this couple had bought this MV and were riding it to Malta :shock: Yes, you read it right, Malta, today and all he’d ever ridden was a twist and go scooter :-? ‘It takes all sorts’ ! He walked away unscathed by the way, just so you know. Chris arrived having missed all the fun and games at the shop and we were soon ‘gathered up’ and back on the road heading for our lunch stop at The Clattering Brig.

We followed the A91 East out of Cupar joined the A914 then the very nice and quiet B945 through Tayport and across the Tay Bridge into Dundee. We skirted the edge of Dundee and the route was a bit boring through 30’s & 40’s at this point until we turned off at Barry, headed North picking up the lovely B9161followed by the A933 into Brechin. The A966 took us out of Brechin, under the A90, through some lovely tree laden bits, through Edzell and into the very picturesque Fetercairn, where we discovered at lunch, that Ewen had attempted to sabotage the run by taking the wrong route :lol: but he, Archie and Paul soon realised they emerge going wrong and found us at The Clattering Brig 8) Big Rob & his good lady Gail aswel as Cats (Dave) we’re already there and we settled down to lunch in the sun, sat outside, magic 8)

Following lunch, we paid our respective bills, mounted our stead’s and headed straight up the Cairn o’Mount road. It’s not a long stint from the bottom but nice and quick early on with a couple of tight bends at the top to slow you down for the view point where we pulled in for photos :wink: Rob & Gail where going to take a different route home but would meet up with us again tomorrow and Jez left us at this point to head back home too. Thanks for turning up and joining the Friday run North Jez, good to meet you, it was a pleasure to ride with you today, you kept a good pace and was safe at all times and hope to see you again soon Mate :thumbleft:

From here we rode the best roads of the day and h almost had them all to ourselves, no bugger was there :twisted: We rode at a very good pace in the afternoon and the roads were sublime, they had everything, long straights, fast sweepers, tight bends, sone idle which tightened up on themselves, eh Chris ? Luckily there was run off, if ever anyone needed it, not that we needed any, eh Chris :wink:
Tillydrine, Torphins, Alford,
And then joining the A97 which took us to Huntly and then all the way into Banff and to our overnight stay. The whole afternoon was rode in superb weather where black visors where essential so you didn’t get headache and it was warm too. The weather makes such a difference, as we all know on a bike trip and this day was a great day to ride with Mates. Beers all round apart from Dave who still had to ride home and had tea, at our hotel, sat out in the lovely grounds. Thanks for your company Dave, yet another safe rider with a good pace :thumbright:

Loz and Rob were staying at another hotel so went to book in, freshen up and walk back up to our hotel for their evening meal. Now this was a first but for obvious reasons during this current climate, we all had a table each, in the dining room And Loz and Rob sat at each end of the biggest table to social distancing rules. The day was dissected, the appropriate piss was taken, each rider had their own story and moments to tell the group and the food was very nice and so was the bottles Peroni and Corona that we’re supped. All in all a very, very good first day
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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:42 pm

Photos from day one :

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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:49 pm

Sat 18th July

Awake at 4:30 and ready to take on the world :blob2: as per norm, I wrote and posted my report for day 1 to fill in some time. The sun was already up and was filling my room with it's glorious rays so it was only polite to join it. I had my shower and quietly left my room and the hotel to explore the local area before breakfast. Immediately outside the grounds of the hotel was a forest walk which took me down towards the beach. At the end of the wood was Duff House, a most handsome building from days of yore resplendent in its own grounds. The stone architecture was beautiful and I felt very lucky to be able to walk around it and take some lovely photos in the early morning sunshine. I walked around the club house and roadside of Duff House Royal Golf Course and admired the perfect fairways and greens, it looked majestic and some golfers had already tee'd off to make the most of the day. The beach was soon reached and a short walk at the bridge over the causeway and I made my way back to the hotel for breakfast.

We had a table each again, as per the night before for dinner and breakfast was ordered and served with no fuss as we chatted, about the previous day but also about our musical tastes and in keeping with our ages, about bands we had seen in and from the 70's, very entertaining. Following breakfast we paid our bills, loaded our bikes, parked up for the obligatory group photo, said our goodbyes and headed off for what would turn out, for me, one of the best group days riding I have ever lead or experienced.

I lead Rob, Loz, Chris, Alan, Paul, Ewen and Peter, who kindly volunteered to take on the yellow jersey of the Tailgunner for this morning's session, back down the A97, which was not only bereft of traffic but was perfect for getting us all into the grove for the days riding. apart from about 2 cars from memory and a pick up and trailer, there was little other than a deer in the middle of the road as I exited one particular sweet left hander that lead into a wooded area and over a flat, stone walled bridge, I said to myself in the split second I had, "Please don't have a Pal, who is about to appear and follow you across the road", which invariably they do but I am happy to say, on this occasion, he/she was a loner :D

The pace was good right from the hotel and the road was easy to ride swiftly, with very few, if any, hairpins and so when we reached the first 'T' junction after 20 miles, there was a handy lay-by where we waited for a short while to be a group once more. We joined the A96 and as I looked over my shoulder, to make sure everyone had set off, I thought Ewen and obviously Peter behind him seemed to be taking their time setting off but I thought nothing of it, as we skirted Huntly and took the next left, the A920 to Dufftown, where we had arranged to meet Rob & Gail, who would join us for the ride today. Chris was marking that turning off the A96 and Alan, Rob and Loz were close behind as we glided along the 13 miles of a slightly more technical section of road but which put a smile on our faces as Alan marked the junction as we entered Dufftown. Rob and Gail were ready and waiting as I, Rob and Loz pulled up into the deserted high street. Big Rob had chosen to park in the shade, on one of the nicest mornings you could have wished for, I didn't mention it :wink: Time slipped by and I realised something was amiss because no one appeared and so after a couple of phone calls, the rest of the group appeared and in transpired Ewen had had a luggage issue and had took some time to rectify it to his satisfaction but nevertheless, we were a group once more. Rob and Gail were on separate bikes as they were yesterday, Gail on her R1100S & Rob on their GS1250 with full hard luggage fitted which seemed a lot of luggage for a days ride but when he informed me they had brought, scones, cake and a kettle and stove to make tea and coffee for everyone you could've blown me down with a feather, brilliant, I couldn't wait to get to our break stop. We decided the bottom of The Lecht before climbing up would be the best place because to stop because the wind had got up a bit and it could well be very blustery at the top of The Lecht so off we headed along the B9009 to Auchbreck and then the B9008 to Tomintoul. We waited for the group to be as one before Rob from Moffat and I at the front of the pack had a drag race on the 800 yard straight, with me flat over the XJR tank trying to get my drag co-eficient down by tucking behind the clocks lol and 'ringing the XJR's neck', nothing in it at the end of the straight so I was chuffed with my old 67,000 mile XJR up against Rob's all singing all dancing 2017 BMW S1000XR se which had an advantage of about 60 horses at the rear wheel and 10 more ft lb's of torque under his seat, good fun. It wasn't far to our snack stop and we negotiated the loose stones on the dirt track off the A939 to the parking area.

Some were still dismounting as Rob and Gail opened their catering snack bar lol. It was amazing, the camping stove was gassed up and lit & the kettle was filled and put on to boil. Gail had been baking when they got back from yesterdays ride out to meet us and She had done a fantastic job. There was Cheese Scones, Fruit Scones, Fruit Loaf and Banana Loaf and they had brought Lurpack butter and jam too, just brilliant and I would like to personally thank them again for their tremendous contribution to the ride. Everyone had their fill and it was a perfect place to stop too, sheltered from any wind by the hills all around us and with a lovely Burn running along beside us it was perfect. We were close enough to the road to hear and see every bike, soft top and sporty car round the corner a few feet above our position and it was funny to see al of our heads look to the road everytime an engines note rose as it arrived and accelerated away ha ha. What the stop did was help us prolong our lunch stop, which actually turned out to be a blessing once we arrived in Braemar, which was my original planned lunch stop, but we weren't there yet. Six guys from Glasgow had been camping the night before and mountain biking up to Glenlivet and I discussed with one of the lads how good the weather had been the previous day and this morning for us both and our relative biking. They had a great set up especially the stove under the table, spot on.

When Rob & Gails catering truck had loaded up we made our way back to the road and once again lit the tarmac up as we steamed up the hill and past the ski runs at the top. Once over the top the view got serious as we looked into some of Scotland's finest landscape, which stretched as far as the eye could see and with the road twisting away like a serpent inform of us it was almost a dream with the weather playing its part, we were truly blessed. We soon caught a smaller group of mixed bikes as we made good progress and passed through Cock Bridge and Corgarff. They were on everything from a ZZR to a Harley Tractor unit lol which sounded like it ran on red diesel, I'm sure Chris uses the legal derv in his tractor, infact I know he does, we saw him fill up with it yesterday ha ha They in turn were behind three cars and weren't in a rush to pass them ignoring several easy opportunities to make a telling swift pass, so having been patient we pushed on past them two or three at a time turning right to stay on the A939 and onto Gairnshiel Lodge and the extremely tall and handsome old, stone, humped back bridge and immediately turned right again, onto the B976 narrow road with passing places along which we saw the aftermath of a 'head on' involving two pick ups, neither coming out very well at all. The narrow road ends at Crathie and Balmoral Castle hidden in the trees opposite the junction, cutting off 5 miles off the route round via Bridge of Gairn which has some passing places of its own and we didn't miss anything spectacular. The usual suspects of our front group waited patiently for a short while and the group of bikes we had passed earlier came back past us and the biker nod and thumbs up were returned by each and every one of them. When we were one again we caught and followed said group past the small but beautiful Braemer Castle and into Braemar village. We stopped at the petrol station and all filled our bikes, with PETROL, cause the bikes run much better with it, eh Chris ? Keeping tabs on any one even thinking of picking up a black handled hose lol We left the petrol stop and were soon very happy we had had our snack stop because Braemar was rammed to busting with bikes, infact there was a cue, of about 20 bikes, sat waiting on the the main road at the junction to turn down to the bikers cafe and Chippy, just waiting for room. We trundled past and on through the sleepy village and hit the fast open section leaving Braemar behind and through the gorgeous valley then up to the Glenshee Ski resort, over the top and down the other side with barely another vehicle on our side of the road. The road down is between the mountains on both sides which then opens out to a vista stretching forward and a very straight rod until hitting a fantastic section of snake like bends and jumps with just the most perfectly smooth tarmac you could wish for that just begs to be ridden hard. Onto the quaint 30 mph Bridge of Cally and a final stretch of the bikes legs down into Blairgowrie for our lunch stop.

tbc.
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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:10 pm

Photos from day 2 :


Not a bad room or view Image

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On my morning walk in Banff and via Duff House Image


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‘Fore’

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Braemar petrol stop

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Blairgowrie lunch stop

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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by harris » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:58 pm

Great blog John, you must have been typing for ages! Looked a great event , fair play John.

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Re: A Wee Grampian Adventure Fri 17th July - Sun 19th July 2020

Post by JT » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:44 pm

We had made great time to Blairgowrie due to the lack of traffic we had to negotiate - gotta love the Highlands - and the decent pace we had :D During our extended lunch Rob and Gail only lived 10 mins away so decided they would call it a day. Thank you once again Rob and Gail, for coming to join us on My 'Wee Grampian Adventure' and for bringing the catering wagon, it was excellent :applause1:

Before we left Rob and Gail in Blairgowrie, Rob gave me a loop to fill in the rest of the day and why not, it was too early to head home with so many good roads to ride. We rode the 6 miles back up to Bridge of Cally and turned left onto the A924 through Kirkmichael (stirs the loins) where we followed a tractor pulling a hay turner which was covering more than 3/4's of the quite narrow road so no chance of getting by so we just had to sit and follow him and just as I was starting to get 'titchy throttle' to be by, he turned into a farm and we were off :eusadance: The a924 widens to a normal width road and has lovely views from a high as we dropped into Pitlochry via Mounlin. 30mph rounding a tight bend into Moulin and a quite packed beer garden right next to the pub so had to be polite and give them a rev of me open pipes :twisted:

Down the hill into the centre of Pitlochry, along the High Street which was extremely busy and nice to see so many people out and about and out past the Blair Athol distillery where Carolyns brother is a Manager and they make Bells Whisky (cooking whisky if you ask me) but the very nice Blair Athol single malt too :drunk: We skirted along side the A9 before hopping on it for 2 miles to get us to Logeiraitand and the A827. We followed this lovely little road for 10 miles to Aberfeldy, another little gem in the heart of Scotland. Again, it was a busy place with plenty of folk enjoying the afternoon sunshine 8) We picked up the A826 out of Aberfeldy and again no sooner had we left the town we were in the wilderness with views, scenery and top class roads to blast along and learn them as we went ;-) We come upon a couple of cars along this road, the front one being a lovely 640i soft top red Beemer and those despatched I got away a little. I pushed on just enjoying a new road, along side Loch na Creige, climbed up a twisting road, around the top and started to descend. Looking in my mirrors for the gang who were probably 500 metres behind me, I was aware of one particular bike light making it's way through the group and as he come to the from of the pack I though, mmm, a stranger approaches, lets see whats he's got and got my head down proper. the nest set of bends for about a mile before I came to a junction were superb, on camber, off camber, sweepers, tight and then tightening up corners, absolutely everything and its was a pleasure to push through them. When I pulled over at the junction seconds later the bike arrived and it was Rob on his XR :lol: I told him the story and he laughed saying I wondered why you suddenly 'chucked the coals on' :giggle: Excellent little 'sketch' :thumbs:

Three more arrived and we rode off the junction and waited at a safe place at the side of a wide part of the road. As we did and got off the bikes for a quick chat we got a shower of rain from a stray cloud but it didn't last and but the time the others arrived the cloud had gone on its merry way and we set off on dry roads with the sun out again. Into Crieff and out the other side then the A822 and onto the A823 which took us to Gleneagles village and through The Gleneagles Country Club. Gleneagles is a beautiful looking course from the road side and I can only imagine the green fees :shock: but, not time to waste and we were over the A9 and onto yet another sublime road that lifted us up along the side of a valley, over the top and down through a beautiful Glen, Glendevon. There is a pub, on its own right at the road side and some people were sat outside in the middle of a gorgeous Glen and on another day, I would've stopped for a shandy but we had to crack on and get people home. We'd lost a couple off the back so I pulled us into a lay-by opposite Cstlehill reservoir and we chatted and then said our goodbyes to the Guys who would be peeling off home from here because the next stop would be Edinburgh. We cracked the throttle and had one last hurrah riding the A823 past Knockhill race circuit :eusadance:

Ewen was the first to drop off, he headed North when we got to the M90 back to Kinross as we headed South, over the Queensferry Crossing over the Forth, then a90, M90, M9, M8 and onto the A720 City Bypass. Rob was next to leave us picking up the A702 and no doubt the brilliant A701 down to Moffat and finally Tractor Boy, oops, sorry I meant Chris :razz: who rode on past us to pick up the A68 and head home to Jedburgh. Hang on a minute, theres only 2 of us left, slowing right down to 56 mph for a short while and still no bikes appeared. I then pulled me and Alan over onto the slip road for the A772 to take us to their Digs and we waited for a few minutes then decided to go to the pub where we met this morning and see if they were there already - no was the short answer but we got Paul on the phone and they had come off at an earlier junction and gone straight tot the digs. I took alan round there and then I shot home, got a shower and Carolyn took me back with a cooler bag full of Perone so we could enjoy every last ray of glorious sunshine that day. We sat in the garden of the B&B and has a few beers and dissected the two fantastic days we just had then jumped in a taxi and headed to the restaurant for our evening meal.

Before we had even finished the first pint in there, Loz was crying with laughter and had us all in stitches with his infectious hearty laugh and so the mood was set and the three course meals and 2 bottles of Chateauneuf-de-Pape were a fitting end to an absolute brilliant 2 days. We got a taxi back to the digs and Paul had brought a very, very special, private cask whisky which we had a dram or two from, thank you Sir, you are a Gentleman and at 00:40 I got a taxi home and when my head hit the pillar, that was me out like a light.

I would just like to thank everyone who turned up and supported my 'Wee Grampian Adventure', a special mention to my faithful and professional Tailgunners, Paul, Peter and Loz, thank you very much Gentlemen and a very big thank you to Rob and Gail for their foresight in bringing food and hot drinks for everyone :applause1:

For those that didn't come, you missed a 'cracker' - We had a BLAST 8)
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