I would like to start off by saying that I could never have had a better present in my life unless, of course it was the birth of my three wonderful children. (All of whom are my favourite.) Air Canada Flight Details

As you know I kept a daily journal. The following pages depict the events, places and pictures of what I did.  It was the most exciting fascinating interesting three and half weeks I ever had. Meeting new relatives, being in the place where my Dad was born and grew up, “Spirit Walking” -- all of it became a very cherished memory for me.

I just wanted the three of you to know how much I love you for what you did for me and to say


Love ya



This was the cover and title that Barbara Ann made for her Travel Journal.

I would like to start off by saying that I could never have had a better present in my life unless, of course it was the birth of my three wonderful children. (All of whom are my favourite.)

As you know I kept a daily journal. The following pages depict the events, places and pictures of what I did.  It was the most exciting fascinating interesting three and half weeks I ever had. Meeting new relatives, being in the place where my Dad was born and grew up, “Spirit Walking” -- all of it became a very cherished memory for me.

I just wanted the three of you to know how much I love you for what you did for me and to say


Love ya




Sunday October 19 2003

After a nice breakfast with Glenn and Janet it was time to leave for Eleanor's.

Al and I arrived there about 3:00 P.M. and the Packing Nazis arrived around 4 o’clock. Stephanie and Jocelyn know why I refer to them so affectionately -- I am sure they still have three of my t-shirts that they swiped out the suitcase when they were packing Brent’s coat.

Brenda, Kellie and the girls were there to enjoy their Mum’s cooking and give me well wishes for a fun trip.

Barbara Ann's Air Canada Ticket With a full tummy and a final check that I had all my medication, Stephanie and Jocelyn took me to the airport. Once I was checked in the girls and I wandered then it was time for me to go behind the gates alone.......

Looking for a place to have a cigarette I discovered a Duty Free Shop and bought a bottle of Sambuca for Brent.  After finishing my smoke it was time to board the plane.  I popped another happy pill (that is 5 altogether now).  I hope I sleep well.

Barbara Ann's Boarding PassMy seat was great right behind the bathroom and on the aisle......

I met four young people from Glasgow who were on a Student Exchange from Jefferson, Georgia. They didn’t have a chance for a stop-over in Toronto and were disappointed about that but, were happy to be going home.

We were served a late supper. I was not expecting this so Jocelyn’s survival pack was shared with the young Glaswegians with their many thanks.  I tried sleeping but, had no luck.  The flight was long and uneventful but they had a mini duty free shop on board so I checked it out and found chocolate covered blueberries so I quickly scooped a couple of tins as they are my favourite as well as Brent’s.

I see the sun rising and am able to get a glimpse of the countryside before landing.  It is very impressive.  It is all so very greenTim's coffee.

We arrived a few minutes early.  I didn’t rush to get off the plane.  I couldn’t find a porter to help with my luggage, but the young folks helped me.  It was a long walk to immigration and they only asked why I was coming to Scotland then they said I could go.

I could have brought more “Tim’s” with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday October 20 2003

After leaving immigration I walked down the hall and saw Brent.  He rescued me and took the luggage but I needed to sit and have a coffee. That done we checked out the prices of taxis (quite expensive) so we opted for the bus.  On the way Brent was maneuvering the trolley with the luggage and his bottle of Sambuca broke. I think the bus driver was more upset.

Main Street, Dunblane, ScotlandArrived at the train station in Glasgow and we had an hour wait so we had a sandwich.  I had to go to the bathroom and it cost 20p! Reminded of the old days in the Eaton stores.

We finally arrived in Dunblane.  What a lovely old town.  Of course I suggested that Brent should unpack my suitcase while I sat outside and had a fag (their term not mine).  I met Brent’s neighbour, Maggie, the dog, Nikko, and the cat, Gizmo. I had a nice visit with Maggie. She is a very nice lady. I decided that a wee nap was in order.  When Brent woke me he had prepared a lovely spaghetti dinner (Glenn would have loved it) --no tofu in it!!

We talked for a couple of hours catching up on everything then I was off to bed - tomorrow was time to explore...........


Tuesday October 21 2003

Dunblane Cathedral Brent woke me around 8:00 a.m. serving me coffee in bed -- it was Timmy’s.   So good. After a great breaky of bacon and eggs we were off to explore Dunblane.

We walked into town past the old cathedral - very impressive -  some quaint old shops, really nice and comfy, everybody talks with an accent!!

Barbara Ann doing some shopping on Main Street in Dunblane, Scotland

Made friends with the butcher and got a lovely roast beef out the deal we had lunch in a small café Scottish Meat Pie and Chips (French Fries) it was so good.

Off to the library to check our e-mails and then we had to go home Brent’s friend from work was coming over for dinner so things had to be prepared.

Isabel arrived around 6:00 p.m. and we had lasagna for dinner, she brought me a lovely gift of Scottish Soaps.  We had a wonderful evening which ended around 11 p.m. as Isabel had to catch the bus to Perth where she lived.

The following is something Isabel wrote in my journal I have no idea what it means:

Long may your been week!!!
- Isabel x


Brent’s notation for the day -

Hah! That’s right Isabel!
So Mum is here and has made herself very comfortable! So Isabel is here and Mum has taken her on as a life long friend! Typical Mum’s most certainly in her element today she was in the butchers shooting the shit like she was a local
- more later Brent


Wednesday October 22 2003

Awoke around 5 am (guess I am back to my old self). I was enjoying my Tim’s when Brent woke up and said Mum quick, quick Santa has been!!!!

Although no Christmas tree there were decorations of balloons and a small Christmas snowman (I believe Brent’s only decoration) and lots of presents!!!!

Brent and Stephanie had this planned for awhile. I was all teary-eyed we listened to Christmas tunes which Stephanie had made, had Quality Street chocolates. Brent and I ate Stephanie and Glenn’s favourite first (the long gold ones) and of course we were fighting over them! Just like Stephanie and Glenn do.

We opened presents or I should say I opened presents. Not knowing about this I had nothing for Brent, but, Stephanie had sent something along for him. I got a calendar, cook book, Scottish quiz book and lovely Campbell tartan blanket, chocolates from the Orkney Islands -- everything was just wonderful! As if on cue we had snow for our Christmas Morning couldn’t have been more perfect!!!

We were to go to Stirling today but, I guess the jet lag caught up with me. With Jean coming tonight I thought it best to rest all day after waking from a long winters’ nap - I helped Brent with supper (roast beef). Jean is a vegetarian so we made salad and extra veggies and a great butterscotch cake for dessert.

Jean arrived around 6 pm and of course we talked family research stuff. Poor Brent was a bit left out - it was a terrific evening and Jean is so nice but of course all the Scotts are. I had arranged to meet up with Jean next week in Glasgow. She left around 10 pm.

Brent and I then celebrated Wednesday...... need I say more!?!?!

Thursday October 23 2003

We decided to go to Stirling today -- not for the historical sightseeing but, just to check out the city.

Brent and I cruised around checking out all the stores. There is one new plaza with all your usual stores but the streets are full of quaint little shops many second hand shops that support a variety of charities like cancer, heart, old folks, etc. They all carry a decent quality of products. You wouldn’t think that they are used items.

We decided to stay in town and have lunch. We went to a place called the Fuel Pump very much like a Kelsey’s and as expensive.

After a few minor purchases we headed for home. I find the country side very much like driving to Rawdon in the fall. It is quite hilly and the trees are changing colour -- not as vibrant as at home but, still very colourful.

We had our steak pie for supper tonight I was really good. We then sat around and watched British reality TV shows; seems that is all they have on.

Off to bed early as we go to Edinburgh tomorrow..........

Friday October 24 2003

We left Dunblane around nine thirty to head to Edinburgh. It took about an hour on the train. No sightseeing to day I AM OFF TO THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE to look up our old ancestors.

After a very long walk all uphill (Honor was right: Edinburgh is very hilly) Brent got me settled at the Registrar’s Office and we agreed to meet at the local coffee shop (some Italian place called Costa they are everywhere and no Timmy’s in sight)

I had a successful, though expensive day, found out lots of good stuff about our ancestors I was very excited!!!!!

After meeting up with Brent we headed for home Friday night Pizza night. Brent is a good cook (he comes by it honestly from his Nana).

Eleanor and Patty both called to see how I was doing filled them in on my day at the Registrar’s Office. I called Stephanie later on that night.

Had an early night to bed we are to Stirling tomorrow for the historic sightseeing.........

Saturday October 25 2003

We got to Stirling about ten o’clock and bought tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus.

We went to Bannockburn first. Bannockburn is where Robert the Bruce threw his scabbard and said lets fight the English for the Freedom of Scotland and he did and successfully defeated the English.

The statue of The Bruce is enormous and a very large enclosure surrounds the area where the battle actually took place although some historians disagree with its exact location.

Went into Stirling for lunch a wee place called the Rock Café it was very reasonable and great food. I will have to remember this place.

Off to the Wallace Monument next. We had to drive through the grounds of Stirling University and we were siting on the top of the bus in the open air it was cold but, very beautiful. We passed Stirling Bridge (built around 1490). Stirling Bridge is another location of a great battle. I hope the pictures turn out because the scenery was beautiful.

Arrived at the Monument. It was built around 1860 to commemorate William Wallace and all his good deeds for Scotland (The movie Braveheart is about William Wallace).

After paying more coinage for the entrance to the Monument, we rounded the corner and the stairs were so steep and so many I thought that I had just wasted some money but Brent went ahead and said I should be able to make the first level -- and I did, but the old legs were hurting. I got to see his sword and snapped a couple of pics. Brent went on up to the third level (I just couldn’t make it) he got some pictures of the stained glass windows and the scenery outside a town called the Bridge of Allan (there is a brewery there and they give free samples of the local brew to customers).

The Hop-on Hop-off ticket is good for two days so we will return tomorrow to check out Stirling Castle and the Old Jail.

Time to head home. Lasagna on the menu tonight (I think Brent must have some Italian in him he is always cooking Italian type food)....

Sunday October 26 2003

Stirling Castle - WOW - it is very impressive and very old. Parts of it were still under restoration in some areas, but not enough to spoil the trip.

The Grounds alone are just magnificent. The grass is so smooth just like a putting green.

In the Great Hall today was a musical recital it was fantastic listening to all the old music.

We spent all day going through the many passages and rooms of the castle each one telling a story of what it was like to live there in the 1600s. I was just so impressed.

We did not have time to Argyll Lodge or the Old Jail today. Hopefully we will make it another day.

When we got home it was time to clean up and head off to the Pub for supper and a quiet evening of Folk Singing. Not me! A gang of the locals get together every Sunday night and play. They are really quite good.

It was a terrific day!!!!!!!!

Monday October 27 2003

We thought that we would have a catch up day today -- laundry, housework etc.

After that was done we walked into Dunblane. The streets are all so narrow two cars have a problem passing. We walked down Ramoyle Road mainly because it is very picturesque and it is all downhill. The homes, mainly called cottages, are all named. This road was the main road to Perth way back when (1800).

Into the Library to check our e-mail then we stopped at the little restaurant for a cup of tea and scone.

We picked up a few groceries from the local shops instead of going to Tesco (the grocery store).

Brent cooked a lovely supper again (chicken this time) while I took a long hot bath -- the old legs were sore.

Off to Glasgow tomorrow to visit with Jean and meet some more new found cousins......

Tuesday October 28 2003

Brent got me into the bus station at Glasgow where Jean picked me up around 4 o’clock.

We did the drive through rush hour traffic, certainly nothing like Toronto but, still pretty heavy. There were no 18 wheelers though???

Jean and I had a wonderful time going through old pictures and stories that we both had heard. It seems that Cissie Scott was the link as she knew and visited all her cousins.

Ronald phoned and was unable to make it for dinner something about a football game (the Rangers were playing. Those Glaswegians are as crazy about football as we are about hockey) all was forgiven because we agreed to meet up with him on the Saturday.

After a lovely dinner I showed Jean my Family Book. She was in awe of the size of our family! She had no idea. She certainly enjoyed hearing about all her new cousins and is looking forward to one day meeting up with them.

All in all, we had a wonderful evening and made plans to meet on Saturday with Brent and Elizabeth. It is our day to tour Greenock and surrounding areas.......

Wednesday October 29 2003

Jean does not rise as early as me, so I quietly snuck down the stairs and had myself a cup of tea (she had no Tim’s). She awoke about seven and had her tea and toast then she was kind enough to drive me into to Glasgow to catch the train. After arriving at the train station I had about an hour to wait for the cheap day fare so I wondered over to George’s Square. It is kind of a big cement park in the middle of town -- lots of statues and stuff. After a wee look ‘round, I head back to the train station and home to Dunblane.

There had been a train accident so we were delayed for about two hours. I tried to sleep on the train, but that didn’t work so when I got home I had a snooze as Brent had gone off to the airport to meet Elizabeth.

Brent and Elizabeth arrived home about three o’clock. We had a nice visit. I had only met Elizabeth once and Brent had never met her, so there was catching up to do and who belongs to who talk.

After another great supper and awhile more of talking we decided to call it an early night after all Edinburgh awaits us tomorrow.......

Thursday October 30 2003

Brent left the house a bit earlier than us as he wanted to go to the library to check his e-mail and print up some resumes.

Elizabeth and I walked into Dunblane by way of Ramoyle Road. It is a beautiful street; very old and picturesque. We met up with Brent at the café and had a bit of lunch then we were on the train to Edinburgh.

Brent and Elizabeth did the tour bus while I, with my pen in hand, headed once again to the Registrar’s Office.

It is such a fascinating place (well for people interested in their family history). You could spend years and mega dollars there and never be finished. I was a little disappointed that I could not exactly find Captain Joe’s birthplace -- there was conflicting evidence of Scotland or Ireland, but I was very excited about the research I had accomplished.

I will not be going back to the Registrar’s Office this trip. I will save that for next year............

We arrived home around eight and had a late supper. I was off to bed by eleven as we go to Edinburgh again -- this time Elizabeth and I will do the historic sightseeing as Brent has a job fair to go to........

Friday October 31 2003

We took the eleven o’clock train to Edinburgh. Brent was off to a Job Fair and Elizabeth and I were going sightseeing. We agreed to meet at the Costa Coffee Shop in Princes Plaza, around supper time.

We chose to sit on the outside top of the tour bus because it was a beautiful day. The Scott Monument was magnificent but at 286 steps to the top we decided not to climb it. The Royal Mile was filled with quaint shops (Scotland is full of them) many statues of various Kings and Queens and even a statue of Abraham Lincoln??

We arrived at Edinburgh Castle after a very long, hilly walk (boy Honor was so right). The Castle was nice, the age impressive over 1000 years old. We saw the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to King James I/VI. A dark, creepy hole was discovered in the lower part of the castle and they have uncovered the remains of a least 120 soldiers who were defending the Castle during the siege (1500s). After a couple of hours of touring and picture taking, I decided my two favourite places in the Castle were the War Memorial built in 1927 and the Dog Cemetery which was initiated by Queen Victoria for the dogs of the Soldiers.

Although Edinburgh Castle was impressive I personally preferred Stirling Castle!!!

Then we were off to meet Brent at the Coffee Shop. After discussing where to eat, we settled on Saigon (Chinese Food) an all you can eat restaurant.

After dinner I headed for the train station, leaving the young ones to party in Edinburgh -- old Mum had to rest her weary bones!

Greenock awaits us tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

Saturday November 1 2003

The day started early I woke the kids at 7 am -- hangover and all -- but they were both in pretty good spirits, surprising enough.

We opted for a taxi into to Dunblane to catch the train to Glasgow both Brent and Elizabeth had rather large bottles of water with them …. hmmmm….

We arrived at the Glasgow Station sat down for a coffee and toast and then Jean met us at nine o’clock.

We started our family adventure at Princess Plaza where Jean’s daughter Mhairi was choosing bridesmaids’ gowns. It was a quick visit, but nonetheless enjoyable. It is always great meeting new family, and we certainly took a photo opportunity.

We walked back to the car going along Buchanan Street to Sauchial Street where Elizabeth snapped some photos of the area for her Grandfather (Roger Morin, who was there during WWII).

Then we were off to Port Glasgow to meet Ronald Ramsay (another cousin). He owns a variety store there and could not get away so again another quick visit. His wife Kitty stopped in and unexpectedly so did their son Kenneth, a Glasgow Police Officer. Another chance for a photo op. We all made promises of staying in touch and they wanted details of our Family Reunion.

We went down the street a couple of blocks to William Street, where my Dad was born. Dad was born at # 5 William Street. Sadly the house is no longer there (it is now a Veterinary Office). I snapped a couple of pics anyway. We decided on having lunch before continuing our Greenock adventure. Jean had chosen a lovely restaurant and we all had a great time.

When we finished, it was off to the kirk, the Old West Kirk that is, the church where Faddy and Grandma were married. Definitely another photo op. Across the road from the kirk was Princess Pier which is the harbour that the Canadian Conveys arrived with supplies and soldiers during WWII. Dad must have been a bit nostalgic as he was coming home.

Jean drove us along the coast explaining that they used to be full of ship-building yards, but they are all gone now. There is talk of building a marine museum there, which would be good because there is lots of history there -- as we know Faddy laid the keel to the Lusitania in one of the Greenock Shipyards.

We drove further up the coast with the River Clyde to our right. It was beautiful. I can imagine people leaving Scotland to emigrate to new countries must have been quite sad...

As we drove Jean told us to prepare to be GOBSMACKED and we were! The view was absolutely breathtaking with Gourock to the left and Greenock tot he right and Dunoon across the Clyde. I was getting a little teary-eyed thinking that this is where my Dad and Aunts and Uncles used to play on the banks of the Clyde....

Jean was explaining that during the war there was not an inch of the River Clyde could be seen as there were so many ships docked. After snapping many photos we were on our way to Greenock Cemetery.

Jean had been earlier in the summer so our task of locating Captain Joe and Ann Dupong’s grave was made a lot easier. What a beautiful and very old cemetery. Some headstones were as big as a house.

We found their lair (plot). There is no headstone, something their great grandchildren should think about rectifying!!!!! After a few photos it was time to go. Jean again drove us around to some of the streets where Joe and Ann had lived they certainly moved a lot!!!

It was time to head back to Glasgow and the train to Dunblane

It was absolutely the best day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday November 2 2003

After such an overwhelming day yesterday I decided to take it easy today. The kids took off into Stirling to do a bit of shopping. I just laid around with my feet up watching British reality television.

We were going to the pub tonight but, decided to eat at home to save ourselves a few pounds, so again Brent cooked a great meal pasta (I think he must have some Italian in him) then we were off to the pub to listen to the old Scottish Folk Songs.

I found out that my Mum’s favourite song Tourrie on his Bonnet was a bar room ditty and I thought my Mum was so sweet and innocent.

We had a great night and everyone was so nice to us. Elizabeth even enjoyed herself with us old folks.........

Monday November 3 2003

Quiet day for Elizabeth and myself, but not for Brent. He was getting himself organized and ready to go back to work tomorrow.

Elizabeth and I walked into Dunblane down our favourite street Ramoyle Road to the cemetery at Dunblane Cathedral. We did a little “Spirit Walking”. It is not uncommon for headstones to date back to the fifteen and sixteen hundreds!!!!

We continued on to the Library for e-mail checking (you can use their computers for and hour every day for free).

After the library we headed to the café for a bit of lunch. They have such great meat pies and desserts. Brent met up with us and after a nice lunch we headed for home.

Tuesday November 4 2003

Brent left for work about six thirty this morning. After he was gone I started to do some laundry and housework because we are heading off to Maggie and George’s tomorrow.

Elizabeth and I headed into Stirling. We snooped around all the little shops, made a few purchases, had lunch at a nice restaurant -- neither Elizabeth or myself are quite brave enough to try the Haggis!!!

After a good day we headed for home and a quiet evening. We had the house to leave tidy and our suitcases to pack. We had arranged for the taxi to come around seven thirty in the morning to take us to the train station.

Aberdeen and Port Knockie await us tomorrow..........

Wednesday November 5 2003

The train ride to Aberdeen was just beautiful! Everything is so green, except of course for the body of water to our right, the North Sea. The sun was glistening and the water looked all shimmery.

It took us about two hours to get to Aberdeen and then we had an hour to wait for our train to Keith so we took the opportunity to investigate Aberdeen. We did not venture too far from the train station for fear we would get lost. We had a cup of tea (there is no Tim’s anywhere and the coffee here is terrible) and a chocolate flatjack some kind of soft oatmeal cookie. Whatever it was, it was delicious.

It was time to board the train for Keith. The ride took about forty five minutes and Maggie was there to greet us. After a picturesque drive, we arrived at their home - WOW - is it beautiful - horses to the left and sheep to the right (the animals belong to the neighbour).

We had the five cent tour of the house. It is just beautiful and Maggie certainly has not lost her decorating touch. George, on the other hand, would be just as happy with a purple couch and an orange carpet...

We then sat around the kitchen table. Maggie and George’s had memories of doing the same thing in my Mum and Dad’s house. The kitchen has become their gathering place. It did not take George long to have a drink in my hand and the rest of the evening as they say was history.........

Thursday November 6 2003

After a rather rough start to the day because of my severe hangover (I would like to blame George, but it was my own fault). Maggie was taking Elizabeth and me on a tour of the surrounding area.

Our first stop was to Cullen just down the road from where they live; we went to the Pet Cemetery. We snapped a few pics and headed west along the Coastal Trail of the Moray Firth.

We drove through many little fishing villages. Sadly most of the fishing industry is no longer, but, some of the old homes have been made into Antique Ships, Restaurants, Tea Rooms and Pubs.

Villages like Port Knockie, Port Gordon, Portessie, Buckie, Finoiochty, Fochaebrs and Mosstooloch (this one George has problems saying) are like ghost towns while others seem to be thriving. The common thing, no matter what condition the house is in, they all have beautiful doors. I noticed this in other places as well -- must be a Scottish thing!!!

We stopped in Handbryne at a Saddle Shop with a beautiful Tea Room. We stuffed our face with more sweets and then went to Elgin and saw the Elgin Cathedral which is over a thousand years old! It was all gold and shiny -- quite a sight.

Then off to “Johnston’s: Home of the Finest Cashmere Sweaters in the World” and they are all just gorgeous! Three floors of breathtaking garments from gloves to full length coats all made from cashmere. The prices are not for the ordinary shopper; you could not see anything for less than fifty pounds but, still quite a place to visit.

As we were driving through these villages it reminded a bit of home with the sandy beaches and the rolling hills – kind of like the Sandhills. We saw a variety of different things that I have never seen before like Pig Houses!!!! and tank gates that were put in place on the beaches during WW2 so the Germans could not invade.

After a wonderful day of sightseeing we headed for home where again Maggie had outdone herself with the evening meal.

A quiet evening tonight as we head for Lossiemouth tomorrow....

Friday November 7 2003

George awoke early and he and I headed to the local Fish House in Cullen to sort out some fresh kippers for Breakfast. After deciding on the best ones in the place, we headed back home. On the way we passed the local pub and George said “I would stop for a pint but it is not open yet”!!

Another wonderful meal this time of kippers and eggs, which Elizabeth was not brave enough to try but, George and I certainly were in our glory: we had two each! After breakfast we were off touring again; this time to Speyside, the home of Baxter’s. Baxter’s is a family business started in 1860 by John and Mary and still run to this day by their family. It is famous for their jams, preserves and sauces. We had a great time seeing how it was all done. I treated myself to a jar of Baxter’s Marmalade ohhhhhhhhh so good I am glad Al doesn’t like it so I can have it all.

We then went to Lossiemouth (means the mouth of the Lossie River) and the Harbour Tea Room, another quaint old fishing home redone to a restaurant and very famous for their Cullen Skank (I will let you try and figure out what that is). Maggie certainly enjoyed it and most of the people in the place were gulping it down but, Elizabeth and I were very conservative in our choice and stuck with roast beef sandwiches.

After our bellies were full I was in for a real surprise! Maggie took us to BRODIE CASTLE - wow they actually have a castle named after my dog! Although the castle was closed for the season, we walked around the grounds - did it ever remind me of Rawdon with all the pine trees. We then did a little tour of Brodie Country Fare a huge store with everything you could possibly want from food to clothes and mega Christmas decorations (if Nana had known about this place she may never have left Scotland).

Maggie had to stop in Forres (about the size of Aylmer) she was checking on her Christmas present from George - a greenhouse.

Arrived home around six. George was cooking tonight -- a good old fashioned Canadian BBQ of sirloin strip steaks and baked potatoes mmmmmm.

After a wonderful supper (in their dining room at Georges insistence) and a few more drinks and memories of their time in Canada it was off to bed. We go back to Dunblane tomorrow....

Saturday November 8 2003

Another terrific Scottish breakfast of blood pudding and eggs (again our Elizabeth was not as adventurous). George was in to watch the soccer match, Scotland was playing. Elizabeth (Maggie’s sister) phoned to let us know she was a Grandmother! Her son Eric and his wife Sandy had just had a baby boy (who will someday be laird of the Manor! Wow Nobility in our family Logan side). I had a long talk with Ibby, her nickname, and what I called her forty years ago when she lived in Canada. After promises of keeping in touch through this wonderful electronic world of e-mails we said our good-byes.

Listening to George scream and swear over the game (it was obvious to our ears that Scotland was losing) we weren’t to sure what kind of drive we would have back home but, he calmed down enough to make the drive pleasurable. Although overcast it was what you expected Scotland to be like with the mist on the mountains. George explained that at times the mist can be so thick that rescue helicopters have been sent to find people that have been hiking. The east coast of Scotland is home to the best Whisky Distillers in the world. George says it is the water. We passed so many of them on the way and they keep their buildings and grounds in such beautiful condition you would think they were mansions.

While driving through the Highlands I suggested to George to stop so we could treat them to lunch, but they wanted to be home before dark so we continued on to Dunblane. After we arrived back home to Dunblane, it was kisses, hugs and good byes (they are coming to the Family Reunion next year). What fantastic hosts they both were and what a wonderful time I had. I sure am glad that I had the opportunity to spend time with them both in their own environment.

Elizabeth and I had a quiet evening after our latest adventure we had eaten so much while we were away that we just picked at supper. We tried to organize our suitcases to make room for our purchases (thank goodness that Stephanie’s luggage had that pop up thing).

We watched TV for a couple of hours then off to bed. Stirling awaits us tomorrow...

Sunday November 9 2003

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to walk into Dunblane to get our groceries. It was the Remembrance Day Services at the Cathedral so we watched as the congregation made way for all the Veteran’s to parade in. We continued on to Tesco the local grocery store. After picking up our food and my newly discovered favourite Cadbury Chocolate Mousse, Elizabeth decided she wanted to go to Stirling for a bit. I got a taxi and headed home with the food and to rest a bit after our exciting time with Maggie and George.

I expected Elizabeth home around two but, instead she phoned she had gotten lost but, got her bearings back and arrived home around four.

We decided to go to the Pub for dinner and to listen to the music in the back room, so we called a taxi and Kathy, a driver we have had before, came to pick us up. She said she would return around midnight to take us home.

It was a great night. The songs were all so different from Moon River to something about a drunken Irishman drowning in Lake Michigan -- that one was done for our benefit as they were trying to think of a Canadian song to sing and the closest they could come to was Lake Michigan.

After wishing everyone well and saying our good byes and promising to return next year it was time to go Kathy the driver was waiting for us.

Elizabeth decided she wanted some heather for Roger and Mabeth so she had Kathy drive around until we could find some. Kathy drove up this big fancy driveway (someone’s estate) and got out of the car herself and the two of them were there stealing this heather - it seems that Kathy was as crazy as we were.

Then it was home and off to bed. Brent is coming back tomorrow.....


Monday November 10 2003

Elizabeth was off to Stirling again today. There were a few things she wanted to pick up before leaving. I decided to stay home and prepare for Brent and Jean coming for dinner tonight.

Brent arrived before Elizabeth and that gave us a chance for a wee talk and for me to catch up on what was happening with him. He decided to go back on the cruise ships -- not much choice as his contract had ended on the ferry boats.

When Elizabeth arrived home we told Brent just to relax we were going to cook supper. Because Jean is a vegetarian we had planned a meatless dinner. Elizabeth made Noodles Alfredo and I had made a Mango and Pepper Salad. I think Brent was pleasantly surprised how well everything had turned out.

This was our final visit with Jean so there was more talk of family and photos, and of course promises of staying in touch and invitations extended - Jean had certainly made our trip quite special and of course being a cousin the family was of great interest to her as well. I will be seeing her again for sure. She is a lovely lady but then she is a Scott.

After talking with Brent for a couple of hours it was well past midnight when I went to bed I always hate saying good bye to him. I do not see him enough....

P.S. This ear thing is really bothering me.


Tuesday November 11 2003


I am the only awake right now enjoying a cup of Tim’s and watching the ducks. I guess they are waiting for me to give them their bread. I wonder who will feed them when I go home?

After checking that all my medication was packed it was time to finish my suitcases and be certain that I did not leave anything behind.

Brent had made a nice breaky for us and then the taxi arrived to take us to the train station in Dunblane, then it was off to Glasgow and the Airport.

After we were checked in we were able to sit and have a coffee. Our good byes said we were on the plane headed for Heathrow in London where we had to change planes for Toronto. Elizabeth and I had some time to wait so we wandered the airport -- it is huge but I guess if you put Pearson’s three terminals in one spot it would be huge too. Then it was time to board the plane for Toronto.

Again I did not sleep. I am not really fond of flying but, I wasn’t as bad as I thought I would be. I had a lovely meal of smoked salmon and fruit for dessert (no gooey Scottish cakes). Oh well, that is Stephanie’s fault -- she ordered me a diabetic meal. We arrived in Toronto about midnight and Al was there to meet us. We drove Elizabeth to Eleanor’s as her Dad wasn’t picking her up until tomorrow. I just went in to say “Hello” and thank them again for their generosity; it certainly made my trip a lot nicer. I had picked them up a little gift from Dunoon (china “golfer mugs”) I think Jack even liked them.

Then it was in the car heading for Port Burwell and my dogs................