"...We drove over a wild moor. It rained , and the scene was somewhat dreary. Dr Johnson repeated, with solemn emphasis, Macbeth's speech on meeting the witches.

Boswell in Tour to the Hebrides 16th August 1773.

Bit of a mixed bag today started well - plummeted to an all time low and now back on the up. Another B&B embarrassment this morning where they've got the bacon on the table before you have a chance to refuse. To be honest I'm not sure I can survive another 3 weeks of this kind of grease intake. Set off to look round Arbroath Abbey first thing and I have to agree with Johnson it is pretty special. We did of course have the advantage of an audio visual presentation to accompany our visit though.

Karen & I had a 'Wilson Twins' moment in the sacristy - where we attempted harmonised arpeggios on tape prompted by the fantastic acoustics. Unfortunately it was pretty much down hill all the way to Aberdeen after this. Although the smokie sandwich lay-by lunch was OK.
"...Dr Johnson insisted on stopping at the inn, as I told him that Lord Gardeston had furnished it with a collection of books, that travellers might have entertainment for the mind, as well as the body."

Boswell in Tour to the Hebrides 16th August 1773.
Having read that the Gardenstone Arms in Laurence Kirk still exists and that it had a wonderful library in 1773 we thought we'd check it out. Things have changed a little in recent times it seems. It now has a pretty amazing wood-look formica lounge and a classic hideous local pub bar. We sat sweating in the corner with our stewed coffee, debating whether to ask if they knew where Monboddo house was ... unfortunately we didn't get too long to decide - an old man at the bar took it upon himself to come over and tell us about the close knit community - unfortunately we were a bit too close knit on our respective stools for my liking. I think I lost a stone in nervous energy and sweat as I attempted to follow his stories and keep his hands off my leg. I was strangely unable to enjoy the photograph of the old library in the restaurant with my t shirt stuck under my arms and white knuckles on the camera strap.

I'm making light of it now but it was actually pretty depressing - the whole experience made me realise Karen & I definitely have to work on our "I'm very uncomfortable & we need to leave NOW" body language.

A 'quiet' drive into Aberdeen followed, where we came into the happening bosom of Netropolis Cafe. We are stopping here for a non stop surf weekend - net search is pretty unfeasible from the cold stairwell of a B&B plugged into their pay phone socket. We are staying tonight with Chris Ward, who's a bit tired due to live web event here last night, but has kindly left us to free-range around the cafe and then roll into bed after closing time.

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