London’s Burnsing!

In the olden days (mid-2010s) I’d make the annual trip down to stay with Cousin Iain & Nicola to attend a Burns Supper and Scottish themed quiz night that Iain hosted. I’ve usually done The Address to the Haggis (once in my kilt) and even Crazy Uncle John attended in the past, bringing his passionate recitals of the bigger numbers into play.

As with many other things, it all fell away during the pandemic and I hadn’t been down for it for years. However, Iain extended the invite well in advance for 2024 and I got flights booked early enough that they weren’t too expensive if I came down a couple of days early.

Continue Reading

Golden timesĀ 

On an afternoon in early 0ctober 2016, I was having lunch with my friends, George and Adrian when we came up with the idea of travelling to see one of cycling’s spring classics. We usually enjoy a ride together to coincide with the classics, the gather in the pub to watch the race, but venturing to mainland Europe to see one in person was new territory for me. By the time we’d emptied our plates the idea was gathering steam, so I booked a table in Blackfriars for that evening where we could have a planning session.

Later, gathered around a table by the window, we checked our calendars and quickly decided upon travelling to Maastricht for the weekend of the Amstel Gold Race. As quickly as the beers flowed that night, Operation: Amstel took shape.

I took an unlikely organisational role, setting up the Trello board and filling it with to-do’s and ideas as they came to mind, George booked the appropriate flights, and Adrian found us quality bars to visit and a place to stay on Air B&B in the days that followed.

In fact, the whole thing came together so quickly and was so far ahead of us that, over the winter, it was easy to forget that we’d be kicking off the spring in style.

Continue Reading