“It’s Friday, it’s five to five . . . It’s time to go to the pub!”
Those of us in the UK will remember well that Friday at five to five was always Crackerjack! time, but hey, that’s not been part of my weekend ritual for over 40 years. Neither has going to the pub been part of my weekend ritual for an awful long time, but somehow, it was just what was required earlier on this evening. I have now returned somewhat tipsy, and rather than it being a bit of a car crash, it used to be one of the best times for me to turn to blogging. Let’s see how it goes this time.
To get us in the weekend mood, I need a weekend song – Hmm…
The computer I’m on just now doesn’t have the master database of digital music loveliness, but having just done a quick search on YouTube, here is something that certainly does mention the weekend. I was very fond of Mel and Kim back in the day and here they are Showing Out and Getting Fresh at the Weekend.
Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend) by Mel and Kim:
Why did I feel the need to go to the pub tonight? Because I’m disappointed. I’ve spent the last few months getting my new business up and running, but as ever, I have entered the market too late. Mr WIAA and myself seem to be experts at always getting in on the act a little too late and we are now the proud owners of a lovely holiday hideaway that looks as if it might cost more to run than the revenue we are likely to get back from paying guests. The Highlands of Scotland is up there amongst the top five regions in the world to visit in 2019, but it seems many of us had the same idea, so as a business idea it has turned out to be a poor one. I had stupidly thought that my plan to act as a local guide, and to come up with suggestions as to how guests could make the most of their stay, would be a winner – Turns out they just want a lockbox, good Wifi and for me to bugger off!
On the upside, if you fancy a short break, do it now, as in some places prices have returned to 1987 levels, back when Mel and Kim Appleby (mentioned above) hit the No. 1 spot in the UK with Respectable. Ok, so they were part of the much derided SAW stable of artists, but it’s the weekend and I have just visited the pub in town which was very much our hostelry of choice when I arrived in the Highlands back in 1987, so all very appropriate. Of course back then it was, and still is, the kind of bar where the likes of Mel and Kim would never have been selected on the jukebox. Oh no, it was more of a Celtic Rock kind of bar, but it was also where I met Mr WIAA a couple of years later, so happy memories of the place.
There is always a touch of sadness now when we watch the Appleby sisters looking so youthful and full of life, as Mel sadly died of cancer three years later, at the incredibly young age of 23. What they are wearing in this clip sums up the kind of clothing girls adopted around that time. Tops that fell off one shoulder, dolman sleeves, berets and trousers with belts that cinched in the waist. I blame Britney Spears for the demise of women’s waistlines – She hastened the falling out of fashion of the cinched in waist, with her famously low slung jeans that just covered the tootamuffin (my own made-up word) and no more. Girls could eat what they wanted and didn’t have to worry about fastening the top button of their jeans. In my humble opinion, she is single-handedly responsible for the current obesity crisis.
So, “What’s It All About?” – I’ve had a Friday pint, a bit of a rant and a bit of a nostalgic look back at the music and fashion of 1987. I never did get a Crackerjack pencil and I doubt if the kids of today would remotely want one – It would have to be the latest iPhone at the very least.
I’m sorry to have moaned about my new business, but it just hasn’t panned out how it was supposed to, so obviously a bit disappointing. Early days though, and hopefully as the summer progresses I will get more takers for Alyson’s Highland Adventures, guests who want a bit more interaction with their hosts, rather than simply getting the access code to the lockbox.
Apparently I’m off to the football tomorrow as in the two years DD’s boyfriend has been attached to the local team (in a medical capacity), she hasn’t been to a single match. Of course it would have to coincide with a particularly cold snap where hailstones have actually fallen here today. Our stadium was built on a piece of reclaimed land that juts out into the Moray Firth. It’s going to have to be a case of thermals and woolly hats I think. If we survive the temperatures, I will return to welcome my next set of guests, who with any luck, might be in the mood for a Highland Adventure.
Until next time….
Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend) Lyrics
(Song by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, Peter Waterman)
10 thoughts on “First World Problems, Friday Pints and “Getting Fresh at The Weekend””
Hi Alyson, well, that was an eclectic blogpost! My impression of travelling via your area of Scotland was that accommodation was quite expensive (hotels etc), presumably this has led to the ‘success’ of AirBnB. We’re always on the look out for nice wee places we can recommend to visitors journeying up to Orkney, and who often take an overnight rest halt in the Moray area (certainly on the drive north). We would be very happy (in our low-key friendly way) to promote your cottage to such folk, and spread the word to Orcadians generally.
And can I please say Thank You to the modest alcohol consumption which unearthed the priceless Britney rant!
Best Wishes for the tourist season,
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Yes, it was all over the place wasn’t it but it made sense at the time!
It has been quite expensive for a while but more and more people are of course doing the whole holiday let/Airbnb thing, and now, as of this year, supply is far outweighing demand so if you search, a lot of very reasonable accommodation in the town. I can’t really add the link to my property here as I kind of have to retain a certain element of anonymity for obvious reasons (I write about people from my past and present), but feel free to contact me using the link above and I will give you all the details which could be of use to fellow Orcadians or for family wanting to stop for a break on their way north.
Glad you enjoyed my Britney rant – She has a lot to answer for that girl.
In the single days my pals and I used to hit the pub early doors on a Friday
It became known as Taking the Edge of the Week subsequently shortened to The Edge
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Oh yes, for many years we hit the pub after work on a Friday and often stayed out in our work clothes until closing time. Not been out for ages early evening on a Friday but had a great time. We ended up sitting next to the piano player in a great wee bar and had a great chat about music and he played some requests for us – Billy Joel put in an appearance (not literally) but we were able to sing along. Some of the barmen were sporting uber-hipster hairdos and beards though – Little beards and pigtails in them. Mr WIAA was of course clean shaven and has no hair left to create pigtails with!
Sorry about your Air B’n’B situation
Can you not rent it out a week at a time as a self catering cottage
We always rent two “cottages” for a week at a time in Sept/Oct
Not cheap so for the owners probably a good source of income
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Please don’t feel sorry for me because I am in effect the problem. Last year people were making good money thus when our friends were selling their wee hoose at the same time we were selling my mum’s retirement flat I had this brainwave that we could make her money last longer. Sadly so many of us thought the same and although I realised early-doors (as you say) that my prices would have to come right down, loads others have kept them the same as last year, so have next to no bookings all summer. If you search by price for accommodation this Sept/Oct you could be pleasantly surprised as loads of people like me have taken their prices right down.
As for our wee hoose, it is in the town, so not really one of these rural country cottages people come to spend a week in. I’ve ended up being booked up for short breaks most of the summer now anyway so no full weeks left but will investigate that for next year (if I don’t have to sell up first). As I said to Graeme above, feel free to contact me using the link above if you want to give us a whirl – Our house is more a place visitors use as a base to head out and visit other places like Skye, Fort William, the Cairngorms so have the facilities of the town but everything easily accessible. The plan initially was to use it for guests and friends so hope we can keep it going for a while yet – Sad it’s turned out to be mostly grunt work though (so much laundry!) and less of the fun tourist guide kind of stuff I was hoping for. I am starting to learn the golden rules – Lockbox, good WiFi and bugger off!
I’m really sorry too to hear of your despondency on the Air B’n’B thing. People are weird, it’s them, NOT you! Bloody cheek on the loo rolls, etc. honestly what tight-arses! I can tell you things about our neighbours’ guests feedback sometime – I was going to say ” you wouldn’t believe it” but unfortunately I know you would – seems some people just can’t be satisfied. However, it’s only a few guests so far for you, and I’m sure (as with my neighbours) it will be balanced out by others who are more positive the more you do it. I’ve also come across this odd phenomenon of people who say they never give 5 stars for anything on principle because they “don’t believe in perfection” so as a matter of course their 4 stars is, somehow, their 5 star rating. We know the type!
Also I wondered about CC’s suggestion of the self catering cottage – our neighbours’ cottage has been on this arrangement for 10 years with a few teething problems, so it has proved worthwhile in the longer term. Happy to expand with you more about their experiences if it might help?
And I do love your tipsy blogging!
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Hi C – I really don’t want people to think I’m moaning (ok I am a bit) but it’s more that I’d spent the last few months getting everything set up and looking perfect, so am disappointed that the whole business model has changed so radically this year. I think you are right about the fact some people never give 5 stars on principle but nowadays with eBay and Airbnb it is the default setting and if you don’t give 5 stars it means something is very far wrong. We once bought some collectable comics on eBay for DD but thought the postage charges were really high so gave 4 stars not realising what that meant for the seller. He replied with a very strongly worded email.
As for the self catering cottage, we do have a few week long bookings but didn’t join those specific cottage holiday let websites this year – They too are finding themselves unbooked if charging last year’s prices and ours is a three year old “cottage-style” property in the town so not what those websites are usually looking for. Yes, I might well ask about your neighbour’s experiences as would be quite amusing to hear some of them – Would make me feel better probably.
Ah, tipsy blogging – It goes all over the place with random thoughts and rants, but it is fun!
Ouch! I feel for you. The business world can be very rough.
As I said a First World problem but I really hoped it might make my mum’s cash last longer for the care home – The timing was off but who knows, there is bound to be more regulation in due course which I would encourage, as people like us have jumped through all the hoops and informed all the relevant bodies. Pretty sure most of them don’t.
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