Rock’n’Roll Tattoo, Glasgow aka My New Ink!

Good morning, darlings!

I hope it’s still morning when I get this done. *laughs*

Two things today:

1. WordPress has added all kinds of new emojis (and I learned what ’emoji’ means too) so now all these wordpress blogs are going to be full of them.¬†ūüė∂ ¬†It means I get to waste a lot of time looking for the perfect facial expression.

Orrrrrrrrrr…. I could do things the way I always have and totally ignore it all.

2.  After talking to Val and both of us searching through our pictures (well, her with her list of locations and photo numbers) we have discovered that there was (almost) nothing between the Willow Tea Rooms and the tattoo appointment.  The 9th was the day we went to Livingston Centre the first time, wandered through Sainsburys (awesome store!  I want one here) and took a bus that wandered through the West Lothian countryside.

 Now that I have that sorted I can continue on with the rest here.  

So, when I started planning for the trip I started waffling about getting a tattoo done while there.  It was an expensive souvenir.  It was one I wanted, really wanted.  Eventually, it was my kids who convinced me that I should do it.  Val and The Boyfriend definitely had their bits to say about it but in then end, it was Boykid and Girlkid.  So I started researching tattoo parlours and artists.  

Rock’n’Roll Tattoo and Piercing came highly recommended so I looked them up. ¬†I looked at their website and their Facebook page. ¬†I looked through all their Glasgow artists and I settled on two. ¬†So I emailed them, told them what I was looking for, sent them pictures of my existing tattoos and asked them who would be best. ¬†¬†

We settled on Luke, (You can find his album here), and I sent them images of what I wanted and what I liked.  

There was a bit of a cock up about my appointment. ¬†I thought it was at 4, because of our reservation with the tea room, and RnR thought it was at 2, because of our reservation at the tea room. ¬†Fortunately, they’re pretty fabulous people and “since you’ve come from Canada other people can move for you.” ¬†They rescheduled my appointment AND made the adjustments to the proposal Luke had drawn up. ¬†

Let’s start our photos with the outside of the shop at 11 Watson St, Glasgow.

The graphic art these people turn out - regardless of canvass - is amazing.  Finding the door was a little tricky but mostly because we were blind. lol

The graphic art these people turn out Рregardless of canvass Рis amazing. Finding the door was a little tricky but mostly because we were blind. lol  And, oh look! A telephone number.

Luke showed us the drawing and then set to work.  He did the clean and scrape with a razor then applied the template.

Luke showed us the drawing and then set to work. He did the clean and scrape with a razor then applied the template.

It's a messy job but I was happy to see it progressing...

It’s a messy job but I was happy to see it progressing…

...and progressing.  I love the purple, pale pink and white inks he used.

…and progressing. I love the purple, pale pink and white inks he used.

Finally, he was finished!  It took about 45 minutes but it was the most painful spot I've been tattooed on thus far.  There will be some who will say that it doesn't hurt there, others who will cuss at the mention of it.

Finally, he was finished! It took about 45 minutes but it was the most painful spot I’ve been tattooed on thus far. There will be some who will say that it doesn’t hurt there, others who will cuss at the mention of it.

We went to a pub down the road called Maggie May's.  Lovely place.  Friendly staff.

We went to a pub down the road called Maggie May’s. Lovely place. Friendly staff.

But the lamb chop... Oh my, so tasty.

But the lamb chop… Oh my, so tasty.

I wanted to strip this wallpaper and take it home.  I may look for it for a bedroom paper.

I wanted to strip this wallpaper and take it home. I may look for it for a bedroom paper.

This is what it looked like a week later.  Gross, eh?

This is what it looked like a week later. Gross, eh?

And this is a month later!  It is wholly healed and even the lingering pain (which happens for me sometimes) is now gone.

And this is a month later! It is wholly healed and even the lingering pain (which happens for me sometimes) is now gone.

I am quite happy with the result of my decision, the nagging of the people who got me to accept that I want the tattoo, with Luke and his work, and with the people who shifted things around so I could get it done. 

Oh! ¬†And with the guy who is in charge of both shops who said, when called for the price of one of their t-shirts, “A client does not come all the way from Canada and get charged for a shirt.” ¬†ūüėė

And I am so sorry, Young Man Behind the Counter, I cannot remember your name. ¬†Stephen keeps coming to mind but I am so, so lousy with names that I can’t be sure I’m right. ¬†

You guys rock. ¬† Luke, thank you so much for putting up with the fubar around my tattoo time, I’ll take the blame for that, you get all the credit for the tattoo. ¬†It’s my favourite now.

I am on the path to rest today.  I had my lidocaine infusion yesterday and I am still tired.  My pain levels are also skyrocketing again.

Muah

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Scotland Day Two

Good Tuesday morning everyone!

I have eleven pictures for you today.  We will be talking about the iconic Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

The tea rooms are absolutely beautiful. ¬† There are three levels, though there used to be five! ¬†On the bottom is the gift shop and a smaller tea room. ¬†It wasn’t set up and in use when we were there but it looked like it was used for tea tastings. ¬†Go up one flight of stairs and you’re at The Gallery. ¬†The Gallery is a very masculine room with rich, dark woods. ¬†Once you’ve wound through the narrow spaces, dodging tables and patrons and climbed the next flight of stairs, you find yourself in the Room de Lux.

The tea rooms were designed and built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Kate Cranston, his most generous and consistent patron.  She gave him the opportunity to design everything from the silverware to the furnishings to the walls and windows.  Though Ms. Cranston sold the tea rooms when her husband died it was later purchased by Anne Mulhern who began the recreation of the site by restoring the Room de Lux first.

And I have to tell you, the restaurant is stunningly beautiful and, despite the decades between its origin and its restoration, it is steeped in history.

On to the pictures!

This is Sauchiehall St.  'Sauchiehall' is pronounced 'sawk-ee-hall'.  It is a combination of new and old that gives it a unique feel.

This is Sauchiehall St.. ‘Sauchiehall’ is pronounced ‘sawk-ee-hall’. It is a combination of new and old that gives it a unique feel.

The people were wonderful to watch, (even if some were not as polite as you'd like).  This lovely man was feeding the pigeons.  Once the word went out on the wind that he was there, dozens of birds came winging up the hill, straight for the bench Val and I were sitting on.   We could feel the air beneath their wings.  *pauses for a Bette Midler moment*

The people were wonderful to watch, (even if some were not as polite as you’d like). This lovely man was feeding the pigeons. Once the word went out on the wind that he was there, dozens of birds came winging up the hill, straight for the bench Val and I were sitting on. We could feel the air beneath their wings. *pauses for a Bette Midler moment*

 

Just cuz ūüėČ (image courtesy of Google)

The exterior.  It's a beautiful building.

The exterior. It’s a beautiful building.

This is that front wind we see in the previous picture.  Val and I had lunch in the Room de Lux. It certainly was luxurious!

This is that front window we see in the previous picture. Val and I had lunch in the Room de Lux. It certainly was luxurious!

All silver and purple.  Plus the mirrored friezes on the wall.  The originals were leaded and, I'm quite sure, absolutely beautiful.  Though, these were lovely.

All silver and purple. Plus the mirrored friezes on the wall. The originals were leaded and, I’m quite sure, absolutely beautiful. Though, these were lovely.

We finally got to looking at the extensive menus and, after much discussion with our server and the kitchen manager, finally ordered.  They have the most wonderful, highest gluten free bread I have ever seen.  This is my grilled bacon, tomato and brie sandwich.  It is, by far, the most wonderful sandwich I've ever eaten.  Ever.  I want that bread!

We finally got to looking at the extensive menus and, after much discussion with our server and the kitchen manager, finally ordered. They have the most wonderful, highest gluten free bread I have ever seen. This is my grilled bacon, tomato and brie sandwich. It is, by far, the most wonderful sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Ever. I want that bread!

This was dessert.   Ahem.  We tasted it before I got my camera out.  We tasted a LOT of if before I got my camera out.  The small plate had a 2x2 inch brownie on it that was at least an inch thick, very fudgy and warm and oh em gee so good.  Val let me have two tiny bites and hoarded the rest!  The bowl had two HUGE meringues with an inch and a half of clotted cream and some fresh berries between them.  Divine.  Heavenly.  The Gods would have been jealous.

This was dessert. Ahem. We tasted it before I got my camera out. We tasted a LOT of if before I got my camera out. The small plate had a 2×2 inch brownie on it that was at least an inch thick, very fudgy and warm and oh em gee so good. Val let me have two tiny bites and hoarded the rest! The bowl had two HUGE meringues with an inch and a half of clotted cream and some fresh berries between them. Divine. Heavenly. The Gods would have been jealous.

Part one of the Willow Tea Rooms' history.

Part one of the Willow Tea Rooms’ history.

Part two of the history.

Part two of the history.

Our cute and eager to please server, Dan.

Our cute and eager to please server, Dan.   Nope, no idea what happened with the lighting here.  

And the beautiful Mhairi, the kitchen manager. She worked very hard at making sure we had a safe and wonderful meal.  She totally succeeded.  Went well beyond the call of duty.

And the beautiful Mhairi, the kitchen manager. She worked very hard at making sure we had a safe and wonderful meal. She totally succeeded. Went well beyond the call of duty. ¬† And it’s like Dan & Mhairi had their own ideas about the lighting for their photos. ūüėÄ

It is totally well worth a visit.  We enjoyed every moment, even when the Room de Lux was flooded with teenagers on a school trip.  It was a beautiful meal in beautiful surroundings.

You can find the Willow Tea Rooms website here. ¬†If you’re in Glasgow, I encourage you to pop in for a cup of tea. ¬†We went to 217 Sauchiehall St. because of the history. ¬†It was incredible. ¬†

Thank you Dan and Mhairi for making our visit so worthwhile.  

Off to do more NaNo plotting! I think I have a handle on it now. ¬†And Kris is an RCMP officer in the Criminal Intelligence Division. ¬†From there his position is very fictional. ¬†I’m looking forward to the story.

Muah.  

 

Linlithgow Palace

Welcome to the first of my posts about my trip.

With 978 pictures to choose from, it’s the first of many. *laughs* ¬†Unfortunately, since I’d forgotten my camera, they’re all taken with my phone. ¬†We could have taken the effort to find and purchase a new camera but I had limited resources (both financially and physically, though Val did her best to help with both). ¬†I wasn’t concerned, my phone camera may not be the best, but it’s not the worst. ūüôā ¬† I think, having gone through all the pictures, that there were times when I was definitely a very poor photographer. ¬†

While the trip was difficult on me it was extremely enjoyable and I don’t regret a moment of it, or anything I’m going through now. ¬†There were times when I couldn’t stand still, or my hands wouldn’t stop shaking and the pictures are blurry and there was nothing to be done about it. ¬†So with that in mind, let’s go on.

When planning the trip, I wanted to start with a bang. ¬†I wracked my brains for the perfect thing. ¬†I was tooling around our area of Scotland (via our friend, Google) I saw a few things – Loch Lomond, Stirling, Linlithgow. ¬†Now, our plans were to do the Highland Explorer tour, (that got cancelled on us), and that covered Loch Lomond and Stirling. ¬†That left us with Linlithgow. ¬†I did some research into and – I’ll admit – somewhat reluctantly scheduled it in.

My reluctance was wholly unfounded.

Now, I need to remind you that I am a believer in past lives, in feeling history, and in the energies left by people.

Linlithgow was absolutely amazing.  If you stand quietly, close your eyes and just breathe you can hear the voices of people past.  You can feel their emotions and almost see the history play out.

Our first views of Linlithgow offered wonderful views of history and ...antique?...architecture.  We were immediately thrown into the past.  (Despite the cars ;) )

Our first views of Linlithgow offered wonderful views of history and …antique?…architecture. We were immediately thrown into the past. (Despite the cars ūüėČ )

If I remember correctly, this is the Linlithgow Town Council buildings.  "Linlithgow Burgh Halls."

This is the Linlithgow Town Council buildings. “Linlithgow Burgh Halls.”

Even the path to the castle gate was steeped in history.  Along the wall on the right are plaques detailing every Royal who stayed in the palace from Mary, Queen of Scot.  She was born there and crowned queen at the age of 7 months then shipped to France for her safety.

Even the path to the castle gate was steeped in history. Along the wall on the right are plaques detailing every Royal who stayed in the palace from Mary, Queen of Scot. She was born there and crowned queen at the age of 7 months then shipped to France for her safety.

An upward glance in the entrance to the courtyard showed some carvings called "bosses".  These are protrusions of stone or wood and are found on a number of vaulted ceilings in Gothic Architecture.  I liked them.

An upward glance in the entrance to the courtyard showed some carvings called “bosses”. These are protrusions of stone or wood and are found on a number of vaulted ceilings in Gothic Architecture. I liked them.

Once through the entrance, we were confronted with this  Message  Fountain.

Once through the entrance, we were confronted with this Message Fountain.

It is beautiful, complicated and astonishing.

It is beautiful, complicated and astonishing.

We wandered inside and one of the first things we saw was this hole in the wall that led to a hole in the floor.  It turned out to be a prison.

We wandered inside and one of the first things we saw was this hole in the wall that led to a hole in the floor. It turned out to be a prison.

This plaque didn't give us numbers but I have to tell you, it was deep.

This plaque didn’t give us numbers but I have to tell you, it was deep.

Val and I separated  and I wandered around, taking pictures until my camera died. I found some fantastic rooms like this one. This is the Royal Apartments, I think.

Val and I separated and I wandered around, taking pictures until my camera died. I found some fantastic rooms like this one. This is the Royal Apartments, I think.

This is the Great Room, a place of gatherings of all kinds from political meetings to a grand ball.

This is the Great Room, a place of gatherings of all kinds from political meetings to a grand ball.

 (And HEY!  On to day two of trying to write this post!  My built-in keyboard crapped out yesterday and it was a frustrating piece of work trying to use the onscreen one.  Eventually, I gave up.  And by the time I could sit down after supper to work with my external I was out of it with pain, drugs and fatigue.  Only a few pictures left.)

Everywhere you looked there were windows.  The ones that didn't look down into the courtyard offered some fantastic views of the town and countryside.

Everywhere you looked there were windows. The ones that didn’t look down into the courtyard offered some fantastic views of the town and countryside.

Like this view.

Like this view.

This is the courtyard.  Quite big enough for a horse drawn carriage to turn around in and a full household staff to be there awaiting the royal arrivals, don't you think?

This is the courtyard. Quite big enough for a horse drawn carriage to turn around in and a full household staff to be there awaiting the royal arrivals, don’t you think?

I, the woman with the lousy back, knees and ankle, climbed to the top of two of those towers.  ...As close as I could get before encountering locked gates.   I paid for it, of course, but it was totally worth it.

I, the woman with the lousy back, knees and ankle, climbed to the top of two of those towers. …As close as I could get before encountering locked gates. I paid for it, of course, but it was totally worth it.

I leave you with one last view of Linlithgow, Linlithgow Pond.  The palace is an amazing place to visit and, should you be in the area (or within a train ride of the area) you should visit.

I leave you with one last view of Linlithgow – Linlithgow Pond. The palace is an amazing place to visit and, should you be in the area (or within a train ride of the area) you should visit.

My battery died and I missed many pictures I could have taken, until Val gave me her spare. ¬†I missed out on photographing several amazing things. ¬†But that’s okay. ¬†I refuse to regret the things I didn’t take pictures of because being there was so intense and so gorgeous it’s difficult to regret anything. ¬†My goal for taking pictures is to be able to share the experiences, to show you the things I’ve seen in the ways I see them. ¬†My camera phone isn’t that great, overall, but it’s not that bad either, it gets across my vision more often than not. ¬†

This is a snippet of the sights I enjoyed in Linlithgow and I hope you enjoyed them too.

Now! ¬†As much as I’d also like to share the Willow Tea Rooms with you today, NaNo is in SIX DAYS and I have yet to find a plot. ¬†There’s Kris, my beloved protagonist, but that’s it. ¬†It’s going to be something about animal conservation, biker dudes, wolves (of course) and maybe a woman. ¬†That’s all I know.

Have a great day! ¬†Maybe the Willow Tea Rooms tomorrow, we’ll see. ¬†The ‘rents are coming for a visit tomorrow. ¬†I’m pleased about that.

Muah.