Monday, November 03, 2008

Old Bushmills I staggered...'d bury the dagger/in your silhouette window light go... Ah, there's nothing like a bit of Tom Waits's Tom Traubert's Blues (that's Waits Mark One, when he had proper tunes), especially in the vicinity of Bushmills itself, which is a real village, with a pub called The Distiller's Arms.
Sandy, Elaine and I had the six quid tour (good bit dearer than most Scottish distilleries), which includes a choice of free drams but, due to maintenance, no access to the (triple still) stillroom, always the highlight of distillery visits for me. Never mind, it was all really enjoyable and the place is beautiful, especially considering its size. This is very nearly industrial whisky production - the bottling lines alone are massive. It's a bit like Glenfiddich on steroids.
Great cafe with all home-made food, Irish stew and Pavlova the highlights, and a gift shop with some seriously desirable stuff, including a Great Gatsby-style Irish tweed cap which I narrowly avoided buying. I bought a half-price bar towel. The 12-year-old malt is very sweet but good.
Had a wee walk by the shores of Lough Neagh, the biggest (by area) body of fresh water in the UK. What a great place for casual boating and especially canoeing! When I come back for the North West 200 I'll bring my paddle.
Caught Quantum of Solace at the Ritz multiplex in Cookstown, and loved it. It is VERY Jason Bourne-ish...The Bourne Ultimatum second unit director did all the action scenes, Sandy told me...and the rooftop chase/fighting with every day objects material/handheld car chase material is derivative, but none the worse for it.
Anyway, to Belfast today for the show, with everyone locally breathing huge sighs of relief after yesterday's parade and protests in the city. One broken windscreen, one arrest. Times change. I remember my first visit here in 1978 as a terrified young hack, with the whole place looking broken and half-dead. what a difference. Belfast is fairly sparkling this morning. Still can't get used to policemen with handguns, though.
Back to Glasgow tonight, then Inverness in the morning. Ullapool and Stornoway still to come.

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