Haunting.....

..... this past spring I had the pleasure of visiting, lunching, and enjoying the atmosphere (and a pint or two) at the Kildrummy Castle Hotel in Aberdeenshire....... (a photo of aforementioned pint may be found here, incidentally..)

.... anyhoo, I have been remembering my scant time spent there lately...... see, while enjoying my pint and photographing the amazing decor inside the hotel, I happened to casually ask the matron if the place was by any chance haunted...... an odd question, you might think, but not really..... hell, try finding a place in Scotland that ISN'T haunted and just see how lucky you are....

.... so, yes...... I asked...... and the raven-tressed matron smiled at me, tilted her head to allow her eyes to peek over the top of her tortoise-shell eyeglasses, and replied in the affirmative..... that "indeed, our hotel is haunted..... men have never reported anything over the years..... but many ladies have said that they've felt a pinch on their backsides when no one was around..... or when Their Men had looked away or weren't paying attention.... and since the builder of our hotel - Mr. So-And-So - was known to be a lover of the feminine form?.... well, most people assume that his spirit is still here with us..... and that, of course, he still enjoys the presence of The Ladies..." .....

..... I laughed at the time and made a mental note as I stood at the foot of that regal, polished walnut staircase... I think that I immediately fell in love with the hotel right then and there... the billiard room, library, and bar.... ascots & spats..... single malts, the highlands, and a caddish ghost who spends his afterlife swatting the random shapely unattended backside......

..... since I returned home though, I have spent hours watching the "A Haunting" series on The Discovery Channel..... and I must say that I am more than a little confused.....

..... I mean, why is it that only the tortured souls, victims, and evil people remain behind as ghosts, haints, or spirits?.... why is it that those who hated life, were wronged, or angrily caused pain to innocents are left to walk eternally among us scaredy-cats?.... I'm sorry, but that just seems so incredibly ass-backwards...

.... one would think that if you spent your life thinking it sucked & doing mean shit to people, then after you checked out you would want to get the hell out of Dodge as fast as possible...... right?....

..... and conversely?..... if you spent your life sipping fine whisky and caressing the occasional bosom, why not spend a ghostly millennium doing exactly that in a fine Victorian hotel?...... I just don't get it...... if you had a happy life, then why NOT be a ghost and get to keep on enjoying it?.......

.... don't get me wrong, though....... I'm not saying that I necessarily believe in ghosts...... but I guess what I AM saying is that if there ARE ghosts?..... they certainly must be gluttons for punishment......

..... and personally?..... I think an afterlife spent wandering around The Kildrummy Castle Hotel wouldn't be half bad.....

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Shape....

.... well, I'm back..... and it appears that my latest jaunt overseas has seen me weighed, measured, judged, and found to be just a wee bit lacking..... and so I sit before you today a semi-changed man....

... I say "semi", of course, because the plans are still in the preliminary stages.... but it does appear that I may very well begin to change my hedonistic, sedentary lifestyle for something a bit more befitting a Gentleman of My Caliber..... well, at least that's the plan at the moment.....

... I mean, imagine my utter shock upon finding out that my Brother-in-Law - my usual, faithful, earnest, and eager compadre in all things debauched - was rising at 6am every morning for cross-country jogs!..... I tell you, it was enough to make one immediately order a plate of bacon & a gin and tonic just to keep the Earth from spinning off of its axis....

.... and my Father in Law?..... his garden - full of flowers, heather, and various shrubberies - is absolutely immaculate..... indeed, if one cared to cast their eye in any conceivable direction they would be greeted with firm stems, delicately moistened petals, fragrant blossoms, and expertly manicured blades of grass.... and I made a mental note this morning as I strode across Hell's Half Acre with my cup of coffee to never, EVER send him any more photographs of my OWN meager attempts at "gardening".....

..... that said, though, the trip went well..... fine food, excellent company, exotic locales, and lashings of fine single malts ensured that smiles were never far from anyone's expression.....

..... but now it is back to the grind of Normal Life..... and perhaps the occasional bag of lawn fertilizer and a jog now and then...... then again, maybe I should just wear baggy clothes and hire a gardener......

.... photos to follow soon!.... most notably?.... The Kildrummy Castle Hotel, Melrose Abbey, The Scott Monument, and Abbotsford.....

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GMT.....

..... well, the bags are packed..... and tomorrow The Missus and I jet off to visit her folks in bonnie Scotland for a few days.... I've asked Jimbo and Elisson to drop by once in a while to make sure the linens are fresh..... but otherwise?...... well, I will be incommunicado until the morning of May 16th.....

.... if anyone needs me, please page the concierge at The Cragendarroch Hilton in Ballater and ask for the guy with the crew cut sipping a Gin & Tonic at the table overlooking the swimming pool or snooker table....... (unless, of course, it is after 7pm Greenwich Mean Time...... then simply ask to speak to the guy with the short, red hair who is nursing a Scotch and gazing wistfully at Lochnagar while the Sun sets down into the west over Ireland...).....

..... anyway, with that, gentle rubberneckers, I'm off.......... and I hope that you will all fare well.......... goodness knows that I will certainly be thinking of you guys while I'm away........

..... definitely.....

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