Our journey through Scotland took us to some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.  And some of the … um …  ah …. er …. quaintest, ya that’s the word, quaintest hotels.  Our hotels were, for the most part, built sometime in the mid- to late-1800s.  Let’s just say that the electricity and en suite plumbing were not original equipment and even in the big cities, air conditioning is accomplished by opening the window.  The showers were smaller than the one in our motorhome and the temperature control of the water was erratic.  While all the hotels had wifi available, it wasn’t always functional.  The layouts of most of them was maze-like with most turns accompanied by one or two steps up or down.  Some had elevators that were only reached by climbing stairs, others had no elevators at all.

This charming hotel was at Balmacara, near Kyle of Lochalsh.


But what these little places lacked in modernity, was made up for in their gorgeous environment.  Our view out the  back of this one included this ancient rock wall.


And the loch out front was beautiful in the evening mist.


Posted in Home | 1 Comment

Bonnie Banks and Braes

The weather was bright and clear as we headed north from Glasgow into the beautiful Scottish countryside.  Our first stop was to take a boat ride on Loch Lomond.



After our cruise we continued north and west to the little town of Inveraray for lunch.


We finished the day with a tour of a Scotch distillary at the seaside town of Oban.  I’m not a scotch drinker, but I did sip the samples they gave us.  POWERFUL is the best word I can think of to describe it.


Posted in Home | 6 Comments

Time Flies

I see that it has been over a year since I posted anything here.  Apparently, nothing much has been happening in my life.

Until a couple of weeks ago.  On Aug 14th we went on a two-week coach tour of Scotland.  It was wonderful. and exhausting. and exhilarating.  I will post a few stories here, and lots of pictures on one picture a day, as usual.

So, today’s story:  Arriving in Glasgow.

We got up at 4 am on the 14th.  Not because we had an early flight. Just because that’s when we woke up.  Our flight out didn’t leave until after 3 pm.  So we had plenty of time.  We stopped for breakfast on our way to the airport and still got to spend lots of time sitting and waiting.  We changed planes in Newark and landed in Glasgow around 7 am.

We knew our room wouldn’t be ready for us, so we had plans! We dropped our bags at the hotel and had breakfast, then we had the desk clerk call a cab for us.  The cab took us to the railway station.  We told the railway clerk we wanted to go to the Falkirk Wheel and she gave us tickets to Camelon which she said was the closest we could get by rail.

On the train we met a cute little boy, maybe 6 or 7 years old, and his mom.  He had a million questions about America.  I found a small handful of American change and gave it to him.  He was thrilled!

At the Camelon platform we were a little surprised.  All it was was a platform.  No taxis, no buses, no nothing.  Just a parking lot.  So we walked over to the nearby bowling alley and talked to the girls behind the counter.  They kindly called a cab for us and the cab took us to the wheel, pointing out the Antonine Wall as we passed it.

The wheel was HUGE!!!  What is the Falkirk Wheel, you ask?  It is an amazing engineering solution for getting boats from one canal to another without any locks.  You can see it in motion on youtube if you search for the Falkirk Wheel.




We got back to the hotel and crashed around 2.  The next morning (Sunday) we walked around Glasgow a bit and then our tour started in the afternoon with bus tour of the city before heading out into the hinterlands on Monday.

Posted in Home | 2 Comments

Mind Experiment, Week 1

I guess if you are going to do a mind experiment, you have to have a mind.

My weight this week has varied from 235.0 to 238.0 and today’s number is 237.4.  Not exactly an encouraging start.  I have noticed that I am eating smaller portions.  But I don’t get a feeling of nausea from eating more than a few bites.

I have listened to the trance CD a couple more times, with roughly the same reaction as the first time.  No feeling of a trance at all.


Posted in Home | 4 Comments

Mind Experiment

This week I have started what I consider a mind experiment.  When I was at Barnes & Noble the other day I picked up a book on the sale counter.  It is Hypnotic Gastric Band by Paul McKenna and it intrigued me.  I have been overweight for years.  I hate diets.

The premise is that by listening to the trance on the included CD, your subconscious mind believes you have had a surgical procedure that installed a gastric band.  And if you eat too much you will feel nauseous.   I know that the mind is a very complex entity.  And it can do some amazing things.  But believing you have had a surgery??  Hmmmmm….  that’s a stretch.

In the book, Mr McKenna says that it is ok to be skeptical.  That’s good, because I am very skeptical.

He says there are 4 basic rules to follow:

  1. Eat when you are hungry.  That means not when you are lonely or sad or bored.  That makes sense to me.  I can go along with this.
  2. Eat what you want.  Really???  didn’t eating what I want get me into this shape??  He says that means there are no forbidden foods; no calorie counting; no bad carbs.   Well, ok.  I can not give up pasta or ice cream or cookies.
  3. Eat consciously.  Chew each bite 20 times.  Savor your food.  Don’t eat while watching tv, driving, working on the computer, etc.  I do like to snack in the evenings while I watch tv.  This could be a problem.
  4. Stop eating when you feel full.  In other words, you don’t have to clean your plate.  If you feel full, stop eating.  Sounds simple.  We’ll see.

So I read the book and last night I listened to the CD.  I leaned back in my recliner and turned off the tv so I wouldn’t be distracted.  The CD says it is a trance, but I didn’t feel like I went into a trance.  He talks sometimes in the right ear, and sometimes in the left ear; sometimes he says the same thing in both ears; and sometimes he says different things in each ear.  He said it is ok if you don’t hear or understand everything he says. That’s a good thing, because when he was saying different things in each ear, I couldn’t understand either one.

During the “trance” he describes the surgery and I was visualizing it — entering the hospital, the nurses taking my temp and blood pressure, putting on the hospital gown — but then, being a Brit, he said that I was on the trolley, meaning gurney.  And I, being American, visualized myself climbing onto a street car and whizzing down the road with my hospital gown flying in the breeze, parents covering their children’s eyes.  Before that vision got too out of control, we were in the “theatre” (British for operating room).  Well, ya, I saw myself in a theater watching a movie.   Then he described the surgical procedure.  He also said things like how much I was going to savor my food and I would feel my body change, and have energy and enjoy exercise.  I have never enjoyed exercise.   It’s a good thing he says its ok to be skeptical.

And while he is talking, in his soft, soothing voice, my mind is wandering. I check the clock. I ponder the differences between British English and American English.   Bud comes in and hops up on me demanding pettings.   I wonder what it would be like to be the significant other of a hypnotist…… wouldn’t you go paranoid wondering if you were doing things because you wanted to or because he had planted the seed in your mind??? Richard passes through the room once or twice.  And Topper attacks my left hand.

When I finished listening to the CD, I got up, closed up the house for the night, ate a donut and went to bed.

I’m not sure the hypnosis worked.    My starting weight is 236.4 pounds.  I’ll check back with you in a week or so and let you know what happens.



Posted in Home | 6 Comments