Um, right off the bat, yes, it IS easier to find quality coffee, but I have been largely hueing to black tea, although I have sampled the quality coffee outlets (mostly Costa) to compare. It is favorable.
The other thing I have been very cognizant of is the vast improvement in the quality of British toilet paper. Indeed, I would say that in most locales, Brit bogrolls are suprior to US TP. I sit and salute.
Brit F&C has not degraded over the years, either. It still outshines most American F&C.
Yes on the cats. Once in Boot, in Cumbria, amd anotjer somewhere in Wales, in St. David's perhaps. And the, of course, there was my planned visit to tje Mann Cat Sanctuary on the Isle of Man, where I was nearly adopted by Rose Olympia, the gray tortie Manx.
I think Luthy came very close to adopting you Her behaviour is still not totally back to normal (she is at the top of the stairs as I type). That is not a criticism, obviously - I think she took a huge shine to you.
"No time, Mistress, not names enough in the world for all my sins."
Update: Made it through Glasgow. Pnly with the help of several kind Glaswegean strangers.
I made it out of Queen Street Station, only to lose the trail. I was commisserating with a similarly puzzled Dutch woman when a gent stepped up.and provided excellent directions Central, on foot. It IS about a third of a mile,but it is all flat hard surface with heavy crowds.
But, once in Central, I was lost. Three separate ScotRail employees intervened to get me to the wrong platform. When I realized my mistake, I bolted and once again sought Scotrail staff, and,as I was doing so, a woman frkm the train I had bolted from returned my backpack, which I had unwittingly left on the train.
I finally made it to the right platform, and the right train and have been rewarded with a table seat with an outlet AND A/C!
This experience just reinforces my good impressions from past dealings with Scots. They seem ever willing to assist the puzzled and disoriented visitor. I need to pay this forword whenever I get the opportunity.
And, today...I took the local bus service to Culzean, 15 miles south of Ayr. I got there just fine, only to find that access to the castle was almost a mile from the bus stop...after I finally arrived. The castle is another Georgian mansion and quite interesting...but, hey, had they ever comsidered running a shuttle from the main road?
Anyway, I toured the castle and a tiny part of the grounds and was sitting in tbe Old Stable courtyard, drinking an expensive coffee,when I noticed the species of little bird which had provided the live sex show at Pooley Bridge at Ullswater. They were woking the dropped crumbs from sandwiches and desserts served by the cafe.
I was dreading the walk back up to the road, so I steeled my resolve by acquiring some nread crusts and attempting to lure the little birds (definitely identified as 'finches') close enough for pix. I failed in my objective, but the sight of a bearded old geezer feeding (and talking to) tiny finches was enough to engender friendly conversation with other coffee drinkers. In my case, a couple from London, visiting Scots relatives. In the extended conversation, which ranged over a wide number of topics, I mentioned in passing my dread of slogging back up to the road to catch the bus back to Ayr.
Come time to leave, I started out with schoolboy reluctant resolve and they decided to offer me a ride, which I readily accepted. When told they could drop me at the bus stop on the main road and I would ecstatic, they refused and stated that they had to go through Ayr town center, any way. They dropped me at Wellington Square, not a hundred feet from my guesthouse door. Such wonderous beings be here...Scotland had this effect upon even English visitors!