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Thursday, August 07, 2003

So, as previously noted, your correspendent is presently enjoying a fine holiday on Arran with his excellent missus, the Righteous K., his equally sterling mother-in-law, Mrs Righteous K., family friends, the E2duopoly and the most clearly insane non-retriever-style blonde poochie in the known cosmos, Miss Ella Fluffington-Dementieva.

Things have been just peachy, with Arran enjoying a heatwave roughly commensurate to that enjoyed by the rest of the UK and the continent of Europe (which is to say that the daily heat on this bucolic Scottish isle is just slightly less than that of your average bakery kitchen in the midst of rush hour). And, with the heat, of course, comes the scary spectre of the Ugly Tourist, who brings with him pasty-white legs, a paunch with apparent sentient life of it's own and children so astonishingly badly-behaved that the casual observer can barely believe that they are not under 24-hour armed-guard, let alone a full supervision order.

I've tried not to be an Ugly Tourist, of course - I don't wish to be the kind of thoughtless lummox who steamrollers with his party into local shops and expects the poor, servile wretches behind the counter to enthusitically dance to his beck-and-call, chucking a few crumpled notes over the counter in the manner of a God-King bestowing favour on the unwashed.

I do, however, notice that many of my fellow travellers are not quite as considerate. To put it bluntly, many of the people "enjoying" their Arran break are something short of being complete assholes. These are the kind of tour-cycling dunderheads that you find yourself praying to find in a ditch, further up one of the island's many hilly, winding roads, having tried to execute a flashy, mid-hillock gear change and gone for a burton over the handlebars. I try to content myself with the notion that they've certainly lost their "no-damage" deposit...

Other things to tell you about?

1) Aromatherapy is ace. I encountered it for the first time on Monday afternoon and I'm a convert. It's like being a big, floaty, rainforesty cocoon of chilledness and you should stop reading this crap right now and go and have your extremities worked on. I somehow managed to walk back to our lodge afterwards, but did so replete with a carrier bag full of comfort food and no memory of how I acquired it. Come to the Auchrannie resort on Arran and ask for Marianne. Mention Mrs Righteous K. You'll be so glad that you did.

2) I am typing this piffle downweighed by numerous bangles, bracelets and Nepalese thinga-majigs, which I bought on the island's fine "Arran Asia" store, which is full of the kinds of colourful, vaguely ethnic gubbins beloved of the travelling, lentil-sniffing "Grauniad"-reading set. As such, it's not the kind of place that a card-carrying Jerry Bruckheimer fan would be seen reincarnated in, but those bangles, man - they're super-nifty and no mistake.

More epistles as and when...



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