A to the K

I’ve previously mentioned the alphabet tour that I undertook with some friends 11 years ago.

Last year we ventured less further afield and headed to the Scottish Borders to stay in Jedburgh with a traditional ceilidh in the village hall.

This year we’ll be returning to the same neck of the woods and ushering in 2011 at the Grand Ball at the Cross Keys Hotel in Kelso.

Wherever you’re are, whoever you’re with and whatever you get up to, enjoy yourself and stay safe!


The past several days have been spent in a winter wonderland. For those of you who don’t know, some friends and I have been working our way through the alphabet of places to spend Hogmanay and New Year. This year was the 10th installment so we spent a few days down in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders. Our base was the fabulously equipped Bairnkine Cottages a few miles outside Jedburgh where we were made to feel very welcome.

We saw the Bells in at a wonderful ceilidh in the Town Hall and then somehow made our way back through the snow to the cottages. The next couple of days were spent relaxing, building snowmen and igloos, and ferrying goods from our abandoned vehicles at the bottom of a hill, near the main road.

After a steady drive back up to Edinburgh on the Saturday we were a little taken aback to see the mostly city clear of snow – which we’d kind of gotten used to. It turns out that we needn’t have been too upset though: a further several inches fell overnight and covered the city once more.

It has been quite rare in recent history for Edinburgh to have snow laying for any length of time and as such I noticed a few things. Not being able to rely on the council, people will seemingly clear the pavements only to the edge of their property line and not one centimeter further. Messages in the snow are commonplace – usually obscene ones left on car windscreens but I did notice one helpful message informing the car owner that they had left their lights on. On a grander scale I witnessed a guy shoveling a Spanish message in the snow (with his scarf for the tilde in ñ) for his friend to photograph from their fourth-floor flat for use on a CD sleeve.

Pride of place has to go to this though. It was nice to see a little imagination and something a bit different on Rothesay Place: a snow Sphinx and mini-pyramid!

Happy Hogmanay!

As this is posted to my blog I shall be taking off – all being well – from Gatwick for a week in Innsbruck.

For those of you who don’t know, some friends and I are working our way through the alphabet to usher in the New Year. Since 2000 we have visited Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Flaine, Grindelwald and Halifax. An antipodean splinter group formed last year and their first destination was Healesville, just outside Melbourne.

I hope you have a blast wherever you are and whatever you do.

See you in 2009!

Here’s to 2007

Just about to leave the flat and embark on the seventh year of the Hogmanay alphabet tour: Grindelwald, Switzerland. I fully intend to not touch a computer for a whole week so this will be the last post until I get back and get rid of the shakes!

It’s been a mixed year with some definite highs but personally it’s going to go down as a pretty shitty one overall. So here’s to an awesome 2007 where everything will balance itself out!

Another year older and another year wiser.