Then I spotted this sign, pointing to the pub, The Douglas Arms, for Citizens Advice.
I left at the tender age of 16 when our whole family emigated way back in the mid 60s, more than half a life time ago. I still remember certain things though, and a lot has not changed very much.
My sister Louise went back to Scotland about 4 years ago, and told me our favourite icecream shop had gone. I was heartbroken, but resigned to change, life moves on, but hey, she was wrong, it's still there with the same decor, and the memories of my childhood came flooding back.
When I was a boy the owner was the little Italian man who started the shop, Varani's Icecream, called The Forum Cafe "The Cream of Kilmarnock". They have special tubs of icecream that spin making that special texture, the flavour's great too, supposedly healthy, tho I was never interested in that. The person serving you uses a stainless steel paddle and loads a miniature bricklayer's hod with a wafer, then loads up with the icecream, much like a bricklayer again putting mortar on his brick. Then they stick another wafer or a nougat chocolate covered wafer on top and load this amazing sculpture into a very simple paper bag, and off you go out of the shop. With my very old local knowledge I recommended Christine try the plain icecream and she was not disappointed.
This is the famous Greyfriars Church story about the dog Bobby, that stayed on its master's grave for many years till it died.
Tickets for the Tattoo are booked out months in advance, but still it was impressive just to see the setting right next to the Castle, is really stunning.
The Fringe Festival is a busker's paradise, anything goes, it's information overload, one simply cannot take in even a small fraction of what's happening.
So we headed north across the Forth Road Bridge.
In the Cairngorms this was a very cold night in the Hotel Rover for two cheery Kiwis though we did spend a great evening in a pub in Spittal of Glenshee, where a Dundee folkie was in fine form!
Don't know the name of this place, but what a stunner and the photo below was only around the corner of that arch on the left.
The beach behind me in my last visit 18 years ago was a stoney beach, now it's all sand.
This is what happens when you walk around Scotland dressed like this fella, you meet all the other weirdo's.
Horizontal washing hung across from the house on the shore of the Loch, for every tourist in the world to see....I loved it!
Even the rocks in Scotland are unique!
Another one of our Hotel Rover morning views.
This is Inverness Castle, I'll close now and resume the next blog at the Nairn Highland Games.
Stay safe and Free