Have you experienced a fairy-tale in your own life? I did...when I turned 40. It was 1995 and shortly after my Mom died, Dad and his wife invited me to join them "on a shoot in Scotland." It was to help the grieving process of losing Mom and I suppose, turning 40.
Dad and stepmom made this trek annually to Lord and Lady Gladstone's estate. First, we met up in London - Cranley Mews, actually - don't you love it? We were staying three days to tour London. We did the norm - Tower of London, Hamley's - a monstrous toy store, The War Museum, Harrod's.
Doing life with Dad and L. allows me a very different perspective to take it in. It's done well, shall we say. (If they could just see ME in my every day, oh my.) One night L. and I had dinner with three women involved in the Romanian adoptions that were quite the craze back then. The founder of The Body Shop was one and a portion of the proceeds from The Body Shop went to Romania. In fact, one such young man was with us...on this trip. You see, my half-brother, was adopted by Dad and L. when he was but two. I believe he was 5 or 6 in 1995.
Dinner at Rule's is a must for a first-time visitor. It was established by Thomas Rule in 1798 making it the oldest restaurant in London. Those of us that read historical fiction may recall Rules in one of our books. My dear Dad has a sense of humor so he had to use this gift when ordering dessert. "We'd like some spotted dick please." Well, I nearly spit out my beverage all over the white linen table cloth! Americans think it's such fun to say. I shall NOT be serving spotted dick at my next dinner party...
On day 4, we flew to Banchory, Scotland to meet up with the shooting party. Our "hotel" was not up to U.S. standards but lent the perfect atmosphere. Old, dark and small. I was shown my room and was to be dressed for dinner and meet everyone in the bar. My dad's friends are an international-worldly-set. I was rather intimidated when I entered and "the gang" was all there but they could not have been more welcoming. Mr. and Mrs. S. took me straight to the bar. Mrs. S. ordered "Famous Grouse" neat. So did I. It helped ease any discomfort...if you catch my drift.
The picture below shows exactly how well everyone got along. It could be, perhaps, the baudy waitress that flipped her skirt up just as someone clicked the pic.
After drinks, it was while at dinner that Dad and I reminisced and got mushy. It was a lovely evening!
(Next post more of Scotland...)