ALL ABOARD THE BIG SMOKE – OLD SMOKEY EXPRESS

We arrive safe and sound at the Barley Bothy, a quaint chichi shack sponsored by Cath Kidston.

We are the gracious hosts of event rider Jane Foad, a wild-eyed but jolly Sloane who blasts into the room, making barely intelligible but delightful sounds which William translated as her welcoming us to our get-away gaff. Amongst darting around the room and explaining our bothy’s luxurious amenities, she explains that it is young Hector’s birthday, whose Aunty Lizzie arrives amidst the startling scene in a glossy black TT, honking her horn and provoking much excitement from the local yout (____ and Hector.) As quickly as she arrives, she disappears into the wheat fields, becoming but a distant, hospitable blur in the distance.

William senses my bemusement and explains he was able to deduce she has married the local Highland laird, most likely titled, co-inhabiting an enormous home. Originally, these homes would have housed twenty or so ‘hired help’, but in since those rotten wars, Britain’s young upper class make do with a few lost nails (Jane exhibiting the style) and a lifetime exhaustion to keep those old, creaky houses from collapsing. 

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