Monday, May 15, 2017
A collection of collections
Muircot Farm Shop & Cafe, deep in rural Scotland somewhere but still closer than you think. One unexpected outcome of my retiral from any kind of serious working life has been my creeping awareness of visiting more and more farm and coffee shops across the Central Belt and enjoying the experience. Indeed they form the buckle of Scotland's recreational belt for those of a certain vintage. I'm now on speaking and visiting terms with about a dozen of these authentic stone and metal clad establishments. It's happened by chance I suppose but truly one visit leads to another in the never ending chronicle of easy ways to waste time but still exploring safely and maintaining a feeling that's warm and woozy. Turns out "warm and woozy" is a perquisite for being happily retired nowadays, that and drinking fancy coffee and exotic tea.
Despite all this self indulgence and unlike most of my contemporaries it's really a savoury experience, sugar and cakes and all that fluff are avoided but a good crunchy farmhouse lunch with authentic soup-works still renders you sleepy and smug. Then, once the grub's gone you wander around the farm shop and look at stacks of eggs and portions of local jam and perfect looking vegetables arranged like soldiers in white wood boxes. Sometimes we buy, most times we don't but despite our indifference these places are booming, filled with shuffling Zimmer frames and young mums on the lookout for bolt hole before the next school run, they're the equivalent of Betjeman's air conditioned, bright canteens but without the danger of brain damage.