Tiles A night out on—

Tiles Never forget to look up

Since the gin queen is rapidly pushing up the numbers sampled (nom de plume Jennifer Juniper maybe? Donovan  1968 ) I thought I would start my own list of new beers.

So this week up in Brora I sampled Goose IPA ( thought they preferred lager, Ed ) and in Pitlochry on the way home, tried, from their own micro brewery at Moulin Inn, the light at 3.7% abv.

This week in our favourite watering hole the Cafe Royal, a pint of Dark Island from Orkney followed by a new one to me called The Bridge to Nowhere.  I had to try that. Great name for a beer by the way!  Unfortunately I am generally not that impressed by the beers from my home town brewery. I would imagine that about 90% of punters  ( pinters? Ed ) will not know that there is actually a “bridge to nowhere” and it is in fact only about 500 metres from the actual brewery!  ( remind me to change that distance back to yards soon).  [ he promised me he wouldn’t go there this blog but sometimes folks let you down, Ed )

Two breweries virtually at opposite ends of the country although strangely, or unusually as some may say, I wasn’t spaced out when I left.

Why Belhaven brewery has never been able to come up with a decent lager I’ve never quite been able to figure out.

“Seahorse” if memory serves correct was one. The boys in the rugby club used to call it Crazy Horse – but I guess you certainly get into that area whenever excess alcohol is consumed.

Anyway I have landed up in Tiles which is on a corner of St Andrews square and Andy Murray is on Sky Sports, sound off, competing in Vienna, a city I loved. Fine by me. The ball girls and boys have naff wee nets in a racket shaped frame to gather the balls – never seen those before. Anything to make life easier. Bin coordination.

The bar has a central serving area and was opened following refurbishment in 1993.  Formerly the site of the Prudential Insurance Company the architects Alfred Waterhouse and Son were also responsible for Manchester Town Hall and London’s  Natural History Museum.

I only knew about this pub because I bought a book on Edinburgh  pubs!  Hard to describe the interior. Tiles from floor to ceiling so maybe a clue to it’s name there Dr Watson?    Think I’ll let the pictures do the talking on that.

Tiles Bar Light

I’ve got two adults between me and the TV and they are both playing with their mobiles. Not just a generational thing then.

Pints of Caesar Augustus and then a Czech Republic Krošovice, which is a new one for me. A nice sharp Pilsner.

Back there after the war they were trying to come up with a new identity and decided to call their new country Czechnia, which sounds like a sneeze that has gone wrong, but seems like the proles prefer the simpler Czech Republic.   Whatever, like other sophisticated countries they know how to save some of their best grains for beer rather than bread.

Tiles Bar One side

Making the news in UK is decision to build another runway at Heathrow. The challenges to this going ahead are going to cost millions far less the final cost if it were to go ahead. I’m guessing that this is a grandstanding decision by the government to distract from that other thing that might be quite important for our future.

In any event they are not going to stand a Tory candidate against Zac ( ?) Goldsmith who resigned over that decision and whose constituency is going to be massively affected . He is going to stand as an independent. Not prepared to face up to the kicking that they would have surely got. Cowardly.

Ok Andy has just lost the second set but doing good in the third. What then happens is something very British or Scottish if you will. The tennis is suddenly ditched and we have TV sound  contaminating the whole bar. Yes you’ve guessed it. Football.

Tiles Bar the other side


Edinburgh has become littered with posters which say “we have a vision for the future but you are not part of it”

Anger and a terrible sadness in about equal measure.

On that high note time to go.

Tiles exterior at night

The Royal Mile

Cheek by jowl with the Mitre. Another strange expression already and I’m not even into my stride yet. I am in my strides though, as it’s officially autumn here which is confirmed by our female tortoise Toby settling down to hibernate. Their heartbeats can go down to two beats a minute during hibernation.

I have never been in this pub before. Lots of rough stone on walls covered by pictures of old Edinburgh and large bevvy  advertising mirrors. I’ve got my hearing aids in at the moment and the music is deafening.    WHAT??

The Royal Mile then. How many other streets have a castle at one end and a palace at the other?

It’s “Prost” quite soon as I start talking to a group of Germans all of whom are a lot younger than me.  Prost is a “salutation accompanied by beer” What a great idea!!

Proster however is an annoying person on the Internet or nerdy loner in college. The reason I know that is because it cropped up when I was checking out ” Prost” . I thought that maybe the o had a dipstick or was that a dipthong on it, or some other letter embellishment that can get you into acute and grave trouble. I then find out that that is bollocks and I get umlaut and diaeresis ( “diapers is” in predictive text! ) . Getting into deep shit here so let’s leave the behinds behind us.

Their generation seem happy that the European cooperation of the last 60 years or so has kept us from war. All my siblings were “war children” and I count myself lucky that I never had to live through that.

Royal Mile Bar

Is that not an inviting scene? No wonder it’s so easy to become an alcoholic in Scotland.

This week has seen the UK government giving the green light ( strange choice of phrase, Ed ) for fracking in Lancashire. Quoting from a BBC report, ” for first time UK shale rock will be fracked horizontally”

Which is definitely a far more comfortable alternative to being fracked vertically.

Today the Scottish government has quashed the possibility of Undersea Coal Gasification in the Firth of Forth. In June the Scottish government voted to ban fracking. The Greens, Labour and Lib Dems voted for it. Tories, unsurprisingly against and the bold SNP  abstained! How is it that every single one of our biggest political group can’t  come to a decision one way or the other??    Not proven.

No UCG  is just great news.    Because:

On Thursday we attended a lecture on “Puffins, past, present and future” Held in Napier University, where I once took 6 years to gain a qualification which should have taken 4, ( actually a college of science and technology in those days, Ed.)  what struck me most was that due to global warming it was expected that they were going to have to move further and further North. Seems the North Sea is getting warmer and sand eels which are the major source of food for puffins, (in particular) may have to move house. You may have seen in the news this past week that puffins have had a particularly good season in the Forth thanks to efforts to remove the invasive tree mallow. This programme has been running for six years and we have been putting our tuppence worth in. Good to make a practical contribution rather than just sit on your backside, complain and do nothing. Is it right we are doing away with the penny soon? So we will then buy stuff that is £9.98! And then the progression will no doubt be to 2p or not 2p.

PS for pub quizzers: Puffins northern hemisphere only.

More on fracking in literal and metaphorIcal sense:

In England your government takes the decision to ignore the wishes of the local council and allow exploratory  ( thinks he’s being smart with the Tory ending. Ed. ) fracking. Our new chancellor, (who from your bloggist’s point of view ) unfortunately voted to remain. It would have been so good to have been able to call him the Chancellor of the X Checker.

Anyway,  he seems to have binned the idea of us living within our means. So pass that problem down to future generations. Problem solved.

Looks crystal clear that this Brexshit is going to cost us an absolute fortune but we can say stick it to our environmental obligations and let’s go fracking which is good for 40-50 years “play” according to a heid yin at Cuadrilla.

What other of the Earth’s resources do we “play” with once that source goes the way of North Sea oil?

The Scottish government has not exactly welcomed the first super tanker of fracked ethylene from the U S into our petro chemical hub at Grangemouth. Quelle surprise.

We have to get our energy from somewhere though.

Is a mix of wind / renewables going to cut it or are we going down the nuclear yellow brick road again? Possibly, if we let the Chinese build it. I honestly didn’t set up that colour link. It just happened!  And I’m not PC enough to edit it.

Ontario has eight nuclear facilities and if you have been paying attention you will remember they have the biggest operating plant ( puts a triffid to shame ) in the world. Bruce is the name of it, but that is not enough to keep my retired Canadian sister in the country in the winter. She has been in Darwin for 5 days where it is 35 degrees. One extreme to the other?   They usually spend the Canadian winter in Florida but missed hurricane Matthew by going to Oz and NZ this year. Good call Sis.

What I have found through writing these blogs that it is very easy to get into that pointy finger judgmental type of mindset and I don’t like myself when I go there. Having said that — Great to see today though that Trump’s Scottish golf courses are making a loss!   I continue to look for one good human quality in him but—

Ok last thing. Since we have been in Royal Mile seems appropriate that we have been giving out honours this week and Rod Stewart has been knighted. Some sort of civil list to acknowledge people who really have done something exceptional sounds like a good idea for PPP manifesto. Not actors, singers, people who have been in soap operas for 50 years.

Time for the snooze switch I think.

So where to next I wonder?