Although we haven’t had quite the scorching week we had been forecast, the weather today was the sort of weather that might have been ideal for spending in the garden if it wasn’t for the fact that it was also the sort of weather that is apparently ideal for spreading slurry on all the surrounding fields upwind of us. So, given that I’m still trying to get some miles into my legs, we decided to take the bikes and go and sit in another less smelly garden instead, in a pub in a village to our west that claims to have Scotland’s largest beer garden,* although worryingly not much detail on its social media about whether it was serving lunch, a question that began to feel quite pressing as the ride there wore on.
Anyway, we arrived, we were relieved to discover that it was serving food, that there was indeed a large beer garden, and that it was completely deserted. Having downloaded the inevitable app (the young lad who was serving us was very solicitous of the two befuddled middle-aged people negotiating this unfamiliar piece of technology, to the point of offering to go and get his own phone and order for us if we couldn’t manage it, which was the spur I needed, to be honest) we settled down to eat and it was … fine. Not exactly the wondrous return to eating out and hospitality we have all supposedly been longing for, but fine. In 2021, that will have to do.
The ride back, on the other hand, was full of fun and excitement. Fun, in the form of some millionaire’s shortbread bought in the shop opposite the pub to fuel us on the way home, which was a good deal better than fine (although that might just be the sugar talking). And excitement in the form of a roadful of cows who had discovered that the gate to their field had been left open.
I was too busy getting in touch with my inner cowgirl to take any photos, but getting them back in involved a high speed bike chase (cows can move pretty quick when they choose to), and by the time I’d managed to overhaul them and turn them back towards the open gate a rural traffic jam (one camper van, one delivery van, one cyclist and a couple of cars) had assembled. With the help of the camper van driver we got them back in eventually (although one cow decided it would be better to actually clamber over the wall rather than go through the open gate five feet to her left, which was quite a sight). Oddly – to me, anyway – everyone else just sat in their vehicles and watched, except for the cyclist who waited for a gap in the cows and cycled on his way. No doubt if the cows had been on a truck being backed around a tricky corner, we’d have had half a dozen people appear out of nowhere to offer helpful advice on the situation. But apparently not so much when they’re loose and galloping around. Honestly, some people have no sense of adventure. Why go to the pub when there’s freelance livestock wrangling to be done?
* citation needed.