Tuesday, 6 March 2012

L'eau de Laird

My car finally fell to bits last week or at least bits fell off. The bits held on with bailer twine.

The farmer drove it off to Killin to be fixed and was promised a car to do us until mine was repaired. He had returned late on Friday night and being a fairly quiet man, never said anything about the trip.

Saturday morning, The Farmer announced he was off to 'up the back of Aberfeldy' and would we all like to go. The bairns scrambled to get ready, find wellies, argue, coats and hats, dogs rounded up and sandwiches made for the journey.

I went to help them settle for the journey and saw it for the first time.

"What is that?"
"A Range Rover" said the Farmer.
"What was wrong with a Fiat Punto?"
"They only had a Range Rover"
"Well, I'm not going. You know how I feel about Range Rovers. Lairds and things drive them. They are elitist unethical piles of crock".
"And, how many times have I been forced into a ditch by a Range Rover while the driver looks at you with mean eyes saying you did not get off the road fast enough?"
"And it is going to look like we are slipper farmers".....

"There is a new tea shop which does good home baking. I thought we might stop by"

Reluctantly I got in but pulled my hat down incognito like.

Then it hit.

"OH MY GOD, what is that smell!"

"Laird pee" he said.

It truly was eyewatering. If Jilly Goulden or Oz Clarke had been where we were sitting, they would have launched into the description. "Overwhelming whiff of 'fual' treated Harris tweed, after whiff of Bunnahabhain, a lick of leather, a brace of ripe peasant (sic), a lungful of Havana cigar, soupcon of wind farm subsidy, a snatch of land grab, a hint of eviction by stealth annnnd yes! there it is, the thump of Eton and arrogance!"

We set off, heads out the windows like the collies. Even the children were quiet and silently sniffed their scarves rather than the customary bickering.

The tea shop was refined. My cheese toastie came with potato salad and real mustard bits. Posh tatties.
I knew that things were going to go hideously pear shaped. Small boy would utter his first swear, loudly, the dogs would go off on one spying new sheep on yonder hill, we would get the wobbly table and subsequent spillage, Rosie would huff, the Farmer would take the 10,000 mile stare whilst eating a biscuit.
Stink car would honk noisily to remind us that it honked inside and out when the alarm was triggered off. Often.
My bottom lip would quiver as I apologised to the nice families about the noise and that it was a loan car. We were not lairds really although we stunk a bit.
Withnail like, we were on holiday by accident.


We left fairly rapidly. The tea room was lovely and smacked of elegance, all the things our family were not. We were unlovely and stank.
Schiehallion scowled at us with the disapproval of a Highland minister catching you hanging out washing on a Sunday..

We passed by a house which looked like it was made of gingerbread.

Loch Tay looked bruised.

We arrived back at the farm and went to see our eldest son.

He is always glad to see his younger brother and sister and enveloped them in a big hug.
"Mum, the wee brother and sister stink, OMG what is that smell, you all smell funny!"

"L'eau du Laird" came the weary reply. Don't even ask".


  1. At home in Wellies- the bad news is that we have stink car until Saturday.
    The good news is that we are saving a fortune in diesel as nobody will go out in it.

  2. Super post!

    We had a visitor (family) who refused to go out in our car unless we fumigated it after each trip to the beneficio with the coffee...which has a particularly rank smell when picked in the rain.
    I preferred the coffee smell to her scent.