Best fish and chips?

I am always amused when I go to Anstruther to see the queue outside the fish and chips place there. Not that I go to Anstruther just to see the queue outside the fish and chipper mind you. Anstruther has an awful lot to offer apart from fish and chips.

Now when I say fish and chips place I mean the garish, award winning blazoned one in the middle of the main drag. The Anstruther Fish and Chip Shop. There are two other substantial fish and chips outlets in The Wee Chippy and The Waterfront but most tourists flock to the garish one.

However I was not amused with the cost of their carry out fish supper. It’s £13.50 now (not that I purchased one!). And that is without one mushy pea in sight. Indeed no sauce tartare either. Well at an extra cost I suppose.

It’s funny how hype works in the commercial world. I mean people are still known to drink Budweiser and Heineken, which is wholly remarkable. And an awful lot of people must eat Subway sandwiches and Dominos pizzas too for there is one on every high street noo.

But £13.50 for fish and chips. And they are queuing up for it. Strange old world.

They do the same at Janetta’s in St Andrews for ice cream. When lovely, unassuming Luvians is serving better fare around the corner.

It’s all hype man, hype. Cheap hearsay hype. I mean people patronise Gordon Ramsay’s pad in St Andrew Square (goodness knows why?) and pay a million bucks for a steak. Whereas the best steak is at Kyloe or Wildfire, but who’s heard of them or wants to? It’s all in the name or in the name-dropping maybe.

We found a corner store on the High Street last week which sold the best pastries I’d ever tasted. £1.50 a pop.

There was no queue there.

I’ve got for my first game

on the Old Course tomorrow which should be fun. My new swing is in place for the season and I’m hoping for great things. My handicap is incredibly 10.5. How did that happen? Obviously a lot of very poor golf.

But what a very hard game it is. I’ve been struggling now for almost 40 years with it but still I persist. That says something about me but a lot about this old game.

Anyway bring on the old lady.

Fare forward passengers.

Day trips to Edinburgh

I am in the habit of popping down to Edinburgh a couple of times a week on the bus.

I usually trail up to my old golf course, Mortonhall, to hit a few balls on the range which has the most stunning vista of the city from the top of the Braid Hills. It is quite quite exceptional. And it does warrant a ‘quite quite’.

I then usually slip down the road to Morningside through the Hermitage, past the tennis courts and the braidburn, to have a coffee at Waitrose.

It’s a wonderful thing that Waitrose give you a free coffee (and not bad coffee too) if you purchase something in their store. They also have a bench by the window with seats and I normally sit and ruminate. Except I usually don’t sit and ruminate long as I nearly always see someone I know coming out with their shopping.

Yesterday first came Ken McNaughton, an old ski teacher friend who is a wonderful chap. We hadn’t seen each other for a bit and we had a great catch-up about the days instructing at Hillend and our skiing tales since.

Then along came my mum’s good friend, Marie, who I also hadn’t seen for a good many years. She really hasn’t changed and is in wonderful Marie form. A keen golfer who plays at Craigmiller Park and is still a member back in Portrush. Now that is cool. Her son, Andrew, plays at Mortonhall and loves it.

Of course there are some people who come along that are not so communicative for whatever reason. An old tango teacher who rather avoided eye contact and the like. But I can live with that as he never set the heather alight with his conversation anyway.

So that’s my tip for the week. A free coffee and chin-wag at Waitrose Morningside. Absolutely free. Which is really quite ok as I now really resent getting done for an artisan coffee from some awful trendy joint.

I see Montpelliers have done up their place again. Seemingly spent 1.5 million on it! Wow. That’s a lot.

However I won’t be rushing in. A 6oz fillet steak will cost you £34.95. And that is before you get any chips (french fries of course!) and the like. Sour grapes maybe? No. Not now. My brother was a founding partner but got rather ousted by the sort for whom friendship is skin deep, have the audacity to charge £34.95 for a steak and hang out with sleekit coofs, who literally kick a man when he is down.

No, I will stick to the not so trendy joints, thank you and leave the muckle rest to their artisan fare.

Fare forward passengers.

Old Course Caddie Shack

I played on the New yesterday with Azzie and Ed and a lovely new chap, Steve, who was the head guy at UK Mail a few years back. A gentleman. He has come to retire in St Andrews.

He said that he now does a bit of caddying up at the Castle. He had been down at the Old but was not impressed with the atmosphere in the caddie shack down there.

He told me that he went in when he first started and there was a group at a table who he said good morning to. There was not one response from anyone in that group and a deadly silence prevailed.

Another time he was sitting next to the said group and he thought he would try and add something to their conversation. You know to break the ice and show caddie fraternity and all that. Kind of see if they had any cognisant life in them and maybe it was that they were just not morning people.

But again there was zero response.

I am not surprised at hearing this as I know some of the boors that he is talking about It’s astounding that grown men can be quite so ignorant.

This is not to say that there are not good men down there for indeed there are; Scott Ritchie, Dave Jack, John Cunningham and the inimitable and miraculous Tom Stevenson to name a few. But these other guys let the show down big time. Shame for them. They are a most pathetic bunch.

Steve also recounted a story about the Dunhill of which I was equally unsurprised about. A caddie had the bag of Ronan Keating who was seemingly so rude that by the 2nd hole the caddie said stuff this I don’t need to take this shit. And he duly walked off and left the bag to numpty Roland.

Well done that caddie.

I may try and do a few bags up at the Castle this year because there is a better shack mentality up there and with guys like Steve and Jim Monteith

and Brian Erskine and Craig Robertson it’s very much worth it.

And at 110 bucks a round on average it’s pretty ok.

Fare forward passengers.