One warm, sunny day last week the delightful assistants agreed to let their chauffeur take them on a magical mystery tour.
After driving for an hour in a southwesterly direction they stopped for refreshments at the Buttercup Cafe in Doune. It was such a beautiful morning they chose to sit outside.
After having a look at the cake counter, delightful assistant no.2 opted for a fruit scone with butter and jam, their chauffeur a plain scone with the same, and delightful assistant no.1 said she wasn’t hungry. She settled for a cup of coffee, while her spouse had a Darjeeling tea and their chauffeur a Lady Grey.
The scones were delicious and, with a little help from delightful assistant no.1, they vanished completely.
Nicely refreshed, the sunkissed threesome hopped back into the car and continued their journey. An hour and a half later they pulled up at Ardardan Estate, a garden centre, farm shop and cafe near Cardross in Argyll and Bute.
The cafe was busy and they had a 20 minute wait for a table, but when it came it was nicely situated outside under a parasol. They ordered cold drinks and admired a fountain incorporating five dolphins while they waited for their food.
They enjoyed their sandwiches and toastie, but rather than hang around for tea and cakes they decided to toddle off further up the coast to see what they could find.
As they drove up the west coast they passed a very long, high fence topped with razor wire. Behind the fence lay Faslane Naval Base, home to Britain’s nuclear submarines. Part of the way along the fence, on the opposite side of the road, they noticed Faslane Peace Camp, a residential site set up 34 years ago for campaigners against nuclear weapons. The camp made an interesting contrast to the naval base, being colourful and rather informal in appearance. Unfortunately it wasn’t easy to stop and take a photograph but a friendly sign declared that visitors were welcome.
They drove on for a while before turning round and driving back past the fence, and in to the popular seaside resort of Helensburgh. There were lots of people milling around, enjoying the fine weather and eating ice creams on the sea front. This occupation seemed a tremendously good idea and, finding a handy parking spot right outside Dino’s ice cream parlour, they stopped and jumped out in search of the cold stuff.
Dino’s was doing a roaring trade and they had to join a queue, but they soon left the shop with a ’99’ apiece (a wafery cone topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a chocolate flake). Due to the heat of the day the ice creams started melting quickly. It was a race against time to consume them before the ice cream dribbled down the cone, stickied the fingers and pooled on the pavement. They found a place to sit and set about their task.
When they had finished their refreshing treats, they took a promenade along the pier to get some exercise and admire the seaside views.
Near the end of the pier a handy mooring bollard provided rest for weary legs. Delightful assistant no.2 reached it first.
When delightful assistant no.1 arrived, he chivalrously gave up his seat and the two posed for a seaside portrait.
Back in the car they made their way back to Perthshire through beautiful sunlit countryside, well pleased with their little outing.