The first and most critical is that I don't like dormitory living. Sharing with the odd ageing outdoor type in a rural hostel is ok for the odd night, staying in an urban hostel with the beds all full is not the same. I was up at 6 this morning because that's when all the alarms went off. The other guys were not noisy, just THERE. All of the people I spoke to in Aberdeen were in the hostel because they were working locally (a couple of bricklayers from Fife), looking for work (a young woman from Hong Kong) or training (a young man originally from South Africa now working in St Andrews). He was in his late teens, working as a chef. He had financed his own offshore training course with he hope of getting work catering on one of the North Sea oil platforms.
Aberdeen is closely linked to the oil business and the view back over the town this morning shows some of the ships servicing the industry.
It was taken from a golf course, because it's difficult to move in this part of the world without crossing a fairway. Later in the day I was at St Andrews where they are preparing for the Open. I walked across a fairway (actually I rode my bike as well, it's a public road) and took this photo which shows the stands in place for the big event.
There were people playing and being interviewed, someone who knows golf may recognise them
It was in St Andrews that my second piece of self understanding came to fruition. I have referred to my inadequacy with the selfie stick in previous posts. There is evidence of growing competence, but no great leaps of skill. A correspondent whose opinion I value has suggested I take the radical approach and ditch the selfie stick. Well today I offer, by way of comparison, a photo taken at the "Chariots of Fire" beach at St Andrews, it was procured in the old fashioned way by chatting to a passing American.
Just as a reference point, the American was one of a family of four who, before taking this pic of me, had been using a selfie stick to capture themselves.
Arbroath, the home of the Smokie, is a pretty town, well worth a cappuccino and a wander. They do actually Smoke the Smokies right by the harbour
And the harbour itself is worth a look or three
One last look back at the Highland mountains, you might just make out snow on the peaks
After following the coast closely to Dundee - no photos see previous comments about iPhone battery life, and St Andrews it was the motorway round Edinburgh and the A1 south. Some welcome cruise control time with Annie Lennox providing an appropriate soundtrack (until inexplicably the audio system decided it didn't want to play my iPod again - another minor irritation for the dealer on 2 June)
Eyemouth is on the coast a few miles east of the A1. Seems a pleasant little town and the guest house I am in is right on the front.
I'm off to find some food