Posted in Travel


This past weekend, we knocked another thing off Lee’s bucket list and travelled up to Inverness by train. He sometimes has to drive up that way for work and never gets to admire the scenery, so going by train seemed the perfect way to allow him to gawp at the hills for as long as he liked, plus, I quite liked the idea of it too.

Inverness though, it has to be said, is a bit of a shit hole. I think I had romantic notions of a quaint Highland getaway, but it was pretty grim up there, to be honest. The nicest thing we saw was this old shopfront in the Victorian market.


All repairs executed by practical workmen is my favourite bit. The rest of the market was a dive, much like the surrounding streets. Everywhere you look are charity shops and pubs you wouldn’t stray into, and even the shops which are not charity shops look like charity shops, which is a very confusing state of affairs.

We arrived mid-afternoon and made the best of it by strolling along the river (twice).

There’s Lee putting a brave face on things. Even the weather was grey, despite the rest of the nation apparently enjoying a heatwave. We did stumble upon a hipsterish bar and fortified ourselves with fancy cocktails before trying to find somewhere to eat dinner. I even overlooked their terrible use of commas and inappropriate receptacles.


We tried to visit this interesting looking house, apparently the oldest secular building in Inverness – closed.


Inverness Castle – also closed.


An old lady looked at me disapprovingly for saying the word fuck quite loudly near here.

One of those snaps I took whilst mildly sozzled to text to my vegan friend. The other, I took so I could try and figure out what it could possibly mean later.

The bright spot in our Saturday was finding by accident La Tortilla, an amazing tapas restaurant near our fairly average hotel. It was a welcome oasis of deliciousness in another otherwise barren grey wasteland of drudgery. We ate like Spanish kings and the churros were out of this world.

On the way home on Sunday, the weather started off like this:


and ended up in a glorious reversal of fortunes like this:


The weather put on quite a show for our return journey, as if to make up for the disappointing trip. I even got some stitching done on the train.


Moral of the story: Inverness – don’t bother.




I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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