Everyone’s safe and accounted for, including (most importantly?) my sticks

Everyone’s safe and accounted for, including (most importantly?) my sticks

Reality Show -- Looking out on the bustling Kelso square from our flat on a Saturday morning is like watching the Scottish version of live TV.  Note the "Back to the Future"-like clock tower.

Reality Show -- Looking out on the bustling Kelso square from our flat on a Saturday morning is like watching the Scottish version of live TV.  Note the "Back to the Future"-like clock tower.

So, it’s the morning after the year’s longest day. Or should I say days?

I touched down at London’s Heathrow Airport at 6:45 a.m. GMT yesterday. Rendezvoused with my wife and daughter at the Europcar outlet that, even at that early hour, was doing a brisk business. Took about two hours to sort out everything there, mostly because we have a boatload of stuff for the two-month stay but don’t have a yacht-sized budget. Plus, given Scotland’s mostly country roads and frequent parking challenges, the last thing you want over here is a standard issue supersized American vehicle. A Fiat 500 L proved to be the best compromise. My wife says, “It’s cute!” Me? Well, more on that later.

Shaking off the slow start, we set out for what Google Maps assured us was a six-and-a-half-hour drive north to Kelso. Some 12 hours later, in the deep dark of the Scottish Borders countryside, we arrived. Multiple issues: excruciatingly slow going on the motorways due to one road works project after another (apparently the UK has the dough to invest in its infrastructure, unlike the US); a broken down tour bus that created one particularly brutal bottleneck; and, alas, some operator error. To save on cell service charges, we opted to revert to an old-fashioned paper road atlas. Shocking how dependent we’ve become on navigation systems that spoon-feed every turn. Shocking and sad.

Fully Intact -- Thankfully, the sticks survived the journey. I had to opt for my small carry bag to accommodate all of the "extras" that invariably get stuffed in the travel cover (that my wife refers to as the "body bag").

Fully Intact -- Thankfully, the sticks survived the journey. I had to opt for my small carry bag to accommodate all of the "extras" that invariably get stuffed in the travel cover (that my wife refers to as the "body bag").

Anyhoo, we and our belongings all made it safe and sound, though definitely weary. Factoring in the restless night I’d spent before our middle daughter drove me to the airport back home in Los Angeles, I pulled into Kelso on no more than three hours of sleep in the previous 38. In short, on fumes.

The good news? That longest day(s) of the year was followed by the deepest sleep of the year. It all balances out in the end.

No golf on the agenda for today, a busy Saturday in the Kelso square. Top priority is to fully provision our larder through a trip to the Super Tesco in Galashiels, about 30 minutes to the west. In the meantime, I’ve been feeding my addiction to the game by reading Kevin Cook’s utterly fascinating Tommy’s Honor, his take on the beginnings of modern golf as fashioned by Old Tom Morris and his son Tommy (aka “Young Tom") in 19th century Scotland. Rest assured, a full (and in all likelihood glowing) review will follow.

Until then, Scotland—after voting to maintain the status quo with the UK—is keeping calm and carrying on. And so shall I.
 

Golf in Musselburgh: I’ll take the course—and the people—behind door No. 3

Golf in Musselburgh: I’ll take the course—and the people—behind door No. 3

Scotland Bound: I’m headed to the auld country…for two months!

Scotland Bound: I’m headed to the auld country…for two months!