Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries

Photo of Ben, Daniel, and Elizabeth

We’ve come to Dunblane for the weekend, a picturesque Scottish village in Perthshire, about 110 miles southwest of Aberdeen. The village is beautiful with lots of quirky shops and an attractive river running through the middle called Allan Water. There’s also a cathedral that dates from the 12th century. There’s a fake Banksy outside one of the shops. The owner told us he doesn’t know who painted it.

There’s a plaque on the floor of the cathedral (in the gallery above) which says Margaret Drummond is buried here with her two sisters after being poisoned. Margaret was a mistress of King James IV and there was a suspicion that he was planning to marry her or had secretly married her but Scottish nobles instead wanted him to marry the English princess Margaret which necessitated the removal of Margaret Drummond. This is just a theory. You can read more on the Wikipedia page.

Dunblane’s recent history is tragic as it was home to the worst massacre in Britain by a lone gunman who shot and killed 16 pupils and a teacher at a Dunblane primary school in 1996. Immediately following the massacre gun laws were changed in the UK which outlawed most private gun ownership. There hasn’t been a massacre since.

About 4 miles from Dunblane is the village of Doune which is known for Doune Castle, a film location for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This is the castle where the French taunter scene is filmed and the trojan rabbit. The castle is currently closed because a routine inspection revealed some dangerously loose masonry so we couldn’t go inside but we were able to walk around the outside.

This is the scene if you’re unfamiliar with the film and don’t understand the title of my blog post.

It was fun to go and see it and imagine the French taunter with the “outrageous accent” shouting insults from the parapet. There are some nice walks along the river by the castle and as you can see the autumn colours are glorious.

Victoria has come with us and joined us for the walk at Doune Castle. These next two photos were taken in Dunblane overlooking Allan Water. You can see Victoria peering out of the backpack in the second photo. It’s hard to know whether she likes it but there was no complaining or trying to escape and she jumped in the backpack by choice.

Dunblane is also home to one of the first public subscription libraries in Scotland. Leighton Library was founded from the personal collection of books belonging to Robert Leighton who died in 1684 and bequeathed his entire collection of around 1400 books to the cathedral. This is the library.

And of course, we can’t forget the famous Scottish tennis player, Andy Murray, who is from Dunblane and indeed was a pupil at the school when the massacre happened. There’s a royal mail post box in the village that has been painted gold to celebrate Andy Murray’s 2012 Olympic gold medal.

2 responses to “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries”

    • I’m not sure how many visitors they get. I think they must get a fair few. It looked to be thriving unlike Aberdeen which is full of boarded up shops since the pandemic.

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