Connections are funny things … they happen in the most unexpected ways. For instance what do you think connects the following:
the town of Falkirk in central Scotland
the Battle of Trafalgar
the K4 telephone box
the seaside town of Cockenzie, just east of Edinburgh
the town of Barga in central Italy.
The answer is Cadells Café of course! Perhaps some sort of explanation would help. The cannons used by Wellington at the Battle of Trafalgar and the K4 telephone boxes were all made at the Carron Iron Works in Falkirk which in 1759, was founded by one William Cadell whose home was Cockenzie House in which we now sit eating scones in Cadell’s Cafe. The house is situated in the town of Cockenzie which in turn is twinned with the town of Barga …. simple!! Attentive readers will remember we mentioned Barga recently in the post about Brian’s Café. Brian was a member of the Serafini family who originated in Barga. It’s a small world! Anyway Cadell’s Café is situated in the ‘secret garden’ of Cockenzie House alongside a grotto decorated with seashells and a ruinous claret tower … we use the word ‘ruinous’ advisedly? No such problems in the cafe however. We were ushered in out of what was a bitterly cold day and sat beside a lovely log burning stove … what could be better? The scones were nicely presented with a good pot of jam but unfortunately along side was the ubiquitous Rhodda’s Cornish cream. Most of you already know that we have nothing against Rhodda’s but we just feel that it would be better to go for local cream, Scotland has loads of it. The scones were nice and crunchy but maybe just a tad too much. In the end there was no topscone but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would not hesitate to go back. Returning to the subject of connections … FaceBook’s raison d’etre is connections. Poor old Mark Zuckerberg probably never thought he would be accused of helping rig national elections when he started trying to connect the students on his campus at Harvard University. Mind you he probably never thought that within a few years he would have $70billion in his hip pocket either.
What seems of even greater interest to us is the role of Cambridge Analytica, the British company that allowed FaceBook’s data to be harvested. It’s a company which donates huge amounts of money to the Conservative party and is run by some of the movers and shakers in the Torys. Maybe it’s not only the US election that was rigged … what about the 2014 Scottish independence referendum … oooo!!
We said that if we ever figured out the treacle scone days at Mother Murphy’s Tearoom, you would be the first to hear .. and we are nothing if not true to our word. You will remember from the first blog, the reason treacle scone days are important is because on these days you can get a ‘thunder and lightning’ scone? You will also remember that there was something of a tricky problem … it was impossible to tell when these days would occur … it seemed to depend on some sort of devine intervention and, of course, there is no foretelling that sort of thing. Well, let me tell you about one of the perks of being scone bloggers, you sometimes get inside information … call it divine intervention if you wish! Pat has just told me that it is the only perk, I stand corrected. Anyway, this morning on FaceBook, we got a wee message, “today is a treacle scone day!”. And so it was that we ended up in this little tearoom for the second time in a week with a somewhat heightened sense of anticipation. After a short wait (sure they did it just to get our juices flowing) it duly appeared. There is little point in me describing a ‘thunder and lightning’ scone .. hopefully the picture says it all .. a veritable extravaganza of treacle, cream and icing sugar. Scoffing could get a bit messy if it was not for the fact that it comes complete with a dedicated ‘thunder and lightning’ scone scoffing kit – a knife and fork. The top picture hopefully describes adequately how good it was .. devine even! The other day, in Aberfeldy, we had a ‘cheese and bacon‘ scone which was also delicious so perhaps we need to introduce a new ‘weird scone’ category .. this one definitely qualifies. Ordinary mortals, however, will just have to figure out for themselves which are treacle scone days .. good luck!
Today the European banks and the EU seem to have arrived at some sort of agreement over the Greek problem which you might think would be cause for all round celebration, however, no one looks happy about the outcome, both sides are uneasy and jittery! No wonder, it seems incredulous that they can bring the country to its knees, completely wreck its economy, and then see it as a good bet for another £50bn loan .. it would make me jittery. To get the loan Greece has to transfer £50bn worth of assets to the Institute of Luxembourg which is owned by a German company chaired by none other than Wolfgang Schauble .. the German finance minister who has been leading the negotiations. Meanwhile, back in Scotland on a day like today, even in picturesque South Queensferry where there are a lot of cafés, you just want to get in out of the rain and we chose the Jitter Bean Café & Barista simply because it was the closest to where our car was parked .. not because the name reflected in any way the situation in Europe. There is a slightly utilitarian look about the café interior and when we arrived we had to go and look for someone to attend to us .. not a great start. All was forgiven however when the scones arrived, they were delicious and homebaked by one of the ladies behind the counter. Coffee was also good and there was lashings of jam and cream with the scones. The service was very friendly and cheery in the end. The staff try very hard and there’s lots of community involvement as well which is always a good thing. If anything the Jitter Bean just needs to pay more attention to details .. only one ordinary towel in the single toilet .. our table needed a wipe, etc. No website so link below is to FaceBook. At the end of the day it gets one of our ‘topscone’ awards and there aren’t that many of them around .. well done.