Rewriting the Chips

I can create institutions, but I can't rewrite the chips in people's heads.

Paddy Ashdown

I think it's my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.

Leonard Nimoy

Staring at chips is not going to help me in my performance.

Ben Kingsley

Beware the nightrunners my dear, they also drink beer.

Nick Macdonald

The Pub and Chips run has of course become an institution and it was perhaps only a mile or so into the run—out from KB up over Blackford Hill and through the grounds of Astley Ainslie Hospital when the thought of chips began to fill people’s heads. The concepts of the run are simple—get a heady mix of runners, shaken or stirred, and traipse at a trot around half a dozen or so pubs, take in a hill or two with some chip chomping and ale quaffing, bathos and banter on route.

The idea for this run came from that wizard, Oz and so it was appropriate that our first stop was at the Merlin, although the pub isn’t named after the wizard of Arthurian legend but after the falcon which is Britain’s smallest bird of prey. Several streets around there have the name falcon in them and it may be there was a falconry nearby or some association with falcons that I don’t know of. Moving on from such flights of fancy it was time for that most important of events—buying the chips! So whilst the main party ran down to Bennett’s our next halt, Oz and some others headed for Stefano’s to do the needful. Meanwhile Alan, Alice and Jonathan Hogg and I scouted around behind Morningside library to have a look at the mock up, timber, Wild West town complete with saloon, cantina and jail!

Then on to join the others in the beer garden outside Bennett’s, where when the chips arrived Willie began a game of hunt the chips. The rules of this game seemed to involve Willie scoffing all his chips instantly then drifting round the tables to similarly stare at everyone else’s chips until they foolishly offered them to him for more scoffing. All the chips too quickly consumed it was time to move on—although Willie reminded us there was another chip shop just up the road!

Once again the group split with some going back to see the Wild West town and others going on to wait at the, erm … Waiting Room (so called because it’s opposite Morningside Station). Beers quickly quaffed it was time to prove we were actually hillrunners and run past the Morning Glory pub and push up the hill towards the Braids with a slight off road detour before sitting out in glorious sunshine on the elevated sun terrace of the Buckstone Bar. Apart from Steph who had been drinking gallons of cider, most of us were only drinking beers with names that we knew Oz could spell when he got the orders in and so we’d been drinking IPA so far. The BB had a choice of 2 IPA’s and so Oz filled half the order with one and the other half with the other to the delight of half the group and dismay of the other half as one of the beers was decidedly off. Substitute beers got and consumed, we continued upwards leaving the road to weave through the gorse and up to the summit of Braid Hill where a panoramic view over the city, the Forth and Fife lay before us. But onwards.

Down over the golf course, through Buckstone Woods and Mortonhall running by Mortonhall House, once owned by the Trotters (not HBT but the family of the same name) to the superb Stable Bar where the midges proved too much for most and we repaired to the bar, where the Stewart’s ale slowed proceedings by tempting some to have a couple of pints before the run down through Liberton back to KB.

The run was over, so what to do now? Simple, carry on and the night was finished off in Leslie’s, although a few die-hards went on to the Old Bell Inn until the last bell sounded.

Our night’s adventure was done, our trip, our journey, was over and we knew that if the chips fall where they may, no matter … Willie would still be there to eat them up!

Thanks to Oz for the organisation.

Nick Macdonald


Home | Go Back
© Carnethy.com 2014