I stayed in Ayr overnight on Thursday. Ayr is a small town of 46,000 with a long history (it was created a Royal Burgh in 1205 – 705 years ago) on the coast South and West of Glasgow. It’s an hour’s flight and an hour on the train with intervening car/bus rides from my house in Eagleton.
More specifically I was staying in The Ayrshire and Galloway Hotel.
It turned out to be a much larger hotel inside than the small frontage suggests. Adjacent to the hotel is it’s restaurant (there is also a bistro in the hotel itself) called The Meridian.
If you want the perfect chip that’s the place to go. I don’t eat many chips but when I’m eating out I often treat myself. The food looked excellent and the menu is quite extensive. Despite the wide variety of things on offer I decided to have fish and chips: a very good choice as it happens. The batter was as light as a Japanese tempura batter and the fish was cooked to perfection. Add to that the excellent and friendly service and if I lived in Ayr I know where I would be spending a few evenings!
Why was I in Ayr? I was due to see the oncologist yesterday morning at the Ayr Hospital. After the blood results which I mentioned a few days ago the Consultant was absolutely delighted. For the first time in 12 years I have been moved from 3 monthly monitoring to 6 monthly. In future they will have an annual phone consultation unless I feel that I need to see them for any reason. How good is that?
I may never go to Ayr again! For that reason, if for no other, I feel that I should say something about the place. Yesterday evening I walked down the main street and was very distressed to see that there are dozens of shops vacant and for sale.
There seemed to be a lack of 'quality shops and a greater than usual number of betting offices and cheap dress shops. There is a general air of commercial despair in the evening when the shoppers are not there. This morning I have to say that it seemed a lot more alive. It would seem, however, that there are just far too many premises for the catchment area.
In amongst that the local Council has obviously tried to introduce an air of hope by some attempts to brighten the area up. Unfortunately they are fighting a losing battle.