Lunch, culture and medicine

Three days ago, my mum had a routine hospital appointment in Perth in the middle of afternoon.

We decided to make a day of it and tootled off for lunch at one of our favourite eateries, the Macmillan Coffee Shop at Quarrymill, on the outskirts of Perth.

Quarrymill menu

It’s been exceptionally cold across Scotland for the past few days, and we were very glad to see a fine selection of soups on offer. My mum and I chose country vegetable while my dad opted for carrot and sweet potato.

Nicely warmed by the soup, we turned our attention to the next course. Rather than indulging in a sweet treat, my dad fancied a brie and cranberry toastie on brown bread. As usual, I couldn’t see past the date and cinnamon scones and my mum was deliciously tempted by a large slice of warm apple pie with cream.

Very happily filled and with plenty of time to spare before the hospital appointment, we ambled off to Perth Museum and Art Gallery for a spot of cultural mooching. We were fortunate to find a parking space nearby, but even the short walk from car to museum was strikingly chilly. It was a case of woolly hats on and hoods up.

tiny parents huddling in against the cold

Inside, the museum was a sheltered haven of peace and calm, and we almost had the place to ourselves.


I was particularly interested in an exhibition entitled ‘Life in Miniature’, which contained a curious mixture of small items from the Museum’s permanent collection. Among the artefacts were several Ancient Egyptian pieces, including the little Ushabti figure below, whose date was given as ‘circa 2600BC – 30BC’.

Ushabti figure

Ushabti were carved figures, popped into Egyptian tombs and thought to magically come alive in the hereafter. They acted as servants, carrying out any manual labour required of the deceased, primarily working in the fields of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife. For that reason, Ushabti often feature agricultural tools. The one above had its arms crossed and a farm implement in each hand. It’s impossible to tell from the photograph how small it was, but I don’t think it can have been much more than 2 inches tall.

Noting that our parking time was nearly up, I coaxed the parents out of The Story of Perth and Kinross exhibition and led them back to the car.

tiny parents in museum

We had parked next to North Inch, the big sister of South Inch, and Perth’s largest public park.

Whereas South Inch is especially attractive to families with young children (containing, as it does, an excellent children’s playground and a duck pond as mentioned in this previous post), North Inch has a particular appeal for certain sports enthusiasts. As well as housing an 18-hole golf course, the park contains rugby and football pitches. Goal posts can be seen in the picture below.

North Inch with pitches

North Inch is one of the world’s oldest golfing locations, the game having been played on this land for more than 500 years. In 1833, one year before the more famous Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews was given its regal title, Perth Royal Golfing Society became the world’s first royal golf club.

For many people, however, North Inch simply provides a nice green space to stroll around on a sunny day. On this particular day we didn’t have time for strolling, or indeed the inclination given the ferociously icy wind, but it was pleasant to gaze upon the grassy terrain as we made our way back to the car.

path around North Inch

By the time we’d been into and come out of the hospital, the sky was growing dark and threatening across the city. It started to hail as we walked to the car, and it’s been hailing and snowing on and off in this part of the world ever since.

storm approaching pri
Storm clouds rolling in across the city towards Perth Royal Infirmary.

Tomorrow is the 1st of May, and the forecasters tell us the weather is expected to warm up a touch (a most welcome change, in my opinion).

In the meantime, we have a birthday to celebrate (my dad is 87 today) and some cake to eat up.

coconut birthday cake with raspberry jam
Coconut birthday cake with raspberry jam (the number ’87’ was spelled out in raisins on top).






  1. Wishing your dad a very Happy Birthday! He is the same age as my mom. I would have had trouble deciding between the two soups as they both look so good. Those tiny Egyptian helpers are intriguing. Looks like a great museum to spend some time in.


    1. Thank you, Darlene. Both soups were excellent, it was a difficult choice. There’s something captivating about Egyptian artefacts, especially tiny ones. It is a lovely museum, and completely free to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad it only began to hail at the end of your day. It’s odd, because it’s us coming into winter. I hope it clears for you soon. I like your Dad’s woolly hat, and the look of his cake. Happy Birthday!


    1. Thank you, Trish. We were fortunate not to get bombarded with hailstones while we were outside. It might well be colder here at the moment than it gets in your winter. Do you get frost? We’ve had it for several days first thing in the morning lately, in what should be mid-late spring.


      1. Hi. We do definitely get frost. And fog, lots of fog. And then we have conversations about both, in places like the supermarket, where one person (usually an older one) complains about the cold morning, and then I look up and say something about the beautiful bright clear day around us being the trade-off for the cold toes, and they agree, and we part, the world set to rights.


  3. A very Happy Birthday to your Dad! That looks a delicious cake. Brrr, still so cold! But it’s May tomorrow and it’s bound to get warmer, isn’t it?! Loved your pics of the soup – you always find such tempting places for coffee or lunch. That is such a dramatic sky – we’ve been having similar clouds, awesome to watch, not so good if you’re caught out in it!


    1. Thank you, Jo. I thought it might warm up today but I’ve just been out and it’s still bitterly cold. Come on, weather! It is nice to watch stormy weather, but definitely preferable to view it from inside rather than outside, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love soup – it is such a practical thing, and just perfect for a chilly day like you had. I also like the look of that cinnamon scone. Thanks for the info on the Ushabti figures – although I know that the Egyptians took things with them for the afterlife, I didn’t know about these.
    Happy Birthday to your dad, and that birthday cake sounds delicious. 🙂


    1. Thank you, Elaine. I’m with you there, soup is splendid stuff and it really hit the spot that day. Ancient Egypt must be a fascinating field of study, there’s something mesmerising about it. Perth Museum is currently restoring an ancient mummy and trying to find out its history, so I’m looking forward to an exhibition about that some time.


      1. I went to the museum in Cairo many moons ago and saw the huge exhibition of all the things that were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. It was absolutely amazing for two reasons – one, that so much stuff could be made to fit into a relatively small space and two, the beauty of it all.


  5. Hailing and snowing here in Glasgow this morning, too. It’s great to read about your outing together. Your family seems to have a knack for making the most of any opportunity, even hospital appointments! I need to go back to the museum in Perth, I haven’t been there for ages. Please wish your Dad a most splendid birthday from me!


    1. Thank you, Christine. It’s wonderful to have free access to so many museums here, isn’t it? Perth Museum is often very quiet, which is lovely when you’re visiting although perhaps not so good for them. I think my dad enjoyed his birthday.


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