Skink

She Who Must Occasionally Take Some Time Off From Work So She Doesn’t Go Retail On All Your Arses and I had a wee run in the car yesterday. Well, I’m ‘between books’* and she’s not at work so what the hell, we’ll tootle around the NE of Scotland for a day like a pair of old farts out for a Sunday drive.

it's where fishies come fromWe’ve been meaning to go to Cullen for a while now, home of the famous Cullen Skink. Mmm, Cullen Skink, a lovely creamy soup of smoked haddock and potatoes, unctuous and full of fishy goodness. So we found a nice looking place, just off the main square, and settled down to order the Cullen Skink. Only the Cullen Skink, Cullen Stunk. How the hell could someone screw up the signature dish for a whole sodding town? The hotel chef managed to produce something that was weak, thin, full of undercooked boiled tatties, and had next to bugger-all fish in it. Grrrrrr… On my worst day, with a pair of angry badgers stapled to my gonads I could do better than that.

Then off to the wilds of Buckie to purchase many, many fishies for the eating thereof. If we can’t get nice Cullen Skink in Cullen then I can damn well have it at Casa MacBride. Then, with a boot full of the aforementioned fishies we went on a magical mystery tour of small NE fishing villages.

Loads and loads of nice little locations for horrible, horrible crimes to be committed. I’ve already got a plan** for Book Number The Sixth, but I can definitely see at least one of them featuring in the not-too-distant.

But all this self-indulgent malarkey aside, I have good news: that interview I inflicted upon Adrian Hyland ages and ages ago has finally gone live on Shotsmag (to go along with the review). I think it’s a fair bet that I’m not going to be taking over from Parkinson any time soon. Still, it’s the thought that counts, right?

* Technically I’m actually ‘between book’, as I’m waiting on the line edit notes for Blind Eye to come in so I can go back to work on the thing. But if feels a lot more positive to say ‘between books’ as that way I can pretend I’ve actually achieved something.
** Well, as far as I usually have. Which isn’t actually that much of a plan to be honest. It’ll be more of a plan later, but for now it’s sort of nebulous.

19 Responses to “Skink”

  1. Yes, a skink is a lizard too but funnily enough there are not that many lizards running round in the wild in the NE of Scotland. Something to do with the fact that the sun only comes out once a year. The poor wee lizard woud die of Hypothermia.
    James that is a skunk you are thinking of – although it is almost as smelly as the aformentioned soup it would probably bite you if you tried to eat it with a soup spoon….
    Leave well alone…

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  2. Haha! I wonder what reaction I’d get here in New York if I suddenly started using the word “sodding”. Or “sod off!”

    What exactly does “sod” mean, anyway? I’ve always wondered that.

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  3. Are the people of New York sensitive about that type of thing then?
    I think the word sod is derived from the word sodomite/sodomy. Either that or it is a clump of earth. The latter definition doesn’t seem that good as insults go though…

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  4. And just to prove the point, I made Cullen Skink for lunch yesterday and it was a damn tasty bowl of soup. And if I can make it, never having tried before, surely any chef worth his or her buttocks should be able to.

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    I have soup rage!

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  5. Soup rage?? Soup rage!!

    You’re angry ‘cos you could make better skink than a cooky chef?*

    I think it’s time for your blue pill Mr Beardy.. Taken with some brown frothy liquid or a beer if you prefer??

    * see what I did there… humour dear boy, humour…

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  6. Congratualations on your wizard skink, Stuart.

    I hold up the hand of guilt and say that I buggered up a fish soup years ago. I managed to cut the hell out of the fish and over-powered what little flavour it had left with the other ingredients. A disaster. I decided that vegetable soups with a good homemade stock or my father’s mushroom soup recipe are safer bets.

    Scotland are 3-0 up against the Springboks at the moment in the rugby. Come on you Jocks!

    Agent Heinz 57 Varieties

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  7. Oh shit! Newcastle are a goal behind against Wigan. Right, I am off to wash the kitchen floor.

    Agent Teletext

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  8. Scot Down-Under, I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Nope, they aren’t senstive at all. We’re just more used to saying “fuck”.

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  9. Never tried Cullen Skink in Cullen, but remember driving up there, from Aberdeen, when I first passed my driving test, for some ice cream…. OK, admittedly, the cost of petrol was a lot less than it was now, but the ice cream….. to die for!
    Good luck to your red pen when Blind Eye returns.

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  10. That ice cream is damn tasty.

    I’ve always thought some of the smaller ex-fishing villages would not take an enormous leap to end up in the “wicker-man” type category.

    And I should know, I’m from Collieston- a place where the only shop is called, simply, “The Village Shop” (local, for local people. We don’t want your kind round here!) and where we purposefully lure cars down the dead-end road before boiling and scalping the passengers.. err, I mean.. taking them on a pleasant tour of the harbour. Yep, that’s it.

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  11. You should have gone to the Station Hotel in Portsoy, they have Cullen Skink to die for!!

    Nithing wrang with Buckie though, and Dougie’s Home made Irn Bru Ice-cream fae the Ice Cream parlour.

    Im heading up to Buckie to see the mother on Saturday, so just may have to pop in and see a the quines!

    Buckie and Cullen a great place to grow up, thats why I left a few years ago!!

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  12. Irn bru icecream you say?? how cool is that. I would kill for a can of irn bru over here when I have a hangover. Best hangover cure known to mankind.That and a lovely rowie at three am from Thains on george street. Mmmmmm. quarantine wont let anyone send them through though. Swines.

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  13. hi Stuart, just read yr new book sawbones, with it being so small, only took me 3 hours, but it got me to do this, i am sorry but i thought it was def yr worse book u have wrote, sorry, but u r the author, so u have to write, but please do not send them down here to oz, hahaha joking, went into Aberdeen a few times when i was in the merchant navy, back in the 50,s always cold, glad to get back out to the far east hahaha, cheers, frank hughes

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  14. hi Stuart, just read yr new book sawbones, with it being so small, only took me 3 hours, but it got me to do this, i am sorry but i thought it was def yr worse book u have wrote, sorry, but u r the author, so u have to write, but please do not send them down here to oz, hahaha joking, went into Aberdeen a few times when i was in the merchant navy, back in the 50,s always cold, glad to get back out to the far east hahaha, cheers, frank hughes

    Reply

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