Service with a smile

The Wallace Monument, Stirling

I plucked this superb image off the web. I hope the owner doesn’t mind.

There are tons of images, just search for ‘wallace monument images’ and see what’s on offer

Service with a smile

Christmas is rushing towards us. Each year my sister and I take our dear old Mum Christmas shopping. Because she crawls along with two walking sticks, this trip always involves arriving at the shopping centre in Stirling and plonking Mum on a bench while I go in search of a courtesy wheelchair. We then wheech her round the designated shops buying appropriate gift vouchers for all her family. It would be easier for her and me if she handed me a list and I bought the lot for her, but this annual tradition means she still retains her independence and has a certain satisfaction that she bought the gifts herself.

In the past years Mum has received mixed reception from sales assistants. Many fall into the stereotypical role of talking over her head and addressing all questions to her able bodied daughters, but this year was different. Stores are finally clued up to the needs and feelings of the disabled. Every store assistant we encountered this week addressed my mum directly, and took the time to hand her the chip and pin machines on curly stretchy cords, to allow her to pay. It was easy.

All the stores have left to do now is to sort out the narrow lanes leading up to the checkouts to prevent me knocking over towers 3 for £5 Cadbury Selection Boxes and baskets of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges with a wheel chair

Good Local Food

Another tradition is Mum treating her daughters to lunch. This year we went to The Coffee Bothy in Blairlogie, a little village just outside Stirling. This former farmhouse serves wholesome food in a restaurant which is shadowed by the burnished Ochil Hills and has stunning uninterrupted view towards the majestic Wallace Monument.

Like many country restaurants in the Stirling and Trossachs area The Coffee Bothy has the formula sussed for its intended clientele, ‘silver scone scoffers’. They have acres of parking on flat land, a short trundle from the building. No hassle for the ‘auld yins’. I have been reliably informed that at weekends the place is stowed. The big plus for me is the farm shop which sells local produce as well as organic, whole food and luxury products.

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