So, I’ve just spent a few days in Galloway, totally cut off from civilization in a ground floor flat. Beautiful area, I have to say, but the place had no internet connection and dodgy mobile phone signal by only one window in the entire building. I was more than a little bit worried about this.

The main aim of this trip was to get to Wigtown, Scotland’s book town. Wigtown does have a literary festival, but I managed to avoid it by a couple of weeks or so. There weren’t quite as many bookshops as I expected in Wigtown. I had imagined rows and rows of them, roads lined with them, and street corners shaped by them. There are a few bookshops there, just not as many as my mind had invented. The Book Shop (yes, that does appear to be the name of this shop) was my favourite. The bookcase in the doorway filled with second hand penguin paperbacks, in their original orange and white covers, was enough to make me love this shop, but carry on through and there are corners and further rooms all filled with old books, and a garden out back where you can sit with your selections and have a little read. Bliss. The other one I liked was Readinglasses – see what they did there? Anyway, this one won’t please everyone as at least half of the shop is taken up by a café (I know one person in particular who is of the opinion that cafes should not be housed in bookshops ‘bookshops are for books’ I believe were his exact words) and each room, while containing bookcases, also contains a table and chairs. However, I liked it. I especially liked the toilet. I probably talk about toilets way too much. Bar Pintxo in Dublin has the most amazing toilets I’ve ever been in. I urge everyone who finds themselves in Dublin to visit this tapas bar just to use the toilet. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, the toilet in Readinglasses is actually a full sized bathroom, complete with bath and shower. I had to use the room twice, I liked it so much. Also, this café scores points with me, as it was while drinking tea and eating lemon cake in there that my phone suddenly leapt into life. After days of looking mournfully at my mobile and seeing the sad words ‘no network’ or ‘emergency call only’ I saw the lovely words ‘1 new message’ … well, I think it was actually 3, but lets just say I finally had a signal. Seriously, how do the people who live in this area survive?

The other town I liked very much while I was in Galloway was Newton Stewart. Newton Stewart saved my sanity. I found three places there where I could get online. The library (though I had to gain temporary membership to do so), The Bruce Hotel, and Cinnamon café. I love the people of Cinnamon café. They understand my needs. Tea, cakes, and wireless connection. I also found the only Chinese take away of my whole trip in Newton Stewart. Happy face.

Lastly, Stranraer. One totally amazing charity shop. I love charity shops and this one beat all others I’ve been in for the last, oh I don’t know, 20 years or something. Also, I had THE best cheeseburger in Stranraer I’ve had in a long long time. To top that off, while I sat and ate my amazing cheeseburger (big flat bun, big flat burger, real cheese and masses of salad and onion) I found I once again had a mobile signal as my phone started sending though my text messages. I’ll never make a country girl.

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