travel diary – getting the gaffney-treatment, stranraer


I don’t think that Stranraer is on any top destination lists, but this little town makes up for it in its hearts and souls. With a population of 11.000 and beautiful located in southwest Scotland and lies on the shores of Loch Ryan.

Once Stena Line docked in the middle of the town and that brought visitors in … but since moving its port out to Cairnryan it looks to me that it has affected the town. Which is a pity!!!!

Stranraer is living a bit in the shadow of Portpatrick, a small picturesque fishing village in a 15 minutes drive south of Stranraer. Which is crawling with tourists so soon the spring sun comes out .. and during the summer months.

I left many people behind in Stranraer when I returned to Sweden, that my thoughts often go back to … that filled my days with loads of laughter and bad jokes – all the hard work and devotion, but also made me bite their heads off … and gave me utter panic in their behavior and actions. Which have enriched my life so much!!! We had something very speical. 

I always feel welcome coming back … it starts with the security and terminal staff, so soon I step off the vessel. Even some of the immigration police remembers me.

There is something very special about the Scottish people, they so natural welcoming (like the Irish) – they embrace you in a very special way.tidy street

Through the years my free pillows have been with the Gaffney’s (Fiona, Jimmy & Lewis)  – they have become very close and dear friends to me … and their son Lewis has become “my nephew!. I LOoOooOove my wee nephew – that is getting bigger and smarter by the day, and less naughty.  Now in school for the first year.

“Aunti Wivi” gets Lewis cool newly painted blue room, while he moves into the little cozy bedroom. Lewis loves everything that has with the ocean, shells and fishes to do.

This year Elli wasn’t around … and we all miss her so much, the most adorable little cat … now in cat heaven.

When being in the Gaffney-care it means good food at all times … and Jimmy he loves to cook … he has a passion for cooking that is out of this world. That is provided great from that I get out of bed until bedtime. One evening we had Mince and tatties, one of my favorites. It doesn’t matter what Jimmy is cooking – fancy or comforting there goes so much passion into the dishes,  you can taste it!!!

There are other friends I normally always meet up with … Jo and her bunch, Trudi and Julie – if time is on my side … Moria and John, that lives out in Dunragit. This time (for the first time) my timing was bad and Trudi was working, but I had lunch with Julie. Which I enjoyed a Baked potato with Haggis together with. I just LOVE Haggis but never had it in a baked potato before. It was very good.

Julie has gone through a long and terrible cancer journey and she has recovered so well, but she will never be free from it. What a destiny!!!

A Sunday Roast Carvery was involved in my visit – old country house & hotel with new owner out in Stoneykirk; Torrs Warren Country House Hotel. About 10-15 min drive from Stranraer. Lovely setting  -a cozy bar, fantastic hospitality … plenty of food and very busy. In the company, we had grandma och grandpa.

Was very lucky with the weather my whole stay … and it is always heartbreaking to leave my “little Scottish family” ….  but even the best times has to come to an end … and I know that I’m always welcome back.

We have been talking about for years now that they should come over and visit me. Fiona and Jimmy visited me about 7 years ago before Lewis was born.

I just have to tell you about how big the Gaffney-care truly is. A couple of months after my cancer treatment was done and over … I became very ill and had to be rushed to the hospital. I texted my closest friends about what had happened, but had to turn off my mobile – that I was back on the hospital. About an hour later one of the nurses came and told me that there is a nice man on the phone, talking English (sorry, Jimmy) that wants to talk to me. That was Jimmy!!! 

How he ever found me not knowing my full date of birth details – my full name – what was wrong with me ….  what ward I was on … ???!!!! Lund’s Unv. hosptials has god know how many beds and wards, but they have 12 500 employees. And he found me!!!!

Just magical – that shows how big heart this man and his family has.

Gaffneys, I LOVE you to bits!!!!! And thanks for loving me back.

“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone.
Only through our love and friendship can we
create the illusion for the moment
that we’re not alone. “
Orson Welles

“A Red, Red Rose” is a 1794 song in Scots by Robert Burns based on traditional sources. The song is also referred to by the title “Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose”

9 thoughts on “travel diary – getting the gaffney-treatment, stranraer

    • Maralee, a hearty thank you for … your lovely comment. It took a while before I got my head around how to write this post, it can be hard to explain deep feelings, for the “surroundings” at times.

  1. What a lovely tribute to the Gaffneys! I’m so glad I read this, Vivi, and so happy that you have them in your life. 🙂 🙂 Rainy day hugs (from now till after Easter, I think 😦 ). Have you an Easter plan and how are those awful feet of yours? Lewis looks a lovely boy!

    • Thank you, Jo … they are a such lovely bunch – the Gaffneys. I’m very luck to be “auntie” – and then I have my Kosovo family (big) one floor down. Very lucky!!!
      Rain???!!!! We got snow today … it’s not fun anymore. I hope that I will meet the Spring in Vienna. My toe is still sore, but getting better – was able to visit the supermarket yesterday without an server pain.
      Easter is just … Easter, never celebrated it really – have eat some fancy lunch buffets with plenty of marinade herrings – otherwise no.
      They have promised us SUNSHINE the whole Easter, so hopefully Oscar and I can talk a walkabout searching for the Spring.

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