Oh, what a night! or two…

Yesterday was a bit of a wash out and that very much our own fault for possibly overdoing the celebrating a bit on Friday night. Mr L had managed to bring home both the Talisker Dark Storm and a two-pack of Veuve Clicquot! Readers will no doubt be relieved to know that we reserved one bottle of the champers for a later date.

We talked about our plans for travelling down country and it seems that, depending on what is required of him  for his appointment, we can fit everything in pretty much as pre-planned. Sure enough there is less of the leisure but we can still have a reasonably entertaining time of it. If all goes well and everything meshes we have a nice dinner to look forward to in a Michelin starred restaurant and we still get Fish and Chips in Anstruther. We may well have to factor our visit to Balmoral out of the equation this time but can yet be in Pitlochry/Faskally for the first night of the Enchanted Forest and also have a night at New Lanark Mills. That last should be good. There is excellent walking along the Clyde, badgers that turn up in the car park overnight, and I may even finally get a trip around the Mill itself. They sell yarn, you know. They make it. It’s  a really good price too. I may stuff several kilos of it in any available space that Hank has to offer.

We used to visit Lanark frequently (Tesco) and then make our way to New Lanark for dog walking. We spent many happy hours hunting treasure and geocaches in the area but never found time to do the Mill Tour. I am looking forward to putting that right. Am also looking forward to calling in at the shop at the Mart. I used to go there to buy my bacon. Mr Ramsay’s finest bacon from Carluke. The best bacon ever.

We shall have to do less wilding and stay instead on more formal sites than previously anticipated. The solution to the Aberdeen hospital trip is a two night stay at Huntly Castle. I shall stay at home with Nell on the Tuesday and Mr L can catch a bus from Huntly Square that stops right outside the ARI. It could hardly be more convenient.

Yesterday I received an alert from bookcrossing.com – one of the books that I released recently has been logged as found. Hurrah! I hate it when you let them go and they disappear. The book was Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. By a strange quirk of coincidence, last night Mr L said that he had found a film for us to watch later in bed. It’s about Bill Bryson, he said –  It’s called A Walk in the Woods. How about that? We watched it. It was okay but really not a patch on the book. However, it did get us talking about walking some long distance paths and how we might manage that with Hank. Nell would like that. She is, as we shall see, a Big Tough Dog.

The Wine Fairy came to visit us this morning while we were still abed. We rose late after a disturbed night – Nell woke us up with her barking and growling at 2 am. I immediately jumped to the conclusion that there was trouble afoot and was all for letting the dog out to chase intruders away. Daft as it sounds, the island has actually been troubled of late by a petty thief wandering about at night and helping themselves to anything that they fancy. I thought that it was now our turn to be treated shabbily. However, Mr L stopped me from letting Nell go… and she was raring for it; she was all fangs and hackles – who would have thought it. He said that there was a vehicle out there. 

Well, it was a flat bed truck and that simply worsened my feeling that we had caught the thief on the hoof.

However, the young man who was driving had a tale of woe to tell. He had been helping another young chap home from the pub. Said chap was described as being in a bit of a state. There had been confusion over where he lived… to cut a long and rambling and seemingly incoherent story very short: Good Samaritan had given Befuddled a lift, to see him home safely. Mr B had rejected the lane end that he should have been dropped off at, and instead selected one further along the road. Mr GS had ejected him as requested and driven off, only to see Mr B fall over – so had returned to assist but was unable then to find that gentleman and became quite fearful for his safety. He had knocked at the house that had been indicated and roused somebody, only to be informed that it was the wrong house and that the house needed was back this way. (Are you keeping up? Remember, this is the abridged version.)

The directions given to the proper destination had the young GS a little confused and I understand both his wish to find Mr B’s family and also how he ended up halfway up our drive with his vehicle slipped off into the ditch…

All of this story came in a disarray of dribs and drabs and was somewhat difficult to parse at the time.

I found the phone number to alert the family and then Mr GS phoned his dad to come and rescue him. Whilst he waited with Mr L for dad to arrive, the story as originally told at the door had unfolded further. I phoned the family again, to pass on new and vital information.

Mr GS and Mr GS Snr left the premises, leaving the flat bed to be extricated once daylight came. (The vehicle was gone when we got up and in its place was a very nice bottle of wine.) In the meantime, we fretted. Both of us, due to personal history, have missed out on these kind of joys with our own sons but that has not meant that we cannot put ourselves in the place of the anxious parents.We both know well enough how we would feel ourselves and what we would want of others in such a situation. The major problem for us was that the truck was blocking the drive and we could not get our car out to go and help search.

We stood out in the light rain, watching for activity and attempting to deduce if Mr B had been found yet. Mr L told me some more of what he had gleaned from Mr GS and I decided that this really needed to be passed on to the family – so I rang them for a third time but obtained no answer; clearly they were all out searching. So Mr L did the only thing that he could – he donned a waterproof and boots, grabbed a torch and walked out into the night to pass on the information and to assist the search. I was not permitted to go and had to stay at base with the telephone (thank goodness it was still connected – it might so easily not have been!)

He was soon back, saying that the searchers had returned home before he had been able to reach them and thus we concluded that Mr B was safely back in the bosom of his family.

We were back in bed by 4 am but it feels as though we had little sleep. I for one could not sleep for all the scenarios that were running through my head. I needed to know the outcome so that I could relax.

Mr L says that he never expected Retirement to be this tiring!

We’re taking today very gently indeed.

One amusing note from our small hours shenanigans:

Me: That lad is from your neck of  the woods

Mr L: No, I don’t  think so

Me: But he is – he sounds like your T.

A little later:

Mr L: I asked that lad where he comes from and he said “Yorkshire”. I know that, I said, but where from? He said “Y…”

Me: I told you so. His accent was unmistakable, sounded just like your T.

(Mr L and his brother, T,  come from a small market town close to Y…)

And that, dear friends, was my weekend. Not that the concept is a strong one any longer… it is all weekend from here on.


  1. August 28, 2016

    “it is all weekend from here on”
    That has got to be one of my favourite phrases ever.

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