Friday, July 14, 2006

A Bottle of War

Here's the way of it: Friday morning on Tiree, the sun is shining, the cat is meowing, I've been out for a run already although it's just gone 8:00 a.m., the email is picked up, and a frantic working week - which has included everything from working flat out for my employer to trying to play the chords to 'American Idiot' while singing at the same time - comes to an end.

The forecast for the day is good. The Tibetan prayer flags outside the window are barely stirring. Of course this will mean squadrons of midges but hey you can't have everything.

We must get out hiking some time. We haven't gone for a walk up Ben Hough in ages. This is the weather to do it. Joanne should be just about up for it. She's feeling a lot better than she did a week or so ago. Oh and she's just back from Oban where she dropped in to see her favourite male after me: the chiropodist. I have to do a little work this weekend but I'm sure we can fit something in if we put our minds to it.

Away at the top of Ben Hough there is a wartime lookout post. In a rock in front of the outpost are a set of initials with the date - 1943 I think - have been roughly engraved. Whenever I am up on top of Ben Hough I can't help but have at this wartime memorial. I wonder to myself if the guy or guys who wrote in stone are still alive and if so whether they ever think about Tiree.

When I announced to my people lo those thirteen years ago (next month) that I was moving my family to Tiree my Uncle Willie piped up and said: "Tiree? I was stationed there during the war. It's a terrible place. Don't go there!"

I remember when I was a young lad working in a factory back in Wishaw while on holiday from University an old guy telling me that he had no desire to visit foreign countries as he had been to so many during the war. I didn't understand this point of view then and I don't understand it now. How can you compare the experience of being in a country as a traveller with being in the same country when someone is trying to kill you?

On a completely different note I received an email from my wife last night. "Hey, Gordon, I thought you said Joanne was back from Oban?" Yes, she is, but that doesn't mean I don't get emails from people who actually live under the same roof as myself. I'll explain in a moment.

Joanne was emailing to say two things: she'd just read my blog (while I was out at work) and she wanted to point out that in yesterday's blog I surely meant to write that I wished I'd gone to the co-op for a bottle of water and not a bottle of war. She is of course correct but I wonder if there is a subconcious connection that and what I have rambled on about above? The other thing she said in her email was, "did you have to tell the folks how much the bike cost?" I don't know if that's because she thinks it's an excessive price or what.

But back to the household emails: my family learned a long time ago that if they want me to remember something or wish to pass on a vital piece of information it's almost a waste of time to tell me to my face. They used to leave me notes but over the years everyone has noticed that my first stop in the morning is my email inbox. That's pretty pathetic, I know.

It actually benefits me to receive email from my daughter Jenny. Despite living in the same house days can go by without my actually setting eyes on her (apart from when I take her to work in the morning - and we don't tend to talk much on the way!). So an email from Jenny is actually reassuring confirmation that she is still alive.

1 comment:

the-flying-banana said...

We have just arrived home to Ayrshire after our tour of the Highlands and Islands with our highlight definately being Tiree....there's just something about it. I was keeping a Blog for a bit of fun while we were away. I have since found yours and have been reading bits and bobs and was interested about the Estonian lady. The thing i liked about Tiree was the lack of unnecessary 'things' we tend to fill our lives with (I say typing on my iMac with wireless doofers and ipods coming out of my ears!!!!!!!) We seem to be all guilty of it.
We too visit the Lake district frequently...who could ever be depressed enjoying the outdoors.... and music.....and the lovely Tiree!