Friday, 12 August 2016

On a pick of small incidents

In writing these entries, I keep on forgetting some incidents only to remember them later. So this entry is a collection of bits.

While I was waiting for the ferry in Lochmaddy amidst wind and heavy rain, a man came in dressed in Bermuda shorts, a short sleeved shirt and flip-flops. It was so odd, that I didn't resist making the comment: "You must think it is summer."

I had pondered whether to turn on my rear blinking light yesterday owing to low clouds that I was nearing. I didn't do so, but kept it at the back of my mind as an option. When I took off my helmet in the tearoom, I was startled to see the was on. Investigation suggested that water infiltration was causing a short circuit. I removed it from the helmet and wrapped in a paper napkin to absorb the water. I stored in my handlebar bag. In Lairg, I put it in a small ziplock bag with a packet of silica gel to absorb any residual moisture. (I keep a few packets of silica gel in my Ortlieb bags as waterproof bags have the problem that if water does get in, it doesn't get out easily.)

The Oykel Bridge Hotel caters to anglers in a big way. At least, that is what the pictures in the public bar strongly suggest. While Grandpa might be disappointed, fishing is something I am quite happy to let other people do. (I refrained from making any mention of my connection to Kemp Davidson who had won a landmark case against the interests of the recreational salmon fishing industry.) Later, an actual gillie came in for lunch wearing hip waders and commented the fishing was no good that day on account of the very high water levels. Later that day, I came across a side road that obviously flooded on a regular basis as there was a sign warning that it was prone to flooding, a permanent sign that could be flipped open to say "Road closed on account of flooding" and a depth marker which showed the current flood height was about two and a half feet.

In the stairwell of the Lairg Highland Hotel is a framed cartoon from Punch magazine in the 1960's. I know its origin as it was included in one of the two Pick of Punch in my Parents' library. It is a depiction of a day in the lives of an executive and his gardener. It being a pastoral take, and a sunny summer's day, the gardener is the happy one.

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