Friday, 23 May 2008

Bron's first contribution

I never got around to contributing to the original blog - was just happy to read Scott's take on things. But I really do exist and it's time I added to our account of island life.

I'm sitting looking out over Lochindaal as the martins and swallows swoop backwards and forwards past the office window. Scott has now learned not to leave the garage door open. Even while he was loading his golf clubs into the car this morning they were in and prospecting for a home!

Friday night, and a busy weekend ahead at the start of Feis Ile. Scott came back from Debbie's shop yesterday to announce that my name was "up in lights". I was doubtful, but then remembered that I had agreed to sing at the opening concert on Saturday in Bowmore. "No", said Scott, "It's Sunday, in Portnahaven." On investigation (a trip down to the shop to read the notices) I discovered that somehow I appear to be singing both on Saturday in Bowmore and on Sunday at the Clootie Dumpling Ceilidh in Portnahaven, in addition to singing with the choir at Lagavulin on Saturday afternoon and at Islay House for the ecumenical service on Sunday afternoon. That's what comes of whispered conversations in Gaelic in the back row of the altos with a Feis Ile committee member. One too many "Tha sin ceart gu leor"! Just as well I have four songs in my repertoire!

Islay is a wonderful place for drying washing (at least when it's not raining!). You can actually hang out the washing, go back inside and do last week's ironing, and then collect and do this week's! Here are some instructions, should you happen to offer when staying with us:

  1. Load basket carefully - the heaviest and wettest article at the bottom, the socks, knickers and hankies on the top, covered with one final large article.
  2. Go outside and assess wind direction. Position self and basket on upwind side of line (to avoid being blinded by shirt sleeves or strangled by sheets.)
  3. Leave peg bag in basket. Do not attempt to hang on line unless you wish to spend next ten minutes retrieving pegs from 20 square metres of mud.
  4. Now carefully extract socks, knickers, hankies one at a time from under large article and peg to line. Continue pegging out washing (never less than four pegs to a garment) until the final article.
  5. Before lifting final article out and pegging to line, wedge basket firmly between lower legs.
  6. Stop. Look at view. Listen to the lambs. Wave to Duncan, Mary, Peter, or whoever else happens to be passing. Check whether any eagles are in sight. Pinch yourself to make sure it's real.
To collect washing in, reverse operation, making sure you leave the socks, knickers and hankies till next to last. Use peg bag to anchor them down whilst retrieving a large article to cover them with.

And you only need a prop if you have really long things which will drag on the ground. Otherwise the wind at ground level is quite adequate for all drying purposes!

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