Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Glad to have a boat

Inches of torrential rain over the past couple of days, driven in on a cold north-westerly. The loch is a blizzard of cloud and spray.

My wellies are leaking. This is life-threatening, plodging about the croft, the paths turning to streams and the stream a roaring torrent. I'm reduced to my spare wellies, because I took my good ones with me when I went with our local peace group to Faslane military base to protest against Trident. In the fun and games, one of them inadvertently ended up on the other side of the fence. As they do. So I'm reduced to the wellies I got for Christmas, the ones with pink flowers on. They are very pretty but not built to withstand the rigours of croft life.

The library van came this morning. It's one of those odd rituals of life here: a precious dose of literature. I have still not perfected the skill of speed browsing, sore needed to make the most of the 10 minutes we get when the big buttercup van halts at the top of the brae. Each time I'm the last one on the bus and the driver/librarian tries not to be too obvious about me keeping him hanging on, as I scour the shelves greedily for that book I just might be missing, the one that certainly won't be there in three weeks time. It's now or never. Sometimes I spot it. Today it's The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Prettor-Pinney, a meteorologically-fitting find. Last time it was Jay Griffith's Wild. Often the van splashes off down the road to Stoer with its hidden gem still secreted over the back wheel somewhere. The service, which used to be fortnightly, has been cut to once every three weeks, despite this being Highland Year of Culture. Much beating of chests and wailing of sorrow. Fortunately, there is the Scottish Poetry Library, which sends me treasure by post for a modest annual fee. Bless.

The post arrived at the same time as the library, and the wee strawberry red postie van squeezed with a smiling wave past the big library van. Our little blue boat bobbed on the loch. It's just like a kids' cartoon, only wetter. Much wetter. I wish someone would draw in the sun. Maybe the Cloudspotter's Guide will give a hint as to how long the rain will go on.

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