Life on the ocean wave throws up some characters

I wouldn't be the first person this year to start the holidays in scorching sunshine only to find themselves in gum boots and mac a few days later.

Friday, 20th July 2018, 5:23 pm
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 5:53 pm
Sandra Chapman

The dog hasn’t liked being walked in the pouring rain and the skipper’s mood ranges from elation at the mere hint of blue in the sky to full on bad temper when it wipes out the distant coastline he’s aiming for.

Still, I’ve found it easier to direct anger, not at the weather forecasters who promised us a very long, hot summer but at the world in general which is helping pollute a climate which quickly turns a heatwave into something akin to a grey day in November.

I’m seething too at the hash the Westminster Government is making of Brexit. Even Donald Trump thinks they are a bunch of incompetents though he doesn’t actually use that language.

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Coasting around Scotland

Sue them, he says. Now, that would be one court case which could last more years than we want to think about.

Mrs May plans to fight on, God help us all I say.

So back to the holidays. How is your’s going? Were you on that Ryanair flight that took a nosedive out of the sky over Europe, passengers ending up not in the holiday destination they expected but somewhere else with not even a bed for the night?

Or the eejit who decided after 11 pints it might be good fun to jump off a cliff into a pool far below? He was lucky to fall near a bunch of medical students who saved his life.

And then there are all those horseflies eating the flesh off hapless tourists in southern England.

Maybe I shouldn’t complain about the weather after all or Mrs May. Besides I’ve had some wonderful delights on my annual cruise. In one port I discovered a pop-up cafe (I suppose that means they are here today and gone tomorrow somewhere else) where you won’t be served a mug of coffee which is stone cold by the time you’ve half of it consumed, but an actual pot of coffee from which you can top up your little cup.

The blueberry pie I had with it was so good I knew there was no point in asking for the recipe (the lady running the shop had made all the food herself) because I’m not known for my cake making skills.

This was also a craft shop with lots of local people contributing to the stock. I could have filled the boat with it except Himself would most likely have chucked it, and me, overboard. Proceeds go to charity.

How I admire women like these who contribute so much to the comfort and future of others whilst I do nothing but complain about the rain.

She wasn’t the only heroine I met on this trip. There was the remarkable lady who has been fighting MS for years yet sails her boat, entertains perfect strangers like us believing people are far more interesting than gardening or housework and who is planing to publish a book. Somewhere in her past was a husband but she has moved on living life to the full.

Another fascinating lady brought me arnica cream to soothe the bruising after a dog decided to sink his teeth into my leg for daring to tear it away from mauling my own pooch. Then there was the delightful woman who once had a life in Africa and now finds the Scottish winters a bit hard to take.

Her large yacht sits in the bay, forlorn, waiting for a crew to revive its soul. ``It won’t be me’’ she says sadly, ``I have all this to look after.’’ She waves her arm in the direction of a garden glowing with every wild flower

imaginable (thanks to the hot weather) and a magical cottage overlooking the sea. Her son lives in the city.

It’s the way of so many Scottish families living in beautiful but remote places. Many such homes eventually become holiday lets filling the coffers of a company somewhere not even in Scotland.

A way of life is disappearing in the Scotland I have been cruising around for four decades. The marinas are full of very expensive yachts – accessing pension funds will explain some of this excess – and where once there were parties in abundance and music `til all hours. I miss the sailing fraternity which came, usually, from Northern Ireland at this time of the year – anything to avoid the Twelfth they would say – with their guitars, all in good voice. Times really are changing.