Friday, August 27, 2010

After almost five months in the same clothes, I needed some retail therapy and handily a Himalayan Fair Trade group has taken over the Social Club for two weeks. I bought three new pairs of pants, all of which have to be washed in cold water and hung dry.

Laundry day arrived today. Perhaps I've mentioned the laundry Beast before? The lowest setting on the thing is 30 degrees Celsius, which is something like 85 degrees, and not what I consider cold water. Plus, when I wash things on that setting, they are hot to the touch when it's through with them, so I know it's hotter than 85. I have spent more time that I care to admit sitting on the floor in the kitchen with the instruction manual in my lap, so don't suggest I read the directions.

The only cold water setting is for wool. So, okay, I'll wash them on the wool setting. An hour later, I'm not kidding, it beeps and I go to take them out to hang them dry. They are soaking wet. It has completely gone through its cycle, and they are basically as wet as when you hand wash something and let the water out of the sink but don't squish out the clothes. This rings a bell as something I may have tried when we first got here. Sigh. I don't dare set the thing to rinse and drain, as it will rinse in the 30 degree (plus) water. There's a drain and spin setting, apparently my best option, so I go for it. The Beast proceeded to violently spin off and on for 15 minutes, literally rattling the dishes, but I can now hang the pants dry.

I am getting very melancholy about leaving Dornoch, but I am kicking up my heels at the thought of a washer and dryer that are, for one thing, two separate machines, can do a load of laundry in under 3-1/2 hours, and do not make me tear my hair out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What Did He Say?

My hearing has almost adjusted to Scottish/English accents. I am able to identify some accents and dialects. But, there are times in which I am sure they can't even understand each other. A case in point happened just the other day.

Julie and I strolled down to the Eagle for a pint and G and T (with ice and lime and squooshy tonic). We got our order and took a seat at the bar and began chatting with this fellow from Glasgow, who was up to play in a golf event. He had a menu and was obviously intending to have a meal. The gals behind the bar were scurrying about and looking much busier than the small crowd would require. Jackie, the manager, came and asked if he would like to go to the dining room for his meal.

He replied, "That would be grreeat" in that wonderful Glaswegian brogue. Jackie, in her proper Yorkshire accent, said, "Will the rest of your party be joining you directly?" "Rest of me party? It's just meself for a meal." Jackie, with a look of shock, says "What about the party of eighteen? I've just called in extra staff." "Nope, just me," the Galswegian replied.

The bartender who took the resevation said, "Sir, you asked me about a table for eighteen for dinner and I repeated it and you said that's right," with a look of exasperation. The man shook his head in bewilderment. We began talking and the Galswegian tells me, "I couldn't figure what all the bother was about, I just asked if could get a table for eating dinner."

It took this American to translate for them, with a bit of pantomime thrown in as the Glaswegian was not understanding my accent, a table for eating or a table for eighteen.

So I won't feel so bad saying pardon, or could you repeat that, or Huh?
They can't even understand themselves!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Say it ain't so!

We had friends in this weekend and rented a car. Likely our last car rental during our time here. There is a part of the drive, the bit north of Inverness to Dornoch, that has always felt like we are almost home. Silly, that, I know, but there it is. We took our friends down to Inverness and did the Loch Ness cruise to Urquhart Castle. On the way home, when we hit that part of the drive, it dawned on me that was the last time I'd see that bit of the drive until next year. This can't be! Six weeks from tomorrow we leave our sweet little town. I've no desire to stay here through a winter, so it's not that I want to stay. But I don't want to leave. I don't want to leave Barry and Isabel and Lukacz and Lesley, the wonderful ladies at the bowls whose names I have finally sorted out, and Margaret next door, whose warm welcomes and cooking I will miss immensely. The peace that I have found here has been good for me, body and soul. Even the thought of a real hamburger and a Chai creme frapuccino is doing little to quell the melancholy. Thoughts of warm sand and swimming in warm water do help, I must admit. And, I guess, the sooner we leave the sooner we come back. If the six months away fly like the six months here have flown, I will be back on the road north again and happy to be coming home.