Metamorphic shipping chain - Reminders of Portrees history as Europes busiest 19th© Herring port, are just below the black basalt sand & pelagic weed - The blood of an islands survival dilutes these waters...It may sound like a bit of a generalization, but I can't help believing that some people arrive & they take photos of some pink house, a seagull, eat a bag of chips & fall back on the coach, herded, labotomized, seeing nothing on a macro scale, & they say, that was a good day, as I bury a cigarette butt, one of them idly flicked over a century of history...
I'll put on inadvertant rolling shows for the tourists in summer, tow some local waifs out to the lifeboat & back, & I'm often heckled from the shore, & roll to cries from kids wrapped around the harbour railings like so many Stretch Armstrongs. Watchout, it's the SBS! Or if I'm close enough in: Hey mister, can I clap yer dug? The collie does well on chips & sausages down there. Or as one wee Norwegian girl asked, pulling on the corner of my tuiliq after I slid onto the sands:
Are you a bad Eskimo?
Had I of been mentally on-guard for such a line of questioning, my retort may well have been: 'Fraid not, but I do know where Evil Santa lives.
Ancient harbour rings, clattering trawlers, & ropes & marker bouys & mistral gannets, nets & weeds & clouds & things that move in rings, like light...I'll be down there...resting days before the next kayaking expedition across the Minch, visualizing the next rolling scenarios, rigging the prawner with Fraser. Gaff-cutter-rigged that one is...gaff-cutter-rigged; & I've got one eye on the Cuillin one eye on the straits up along Rona - one hand on the winch. Hot village coffee in chipped enamel mugs, sore shoulders, a grinding knee, kids turning shells & shrieks on the mud slithering tide, shadowed by dark dank & dripping green joists. They move along the shore ahead of the shadow, almost subconsciously...not much changes in generations of play. Packing trays, hose pipes & boning knives. Extended sessions of street blether, leaves drafted along guttered yellow lines, free mackerel, lost change in drains & the pie shop ovens on the breeze. There is a feeling of snow in the air...the kayak is being licked by a creeping tide...I'll have a roll in at 3pm...a cows knee from old Doni Matheson for they dug & using his cleaver as an expression of full-stop, he extends to me in Gaelic, the whole historical village heyday, & his youth in hard shoes, & I'm hurried along inside great vivacious swirls of laughing ghosts...of herring port clammer, salmon fishery finery & bustle, swept into my grandfathers days, when women had beards & men kept worms on Iniseer...Sump oil for the soul boy. Sump oil for the soul.
With the Strait of Shadows beyond the hunter mast - you roll with an eye on the open water beyond & if you're balanced & fast on your feet, you can run a jump reverse somersault clean off the highest yard-arm into the winter sea, clear over double-rafted trawlers below. It's an HSD - Health & Safety Dismount aye....well ok it's no a HSD but it's hell-of-a quicker, just don't take thee paint pot & spanners as well, cuase they clatter a bit on touchdown.