Abandoning Paradise

Chapter Six     Crossing Scotland

Running Ahead of the Storms

There is an eighty percent chance of thunderstorms for this afternoon in Scotland as the weather moves in from the southwest.  The storm probably will not be moving faster than seventy to eighty kph so I may have a good chance of outrunning it.  The other choice is to sit tight here as the chance of rain tomorrow is twenty percent but it will cost sixty pounds to wait and the WiFi here at Days Inn is rubbish.  (I tried to attend lefty's show in Second Life last night and it was hopeless due to the WiFi.)

My cousin is not free until this afternoon so it looks to me like there is a high chance of soakage and that's not a terrible thing for me but it's very destructive for my equipment and everything else.  It would be one huge shame to carry this stuff for about three thousand kilometers and then wreck it in the last hundred or so.  Plus, riding in the wet on a scooter with as much of a balance challenge as this one would be a bit perilous.

In the interests of no further damage to me or the stuff I'm carrying, it looks to me like staying here tonight is the thing to do.  Although resting my foot at lefty's house helped, there's still a pronounced limp and sustaining any further damage, assuming it doesn't kill me, would get me murdered, quite rightly, by Cat.

Silas Calls the Ball

'Call the Ball' is one of those American expressions that has no apparent meaning and, after researching it, you will discover it has even less meaning than you might assume.  There is a light sent out from an aircraft carrier that appears as a ball to an incoming pilot and he or she will 'call the ball' after seeing the light and taking control for the final approach to landing.  There is no clear link between this expression and any other human endeavour so, naturally, it is used extensively in mainframe computer operations.  'Lock and load' is also quite popular and this from a population of programmers which has likely never locked and loaded anything more powerful than a Daisy BB air rifle.  The interested student can try to discover why military expressions are so prevalent in mainframe computer operations but I am not that interested student.

The ball I am calling is for landing in Edinburgh today and I am waving it off.  The wind is already blowing up nicely and it was quite a battle yesterday from which I was still highly nackered (i.e. wiped out).  This is different from being shattered (i.e. hungry) and I am interested in these expressions.  As kids coming to America, the hardest thing to catch quickly was the slang and probably that's the same anywhere.

Sunniest Thunderstorm I've Ever Seen

It has rained but not enough for a good going storm.  Still, sitting tight was the right move as the wind alone makes for a bit of a challenge in riding and it’s even more of one when you're riding a sail.  Besides, sitting about doing nothing but looking at a booklet on Explore Scotland isn't bad at all.  The castles, particularly Edinburgh Castle, are extremely impressive so reaching Edinburgh isn't going to finish this.

There is some cool stuff around Dumfries, not so far from here, but I will keep pushing forward.  I noticed also that I'm not so far from Lockerbie but I won't stop there.  I doubt the people there treat it as a 'tourist attraction' but visitors may and that would be an unfortunate thing to see.

Actually there's gorgeous stuff all over Scotland.  The Iona Abbey is nowhere near my path but it is spectacular.  It's too expensive and too far but take a look at it sometime.  This was started by Saint Columba who brought Celtic Christianity, whatever that may be, to Scotland from Ireland in the Sixth Century.

Most of all, what I have been trying to find is where do they make Frasers and it appears to be in the area around Loch Ness, particularly Beauly.  I found quite a bit about the clan at Clan Fraser of Lovat and this gets more intriguing as I go along.  The idea of finding 'roots' is pretty corny but feels compelling nevertheless.  However, going to visit this ancestral homeland would be a substantial trek as it's well up to the north of Scotland.

We shall see.

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