Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Laundry and wind
Pegging out laundry on Tiree can possibly be called an engineering task. Currently the winds are blowing at 30mph with gusts going far faster (easily 50mph). This poses problems for your average plastic clothes peg. The ones we brought with us have fairly tight springs and, so long as they're jammed on, can cope three to a towel. But the new ones I bought while on the island need an extra turn, put one of those on and with one whoosh of wind there's a little plastic snap and it's flown away.
You must also beware of your own laundry. A freshly washed towel is fairly heavy, yet very flexible. If you're stood too close and concentrating on pegging you can easily get a face full of heavy towel, not too bad unless you wear glasses, then you could actually get a black eye from the impact of glasses being shoved backwards.
Now then, assuming you survive the hazards of pegging the benefits are great. It may only be 6 Deg Celcius out there right now but that wind is so fast it is almost ripping the water out. So the towels should be dry in about an hour, and that's *after* we've had a heavy rain shower for 10 minutes. Ofcourse, if the rain does come forget rescuing the towels, in the time it takes to run to the back door, don shoes and get to the towels they will be drenched. It's a bit of a roullette, but the payoff is good.
I had a bit of a busy day yesterday, I meant to write about it then but I shall do it now instead.
The island Doctor's office is rather an informal affair when it comes to seeing one. Instead of having appointments spread across the day and all the faff of trying to get everything done in set time limits, they operate a lovely thing where, for two hours every morning, you can just turn up. First come, first seen. So yesterday I turned up. I was the only one and after filling in four sides of A4 with various details and having a guess at what year I got my immunisations, I sat for a bit and then met the main GP. A lovely white haired gentleman, with a neatly kept beard, in a suit and who has wonderful posture. We sat and talked about me and life in general, after our chat and general introductions I went back to reception where they kindly rang for the bus to come and collect me.
With the dial-a-bus, you do pretty much have a taxi that also picks up others on the way. So I got on to meet a lovely lady, in her 90's, who was just going to the shop near us for her paper and then home near Scarinish. I hadn't mentioned to the driver when I first saw him that I planned to go to the Post office too, so I got a free ride to Macleod's and back, oops. Note to selves: tell the driver your plans for the day so they know which way you'll be wanting to go next. We dropped the lovely lady off, and then to the post office. I sent some dongles to Dad while the bus waited (no extra charge), we started back and he suggested the Co-op as he needed to get milk, so we park up, he leaves the door open and the engine running and we go shopping.
Yes, you read that correctly, door wide open, engine running. There isn't really any crime on Tiree. People usually leave their doors unlocked unless they're going away for a week or so, some don't even lock their cars. After all, it's not as though it's possible to quickly get off the island, there's one plane a day and a ferry every other day. It creates a very laid back community, people don't have to worry that a new islander will come along and nick something, because everyone knows where everyone lives.
Anyhoo, the ferry didn't get in yesterday, the wind was just right to make docking impossible. That meant there was no milk or bread delivery, not really a bother to us, we have a bottle of milk in the freezer and enough flour and yeast to make bread for weeks. But those that want milk for their brew or cereal will have rushed to get milk once the news got around.
Mail and newspapers are mainly done by plane, although larger items come over on the ferry. It's rather amusing being able to tell if the plane came in by whether there's post or not.
So, from laundry, to GP's, to post, and shopping. I shall now go and do something crafty I think. About another half hour and the towels will be dry...or in the field behind us.