We had decided, when planning the wedding, to give ourselves a day off before venturing north, rather than rushing. I wanted to spend a little longer with Bob for a start (I hadn’t seen him for four years) and, anyway, we had to register our union by taking the marriage schedule to the nearest registry office. That office was in Eyemouth, a quaint, if impoverished, fishing village about eight miles south of where we were staying.
Whilst there we saw, behind the Eyemouth chippy, from which we’d had the crispiest, juiciest scampi ever, a faintly horrifying, life-sized, 3D, humanoid ice-cream – see header picture – and then further along the same strip:
this memorial to the Eyemouth Disaster of 14 October 1881, ‘when most of the fishing fleet, some 20 boats and 129 men from the town, were lost in a terrible storm. Including victims from other coastal towns, a total of 189 men lost their lives.’*
While I was reading this inscription a man was exaggerating the figures to a group women right beside me. Which would have worked for him had one of the women not squatted down to look, once I stood up, and proceed to read the true figures out to her friends – I felt rather sorry for him, but no one seemed really to mind.
On the way back to our cottage we stopped at St. Abbs Head
where it was too bracing for me to focus, and the lovely gallery Number 4 where I bought a tiny, lovely, glazed porcelain shell for a friend who’s always giving us nice things.
That evening the children cooked (as they had also done on the evening before the wedding) which was tremendous: I think having your children cook for you must be one of the great joys of growing old.
North, South, North
The next day we were to go our separate ways: the kids to Edinburgh, D. and me to Ullapool. As Edinburgh was on our way, and we couldn’t leave them to find their way by public transport (with all their luggage) even if it wasn’t, we drove Bob and Reg to the house of the friends with whom they’d be staying. Then we headed south to our house in Moffat.
Yes, in order to go to Ullapool, 211 miles north, we had first to go home, 51.5 miles south, because we hadn’t been able to fit all our luggage (fishing gear, guitar…) into the car with that of the kids. Worried that we’d bump into someone, anyone, and be compelled to spend time chatting, we crept in and out as quickly as possible, and managed to get to our lovely Air BnB in Ullapool by six o’clock.
Starving, we washed up and rushed out to The Ferry Boat Inn for supper – arriving just in time to get the last free table – and followed that with a G&T
Next: First impressions of Lewis