Day Two: ‘Eliza and the Boat – Kind of Like Noah and the Ark, but not as long’

I woke this morning at about 7:15. I didn’t actually get out of bed or move until half-past, but technically, where it counts, I was awake at quarter past.

Saying that, did wake up during the night, which is unusual. When I did wake up, I realised it was cold, colder even than when I had gone to sleep, I managed to get out of the pretzel like shape I had managed to get myself into in a couple of hours and sit up. Confused, I looked for the duvet. It was sprawled half way across the room. During a couple of peaceful hours asleep, I had managed to catapult my duvet a good 4 metres across the room. How I do these things? Sometimes, it’s as if I’m a god.

It’s quite strange here in Scotland. I think any country where the water is free is a decent enough place, but when the free water is coloured brown? It isn’t even a brown that makes you look tanned when you’re in the shower. It’s almost like seeing it in the toilet before you go and not knowing whether the person before you has flushed. It’s just disturbing and unnatural.

Speaking of the water and such, the shower here is, quite frankly, feeble. Feeble seems exactly the right word to describe it. When I was showering, I used it on its highest-pressure setting and it was as though it was simply letting gravity let it fall. I’ve been in drizzle more successful at going down than the water coming out of the showerhead. In fact, when I took the head off the hook and pointed it at my hair, the water fell faster.

After a quick wash, getting dressed, giving my mother her birthday present and panicking about how my hair had managed to look like a fish thrashing around out of water, we went downstairs and had breakfast. Everyone else had some form of cereal, but I detest the stuff, so I just had a cooked breakfast. Near to the end of our family breakfast, three other people walked into the room. I quickly worked out they were German (and to be fair to them, they knew quite good English and understood English rather well too). I neglected my breakfast for a while just to listen to them and see if I could pick up a few words. Unfortunately, they weren’t talking about any world domination plans or anything even vaguely interesting – it seemed like normal breakfast time chitchat. I was quite miffed they weren’t talking about anything more important.

After all this and a quick trip around the premises to take some nice pictures, we all piled into the cars and went to the port (Port Kennacraig) to catch the ferry to get to Port Askaig on Islay.

Before leaving the boat, I feel the need to add exactly how we got off and onto dry (this time it wasn’t raining) land. We were sitting in the car waiting to get off the boat, next to lots of other people sitting in their cars who were also waiting to get off the boat. I was sharing that smile with the people in their cars waiting to get off the boat that said ‘Yes, hello. We are also waiting to get off the boat. Isn’t it exciting?’ and they were sharing looks with other people in the car that said ‘Who is this weirdo?’ Being a typical teenager, I had my earphones in and I was listening to music. As the bridge was lowered that would connect the boat to the land, I heard the legendary riff: dundundun, dundundun, dundundun, dundundun, dun, dundun. Guessed it? For those still in the dark or those uneducated in amazing music, it’s Highway to Hell by AC/DC. We drove off the boat as the chorus started (this might give you an idea as to just how long it took the bridge to lower). It was just like something out of a movie.

Eventually, we got to the house we were going to be staying in and told it ‘wasn’t ready yet’. So, as this was around midday, we trundled off for some lunch at the Croft Kitchen. We all had soup of some form, for me it was lentil, and for a couple of others it was leek and potato.

After we had eaten our fill, we got back to the house and unpacked. Everything came out of the cars and it was like a German military operation at a Swiss railway station. All the bags were sent to the right rooms and the food to the kitchen. Everyone then had the job of unpacking their stuff and putting it into various draws, racks, hooks and wardrobes.

I finished before everyone else, so to fill the time, naturally, I compiled a list of songs on my iPod that I would use in a movie using only music to express words. The list goes like this:

1)     The overall theme for the apocalypse – Murder City by Green Day

2)     When you kill your first zombie – Children Of the Damned by Iron Maiden

3)     Getting chased by a horde – Thank You For The Venom by My Chemical Romance

4)     When you have to kill a loved one – Decode by Paramore (truly perfect I thought)

5)     When you find a group of survivors – Are We The Waiting by Green Day

6)     When you meet a new love interest – Stranger by Noah and the Whale

7)     When you have to make a final stand – Nanananana by My Chemical Romance

8)     When you think you’ve survived it all – An Audience With the Pope by Elbow

9)     When you discover a bite mark on yourself – My Body Is A Cage by Arcade Fire

10)Plays over the end credits – 42 by Coldplay

Quite a list. Strangely, this doesn’t involve Pet by A Perfect Circle, which was the ‘theme tune’, if you like, to the book I wrote about the apocalypse. In the end, it was a close call, but I decided upon Murder City in the end (obviously).

As it was my mother’s birthday today and it was a bit hectic, what with getting on a boat and travelling various distances to different places than we were used to, we used about half an hour after unpacking to hand over all the gifts and cards. She liked them all and the opening of the presents she received was quite ceremonious in a way.

After this, we went to Portnahaven, which is a small beach with lots of jagged rocks. For a few hours, my younger brother played with some dogs by the water’s edge and then climbed on the rocks. I, however, climbed on various rocks and took pictures the entire time. About half an hour into our time at Portnahaven, we went for a walk further towards the open sea. I climbed out over the jagged rocks to the water’s very edge and managed to get some amazing photographs of the seals there. There was one sunbathing about 10 metres in front of me and one that kept bobbing down and resurfacing multiple times, each time getting closer. I thought curiosity might get the better of it eventually and it might have come so close it could have licked my camera lens (unfortunately, this was not to be).

For dinner, we went back to the Croft Kitchen. I had a chicken burger, Dave had a pie of some sort and my brother, my mother and my grandmother all had fish and chips.

I spent the rest of the evening downloading and touching up the photos I took in the day.

The End

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