Day Four: ‘Rock Climbing Extreme – Islay Version’

I woke about an hour later than yesterday (probably something to do with being awake playing for a bit longer on my PSP) and had the same breakfast. Unfortunately, my grandmother isn’t feeling too well today, so she decided to stay in bed for the day and rest so she’ll be better for the rest of the holiday.

After getting ready and such, I went to do some shopping with David in Bowmore. We went into the co-op (the largest shop like that they have on the island and it isn’t bigger than a local one in England) and got some bits and bobs – orange juice, skimmed milk and semi-skimmed milk, some cake, some razors and a newspaper. We weren’t getting anything major anyway, but there wasn’t much choice as it was only a tiny shop compared to a supermarket that we’d usually shop in.

Once we’d dumped the shopping in the back of the car, we headed up to the round church. The story goes is that the church is round so the devil can’t hide in the corners (I’m not too sure about it myself).

Before we went inside the church, we went around the graveyards, particularly looking at the war memorials. Most of them were ‘A Soldier’ or ‘Two Soldiers’ and then ‘Found on ---‘. There were only a few which had named on, and a couple in the native language of the person. There was also one where it said ‘Killed during active service on Islay’. We don’t know what this means, but it is intriguing. The most shocking thing about all of these graves is that they all hold the bodies of 20 something year olds. There’s nothing like looking at a lot of graves lined up with the ages of things like 21, 23, and 24 on them to give you a sense of mortality.

What made the visit even more peculiar were the two graves that were quite coincidental. One of them read:


1939 – 1945





Usually, that wouldn’t be worrying, but this is on my birthday. Then, we saw one inscribed with my brother's birthday:



1939 – 1945



FOUND 26th November 1944


This is when we went into the actual building of the church. It was very quiet and quite open. It felt like some form of tardis inside. The wood was rich and was displayed by huge beams up and down. There was a balcony, which ran round the entire length of the room. It was quite spectacular.

This only took us up to lunchtime, so we ate lunch at home and went to the small beach at Port Charlotte near the Port Charlotte Hotel. We decided to make our way round to the lighthouse from the beach. For Alex, Dave and my mother, this would involve walking up a small hill and following the path to get there. For myself, as I wanted to get some interesting pictures that they couldn’t get, I decided this would entail me climbing across the rocks facing the sea.

The total numbers at the end of the trek were as follows:

Ravines: six

Ravines nearly fallen in: five

Ravines actually fallen in: none (thank god)

Rocks crumbled underneath my feet: three

Times nearly fallen in the open sea: about twelve

Times I got stuck and was worried I’d be either stranded forever/I’d fall in the sea and never be seen again or die out there: one

Pictures taken: around two hundred and thirty one

So all in all, a perfectly safe trek.

Once again, we had dinner at Croft Kitchen. I had scampi and chips in a basket. Alex is feeling quite off at the moment. He didn’t manage to eat all his fish and chips, although I did get him to eat something by persuading him that he would like the banana split and ice cream. Eventually, he did eat it and I finished off the cream and almond nuts. I was a bit worried about him, because his mood and appetite had deteriorated so quickly. It was really unusual.

After all this, I sat and watched the TV. Supposedly, this was to calm me down before bedtime, but the pure stupidity of some of the people on Embarrassing Bodies – Teen Special was enraging.

All these people go onto the programme, moaning about their problems, some self-inflicted while others are just bad luck. I have no problem with them moaning. They have a problem, I forgive them for moaning, but for every single one of them to then go on and say that they were too embarrassed to go to their regular GP, yet were perfectly willing to go on a TV. program to be filmed while being examined makes me want to go stabby.

The thing I found worst about the whole idea of Embarrassing Bodies – Teen Special only came at the end. The obnoxious male one, Christian something or other I think, said this at the end of the programme:

‘If you have been inspired by the bravery of anyone you’ve seen on this show tonight, you can apply to be on the next series on our website.’

I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

The End

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