Thursday, 29 November 2007

Hello, hello, hello

Listening to: an old Christy Moore tape I found at the bottom of a box in the barn.
Drinking: first coffee of the day
Weather: grey, light breeze.

Westray's morning rush hour has been past the farm. Maybe a dozen cars, a lorry, a tractor and trailer. . . and a police car.

The morning ferry from Kirkwall gets in to Rapness on the southern tip of the island at 8.45 or thereabouts and, being on the main road through the island about four miles from the pier, we're well placed to see who is coming and going.

In my days in the Midlands, the sight of a police car in Wolverhampton or even Shrewsbury was nothing unusual, but here it's a once-a-month, if that, affair.

Crime on the island is not really an issue. I haven't locked Lennox since I got here and regularly leave keys, wallet and iPod on the dashboard. Nobody's going to nick a car. . . where would you go on an island that's only 11 miles long?

Minor vandalism just doesn't seem to happen in the casual way it does in the south*. There was scandal 18 months ago when the sink in the public toilets was pulled away from the wall. The whole thing was thought to be the work of 'off-islanders' over from the mainland for a wedding. Nothing much has happened since.

So, sitting here in this crime-free paradise (?), I can't help but shift a little uneasily at the sight of Old Bill hurrying down to the Pierowall Hotel for coffee and biscuits. If nobody else is committing crime, maybe they're here for me.

Why do I always feel guilty?

* 'The South' starts at Kirkwall, which, by my reckoning, makes Manchester a suburb of north London.

I've just noticed this is the 100th post on 'The Edge'. . . kind of wish I could have marked the milestone with something more exciting that watching the traffic.


Arabella said...

I think watching traffic is perfect blog material.
Happy the Scottish island polis, doing the rounds with a couple of stops for High Tea to look forward to: all those lovely griddle cakes. American cops have to make do with cheap doh-nuts. (sp?)

Malc said...

On big island occasions (the regatta in July and Harvest Home in October), they get to stay over in the hotel. The word gets round quickly when they're here.

The Birdwatcher said...

I thought it was a great way to mark your 100 post.

I always feel guilty when I ever I see the police, mind you if I'm driving the WMEC I have good reason.

I, like the view said...

happy centenary!

Malc said...


Thanks. And imagine how I feel when Lennox goes roaring, rattling and complaining past the fuzz.


Thanks. I bet you don't count your posts. I suspect it's a real boy thing.

Malc said...

Oh, and Arabella, I meant to say:

"Mmmmm, do-nuts!"

Some things just have to be done/said/written.