Bob Holyoak's funeral in Ollaberry yesterday was incredibly moving. It's still very hard to believe that we'll no longer see him in that old blue anorak, coming round the house at tax-return-time, parked up in that wee Saxo with binoculars to his eyes, noting another bird sighting.
The old kirk at Ollaberry was more than packed, with many standing, and the burial, in the tiny adjoining kirkyard, was conducted to the sound of the sea. I won't forget Bob's younger brother Marcel saying at the service that he would remember Bob every time he heard a Robin sing, rembering that it was Bob who taught him to identify the bird from its song.
Managed to get to The Radiocroft afterwards and stumble through the show, and then a mad dash to Lerwick with Martha to catch the ferry south. Shattered, so dinner, half a pint of White Wife (couldn't finish it. I hate to say this but I've tried to like all the Valhalla beers, and none lie to my taste)then bed until the usual horrendous clanking as we dock temporarily in Kirkwall. Why are the NorthLink boats so noisy? Drift off as the boat rocks slightly through a south-westerly, and then it's up at 6.00 am as we enter Aberdeen Harbour.
Ah, Aberdeen! And the glories of Marks and Spencer: the ability to exchange items easily without having a receipt. Delighted to see that I am no longer a 38 waist, and never was a 31 inside leg (own stupid mistake). Now it's sylph-like 36/33, and long may it stay that way.
Good coffee in M&S too, and Fair Trade to boot. Whisper it though: the great coffee secret is McDonalds. Cheap and very acceptable these days. Hate to say this, but the last time I was in Aberdeen I had breakfast in McDonalds two days running. It's something about the hash browns...
Martha gets jeans, a piano book and a DVD of Howl's Moving Castle. I get a copy of John Le Carre's new book, The Mission Song, for £8.99 in hardback, which is incredibly cheap. Half price in fact. And brilliant as I am just finishing Single and Single for the third time. Comfort reading. Ye cannae whack it.
Off to Troon tonight, there to stay at my sister Shiona's flat, then it's Glasgow for the show tomorrow before, hopefully, catching the P&O Express boat to Ireland from Troon, so Martha and I can go to Sandy and Elaine's wedding on Saturday. Ah, P&O Ferries! I remember them!