The camper van has failed its MOT on three things: unaligned headlights, emissions (it's not got a catalyser) and worn ball joints. Minor, really, but enough to scupper my planned expedition south and provoke a flurry of ferry alterations and hotel bookings.
So tomorrow it's the Citroen that'll trundle off the Hrosseyland and onto Orcadian soil at (hopefully) just after 11.00pm. A few hours sleep in St Margaret's Hope and then onto the Pentland Ferries boat to Gill's Bay in Caithness. Believe it or not this is the easiest (and cheapest) way for me to get to Wick.
Where, amazingly, I've been asked to do a ten minute spot at the Grand Prohibition Ball, organised each year by Old Pulteney Whisky in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Amazing because Wick has for a decade or so featured in my columns and broadcasts as a (hopefully good natured) running gag. I am, just slightly, nervous of kidnapping. Anyway, the radio show is coming from Wick on Thursday and Friday, which should be interesting.
After that it's a convoluted journey to Glasgow and then back to Aberdeen and home. all of which will take a week or so. And by which time, the camper van should be fixed and MOT'd. Did I mention that it's a Ford Transit? Called Gloria. As in, wait for it, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Or just Sick Transit.