Following my delight at the funniest joke ever told – ‘I’ve just walked over the river soy – now I’m off to look for the soy source’ for anyone unfortunate enough to miss it the first time – I was striding out towards Cullen, a small Coastal town just off the moray firth.
It was quite a walk but I was rewarded by a beautiful scene over Cullen bay and the picturesque village.
For my sins I’d been craving a lager shandy for the past couple of miles. Having sighted the golf club that was to be my hostelry, I started off down the path.
I was intercepted by a delightful older couple who listened to my story with great interest.
As I departed, mrs older person said ‘give home some money’ and her husband thrust ten pounds into my hand saying,’Get yourself a drink’
Pair of mind readers.
I frolicked down to the golf club and ordered my eagerly awaited fizzy pop.
I was greeted with the remnants of the senior golf day out – they were fascinated by my tour and soon made it impossible for me to spend any money.
Kate, the barmaid, charged my phone and surreptitiously thrust some sandwiches in my hand.
The seniors, although somewhat bladdered, advised me on how to deal with midges whilst agreeing that there really was no solution – in short – when I get to the west coast of Scotland – I’m doomed.
They tried to advise me where to stick my tent – politely – but were entertainingly incoherent.
“I’ll just camp on one of the greens” I japed – and was met by a joint steely glare that could melt granite.
Kate came to the rescue and showed me a path up to the cliff top where I camped….nervously.
I bravely left first thing thankful that there was no wind and, as such, no need to be dragged off the cliff clutching my tent screaming…
Buckie was my destination.
I wandered into the local supermarket seeking irn bru and artery hardening pies…
I met a woman who was filling shelves – she asked about my ridiculous back pack and I told my tale.
She told me how her husband had suffered from recurring depression until he became a carer. That has given him meaning and the rest, as they say….
“Can I buy your pies and juice for you?” she smiled at me.
“sure, that would be lovely- thanks” I hoped to get her name, her story, but she bought my provisions and buggered off.
Hit and run kindness if you like.
I got to the far side of Buckie, and there he was, Donald, call me donny, Sutherland.
An older man, instantly interested in me, my back pack, my story.
‘Do you want to come I’m for a drink?’ he smiled.
Even at this late stage of the game, my pseudo politeness still kicks in,”No thanks, I don’t want to be a bother…”
He was insistent, I went in. I smiled as his wife gave me that, “Good god, he’s brought another one home” kind of look.
That said, Clarinda was a lovely hostess. After serving tea she asked,”Do you want a roll?”
“Yes he does,” donny answered for me.
And when she asked if I wanted another one he told her I did before I could even think about answering.
I’d never been a collector of interesting jobs – but I’ve placed donny into second place for best jobs ever.
No, he’s not that Donald Sutherland , but he is the donny Sutherland.
His job, ladies and gentlemen, was a lighthouse keeper on a ridiculously remote rock of a place out in the north sea.
He showed me a photo of his beloved ex place of work – showing me where he’d alight from his boat to go to work.
It was impossible – it’s an inaccessible rock.
He told me the tale of the 3 lighthouse men who went missing from a similar rock.
Apparently tea had been laid out, the meals and drinks were out on the table…but the men had gone – an absolute boys own mystery.
As I left he shook my hand like an old friend. Again I’d been made so welcome, felt so cared for.
He doesn’t have interweb so I promised to send him my blogs by post.
I don’t want to lose him.
The real Donald Sutherland – accept no imitations.
Walk a mile