I’d arranged to meet a good friend of mine at Wemyss bay.
Since this was a place of his choice I’d filled my head with notions of golden beaches, funfairs and the like.
Not so. Wemyss bay is a small coastal community that somehow seems to have been bypassed by the seaside holidayness of Scotland’s west coast.
For those who’ve been following the ramble you may remember I’d been offered hospitality by a couple I’d met at the kishorn fish bar in April.
‘Hello….you might remember me…’ my phone message had begun tentatively…
Eileen got straight back to me – of course the offer of a meal and a bed for the night was still on.
I was welcomed into their home like a long lost friend. Brian, a religious and moral philosophy teacher was great company. The sort of teacher you remember as having a huge impact in your schooldays.
I asked the ‘why give hospitality to a complete stranger’ question, and was met with, ‘why wouldn’t you?’
This was clearly a pattern of their behaviour. Brian was concerned that I’d be walking on a dangerously busy road and so drove me around the area showing me alternatives.
Above and beyond…
I was sent off with a big breakfast and a lovely feeling that folk were just dandy.
I met Ben, my friend, an Aston Villa supporter and a minister at the Wemyss bay train station.
He’s been with me through some rough times – it was great to see him. The weather was stunning – the scenery was ludicrously beautiful and the company was great.
We arrived at Largs with a desire for beer. The first place we came to was the wood house hotel – Woody’s bar. Ben got the beers in – er, shandy for me…
We chatted in the sun…I went inside…chatted with the bar staff – 2 beers, no charge…
‘Did you ask for free beer?’ Ben seemed a little surprised.
‘No, I just told them the story and…’
We soon realised that Largs has no campsite. So we set about looking for a suitable spot to stick up our tents.
We found a rocky outcrop that went out into the sea – joined to the land by a sandbank.
Delighted with our find we set up our tents and walked back towards town.
‘Er…do you think this is a high or low tide?’ I asked – I’d been caught out before.
To the Internet…
It was low tide. And yes, it did look as if our little island might get cut off from the mainland.
Giggling nervously, we went to the pub.
It was rather dark on our return. For what seemed like forever we couldn’t make out the island or the sandbank.
‘Even if the tide’s covered the sandbank – surely it won’t be that deep…?’
We weren’t very convincing.
Gradually it all came clear under the light if the full moon. The walkway – the island – our tents – were all intact.
The tide did get a little higher when we were on the island.
We were completely cut off…marooned…
Well, for nearly half an hour…
The moral of this story?
Feel the fear and…er…go to the pub.
Walk a mile