What could be sexier than drinking champagne from the lip of your loved-one’s wellie? I know. Not flipping much. But we don’t have time for you to be drifting off in a moon-eyed reverie right now, so focus. For I have a tale to tell you. Up here in the romantic North-West we have to be more practical than you on the mainland because if we stand around being romantic all the blowy day we’ll get chills in our bladders and on our blains and other assorteds. This makes us ineffectual and we are nothing if not fectual. For who then will feck the fish off the boats and then feck them over to the shop for the rest of we feckers to buy for our fecking teas? Exactly. We do all our romancing in the warm nooks of peatstacks or Ford Pintos until our grannies die and we get their houses.
It all began, as many things do, with a vomiting incident on a CalMac ferry. It was a fearsome morning at sea, which would have sorely tried the valves of the most iron-stomached sailors, and thus, for Oliver from Basingstoke, things went swiftly from green to purple. On a tossing ship at sea, everyone lives their own digestive drama oblivious to everyone else. We reel about the deck, one hand clutching our stomachs, the other stapled over our mouths, bouncing off each other like pinballs, hair streaming, bobble hats and small pets flying as the seagulls scream for us to vomit. The average person can resist throwing up under such circumstances for about half a bilious hour but unfortunately the ferry ride lasts two and a half and Oliver was from Basingstoke besides. Hence, 5 minutes out from the port of Ullapool, our poor, wretched hero was coming face to face with his own biology, God and strawberry pop tart.
However, as everyone who ferries knows, once you have up-chucked, you are grand. Grander than all the other miserable souls trying to preserve their over-priced Inverness breakfasts and determined to, as a matter of bloody principle after managing to keep it down on the roller-coaster bus ride to Ullapool (or Ullapoop as children and Free Church elders hilariously call it.)
Thus it was that our friend, Oliver, was feeling quite chipper when the boat reached the head of Loch Broom, where the ancient submerged moraine makes for notoriously choppy waters even on glass calm days. He was strolling about deck, whistling and nonchalant at a 45 degree angle against the battering gale, when suddenly from out of the deserted cafeteria hurtled a vomiting girl – no, a vomiting woman – of such rare and green beauty that Oliver’s hat was quite blown off. You might say, “Ach, PCB, away and boil your bunions with onions, it was just the wind, lassie!” But it wasn’t, you know, it was love. I’m from the romantic NW and we see this sort of thing all the time. Yes, and have to listen to the naysayers too. It’s never the wind. The wind only takes gloves and high-denomination currency, and pregnancy tests before you can read them. It’s only love can blow your hat off like that. (If you are a man and your scarf should blow off, however, island lore says you may find you have lost something very precious indeed, so make sure to tie a good windsor in it. The scarf.)
OK, now I have drifted off in my own moon-eyed reverie and can’t focus n’more. Plus, I only have until 1pm to do all the things I’ve been putting off this morning by reporting on this instead. I shall continue the tale of Oliver and his Vomiting Venus the next time I have other stuff I’m meant to be doing. Kim doesn’t believe me, do you Kim? And Conan thinks this will be just another half-baked, half-finished, half-tale from Sam. But I will. I will. So until then I leave you with that too, too solid advice from the last paragraph of the story there: tie a knot in it. Plus video of the same ferry that used to run between Ullapool and Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides. Now in New Zealand or Fiji or Somewhere.