Culture

The Western Isles: Or There And Back Again (IV)

By Bernie Bell

A Bit of a Whinge………………

We arrived at the cottage, on Great Bernera.  It was a chilly, windy, wet day.  And…..there was no heating.  We read the instructions about the heating in the information folder provided.  The heating was due to come on at 5 o’clock.  If needed, a manual over-ride would kick in, if we pressed the button on the wall.  We pressed the button.  Nothing happened.  This was at about 4 o’clock, so we thought we’d wait and see what happened at 5.  Meanwhile, I put on an extra pair of socks, and my fleece.

Come 5 o’clock, nothing happening.  We waited ‘til quarter past.  Nothing.  Mike tried to ring the owner.  No signal.  So, Mike set off in the car, in the pouring rain, to try to get a signal.  Meanwhile, I sat on the sofa, in my fleece and extra socks, with a rug round my legs, telling myself “Tomorrow is another day”.

Mike got back – he’d had to go quite a way to get a signal, got through to the owner, and…………If the heating isn’t working, all you need to do, is open the front of the boiler and look for a big orange button.  If this button is ‘out’, press it in.  Mike did this , and voila, we had heating!!

I’m telling this tale, as a possible timely reminder to any owner of holiday lets who might be reading this, and I ask them to THINK ON!  If it’s a chilly, wet, windy day, please make sure that the heating is on when your guests arrive.  Or, make sure that the instructions for putting the heating on, are clear and COMPLETE!

Knowing about the orange button inside the boiler, would have made all the difference.  The cottage was lovely, but we didn’t get the  ’warm welcome’ which was much needed after travelling a long way, on a wet, windy day. THINK ON!

One little quirky thing – the kind of thing which delights me…..that first evening, we were exploring the cottage, looking in all the nooks and crannies.  There is a little desk in the siting room, and, when you open the drawer – this is what you see……

crab carapaces B Bell

Someone staying there, had collected these crab carapaces, arranged them in the drawer, then closed the drawer and left them for  those to find, who like to delve into things.

I doubt if the owners know that they’re there – I doubt that they ever open the desk drawer – why should they?

I love that kind of thing – a message from one ‘collector’ to another.  And, of course, Mike is a marine biologist.  Some of his students work with crabs.  It was just one of those pleasing, syncronicitous ( maybe no such word!) things.


Categories: Culture, Views

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