Travels with my Neighbour
Our first trip, so to speak, was a quick jaunt to Birsay for a tea/coffee in the tearoom there and a look out to sea. It wasn't until after our second 'joy ride' - a sunny drive to the round church in Orphir, en route encountering a distinctly uncooperative set of traffic lights, and admiring a preening seal in the shallow waters of Stenness loch - that the idea for a journal took root. Although neither my neighbour nor I are reduced to wearing purple (well, maybe sometimes) we are both of an age to laugh in the face of self-consciousness, which augured well for hearty adventures.
Two things came to mind when planning this blog. The first is that due to declining eyesight and reduced mobility my neighbour no longer drives herself. During our trip she observed with wonder the cloud patterns over Hoy and the sun ripples on the water of the loch, and declared how beautiful Orkney is. My neighbour has lived on Orkney for many years, but not getting out and about as much, re-seeing sights was a pleasure which, on my frequent drives to Kirkwall, Stromness or wherever I have taken for granted. I only register excitement if I spot a short-eared owl or a hedgehog holds up the traffic. It was a gentle reminder to appreciate what is around me.
The second point is something a writer friend said to me recently. She used to work in a care home and listened to the residents' stories of what they wished they had done in their lives. She decided to write stories making the residents the astronauts, actors, inventors or whatever they dreamed of being as children. This is a waffling way of saying that some of the adventures my neighbour and I have in future episodes may be enhanced by wishful thinking, but I shall leave it to the discerning reader to judge what is real.
Further adventures to follow.....