Thursday, April 13, 2006
They came from South Uist! He took our geese away...to Narnia!
The first time I saw Malcolm, who's from Southampton, really, via South Uist, he was wearing a blue boiler suit (something I later found to be habitual) and therefore, with extremely large beard, looked more Zetlandic than a very Zetlandic, pre-Up Helly Aa male usually does. Given that it's well past Up Helly Aa time, and Malcolm ain't from these here parts, his appearance was initially puzzling.
It was (and is) a padded blue suit, the mark of the true islander. At first I thought Malcom was like one of those early missionaries, and had deliberately donned the habit of the natives. But then I realised he always dressed that way. Obviously, He fitted in extremely well within the borders of the People's Republic of Northmavine. And earned our eternal gratitude by dealing with the geese, one of whom had become completely psychopathic, attacking cars, dogs, people and anything coloured red. Never mind bird flu, it appeared to have some form of rabies. Though it was not foaming at the beak.
The geese have gone...to Narnia. Or Foula. Or Wick. These euphemisms are not for the benefit of any of the attendant children (they happily ate two of the geese two days ago) but for some sensitive adults of our acquaintance. Meanwhile, as swan fever sweeps Fife, wild geese mingle with domestic birds just along the road. At least, though, they're not shitting all over our now-gooseless garden. Nothing on earth shits as much as a goose. It's like a continuous shitting machine. When we came back from holiday, we could hardly get in the front door. It took a JCB four hours to clear the towering edifice of shite.
Anyway. Malcolm, his wife Kate, and their children Maggie and Susannah were here on a flying Easter visit. On the whole, they reckoned Shetland was even colder than South Uist. And just as flat, if not flatter. I think they had a good time. I hope so. Kate and Susan, who are in the same line of business, had corresponded via email for five years without meeting.
Wonderful, this internet business. And new stuff is happening every day. Check this out, oh ye folkies! Online sessions? Whatever next? No bodhrans, though.