Monday, 9 September 2013


22:03. Oh, bollocks it’s too late to call now. It’s past ten.

Punch the numbers in to the phone screen (telephone receivers are of a bygone age), tap tap tap and then ring ring - I hope it’s not too late. I don’t want to wake them up on a Monday night…

Granny: Hello Burray 236?

Rimi: Happy Birthday Granny! Sorry it’s so late, I just forgot but I knew it was today, I meant to call earlier and I wanted to send you a card but I forgot - and I know I called yesterday, on Sunday, but I completely forgot it was your birthday today and I really I just wanted to really say happy birthday.

Granny: Oh thank you darling.

Rimi: Happy Birthday. Have you had a nice day - what did you do?

Granny: We went out for dinner

Rimi: Ooh that’s nice. Where did you go?

Granny: To the Sands Hotel.

Rimi: Lovely. What did you eat?

Granny: Well, for my main course I had lamb

Rimi: Lamb! That’s different.

Granny: I like lamb, but your Grancha doesn’t like lamb.

From off-side
Grancha: I do like lamb… (mumble mumble muffled words)

Granny: Did you hear that?

Rimi: No, not quite.

Granny: Grancha says he does like lambs but only when they’re in a field.

Rimi: That’s sweet

Granny: Not to eat.

Rimi: Yes, I got that.

Chuckles again (she has a nice chuckle, like a clucking hen)

Rimi: So how old are you?

Granny: Do you really want to know?

Rimi: Yes

Granny: Seventy-nine.

Rimi: Wow. That’s not a number you hear too often is it.

Granny: That’s right. I’m old old old!

Rimi: But you’ve still got the spirit!

Granny: Yes, I suppose I do.

Rimi: What did Grancha have for dinner?

Granny: What did Grancha have for dinner? What did you have for dinner…

From off-side
Grancha: I had… (mumble mumble muffled words)

Granny: Oh I remember! Grancha had scallops and some Orkney cheese.

Rimi: Yum

Granny: And for pudding he had... what did you have?

Long pause

Rimi: Granny?

Granny: My brain’s a bit tired so I’m trying to think

Rimi: Take your time


Granny: A white chocolate tear-drop!

Rimi: A white chocolate tear-drop?

Granny: Yes a white chocolate tear-drop. I’ll get him on the phone so he can tell you about it. He’s dozing off but I know he’d like to tell you himself.

Rimi: Ok

Granny: Bye for now –

Switched receivers (they still have receivers in Orkney)

Grancha: Hullo sweetie-pie

Rimi: Hello Grancha!

Grancha: Are you well?

Rimi: Yes thanks. Tell me about your truffle.

Grancha: My what?

Rimi: Your truffle; the pudding you had at the Sands.

Grancha: Well it wasn’t a truffle

From off-side
Granny: It was like a… (mumble mumble higher pitched muffled sounds)

Grancha: Ooh, my white chocolate tear-drop.

Rimi: Yes, tell me about that.

Grancha: Well it was quite difficult to eat actually.

Rimi: How so?

Grancha: Couldn’t break easily through the shell. Was like trying to eat an egg with a small spoon – a hard boiled egg. I’ll pass you back to Granny now.

Rmi: Ok.

Grancha: Love you lots

Rimi: Love you too Grancha, sleep well.

Switched receivers

Granny: Well thank you for calling my dear, it’s really rounded off the day splendid.

Rimi: I love you Granny.

Granny: I love you too. Now good luck moving off the boat, I think you’ve probably stayed on the boat long enough now. It must be getting cold on the river?

Rimi: It is. Autumn’s setting in.

Granny: Time to find a new home but you know you can always come back here whenever you want. We’ll be waiting for you.

Rimi: I know. Love you. Good night. And happy birthday.

Click goes the sound of their receiver and I can hear the ducks quacking up at the moon outside. It’s probably time to go ashore.

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