The waiting

It’s the longest day today and up here in Scotland where I am right now, holed-up on the run in a small hotel in Tomintoul, that means the days are very, very long.

Because it’s Scotland it’s raining and it’s cold. I had to buy a sweater yesterday. I’d packed a spare but when I put it on it looked as if dogs had slept on it. Then I remembered that’s exactly what had happened back in January. That was a nice time. A hopeful time, cold but the days getting longer, one by one till now.

Near Christmas you hear Peter Gabriel’s song about ring out Solstice bells. Nobody knows what it means. It’s just another word, the way words are supposed to mean anything anyone wants them to mean now. It’s another solstice today. I don’t hear any bells ringing at all.


The place I was passing had a sale on, so I got a really nice jumper for £20. But it’s not the same as the old one. That was Italian, from Peek & Klopenburg in Dam Square, and even though it was in a sale it was a bit more than £20. It paid for itself though; I bought it back in 2002. Or 2003. I can’t really remember. I was in Amsterdam quite a bit for a while, for reasons which need not be examined too closely but were legal if not perhaps entirely moral. It depends, I think. Possibly.


Anyway, after today we’ll all be able to say it once again, showing our true British pessimism. Altogether now at 7pm tomorrow night please, roll your eyes skyward and say ruefully:

“Aye, the nights are fair drawing in noo.”


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