Let it snow

2 hours before high tide, BBC weather forecast: light snow

For once, the BBC weather forecast is right and, if anything, it has actually underestimated the terrifying forces of nature currently being unleashed in the Firth of Clyde as we enter British Summertime. The MV Argyle hasn’t left Rothesay harbour all day, there is a dusting of snow on the Ayrshire hills and the electricity keeps cutting off. We are marooned on this island and there’s only one Extremely Chocolatey Mini Roll left.

Yesterday, the spouse and I spent his birthday night out in the Victoria Hotel restaurant, watching what looked like really bad special effects outside, of the kind where they throw buckets of water at the window and cars blow off the pier into the sea against a backdrop of straining palm trees. Later, the post-prandial run to the bus shelter to catch the last bus home led to both an apocalyptic drenching and severe regret at polishing off the cheeseboard despite already being full. On the deserted streets, several Rothesay residents blew past us like crash landed parachutists, dragged along by their inside out umbrellas.

The bus home was completely empty apart from us, and for some unknown reason as we set off into the rural darkness and driving sleet, I decided to start an argument about which seats to sit in. For the record, I wanted to naughtily sit in the seats reserved for the elderly and disabled just for the hell of it, whilst the spouse favoured the draughty seat by the emergency exit, for the legroom.

In order to shorten the journey time and take his mind off the woman with the loud voice up the back of his bus, the driver put his foot down and broke into a prolonged full vibrato whistling version of ‘Bye Bye, Blackbird’. At the very first ear-piercing note, a Pavlovian response stopped me dead in my argumentative tracks. I froze like someone in a B-movie who’s been hypnotised to kill at the sound of some subconscious prompt. Realising what whistling can do to his beloved lately, the spouse revelled in his draughty legroom and willed my head to explode, as I glanced to see if it was actually Robin Williams driving the bus. In a split second both of us remembered that the hearing aid was history, thus whistling was now harmless.

The nice driver dropped us off right outside our sea-battered front door, oblivious to his narrow escape and the fact that he owes his life to an unknown audiologist.


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