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“…On the day before the Ullapool Music Festival the weather was dreich, so rather than prune a soggy hedge in Portmahomack for the guy who used to run the Pet Shop in Tain (the guy who looks like Elvis) I took the caravan to Ullapool a day early with the intention of leaving it unoccupied over-night in order to reserve a good pitch beside the beach so no time was wasted searching for an ideal spot when we arrived (for the second time) the following afternoon.

The jolly lady at Reception cut short her phone call with “I can’t talk now, I’m in the midst of a Music Festival, phone me later” to whoever she was talking to (I was the only evidence of a festival goer at the time, so was suitably flattered) and instructed me to follow a jovial man on a scooter called Sanders who led me jovially to a spot beside the shore to park the caravan. The Music Festival (me) then moved to the Chip Shop opposite the Book Shop for a fish supper and a conversation with the Chip Shop lady about the merits of the previous Festivals. 2006 was particularly memorable, she said, as this was the year that the Stranglers purchased battered sausage suppers and surprisingly kept their T-shirts on for the entire duration of their meal. Which other festival attendees had taken battered sausage supper from this famous chip shop, I wondered?  Franz Ferdinand, Mumford and Sons, Rachel Sermani, the Peat Bog Fairies?  The mind boggles.

My tasty fish supper consumed beside the Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry Terminal, I headed for home with a brief stop at the supermarket in Dingwall to stock up on provisions for the coming weekend. I had a chat with a cheery teenager at the checkout about the joys of music festivals and how it mattered very little in the end who played what as long as they played something and everyone was happy. He’d never heard of the Stranglers, too young. I’d barely heard of the Dangleberries, too old. But none of that mattered. It was good to chat..."

(Extracted from The Bit in the Middle: the Curiously Comic Tale of a Gardener in the Scottish Highlands.  An Ebook by Patrick Vickery)

EBook now for sale on Amazon and iBooks and GooglePlay

(Outside the UK: Amazon.com )

Chapter One can be read here

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