Friday, November 1, 2013

Where’s the beef…er…coffee beans?

There are a few rosehips in Bernisdale that I didn't filch
Just now having my breakfast after being up for almost three hours: My favorite oats with milk, pure yogurt (no additives, no pectin, the real stuff and cheapest in town), berries, flaxmeal, nutritional yeast (getting better all the time, eh carnivores?), with decaf. Now here we’re coming to the point.   

When I went to the bank in Portree to get cash for my rent, the exchange rate between the British Pound and United States Dollar was 1.73.

Being on a limited budget, as so many of us are, I have always gotten my great deals at thrift stores—so-called, because they add a bit of thrifty spice to our lives. I have to hand it to my ex-little town of Garden Valley, Idaho, for Granny’s Closet and Ruth Richter, who started Granny’s at the Senior Center. Her idea of thrift is to make great donated merchandise affordable for anyone and her prices are mini-mini-mini, even compared to thrifty stores in the U.S. Call me spoiled.   

So…I walks into the “charity shops” in Edinburgh and they have some nice products, mostly clothing, and I need things, not having been able to bring all items to the UK. But…everything is priced so much higher than seems righteous. No problem, I pay up and feel grateful.   

I arrive on Skye, October 8, and my first stops are the three charity shops in Portree. Again, I am shocked at the prices, but acknowledge the service that offers me wonderfully warm fuzzies and some small bits and pieces of necessaries. That’s the rub…small…I no see my much shopped-for (every day for three weeks) hair dryer, coffee grinder, toaster oven, light for over the kitchen sink, space heaters, blender, and household things that other people might be looking for, like toasters, small vacuums, and irons. What’s up? Maybe we need one more shop for appliances and small household stuff.

Luckily for me, I’m one of the most snoopy folk I know—comes from being a reporter, maybe, well no, might be that’s why I was a reporter…anyway, I creeps up to the attic in my charming croft house on Loch Snizort Beag, and hurray—I find a blender with attachment for coffee beans, in a box, so not even dusty. Point being made, finally: Where are the decaffeinated coffee beans on this isle? All this trouble for no fresh, whole beans…harrumph…and nosy me in this kitchen with my grinder attachment. Call me if you’ve seen them.   
Snizort Free Church of \Scotland

So here I am, having settled for at least the six undesirable months on Skye after years of having this dream of living here, after being warned off by Scots living in other parts of Scotland—“it’s too rainy”, “the cold, dark winters are hell”--and after being screwed by my ex, who failed to deliver the money. Talk to me in April if you want to say I told you so.   

Meanwhile, every day I awake to look at the curtains and ask, “What am I going to see out there today?” Each pull on the rings promises a surprise, because no day is the same. The clouds are masters of transformation, turning mist into magic and rainbows that hopscotch through layers of celestial suds and froth. My loch is a bit different, with no land mass breaking up the smooth flow of ebb and fill, but it glimmers and reflects the opposite Monet hills and the pretty Skeabost hotel with its jetty that was once filled with emigrants. It is a peaceful loch giving gentle support to the flocks of migrating and local bird life. The sun makes appearance for lengthy hours or peak-a-boos, but always gives a show of hues for Skye glam.   

One moment of one morning sky on Loch Snizort Beag
Amid the tempest, sunny autumn warmth, or skin-plumping vapour, my daily walks have produced some fun encounters with local residents so there will be ample material for Angel on Skye. Til then, floreat.

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