Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Still, still in Oban.

Surprisingly enough, I rose this morning (so to speak) without a hang over, I think it helps if you don't mix your drinks, or drink wine out of a cardboard box. Generally speaking, nights on the booze these days can be put into two categories, those being; single or double figures. Last night's activities saw me finish well within single figures so this morning was actually ok.

Usually if double figures have been achieved, the morning after is the least of my worries, the shame and mortification of the night before has been known to last months if not years. Obviously though, I'm a professional, and here in Oban in that capacity. So, today we shifted some bins around then went to Arlene's Cafe at Craignure for some lunch, it was really rather nice, I had a bacon, haggis and tomato roll. Unfortunately the tomato was cooked, I'm not sure who thought cooking a tomato was a good idea, generally I don't think its a good thing to eat lit napalm which is what the centre of a tomato turns into if you introduce it to any form of heat.

This will be our last night in Oban and I'm quite glad about it, while I don't think I'll ever get bored of the ferry (despite it stubbornly refusing to sink, roll over or even pitch violently) I am now a bit bored of Oban, I mean, its a nice place to visit for an afternoon but an entire week? I think not.

All of the kit we ordered is now in the hospital near Craignure, local residents can rest easy in the knowledge that my role in the NHS is not customer facing and by the time they are unfortunate enough to require medical assistance, I'll be long gone. Of course I always offer my assistance in emergencies but so far, I've been turned down, can't imagine why, my skin condition isn't contagious.

Working on another much larger project that I won't name, I was at large in the Laboratory department pressing buttons (which I like to do and don't lie, so would you) of a brand new PFI hospital. So it was that I found myself in front of a large fume cupboard (one of those glass fronted boxes with glove holes into which Dustin Hoffman can stick his arms in a dramatic fashion, but I digress,) it had lots of attractive buttons and lights. It is a little known fact about these things, some suck air in to stop the bad stuff getting out and others blow air out to stop bad stuff getting in. I have no idea what this one did, but when I pressed certain buttons, an alarm sounded which apparently, if not reset, automatically alerts an engineer after a certain amount of time has passed. I know this because although I managed to get it to stop beeping, the engineer came out the following morning at 3am. I still have plausible deniability on this one though.

Alas there are precious few buttons to press at Craignure, there is a body store in the mortuary. I thought it would be good fun to hide inside and tap quietly when someone walk past but it seems management thought of this already, they locked the doors and took the keys away. Probably good news for any apprentices working on site, lets be honest, they wouldn't have been safe otherwise.

As for Oban and its Caledonian Hotel, it's been ok, 5/10 I think, coach parties of wasp chewing OAP's, miserable German, confused Italian and bewildered English tourists aside. I'm always a wee bit embarrassed by our hotels, they're just a bit crap, this one boasts three stars, and for what? The shower has all the power of a broken gutter, the only thing scrambled this morning was the breakfast cook's idea of what passed for scrambled eggs and the staff unwittingly falling into that trap where they all assume someone else is taking your order, except of course for the exotic Vernon who was as attentive as he was fragrant.

Its just a wee but cringe-worthy when a tourist who's here with an open wallet asks a perfectly reasonable question like, 'can I have another sausage please?' and the waiting staff say no because there is some arbitrary one sausage limit in place.

The Oban Caledonian does have nice rooms, the bathroom is also well appointed, it has one of those big enamel baths with lion's feet, the taps are silver and the shower head sits in a cradle on top like an old-fashioned telephone, (yes I tried to get room service on it and if you were here you would have done the same, I mean, how can one not?)

I'll miss my daily commute on the ferry though, I love ferries. As a method of travel they offer a great compromise between danger and practicality, it might turn over but at least you could potentially swim away or make it to a life boat. If it was a plane breaking up in mid air, you'd be fucked. Same with the train, I dropped biology but even I know the human body can't go from 80mph to 0mph in the blink of an eye with out ramifications. So, the ferry offers a safe yet tangy method of travel.

I'll stop now, I have one more early start in the morning. Also, Vernon is on his way up with the extra pillow I asked for... I should say, I hope he's on his way up, he may not have understood me on account of the line quality being quite bad when I phoned from the bath earlier.


  1. Ha ha... Well, at least your being in Oban has meant we heard a bit more from you than usual.

    I share your fascination with ferries but unfortunately my stomach does not, and I'm pretty horribly sick by the time we get out of harbour.

    Oddly when I was a kid I had no problem on water but was sick in the car, now it's the other way round (like you, or anyone else, cared).

    Our hotels are at least twice the price of anything anywhere else and the service is at least half as good...a bit like our railways... and almost everything else.

    For the millionth time I ask, why was I not born Scandinavian?

    Well, I dare say you'll have something better to do by now than read this, so I'll say goodnight. Best wishes to the fragrant Vernon... (like he cares by now).

  2. The pillow never arrtived, that'll teach me.

    We got off Mull early today because the weather forecast is poor. Although 1pm ferry hardly pitched or yawed at all which was disappointing.

    Back to the usual grind tomorrow, although I fear I may skive off and take the long weekend.

    Thanks for reading, hope it wasn't too arduous.

  3. It was, as ever, an entertainment.

    Thank you...


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?