CROSSING TO COLL

3 X 1773
18 VII 2013 (Alec)
20 VII 2013 (Ken)

CROSSING TO COLL


Quo me cunque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes

Johnson had given The Rambler this Horation motto, which Boswell aptly applies to his account of their crossing: they were heading to Tobermory on Mull, but the gale forces them out west to Coll.

‘Just where the weather drives me, I invite
Myself to take up quarters for the night’ (Conington)


It was very dark and there was a heavy and incessant rain
It was very dark and there was a heavy and rain rain
It was very dark and there was a heavy rain rain rain
It was very dark and there was a rain rain rain rain
It was very dark and there was rain rain rain rain rain
It was very dark and there rain rain rain rain rain rain
It was very dark and rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
It was very dark rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
It was very rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
It was rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
It rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain


after Boswell



Our crossings, during a summer heat wave, couldn’t have been more different. Ken leaves Oban early on a sunny Saturday morning; the sea’s more Adriatic than Atlantic. The ferry is packed with young people, some making for Coll and Project Trust. But most are going to the Tiree Music Festival, and have a thirst on them even this early in the day; lager or Vodka Ice for breakfast, a contemporary scalch. Johnson would have been pleased to spot a t-shirt quoting Cato’s “Carthago delenda est”, even if the context – a critique of US belligerence – would have been unfamiliar. There’s another North African reference in the repetitive abstracts of the green plastic floor, which remind me of Moorish Grenada.


Bibliography

Bradford, Ernle; Mediterranean: Portrait of a Sea (1971)
Johnson, Samuel; The Rambler, 1750–52