We came close to getting the real stories then. But they
never came out that night. They never did, in my hearing.
And the olman never gave much away, either.
That last visit, it was all a bit sudden when I said I’d better
be heading now because Gabriele’s brother Michel was over
from Germany and they wouldn’t eat till I got there.
Something went, fast as a North Minch rain squall, across
his face. He knew that was it, even if I hadn’t faced it yet.
He did say something to me though. Very low-key.
Don’t wait till you’re an old man
‘it might never
happen. You tell your own stories when you need to.’
I never took the chance to tell him what it all meant to me,
the runs out to fanks at Griomsiadair. An initiation into a
world of blood, sweat and yarns.