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Crater-causing meteorites and some close encounters with washing line etiquette.

Byline: Iain Maciver

eople are so pernickety. Some put their washing on the line in a certain order so it looks better if any neighbours are having a peek.

PI had never heard of that until my two sisters-in-law were telling me they always peg their smalls on the line in ascending order. Small smalls on the left and going right up to big bloomers and long johns on the right. Why? "It just looks nicer," said Annie Mary. "No, I would not want my underwear to be just put on the washing line all higgledy-piggledy. That would just look awful," said Joey. They were serious.

They do not have OCD, either. Well, I don't think Annie Mary has, but Joey probably does. She always cleans and polishes. They both reckon lots of people do this form of line dancing, rearranging the laundry on the line. It was drummed into them when young that they should because, er, some people may, er, scrutinise their flapping underthings. Who cares? They most certainly do and the thinking seems to be that if it's going to happen, there must be something nicely lined up there to see. It's almost like encouraging people to gawp.

People would have been gawping a couple of weeks ago if they had seen Mrs X when she fell in that bog on the Arnish Moor, near Stornoway. It was not funny because she sank in it up to her tickly bits; it might only be because she saw an online video about how to get out of a bog that she is even here today. Scary. However, I am now beginning to wonder what else was in that bog. Could it be that when Mrs X fell into the bog, she upset something deep in the swamp.

There have been flickering lights and power cuts in parts of Stornoway since then. Hundreds of homes were completely without power on Thursday night last week. On Friday, Hydro-Electric said it had reconnected the houses by rerouting the power but now believes there was a serious cable fault somewhere on the Arnish Moor which it had been unable to find.

Do you think maybe Mrs X had something to do with it? Maybe when she was kicking around in the bog, she damaged a cable. With those really strong legs, she can really hit out. I should know. Oh heck, I hope Hydro-Electric engineers don't read this column.

And there's something else down there in the vicinity of the Western Isles - in the Minch. I was reading that oil surveys out from Lochinver have found what seems to be a crater on the sea floor. They reckon something from space landed there. In fact, something up to two kilometres wide. That's ginormous. The layering of quartz in rocks on the west coast are all evidence of the same big bang. The statistics are phenomenal. It would have travelled at 40,000mph with a force 940 million times greater than the Hiroshima bomb. They reckon it happened 1.2 billion years ago. Amazing.

I was telling Donald from Lochs about it and he said it's almost as long as it feels the country has been split over Brexit.

And don't get him started on the Conservatives' leadership race. He is convinced Boris Johnson is going to romp home. So much so that he has started eating olives, voraciously. That's because Boris once said: "My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive."

And, while on the subject of what he said about what the future may hold, in 2004 - when Boris got sacked from the front bench - he wrote: "My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters."

Donald is such a silver-tongued charmer. You know they say that some people can charm the birds out of the trees. Well, he can charm the birds out of their police cars. He was in a hurry to get back home to Lochs to see the football on the telly and broke the speed limit as he shot out past Cameron Terrace. Pulled over by the cops, he was grilled in the back of the car by a female officer. He nearly talked his way out of a speeding fine by telling her she was very professional. He even said to her that if she was not on duty he would have asked her out. She was obviously flattered. Then he messed it up by adding: "By the way, that's not the drink talking either."

Poor Donald. Now he is home more, he has more time for domestic chores - like laundry. He doesn't put his pants in order on the line, like the people in Stornoway, but says he and a neighbour have even had a race to see who could hang out the washing quickest. It was level pegging.


The UK's largest crater was found in the sea off Scotland's north-west coast. Caused by a meteorite 1.2 billion years ago - a time even before the country was split over Brexit
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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Jun 12, 2019
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