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By The Adventures of Yorky
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Wine, Women And Song ~ On The Isle Of Arran ~ 5

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The following morning, Kerry and miself arrived in Glasgow.  We drove our cars to the dock where the ferry would take us over the waters to the Isle of Arran.
     Our first stop was the hotel in Brodick. Kerry introduced me to a few locals who were drinking there.
“Hey Yorky, Kinghorn won’t have the caravan set up until this afternoon so why don’t you park up ya car and we’ll hop in mine and drive around the island. We can stop at all the good pubs on the way.” said Kerry.
“Good idea mate. I’ll know where to go miself then.”
     It was a beautiful island. At first sight, I thought ‘I could have lived here all year round.’
“Have you ever been here in winter time Kerry?”
“No mate. The locals tell me she’s pretty bleak and there’s  no young women around manning the hotels. They all go home to where they come from.”
“Fuck that then mate. We’re just as well shearing in the Outback. At least we’ll be making good money. Is there really 4 or 5 women to every bloke on the Island?”
“There sure is mate. You’ll see tonight when their shifts are over. you’ll be able to take ya pick. Last year, I had 3 in mi bed and they ended up fighting over who was gonna’ go first.”
“Are ya serious mate.”
“Fuckin’ oath, mate. Don’t get saddled with one when ya can have a different one every night.”
“Oh Jesus, am I gonna’ love this place.”
     After touring the Island, we made our way back to Brodick. Before we got there, we saw the caravan that Billy had towed all the way from Dorset. Bill and his brother Jerry were just finishing leveling it up as we pulled up alongside of them.
“Ya made it I see.”, said Billy as we got out of the car.
“Yeah no worries Bill. What a great place to set up the caravan, on a headland. Is it legal mate?”
“It is now. I had a word with the right people and dropped a few quid in their pockets. We’re all right here for a month.”
     The headland was fairly high up. On a clear day we could see a small Island on the horizon.
“What’s that small land mass out there Billy?”
“That’s Ireland. It’s very rare to see it from here. It’s usually too foggy.”
     After Kerry drove me back to Brodick to get mi car, I stashed all mi non-valuables in the caravan and picked out a bed on the ocean side so I could see the ocean in the mornings.
‘This is bloody fantastic.’, I thought to miself as I made up mi bad and stashed mi bag underneath it. ‘If this Island is as good as Bill and Kerry are saying, by the time a month is up, I’ll have had the best holiday any young shearer could have imagined.’

“Let’s go.”, said Kerry, once we’d set up camp. “We’d better take both cars from now on ’cause ya never know where ya gonna end up mate. The first hotel on this side of the Island that we’ll come to is Kildonan. I  drank a lot of grog there last year and picked up quite a few young sheilas. I know the landlord and his young daughter. they’re good people. His daughter plays guitar so you and her will hit it off.”
     The Kildonan hotel was quite a big place. Kerry said,
“Let’s go in the side entrance.”
“What’s wrong with the front mate?”
“Nothing but last year all the sheilas used to sit outside on the wall having a smoke break. No one sits out the front.”
    As we walked to the side entrance, 6 young woman sat on the wall, all smoking fags.
“G’day ladies. How are ya ?”, I asked.
     All six, lit up like xmas trees. As soon as one of them recognized Kerry, she jumped up, ran over to him and threw her arms around him.
“Kerry! You’re back again.”, she said in a thick Scottish accent.
“I sure am love. How ya been since I last saw ya?”
“I’m great. I wasn’t going to come back to Arran this year but the money’s so good and there’s plenty of overtime. So, here I am.”
“This is mi shearing mate Yorky. Make sure you look after him and introduce him to ya mates.”
“Absolutely. We’re having a party tonight, after work. You’ve both gotta’ come alright.”
“No worries.”, I said. “Where ya having it?”
“In the bar, once all the guests have gone to bed.”
“Why d’ya have to wait?”
“They’re all families, with kids. We don’t want to start partying till after 9.”
“We’re having a couple of beers here and then we’re off over to Brodick for a few. We’ll be back later on.”
“Make sure ya do Kerry, you too Yorky. Kildonan girls throw the best parties on the Island.”
     That evening, as we sat in the bar at Brodick Kerry said,
“Drink up Yorky mate. We’ll drive back to Kildonan Hotel. The girls will be partying about now and we don’t want to miss out on that one. “
…And that’s what we did for the whole month on the Isle of Arran.


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