SCOTLAND DIARIES: DAY FOUR:THE LOCHNESS

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“ Yes” she says “there is a mosque in Inverness where Friday prayers are held. I will find the time for you from the Pakistani Doctor who splits his time between London and here”

I never cease to be surprised and thankful how Muslims of all persuasions and degrees of practice have made Friday prayer an essential in all parts of the world. On the tail of that thought comes the regret of how many years I have wasted in the west never availing myself of attending Friday Prayers as I was under the impression that it was only for men.

I find myself in a time warp……………I am sitting in the home of a music professor and an acupuncturist who is originally from Austria, settled in Germany and now lives in Scotland because it feels “safe”.

Meanwhile a neighbor brings a cake chats in a Scottish brogue and leaves after her chit chat and lots of thank yous from my newfound friend the acupuncturist. It is amazing and minimizing how we label people by their profession than their name………. yet no good alternative exists.

Meanwhile the music professor offers to take me to Inverness in the early morning to mollify my B& B owners who are anxiety ridden that I may stay past 10.30 am which is their check out time.

The uphill trek to the B& B has already destroyed the wheels on my suitcase but I am unaware of what awaits me is worse, where my entire suitcase will be run over by a jeep while I wait to cross the road to the train station.

Morning comes and the view from my window at the B and B is worth every penny I have spent as well as the bad attitude of the owners.

True to promise the Music Professor drives up the hill to the Band B sparing my suitcase another punishment to run it down the unpaved driveway to the main road.

The Scottish sunshine opens its arms to me as we make our way towards the Cruise starting point for the Cruise on the Lochness. He tells me about life in Boston which he left many years ago, and the local politics of land and campers, which have occupied the choicest land, near the water, sold to them by “Darth Vader”. I hear a resonance in his concerns similar to those penned in “The casual vacancy” by JK Rowland.

I arrive at the boarding point of the Jacobite Queen because all that is left of that title in Scotland as far as I know is the Boat I am about to board.

The Loch Ness beckons as the Caledonian Canal makes promises to take me there.

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Traveling on the Lochness in broad daylight is no less daunting than it would at any other time. It spreads its arms, to the boat and the miniscule objects on it, which are us. However despite its overt welcome in the sunshine, it closes the doors to its inner depths within its dark water, which defies vision into its depths. I marvel at Allah’s creation and know that everyone and everything has a purpose.

I look at the deceptive surface of the dark water and know with a certainty that a lot more life lives beneath the surface and in the depths than just the Lochness monster……

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