Scroll down the page to read Story for January
Here is a Lang Brothers whisky bottle which has lain beneath the ocean (in Loch Linnhe) for enough years to gather a fat crop of barnacles. A bottle with a story.
A sailor was once marooned upon a deserted island and after many years of isolation and contemplation he became enlightened, realising that the only true treasure lies buried within our own hearts. He drew this treasure map, tucked it inside the whisky bottle and secured it with the stopper. He flung the bottle into the currents to carry the message where it would.
Here is the feather quill, nib sharpened and still bearing ink stains, with which the sailor wrote his message. This moulted feather had previously powered a magnificent gull who wheeled and cried above the island.
Here is the old clay pipe which the sailor puffed as he sat on the cliff tops searching the horizon for distant sails. (It is a tale of sadness as well as joy)
Here is the sailor’s old stone heart which he used before he discovered the bliss of Universal Love.
Here is a piece of broken china from the Captain’s own personalised crockery. In fact Cap’n Grindley (from Stoke-on-Trent) was tucking into a big dish of salt pork with mangoes and chillies on this very plate when the ship struck the uncharted reef upon which all perished save our own sailor.
Here is the sailor’s hook hand. Looking at it now, old and rusted, you wouldn’t think it had once saved a man’s life! During the fateful shipwreck when all on board were tossed upon the jagged reef or drowned in their bunks, his hook caught in the rigging and whipped him up the main mast. There he was secured until the following morning when he untangled himself, sodden and salty but alive.
He’d lost the hand he was born with during a sea battle, whilst ramming the shot and powder charge down the barrel of a 32 pounder on the lower deck.
Here are the skulls of seabirds, remains of dinners which were barbecued in yam leaves on the beach every evening as the sun was setting.
Here are pieces of glittering glass, all that remain of the surgeon’s (who was also the ship’s cook) medicine cabinet. The lens from his monocle became a useful device for lighting fires.
Here is some of the salvaged shipwreck, recycled into temporary accommodation until the sailor discovered how to weave attractive huts from palm fronds.
And above all this lingers his ghost. You can still see the horror on his face as he recalls his tales of yore. Or could his expression be a terrible warning? Is he asking you to find the love buried deep in your heart before it is too late?
All evidence has been gathered from the shore of Caol beach, Fort William