It’s time to cross from the Mainland (and that’s the name for the main island of Orkney, not the UK mainland) to Westray. I’ve been working hard so I haven’t managed to book my car onto the inter-island ferry run by Orkney Ferries. I’m worried; will they have a space for my car? I phone them to book and am told that I’m third reserve on the first ferry out today. Third reserve? Oh dear. Looks like I might not get across.
Queuing on the docks I’m told to try driving on the roll-on roll-off ferry and they’ll see if I can fit. I manoeuvre the car sideways into a diagonal but I’m still six inches too long to get on. Oh dear. Time to reverse back up the ramp and get on as a foot passenger with hand luggage. I resign myself to leaving the car on the dockside and travelling back on the ferry tomorrow to pick the car up. “Nay need,” the chap on the docks says, and offers to put it on a later ferry for me. I give a complete stranger my car keys and leave him with all my possessions and walk on. It could only happen in Orkney.
I phone the docks later and he says “It’ll be with you the night.”
Later that afternoon I cycle back to Westray’s ferry terminal and see the ferry arrive. My car’s there with everything in it. The keys are in the ignition and I drive off waving. What a service.