Postcard from Tom, Orkney 1986

The front

Postcard with writing.
The back

Back in the day, I had friends who sent me postcards. These days they either e-mail, send an expensive text, or we just chat as usual via Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger). This week’s archive postcard is from Chomas, a friend of mine from school days.

Before you read the text of the postcard, you may be interested to know that Tom was the chap that I ran over on my bike somewhere between Arisaig and Mallaig. It was his fault, he’d clumsily hit a “passing place” on the single-track road while looking at his chainset. It was making a funny noise, seemingly. But not as funny a noise as him hitting a hillock at 20 mph, coming off his bike and landing on the road right in front of me.

What could I do? I hit him, of course!

To cut a long story short, his brother delivered a replacement bike that evening and took me home, with big holes in my hands, knees and hips. It was like stigmata but in the wrong places and less holy.

I’ve a feeling that this was a holiday he took shortly after that dramatic tour; I may be completely wrong.

Dear Gareth,

Having a wonderful wet holiday here in Orkney. We’ve visited quite a few of the ancient neolithic sites, gone around some of the other islands, done some cycling (with difficulty ‘cos I bent the crank on my 4-day-old chainset in a slight accident) played some golf in the rain, and gone for some cliff walks in the rain.

I’ve also done some fishing. I managed to hook and land myself a terrible 4 day cold (ever heard of it) which is just starting to subside now thanks to the help of a few (hundred) tissues.


What I think he meant was: wish you were here!

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 49 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

4 thoughts on “Postcard from Tom, Orkney 1986”

  1. I love how you blanked out the first line of your address, especially as your mum is moving now (isn’t she?) – is this to discourage stalking?!

  2. Oh how I remember this!
    Your legs looking the way they did of course.
    I couldn’t believe so much skin could come off someone’s legs!
    I’ve seen worse – but usually on dead things.
    Gareth must still be wearing the scars.

    And the Northern Britiain thing – well, Tom was a true-blue Unionist at the time. He liked Britain so much he now lives in New Zealand. How queer.

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