The Tourist’s Last Day – the Sounds of Harris

2015-06-27 16.55.57

The Ultimate Tourist’s Trinket

As we waited for the ferry back across the Sound of Harris, I browsed a gift shop. Would the Hebrides be different from other holiday destinations? The Textiliste had bought yarn. Could I resist the lure of one final memento? Was my choice a subliminal reaction to our upcoming ferry crossing?

In gift shops around the world, the treasures there are legion:

Name tags, mugs, flags unfurled, they all define the region.

Many things you’re sure to find, when tourists begin to roam,

With cash in hand and half a mind, to buy something to take home. 

Like, let’s say, the local booze, which tastes so good, and’s duty-free

It would be churlish to refuse, to take a bottle home, or three.

There will be somewhere, on a rack, in sets of square-shaped plastic

Examples of  local musak, that sun drenched ears believe fantastic.

The Hebrides conforms to type, like France, Sri Lanka everywhere

A smiley face, melodic tripe, that once back home brings on despair.

Hereabouts it’s the bloody pipes, accompanied by a tweed ensemble

Which frankly gives me the gripes, and nothing tuneful it resembles.

It’s not that I bear any grudge to this nation by its songs

But if I’d been a better judge, I’d have bought those tartan thongs.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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23 Responses to The Tourist’s Last Day – the Sounds of Harris

  1. jan says:

    The tartan thong is a definite must!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure what “thongs” are in the UK but they are footwear and panties in the US. So, of course, I’m picturing the tartan thongs as “cheeky” underwear in tartan plaid. And thank you for the hearty laugh.

    P.S. Love that statue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha ha ha! There won’t be a le pard tartan though! Didn’t know they had made large versions of the Lewis chessmen. Love those.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meredith says:

    Reblogged this on Covey View and commented:
    Geoff writes a poem for the tourist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha Ha! I loved that, and I bet you are regretting not buying a tartan thong now! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Autism Mom says:

    I am trying very hard not to picture the tartan thong.

    Oh, ok – Royal Stewart or Black Watch?

    P.S. This: “to take a bottle home, or three” Yep. We did exactly that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ali Isaac says:

    Most excellent poem. Geoffle!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That looks like a huge chess piece in your photo. Were there any others?

    As for a tartan thong, that’s an image I now have engraved on my mind.

    Was the booze really duty-free in that part of the UK?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. noelleg44 says:

    Tartan thongs for men? Now that’s a vision!

    Liked by 1 person

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