r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: October 2011

the flag in the wind

"It is perhaps in the symbols which men use that their deepest sentiments are most readily expressed....... Flags as well as straws show which way the wind is blowing."    John MacCormick (1955)

Electioneering in the Highlands takes a lot more money, energy and hopefulness than it does in urban districts. Few candidates realise that we are not politically minded. The inhabitants of the glens want a man who will be attentive to local needs and have more power than a county councillor. We are too far from London to be interested in it, and very well aware that it is not interested in us. A voter told me yesterday that a certain candidate would get his vote even if the candidate changed to the opposing party. The speakers turn up at queer times of the day, because if they have thirty miles to travel by car, plus five miles to walk, in order to address about a hundred people and perhaps be back for an evening meeting at a town, they cannot fit their visits in differently. Heaven help them if they think we are not worth visiting.

We attend the meetings of all parties. We like to hear all points of view, and a meeting of the prospective candidate with a small knot of men in a rural district spreads his message by nightfall to other people many miles away. It certainly comes up for discussion in the local pub, where probably his fate is decided. We also go to the meetings for fun. They are not as good as a dance or ceilidh, but at least the performer is new to us and a nice change. If someone can pull his leg, that will provide laughter for a week. We work hard enough on polling day. There are no trams, buses or trains for us. The people of one glen that I know must take an open boat, no matter what the weather, and then go in an open lorry, the jaunt taking all day. For that reason, someone must be left behind to attend to the croft, and is thereby disenfranchised. There should be proxy votes for such circumstances. A difficulty here is that no hackney hires are allowed, nor estate cars, and no one else has a car except the doctor. At such times we hope for good weather and not such winds as have been bothering us lately.

October (1952) 
Wendy Wood , from From a Highland Croft

Full Moon on Loch Ness

for more about Duncan Chisholm and his music, please visit here.

The Big Grey Man

"...tell me that the whine was but the result of relaxed eardrums, and the Presence was only the creation of a mind that was accustomed to take too great an interest in such things. I shall not be convinced. Come, rather, with me at the mysterious dusk time when day and night struggle upon the mountains. Feel the night wind on your faces, and hear it crying amid rocks. See the desert uplands consumed before the racing storms. Though your nerves be of steel, and your mind says it cannot be, you will be acquainted with that fear without name, that intense dread of the unknown that has pursued mankind from the very dawn of time." - Peter Densham (leader of the Cairngorms RAF Rescue Team 1939-45)

taken from here and is the inspiration for the upcoming Highland film Brocken Spectre

more about  Am Fear Liath Mòr here