r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: January 2014

highland drifting

a film by Mickey Smith


Struileag : An imaginary boat passed around at a ceilidh or other gathering. When you have sung or told a story, you'd say "cuiream struileag seachad orm gu..." : "I pass on the struileag to..." for the next person to do a turn.

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Scattered to the winds · struileag.com

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Whaligoe and its Steps

The Whaligoe Steps, Caithness

Men tied these knots round bundles
of themselves, round gear and harvest,
bare possession, stuff. Hitched rawness
to the skin, bound tracks of rope and line
into the flesh, knots holding purpose,
sacrifices of their sex. Their being
burnt like tar about its ends.

With every climb, each gathering
to the hearth, a deeper cut, one firmer
in the hand, within the muscle of the arm.
Each pace the line held, each the cord
brought goods and chance discovery,
the step still firm. Hemp and sisal,
twisted straw: a guarantee, a bet.

Brian Johnstone
Assent, taken from The Book of Belongings

stepping back into history with blethering ben
the Whaligoe Steps, all 365 of them
or is it 330, you count them! ;)
one is left wondering who built the staircase and why
this walk combines a visit to two remarkable attractions
caught by the river, a dedication