STAN THE COCK OF THE NORTH
natures ritual of scooping a hollow in the river bed and then fertilizing
the eggs, covering them with sand and small pebbles, Stan says well done
hen, I wonder which one will be Stan Junior?
impulsive Stan decides there and then “ It’s a holiday I need”
before Kinclaven Stan hesitates, there’s the bonny wee river Isla, na
maybe another day. On to Meikleour where the Beech hedges are at their
best during autumn, when their leaves are a burnt orange. The hedges were
planted to honour the men and boys that fell at Drumossie Moor, Culloden
look at the height of them, “magnificent” so fitting for those
highlanders that died for their country. I always go flat oot up the
Murthly Stretch, cannae help it. I just keep thinking aboot Great Grandad,
there’s Murthly Hospital changed a bit though. Easing off now, “take
it easy Stan”. I’m on cruise mode now, scenery’s changing, more
valleys, hills - faster water. It’s
the start of the highland belt.
Birnam - Immortalized by Shakespeare's phrophecy of doom for MacBeth. But what would an Englishmen know about 11th century Scotland or MacBeth who was one of our better kings. Anyway under the Brig into Dunkeld. "I ken that face" it's Pate Cameron fishing off the bank, well-respected bobby, as was his brother. Pate worked with the watchers to catch poachers with their nets, dynamite and poisons to make our run easier.
I am on course for Ballinluig, tempted to head up the Tummel to
Killiecrankie and the Soldiers Leap, lots of mates there. But onto
Aberfeldy, through Wades Brig, what a bonny toon, there’s the Black
Watch monument and Burns did justice to the area telling aboot the birks.
Up that wild river, there’s Menzies Castle.
J.K. Rowling lives there now, that lassies no daft, she kens!
“Ouch whit was that ma heads spinning, och it’s one of those white
water dinghies, am oot o’ here.
the Brig through I go and into Loch Tay. Whit a journey, the Tay is 120
miles long and the Loch 14 miles. All of it with countryside you could
only dream about. That’s Kenmore and the Campbell’s Castle at Taymouth.
There’s naebody in but there’s some folk belting a ball with a stick,
beats me. No far from here is Fortingall, they tell me the oldest Yew Tree
in the world is there and the rumour goes that Pontius Pilate was born
a lovely clear day on the Loch as I move along the East Bank, two wee
villages Ardtainaig and Ardeonaig have hill burns where my cousins the
broon troot live. They were telling me folk wanted to build timeshare
Apartments and Water Ski Resorts here. They found ancient Pictish grannogs
and that put the kyber on that lot. Also dotted up the hills are ruins of
blackhouses, they might want to preserve them as a legacy of the Highland
that’s Ben Lawyers towering above the Loch, snow in its corries for most
months of the year. I listen to the birds when they settle on the Lochs
surface and talk aboot the alpine plants, white hare deer and Ptarmigan
that make the Ben their hame. They go on aboot the view from the peak,
rest on the top crag and 4 counties N.S.E.W. are there to see.
draw of the sea is pulling at me now, but one place and that’s Killin at
the head of the Loch where the Falls of Dochart enters and joins this
mighty Loch. I can taste the peat now but the salts in my blood. Turning,
Stan thinks the journey down stream will be easier……Perhaps?