Part Two


After 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?

Being impulsive Stan decides there and then “ It’s a holiday I need” “Cheerio hen I’m off to Loch Tay to catch up with old acquaintances.  “Typical male” sulks his mate as she glowers at his back as it breaks the surface in mid stream.

Just 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

Aye 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.

But 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.

There’s 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 here.

It’s 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 clearances.

Anyway 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.

The 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?


To be continued.........

Mac McPherson