- From: "Nebulous" <Nebulous@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 11:50:20 +0100
A brief discourse on the state of our Nation- otherwise known as 'What I did
in my Summer Holidays.'
Well I'm just back from two weeks away. Some of you may even have noticed my
absence, some of you may have even been grateful. I must say before I start
you have made a real mess of the newsgroup in my absence- Where the hell did
all the cross-posting come from? Haven't you worked out any strategy to
scare them away?
Anyway- two years ago we gave up camping, bought a caravan and decided we
needed to get to know our own country a bit better. Part of the deal was
that having invested in a caravan we really needed to justify it and would
spend holidays in Scotland.
I've just returned from a tour of Pitlochry (3 nights) Oban (4) and
I decided to share some of my general impressions, some more specifics may
follow later, and I have quite a few photos, though I haven't checked them
Its really not out of place to use some strong adjectives when describing
our country. My fortnight has left me a sense of awe, wonder and
Awe- at the countryside. Sitting looking at a seductive green mountainside,
with the light glinting off the scree it's one of the most attractive sights
in the world and would beg of anyone that they get their boots on. Then two
minutes later the sun goes behind a cloud and the vista is replaced with a
forbidding, dark, dangerous looking landscape. This ability to be so
appealing then so frightening at almost the same time is quite something.
Sitting at the side of Loch Ness when the sun was setting and part of the
other side was dark and gloomy and part of it was dancing in the sun was
Wonder- at the people. It is amazing that people managed to carve a corner
out of such primitive landscapes and hold on despite everything else. Its
hard to believe just how much subsistence living it was, even in fairly
recent times. Just one example of that. When Thomas Telford came to start
the Caledonian Canal just over 200 years ago, he found a people that were
unfamiliar with spoked wheels. He had to draw plans for them and demonstrate
how they should be made before he could get the wagons he needed in the
construction work. Yet despite everything they have clung on to their wee
bit of hillside.
Disappointment- at the waste. This is perhaps the most difficult bit to
write, but the people are taking for granted and abusing the most
spectacular of resources. Campsites that are busy and permanently full are
going through a real bonanza at the moment. Yet so many of them have
outdated and disgusing facilities. Brand new pick-ups and the dirtiest
toilets you will find anywhere. Black bags everywhere. Why can't they at
least store waste out of sight? Campsites that are big businesses, with
turnovers well into six figures, run on a part-time basis. High prices for
mediocre food. A real opaqueness about pricing, even museums and exhibitions
with prices not available until you are at the cash desk. Difficulty in
finding prices for food.
Despite the disappointments mentioned above we still had a real Highland
welcome at times. People who would painstakingly and cheerfully give help
and directions for possibly the dozenth time that day. A bus driver
(English) on Mull who kept us entertained and educated on the entire 22
mile trip from the ferry to Tobermory. His repertoire ranged from Sea Eagles
to fish farming to weeds at the side of the road. He was looking good for a
couple of quid as a tip, which is really something coming from an
Aeberdonian, but unfortunately he got replaced for the trip back. The new
driver was someone who hadn't developed the ability to drive and talk at the
same time. I'm not at all sure he could talk, although he managed a grunt
when I thanked him on leaving the bus.
So all-in-all a very good break, I'm back to work tomorrow unfortunately.
Our Country's report card on a fairly limited sample is very clear. Some
good natural talent, but can and should do better.
Sometimes its easier to see things as an outsider that other people miss.
I'm sure the same types of criticism can be levelled at my ain East Coast
fishermen and their rape of some pretty prodigious natural resources.
Then again as my Mother always says- 'Twa wrangs dinna mak a richt.'
- Prev by Date: ss DEUTSCHLAND
- Next by Date: Re: Hail to The Chief
- Previous by thread: ss DEUTSCHLAND
- Next by thread: Re: Highland Tour