Saturday, February 17, 2007

Such a beautiful day

It's a beautiful February morning here in the north of Scotland with hardly a cloud in the sky. Too good to waste so I drive out to Glen Tanar, about fifteen minutes away, and set out off on my favourite walk which lasts about two hours. Here's the river which gives the glen its name. In the autumn it's full of spawning fish.

It's not a long walk but it is steep as you climb up onto the hill. I look on it as a training walk and when Spring arrives I'll use it to get fit. I'll aim to do it about three times a week in order to build up my fitness and stamina. I reckon by the end of March I'll be fit enough to undertake some longer walks.

I usually pause on the ridge to take in the view. This is Morven, a Corbett, less than three thousand feet high. Most of the snow has gone after the recent warm winds. This hill features prominently in my novel, as does the surrounding countryside where a violent kidnap takes place.

I like to walk far and fast. The longest walk I've ever done in one day is about 34 miles. That was ten years ago and it took me around eleven hours. I only stopped once, for twenty minutes or so, to eat lunch. That walk, in the Cairngorms, took in Cairn Toul and Braeriach, two of the highest mountains in Scotland. I'm so unfit at the moment that I doubt if I could walk half that distance. The other problem I have is that my feet are soft. They need to be like leather to avoid blisters, a particular problem in the wet. Right now, because of all the melting snow the track ahead is pretty wet:

I've done this walk hundreds of times in the past ten years. I would guess it's where most of A Half Life of One was composed, and a good percentage of my blog posts too.

In another couple of weeks this pool near the end of the walk will be chock full of mating frogs and frogspawn.

Kind of beautiful right now though, don't you think?


  1. Beautiful, barren vista in that one photo. No wonder no one found the kidnapped woman in Half Life of One!

    PS Pundy, have you heard of Hamish Fulton?

  2. It's beautiful, Pundy. Sometimes we forget about the natural beauty around us.

  3. My favourite picture is the first one. :-)

  4. We are in deep mid-winter here.
    I can almost smell the air.

  5. Bill, How spoiled we are to get these imags on our screens! Wow. I am swept away to your paradise! I will think of you when I do my morning walk along the river saône here in lyon. :)