This land is your land...
- Readers may recall the article on fishing access penned by Derek Keith, secretary of the Scottish Campaign for Public Angling, in TAC7. Derek has since been testing the waters of democracy, so to speak, by asserting his "traditional and time-honoured right" to fish the Spey at Fochabers. He wrote to the lairds to let them know the time and the place, arrived with a team of SCAPA supporters, and was promptly served with a 14-page interdict banning him from "fishing or encouraging, counselling, instigating in any way anyone else so to do". This was signed by a motley crew: Major-General Bernard Charles Gordon-Lennox, his good lady wife, two Brigadiers and a Colonel, with addresses in such weel-kent Scots domiciles as Bury St Edmunds and Berkshire. The case currently rests with the Court of Session. Banff and Buchan District Council have also been criticised by the so-called Scottish Landowners Federation for awarding a grant of £100 to SCAPA. Money down the drain, the lairds cry, while keeping quiet about the fact that they themselves pay a mere £1 per annum rent for six miles of Spey trout fishing rights - water which can rake in a cool £20-30k per week in season. Did someone mention recession-proof industries...?
- Personal note: September, and TAC editor meets TAC editorial sister for an inter-sibling holiday in The Galloways. Sister is not the world's most regular hillwalker, except in company of her brother - when such things are, of course, compulsory. Anyway, sister watches video of TAC editor's famous appearance on The Munro Show along with his enigmatic sidekick, Perkin Warbeck. "What did you make of that then, eh?", editor enquires. "Great, really funny", replies sister, "and that Muriel Gray, she's very like Anneka Rice".
- And then there's this tale of topographically-challenged country folk submitted by John McIntosh (erstwhile contributor to these pages but nowadays to be found belting out Springsteen and Van the Man numbers in Glasgow's Moray Arms of a Sunday night, poor soul). Recently having moved to Crookfur, one of the Dear Green Place's more spam-ish suburbs, he one day ventures into neighbouring megascheme South Nitshill in search of DIY stuff from B&Q. Car pulls up alongside at lights. Window winds down. Woman in passenger seat looks up from Collins Road Atlas of Great Britain to ask astonishing question: "How do we get from here to Glen Coe?!" Now, Nitshill to Byres Road would be hard enough, but John apparently at least tried the first left, third right routine before opting out with "I'd find the Erskine Bridge first if I were you". Sounds like they were what we hillfolk habitually call "temporarily misplaced"...
- And whilst on the lost and found theme, Calum Hind, another erstwhile TAC contributor (there are so many!) reports mislaying a contact lens on the SW ridge of Ben Lawers in mid-October. With it being cloudy and windy at the time, and being temporarily half-blind anyway, he didn't hang about for a hands-and-knees search. But should anyone chance upon it, he'd very much like it back. Shouldn't be too hard to find once the clag lifts.
- And talking of the Collins Road Atlas it isn't that far removed (one letter in fact) from a Coolins Road Atlas A fine and splendid thing this would be, filled with overblown descriptions and Poucherian purple prose: "...from the gigantuan M25 descend into the Stygian gloom of the Dartford Tunnel, bypassing several Policemen en route...", or "...the Killiecrankie section of the new A9 is not for the ordinary pedestrian...". In these recessionary days of Munro guidebooks penned by the oh-so-bland McNeishes and Butterfields of this world (and what are we to make of the latter's new dot-to-dot colouring book, The Munroist's Log?), isn't anyone game for a Walt Revivalist Society? After all, when's the last time Donald Bennet was spotted wearing green eyeshadow?
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TAC 10 Index