The Angry Corrie 13: Jun-Jul 1993

Great Misnomers No. 3: Prospect's Problem

Last time Prospect wrote for TAC, on the vexed subject of stalking, he unexpectedly put Tom Rigg's nose well out of joint. Who will he noise or nose - up this time? Tom Weir? Diana Rigg? The MBA? The Branch Bothidian? Who knows?

I have a problem. And I call myself Prospect. Which is why this is called "Prospect's Problem "' Clever, eh? I also look after a bothy in Glen Dessary. That in itself is not a problem, well not usually anyway. The problem is this: I don't know where the bothy is. I know how to get there. I could give you step by step directions from half a dozen different starting points whilst I'm asleep with my arms tied behind my back. Though it might be a bit uncomfortable, so I won't. I can show you its position on a map. In fact any reasonably sentient being could show you its position on a map because the OS clearly mark it as "Bothy". Of course you'd need to have the right map. But that's not a problem because I know which map it's on. But I don't actually know where, geographically speaking, it is. Confused? Well so am I. Which is why I'm asking for your help.

Look at it this way: Most visitors to Glen Dessary describe the area in which it is situated as "Knoydart". I once wrote a comment in the bothy book, quoting a friend who'd remarked: "Of course it's raining. This is Knoydart. It always rains in Knoydart." Then John Hinde came along and added that I should know better: it isn't Knoydart because Knoydart doesn't start until you cross the Carnach river. Which is true. I should and it doesn't. So the bothy isn't in Knoydart.

To the west of Glen Dessary is North Morar - or, depending on how good you are at directions, South Morar. But the bothy isn't in Morar - North or South because they lie, surprisingly enough, to the north and south of Loch Morar. And the bothy lies to the east. To the south is another "nameless" region, dominated by the hills of the Glenfinnan horseshoe. And I don't know what that's called, either. Nor, for that matter, do I care. Strangely enough, there's another "nameless" region to the north of Glen Dessary, but because there's a big strath there, called Glen Kingie, it's usually just called Glen Kingie. Even when someone's talking about the hills. But Glen Dessary, and its sister glen, Pean, aren't really big enough to be used to define a region. (How can a sister be called Glen? - that's a boy's name. Mind you, there's Glenn Close, Sean Penn - which sounds a bit like Glen Peen - and Sean Young, and only one of them's betesticled Ed.)

East of Glen Dessary is a big expanse of water, called Loch Arkaig. Probably because it's a loch, and someone decided that Arkaig was a nice name for a loch. The bothy isn't far from Loch Arkaig. But it isn't in Loch Arkaig because if it was I'd have drowned last time I was there.

The nearest "big" area is Lochaber. But if someone mentions Lochaber, do you immediately think of Glen Dessary? Okay, well maybe you do. But I don't. Glen Dessary is in the area between Lochaber and Knoydart, but it isn't really in Lochaber itself.

So that then is my problem. I know how to get there, but I don't know where "there" is. I know the names of everywhere it isn't, but not of where it is. If any of the hyper-intelligent, mega-brainy readers ofTAC (they're both on holiday just now - Ed.) can help then I'll be eternally grateful. Well, maybe not eternally grateful, but grateful anyway. And as an added incentive, the sender of the best suggestion wins a free invite to the next workparty at the bothy.

TAC 13 Index