The Angry Corrie 22: Mar-Apr 1995
Forever the Twain shall meet
"Ill newes is come to Court of the Dutch breaking the Chaine at Chatham, which struck me to the heart." Diary of Samuel Pepys, June 12th, 1667
Good news is come to Scotland. We're back. We, who struck at the stockbroker belt before it even existed. We're back, the chain now broken by our very own bureaucrats in Brussels (gnashing of teeth in London), to join hands with our brothers and sisters of the Scottish hillwalking community. Bogs, rain, Calvinist self-laceration... it's like being home.
Many indeed are the traditional ties between Scotland and the Netherlands. Were not the Dutch the first to proclaim the principle of mare librum - free access to the sea? Is not TAC a staunch defender of free access to the hills, which roll along like frozen waves? Do not both countries have land over 1000 feet? Were not Scottish mercenaries loyal defenders of the House of Orange? (Sorry about William III, by the way. Also sorry about pathetic compatriots who have exiled themselves to Scotland to pose as Highland lairds because nobody takes feudalism seriously back home.)
The twinning of The Angry Corry and Platvoets is more than a strengthening of traditional bonds of friendship. A twinning of Highland and Lowland magazines means that after centuries of Cartesian dualism the unio mystica is finally achieved - syncline becomes anticline, yin yang, the person penetrates the other person, and vice-versa. And when you're through with that, the many practical advantages unfold themselves in all their splendour: Platvoets readers can do all the Munros, Corbetts, Donalds and Marilyns in their armchairs. International White Hole Swapping Competitions can be held (we'll probably beat you). TAC subscribers can at last read about a country without tiresome hill categories and ditto guidebooks. They also have an opportunity to learn Dutch. Let's take Maastricht: you only have to stress the second syllable, and use a Scottish "r" and "ch". The others may have to opt out, but you can do it.