Just like Scotland . . .

LATE afternoon. And after two days of heavy Andalucian rain, which shorted out our electricity supply, the clouds break and Sierra de Lújar emerges from grey. I stand on the roof and feel the warmth of sunshine. For the briefest of moments I am in Scotland . . .

How many days have I spent sheltering beneath canvas while clouds cloak mountains to their ankles and rain pours in despairing streams? From Nithsdale to Cape Wrath and Barra to Aberdeen, the ritual of waiting for a break in the weather is always the same: rain drumming on a flysheet; runnels of condensation; another cup of tea; occasional glances into the impenetrable clouds; three more chapters of a thumbed paperback; brief nap; rain drumming on a flysheet.

But when that break inevitably arrives, it stirs the senses and brings fresh hope. A slowing of drums to a gentle pit-patter; an outbreak of birdsong; retreating greyness; patches of blue in ragged skies; glimpses of new snow on high ground; fresh colours and sunshine sparkling on wet grasses; a smell of warmth and trees and wildness; that good-to-be-alive feeling that bursts in the stomach.

Just like Scotland – only a bit more to the south. And no electricity.

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10 thoughts on “Just like Scotland . . .

  1. I enjoyed this read, Alen. I know it so well from Norway. The drum of rain on the roof of the cabin. A glance out on the mountains and the clouds hanging a centimetre above the path, and the joy that bubbles when the sun breaks through. Nature’s rebirth 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Bird whisperer here. Have sent a FedEx package of ten million midges to make the “Scottish Experience” truly realistic. ( I like the standing on the roof…I never did this in Tynemouth because it meant seeing Gateshead, and worse, I would have fallen into the midden.) Midden, look it up in your Funk and Wagnell. Savi…….etc. Peter.

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    1. Hey. I know what a midden is. I was born in the final era of the outside toilet, when there were still holes in the wall where unfortunate blokes used to shovel out the ash-pit in the days before the pull-chain and Izal non-absorbent toilet paper. I think they call them Netties in the North-East and other places of enlightenment.
      Thanks for the midges. I’m hoping they will be gobbled up by all the other flying things down here. Did you catch them at Corrour or are they a Northumbrian variety?
      Cheers, Alen

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    1. Hi Carol. I remember a horrendously wet day in the bothy at Loch an Daimh south of Oykel Bridge. Unluckily, I was just passing through and only stopped long enough to make a brew. I so wanted to peel my gear off and curl up in my sleeping bag – but you can’t have everything in life.
      Cheers, Alen

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