Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Winter Words

From the comfort of Pitlochry Festival Theatre I'm looking out over a fast-flowing river Tummel to Ben Vrackie's sunlit snow fields.

While Lynne reads her 'Tale o Peter Kinnen' and signs books, I have had an interesting conversation with author and battle re-enactor Rob Low who is here to talk about 'Bannockburn, Bruce and the Kingdom Series'.

Some BP friends are up from Hertfordshire for Lynne's 'Literary Lunch' and other Winter Words offerings and while they enjoy that, I'll be listening to a free event - 'War Poets' readings (Sassoon, Kipling and Owen). About to begin.

There is a lovely buzz here and we really must attend more events at this Festival next year.

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Pitlochry Festival Theatre - Winter Words Festival, Saturday 22 February 2014

This Saturday, Lynne will be appearing twice at the final day of the Winter Words Festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

In the morning she will be reading her Scots Translation of Beatrix Potter's 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' - The Tale o Peter Kinnen, now in its fourth edition.

Then in the p.m. she is guest speaker at a Literary Lunch where she will talk about her book Beatrix Potter's Scotland - Her Perthshire Inspiration. (Luath Press, Edinburgh)

Details can be found here

Monday, 17 February 2014

Some snow and sun at last

It doesn't look like it from the photographs but the going was quite hard, particularly higher up. Skis would have been the best means of travel today but I wasn't prepared to risk using them, just in case my knee objected. A couple of walkers sat by the wall enjoying the sun, another photographed the scene to the north but otherwise few people were out on this fine day.

On the top it was definitely Scottish winter weather with a seriously strong cold wind so we rushed off to bag the best spot at the shelter for some nourishment. The two walkers we'd met earlier peered down as they passed and gave us a cheery 'hello'. Most who walk these hills are friendly folk, which can't always be said of those who go to the hills these days. Grim-faced and serious, one wonders why they come.

Two others and a German Shepherd headed across Bentie Knowe only to bail out half-way to seek the calm of lower ground probably.

As dark clouds gathered to the west over Ben Cleuch we also decided to have a leisurely descent in the sun, happy that we'd had the best of the day.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

20 January 2014 - nearly more than a pheasant shot

A few years ago we got caught up in a fox shoot here and felt as though we were in a war zone. Not that any shots were fired but periodically we'd be surprised by a shooter, camouflaged head to toe, leaning against a tree, shotgun or high powered rifle with telescopic sights in hand. As we passed each of them radioed ahead to warn of our presence which, while reassuring, added a military feel to the whole thing.

Today (20 January) it was a pheasant shoot and those involved seemed blissfully unaware that we were walking the drove road and about to pass very close. Too close. Eventually a shout went up -  'walkers'. Some heard, some didn't, and as two pheasants flew straight towards me (and not that high above me) an idiot took a shot; one of the birds dropped behind a wall a few yards away. Why oh why did they not have warning notices? Why not suspend firing for the few minutes it took for us to clear the area? If we hear guns in this area again we'll be staying high.

View east from the drove road

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Will it, won't it

The weather was supposedly improving throughout the morning and despite the gloom persisting for longer than predicted, we were hopeful that things would pick up eventually.

By way of a change we had driven to the Castle Campbell car park above Dollar, our first objective being King's Seat Hill. After that plans were flexible.

The first and very beautiful part of this walk through the wooded gorge beside and above the Burn of Sorrow soon led to open ground and signs of some blue, but..

 shortly after Bank Hill it was all change as cloud enveloped us once more.

Then, almost as quickly

In the relative warmth of the emerging sunshine we stopped at the small memorial beside the path.

Photo August 2010
On 12 September 2009 this memorial cairn with plaque was built on the lower slopes of King's Seat Hill near the place where in 1943 three Spitfires, operating out of Grangemouth on a formation training flight, crashed. Two pilots, aged 20, were killed and a third badly injured. Barely alive, Sgt Vincent Daly was found crawling in the snow by a shepherd twenty four hours later and taken to Larbert Hospital. He survived the war.

The memorial was built by members of the 383 (Alloa) cadets ATC and the Ochils Mountain Rescue Team. Its unveiling was accompanied by a fly past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The false summit. The highest point lies NW of here

Two runners were met just after leaving the cairn but these were the only others encountered all day.

The SW slopes of Whitewisp falling to the Burn of Sorrow

The descent to the the Burn of Sorrow below Maddy Moss and Tarmangie Hill was over large patches of hard snow or frozen tussocks, both preferable to the icey path. Lunch.

Our return by way of Whitewisp and Saddle Hill was delayed by finding a sheltered spot in the sun overlooking Castle Campbell where we finished off Lynne's excellent ginger bread.(More please).

Castle Campbell and Dollar

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


This confident little soul came right over to the car as we were putting on our boots. He got some home-made ginger bread

Heading to East Lomond Hill

Being two posts behind I've decided to add this now - maybe updated at home later.

Anyway we are on East Lomond in reasonable weather and heading for West Lomond in a few mins.

Largo Law stands out clear to the east while to the north and west all is dark.

The two Lomond Hiills are easily visible from Glas Maol etc but today the opposite is not the case.

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