Sunday 22 March 2009

Gloats do Roam

Work owed me a day off so I'd randomly said last Thursday would do. What a stroke of luck, the warmest sunniest day of the year so far! I headed off to Conic Hill by Loch Lomond for a bit of gentle exercise. Since getting my great Christmas present- a box set of Weir's Way- I've learnt that this hill lies right on top of the Highland Fault line. You can make out the fault line in the photo above, I think the islands are part of it too. It created the Highlands hundreds of millions of years ago, back then apparently, they were higher than the Himalayas. Fortunately for me they've eroded a bit. 
Below is a close up of the fault line, at least I think it is. It's made up of lots of pebbly rocks in what appears to be a crumbly concrete like mixture. Apologies to any geologists reading this.

Weir's Way was filmed in the 1970s but they started showing it in the early hours a few years back. I met Tom Weir when he was in his 80s and still walking every day. He told me he'd started getting fan mail from young people "The sort that suddenly get very hungry very late at night", he said with a glint in his eye!

Tom wouldn't have liked this. In the wood on the approach to Conic Hill are some remnants of the old Caledonian Forest that once covered Scotland. Some of these beautiful old Scots Pine trees are believed to be over a thousand years old. Yet in the few years I've been coming here they've been shadowed by quick growing forestry trees and many are dying. It seems like madness, couldn't they just leave it clear around these ancient old trees?
On the way back I stopped in at a newish farm shop and smokery, Edenmill. I took a photo but frankly the building's just ugly, a big green agricultural unit that looks like it fell from the sky. 
I was after venison, "Aye, I've got some venison" said the butcher, "But I cannae let you have it". I must have looked perturbed because he quickly added, "It's hanging, won't be ready till Mothers Day". Now it's a funny thing, but until then I'd never associated Mothering Sunday with a well hung stag. 
Luckily the Aberdeen Angus was already well hung, so I was allowed to buy two sirloin steaks. They were utterly delicious. Washed down with a glass of Bierzo, El Cayado, picked up in Oddbins for about £8.99 I think. It was very nice. Black fruits and surprisingly complex. It got better and better as it swirled around my glass. 

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