Don’t get too excited, I’m not going on a hike anytime soon. However, about ten years ago I walked the https://www.westhighlandway.org/. Well, to be honest not all 154km. Husband and I skipped about 30km or so, but we spent some time afterwards on the Isle of Skye and made up for that.
I vividly remember the first two days or so, which took us all along Loch Lomond. In sunshine!
Then we had a few days of typical Scottish weather – cold blustery wind, rain, the odd ray of sunlight. But by the time we had reached Glencoe it was all sunny again.
The last stretch down to Fort William was evil. We could see Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain, and we could see the path going on and on and on. The sense of achievement was great though once we arrived. I’m glad we did this long-distance hike – lovely memories.
The world’s in a bit of a commotion these days but that’s no reason not to read the world. It can actually be a good time to take a breath, lean back and enjoy a really good book. Here are two of them.
176 Grenada: Merle Collins – Angel
I learned a lot about the history of Grenada told through the lenses of three generations of women. As I said before, reading in a local dialect is something I’m not so keen on, but here the use of different types of language added to the depth of the characters. The mum being worried about her kids’ education and fighting for it was my favourite.
177 Scotland: Jane Alexander – A User’s Guide to Make-Believe
In times of worries about data protection and privacy, this dystopian story comes as both a stark warning and gripping read alike. It was a book well worth waiting a few years for – including the unexpected way of creating a virtual reality and the gutsy main character.
Small birds and waders are tricky to catch, and small wading birds in full camouflage even more so. I almost overlooked this Charadrius hiaticula which I encountered around sunset some years ago on the west coast of Scotland.
Among other issues this migratory species is threatened by petroleum pollution and wetland drainage for irrigation. We really need to get on with the Half-Earth project and population control of Homo sapiens.
This Erithacus rubecula had made its home somewhere on the west coast of Scotland. The robins I’ve encountered in Scotland and England were a lot less shy than the ones in continental Europe.
The species is hunted around the Med, but generally the numbers seem to be on the rise.
This Corvus frugilegus and I met a couple of years ago in Scotland, on a beach near St. Andrews. These highly intelligent birds face the threads of losing habitat because of extensive agriculture, of losing food because of mercury coating on seeds and the use of pesticides, and of losing their life because stupid humans shoot them (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22705983/0).