whispered love
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August 1st 2006: Highland Games

Liz and the children are up in Scotland at the moment, visiting my sister-in-law, while I'm looking after the animals. Yesterday they went to the Highland Games and my son said he thought about taking part, but in the end decided not to.

I love the Highland Games and all the memories came flooding back. When I was 20 I worked on a hillfarm near Pitlochry over the summer. Finally I packed my things in my rucksack and decided to walk the 37 miles to Rannoch Moor. It was a beautiful, sunny, windswept day.

Halfway along the route I was descending the road to Kinloch Rannoch when I heard the unmistakable wail of the pipes and, getting closer, I discovered that the Highland Games were in full swing. There was music, there was highland dancing, and athletics. They were calling runners for the half-mile and on an impulse I changed into shorts behind a parked car and entered the race.

I managed to get second place, and received a prize in an envelope which paid for a good meal at the local hotel, before I continued on my journey. I arrived at Rannoch in the middle of the night and some fishermen kindly put me up and cooked me scrambled eggs.

Next day I got up early and crossed the wilds of Rannoch Moor. It was joyful to be alive, with the wind in your hair and sunlight glinting off every lochan. The year restlessly turning towards autumn, and everything in ceaseless flow.


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