Sunday, 11 September 2011

Thurso, Sunday 11th September 2011


After a day of adventures, Thurso is grey and rainy. Empty shops, boarded up, going to auction or just looking abandoned. The options for a tasy meal tonight are diminishing

Driving across an emptied landscape, warm with purple heather and golden green sphagnum in sprawling patches. Warm, maybe, but bleak with it, long shallow sweeps from one horizon to the next, ridges crested with plantations, and those peat-bog lochans that just lie there, caring nothing for burns in or rivers out, just drawing their water from these deep bog-soaks. What hope here for the crannog, sunk now beneath those dark waters? Trout? Eels? Or just the safety or life perched out on those kelpie-dark waves

A long history of human life and abandonment, from crannogs to the sad gable ends of long low houses standing in too many places across the wide mosses, legacies of shifting populations, or shifted moirĂ© forcibly. Are these tumbled remains old enough to have been clearance settlements or do they speak of a longer, more lasting drain of people from the hills. Given the vehicles I tend to drive, I am wondering about breakdowns here. No mobile reception. In 20 miles I’ve seen two other cars. A farmhouse ahead: a sharp modern shape, but the ever-present sheep are loitering in the garden. and through the windows, these rooms are empty too

and I've left my camera leads and card reader at home....photos piling up and no postings! Frustrating! Will add images later

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