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Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Last Traveller a wee tale from the tin can in the highlands of Scotland by the Dafthermit

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The climb up the hill was the hardest it had ever been each step seemed to drain more and more of his energy
but eventually he made it to the hidden glen
As the small fire took hold  at last some warmth wrapped itself around the traveller as he sat back and looked down the mountain side where he had come up from .
he could see his tracks off into the distance
nothing else was visible no other signs of human activity for as far as he could see
The feeling of joy at being in the mountains again washed over him and putting the hot cup of coffee to his lips he was glad that he had made the journey home

With his damp boots and socks nestled by the crackling fire to dry out
his mind wandered and as the darkness swept in from the west he could not help but think this was a sign of things to come
For the years he had been away from the highlands he had been disturbed by the way things were happening all across the planet
His years of travels flashed in front of him from Paris ,London ,Berlin and beyond
But as time had crept up on him ,over the last year or so he had felt an overpowering feeling of tiredness and something told him to head back to the mountains NOW.
He had watched as sameness crept across the globe and the rise of celebrity diluted all cultures across the globe
one day it will be hard to tell which country you are in let alone which town or village
but above all the feeling of lack of tolerance towards anyone or anything that dared to buck the norm, scared him more than all the things along the journey of life
 
But sitting here by the warm fire nature nipping at his toes he was happy and thankful for a wonderful life’s journey

so many people so many sights ,smells and sounds .
As his feet warmed up by the fire he gazed at the night sky it seemed to be more clear and star filled than he had ever seen in his lifetime
he watched as embers from the fire cracked and spat wee lights high into the night sky as if adding more starts to the already jam packed clear sky
Placing the coffee cup onto a wee rock by his left side a multitude of voices called out
faces and voices from far away some smiling some crying for what seemed like hours images flashed before him, but he was sure it had been only a couple of minutes
Then as quickly as it had started it STOPPED and peace and quiet returned to the glen and the high mountains pass .
Again the feeling of tiredness overcame him but this time stronger and more intense than he had felt ,he lay back against the moss covered rock wow4
Above his head a mist rolled in over the ridge of the mountain and raced down the heather lined side to wrap itself around him completely in a tender embrace the like he had never felt.
from deep inside the mist two hands reached out from a warm red glow to take his heart in a gentle caress ,a feeling of fulfilment and journeys end flashed around his body  
His head rolled to the side and his last hand rolled fag dropped from his warm lips and hitting the ground the fire on the tip hissed and darkened in a wee pool of highland mountain water
the final sleep gathered him in her arms and with a smile beaming from his face the traveller was GONE
the fog slowly lifted skyward all signs of the traveller and the fire were gone ….
from high in the sky a brilliant yellow moon cast her light on the magical highlands
                                                             ……The End….

            A wee story by the Dafthermit in the tin can in the Highlands of Scotland   


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The piper of Glascarnoch Loch

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With a final look at the night sky and the huge halo around the moon i smiled and  closed the door and hurriedly headed to bed .
Already all life in the bus was in the land of nod ,snoring and dream filled whimpers filled the room
Pulling the duvet up i fell back onto the pillow and started to drift off ,it had been a day filled with sites and sounds that only the mountains can supply.
In the moment between being awake and asleep i could hear the sound of some pipes drifting passed the bus ,many times over the year i have heard this sound sometimes passing the dam other times sitting by the loch the haunting sound of the pipes would drift passed .
Tonight was different the sound was  clear and so loud almost as if someone had pulled into our wee parkup
i pulled on my dressing gown and went to see who it was that had pulled in,many times people in trouble on the road would stop and ask for help
but as the door pulled back to reveal nothing ,no one was there yet the music played on .. i was shocked but just put it down to the wind and maybe someone was parked just up the road turning to head back to my warm bed i stopped and listened
the sound was louder and seem to be played with so much passion
before i knew it i was walking along the side of the road heading towards Loch Glascarnoch
The full moon was resting on the summit of Ben Wyvis  and lit my way almost as if it was daytime. still the music played on .
As i walked passed the wee copice of woods on the left the music STOPPED and as the loch came into view
peace and quiet filled the glen no wind nothing just quiet ..
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Looking up the road towards Loch Glascarnoch dam and Aultguish inn beyond i could see that no one was parked at any of the layby’s ..
For the first time since coming back to the mountains a feeling of terror filled my whole body the hairs on my neck stood proud , a shiver started , shocked and reverberated throughout my body
a feeling of being watched was overwhelming but i shook my head and forced myself to get a grip and as i did the negative feelings seem to leave to be replaced by quiet and calm once more ….
Looking to the loch i was sad that i had forgot my camera the loch and mountains were a perfect image the very air all around was pure and cold
Something seemed to beckon me to the water edge and i made my way there ,i love these mountains and as i have said they have given me a feeling of place and space like i have never had in my life .
Sitting on the rock a feeling of wonder rushing around my soul a splash in the middle of the loch caught my eye
water flew into the air an fell onto the blue cracked ice again another splash this time a few yards away
a pike was on its hunt for food ?
Ice covered nearly 90 percent of the water .the natural shapes and colours from the ice truly nature the artist at play .

the wind stirred and played with the shapes formed by the ice ,sounds echoing of the mountains and rolled back to the loch and seemed to race to the dam wall only to disappear over it and off down the glen to Garve .
A cloud rolled in and slowly the light from from the moon faded and i was left sitting there in the dark only the stars where left to cast a dim light out across the frozen water
at the edge a small crack in the ice quickly grew and grew then a loud crack was sent bouncing off the walls of the glen and a large piece of ice started to rise skyward gently rolling to the left before crashing back to the water
i stood back trying to work out what could have caused this sudden movement in the frozen surface
i watched as a mist rolled down the side of the mountain and quickly reached the edge of the water and with a strange feel to it i watched as it rolled out and within a minute the loch was almost invisible
the cloud that had covered the moon rolled on bye ,the golden rays from the moon shone on the fog ,the atmosphere took on a foreboding feel and once again a feeling of terror gripped me
i noticed a large rock to my left and dived behind it not sure what i was escaping from but every sinew of my body said this was wrong
i looked round the edge of my large piece of moss covered granite to the water and what i saw froze me to the spot even though i tried with all my might i could not dive behind the rock for cover
From the water a head began to emerge strange pieces of material draped from it ,that only as the head rose was i able to see it was weed from the depths
i managed to step slowly back behind the rock but the image before me captured me like nothing in my life before
and i watched as a man wearing full highlands dress emerged the ice parting as made his way to the shore he was carrying a set of pipes in one hand the other held a huge golden claymore he glided out from the loch and as he stood there under the moon
water dripping back onto the ice with only a faint splash
he stopped to look all around he headed for a large rock i stared in awe ,then the piper once again stopped and slowly he turned his head towards me and let out a call in Gaelic i could see that his right eye was missing and in its places a small stone was lodged
a large scare was etched into his face from the corner of his mouth up to his left ear
i dived to my right forcing myself against the rock without thinking i stopped breathing and fear gripped me i was sure he had seen me and i waited for what seemed like an age before gathering the courage to turn and look again .
after a couple of minutes i convinced my self i was just dreaming to much cheese before bed as my old mum would say
getting to my feet i turned and as quickly as my confidence had returned it vanished there not two feet from me was the piper pipes at his mouth the sword strapped to his side
i thought my heart was going to explode and with it my life would end here at this wonderful highland snow covered spot
But with one smile from the piper all my fears went to be replaced with an overwhelming feeling of warmth and peace
he beckoned me closer and before i knew it i was shaking hands he said with the softest voice sit and i spent the next hour listening to some of the most haunting and passion filled music i have ever heard
at the end of it he took of his cap and nodded to me and heading  back to the water and entered it
the frozen water lapped at his feet but in seconds he was fully emerged and the sound from the pipes had gone
the last image i have is when he had turned to go i could see several tears in his jacket and a large knife handle was sticking out, fully embedded to the hilt how many years had he carried this reminder with him ..
I headed back to the bus
I think i will keep this wee story to my self

peace and light

the Dafthermit
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The coming of spring to the highlands of Scotland,and the piper of Glascarnoch loch

The coming of spring to the highlands of Scotland


With the coming of spring to the highlands i thought i would make a wee film to celebrate it.
The last couple of days have been full of glorious sunshine and hardly a cloud in the sky followed by severe drops in temperature 
For the first time in a long time the air pipes on the truck froze as did the oil in the gearbox and the wee petrol generator but to me this is all part of the fun..
Today i was out filming again and headed to the tower have way down the loch and the walk out to it with my fear of heights as company along the way .

strange how that fear has never left me even after some of the crazy things i was forced to do while in the army .

But it was worth the walk out and i hope to have the next wee film ready in a few days ,also a wee story i am working on at the moment called

The piper of Glascarnoch loch

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