The Angry Corrie 9: Sep-Oct 1992
I write in response to the well-meaning but sadly misguided letter from Hugh Tooby in TAC7, full of trendy 90's eco-prejudice and poppycock about the true evils afflicting wild Scotland. I suspect he is well-educated, possibly a professional, claims to live in the Highlands and, as such, is a dangerous species - a thinking person who is prepared to speak out against the true guardians of the land - the people who own it.
As an Angry Corrie owner (mostly when selfish walkers spoil a day's stalking or upset the sheep), I have read TAC occasionally, satisfied that it is no real threat to my interests. Keep to Bagger-Baiting I say - it's good entertainment and at the same time perpetuates the idea that hill-goers really don't need to be treated seriously, being little better than country hooligans in need of escapism.
Life is getting harder - people are starting to question the status quo too much, starting to analyse problems and even question why so little is done to halt the degradation of the land. Whilst the Cairngorms Working Party are to be commended for their straight bat, the rabble-rousers will no doubt suggest through rose-tinted spectacles there's an alternative, a 'sustainable' model. The debate is already too public - let's not broaden it yet further.
There's already too little respect for us landowners and preservation of our vested interests. Let Dr Tooby get going and who knows where it will end - action from the Scottish Office, the extremists getting a say. No, I suggest TAC continues to ignore the real world and pander to prejudice and escapism.
Angry Corrie Owner.
Angry Corrie proprietor replies - Great mixed metaphor: straight bat and rose-tinted specs in the same sentence! Keep up the good work! And what's this about a panda? The only pandas I've ever seen have been at Arnold Clark carhire.
Congratulations! TAC7 is a complete success. Great to see 'Murdo' having a pint with 'Casper'. Culture meets culture etc. I can hardly wait for the next issue. 'Murdo' bumps into Blondie and Dagwood at Sourlies perhaps? Keep up the good work.
PS - You haven't made an obscure reference to the Grateful Dead for ages.
Ed - Perhaps we have, but one so obscure you haven't noticed it!
Murdo reminds me of my hillwalking companion, except my mate isn't a pedantic bore and since he became a bit of a career man he's kept the hair and facial foliage neatly trimmed. Anyway they both wear glasses, so that's good enough for me.
Re Perkin Warbeck's berating of Rennie McOwan in TAC7 - while en route to the Tarmachans recently I spotted a woman dressed in the latest Goretex performance activity outdoor wear cagoule heading up the tourist path to Ben Lawers, toting a dainty white and black polka dot umbrella. It wouldn't have been so bad if she'd been wearing a pac-a-mac and wellingtons, but to have all the gear and still be afraid to squash her hair-do..... I am not a hillwalking snob BUT xx!!**?
Long may your word processor beep,
PS - I know this is irrelevant but Theo Snelders is definitely the thinking woman's goalie.
Ed - ... which presumably makes Davie Dodds the thinking woman's striker? And anyway, football's never irrelevant....
Just a wee letter to offer congrats on issues 6 and 7, both of which I enjoyed thoroughly. Everyone I'd spoken to thought Moira Kerr's musical accompaniment to MacInnes' coffeetable programmes was 'really nice'. Frightening, isn't it? I mean, the lassie deserves a medal for nerve in cramming a phrase like '...from my ancestral burial-ground' into a plod-rock number, so the hearty slagging in your mag was glorious to read.
I can EXCLUSIVELY let you know NOW that there are whispers in court circles, rumours of tears, tantrums, suicide attempts even. Gossip centres on the old cliche of 'She really wasn't fit for the lifestyle. She really should have stayed on her own level'. And so it seems that the tabloids (The Outdoor Grates, Climber and Mechanic) will be harrying poor old Foinaven - who, it seems, feels trapped in her new role as a Munro. Do the press have the right to pay so much attention to that select group of hills making up the Munro Family? No wonder they find it so difficult to cope with the pressure!
Scene: March 1992. McVey climbs Ben Ledi from the north. Thick mist. To save time on descent he decides to use the twenty-foot wide glaury tourist path. Ten minutes off the summit he comes on family of four ALL in Rohan gear, father limply holding OS map with the same degree of incomprehension as Annabel Croft on Treasure Hunt. 'Excuse me', says father, standing right in the middle of said 20-foot wide path, 'can you tell me which way to the summit?'
Milton of Campsie
Spaced invaders at Culra bothy:
A close encounter with spaced invaders occurred at Culra bothy at 0030 hours on 28th June. We were wakened by shouts of 'Hello the bothy', and bright white lights were seen outside. When the aliens revealed themselves, they looked human except that they had a lamp inserted in their foreheads. An alternative possibility was that they were human, but had a lamp in their heads instead of a brain.
They offered hash, acid and alcohol as peace offerings, but were declined. It then became obvious that the aliens were of low intelligence, as they did not know how to get a fire going. Luckily for them, a desperate nicotine addict agreed to get a fire going in return for cigarettes. A cultural exchange of music took place over the next few hours before all went quiet.
Their spacecraft was seen outside the bothy as we left for Ben Alder. It was cunningly disguised as a Vauxhall Cavalier. It had suffered damage on landing, as the back end was bashed in. We saw no more of them, as when we returned their spacecraft had disappeared.
I thought that this encounter should be brought to your readers' attention, as perhaps this is not the first time such an incident has occurred at Culra. Maybe there is a 'Dalwhinnie Triangle', and such close encounters are not unusual. Would TAC consider compiling a dossier of such incidents in order to do research on lower forms of life to be found in the hills.
Ed - DOSS-ier sounds the right word! We've despatched our very own Dr McSharkie to study the subject immediately, but there's no telling when if ever, he will return.
Re Alan Dawson in TAC7:
If you're writing a book about the 'Relative Hills', surely you wouldn't use a 500ft criterion, as relatively speaking those lower hills listed down this way would be relatively bigger. How about a drop of, say, a sixth of the height of the summit, making it 500ft for 3000ft hills?
That way the bulge at the end of my garden could be included!
Ed - That way parts of most people's bodies could be included!
Your contributor's experiences at Sourlies Bothy (TAC8) reminded me of a stay at Ruigh in May 1989 while on a trek from Kingussie to Braemar. We arrived to find the bothy monopolised by a party of four teachers who ignored the bothy book's warnings about the stove's ability to smoke and proceeded to fumigate the place!
They were roughing it (wine boxes and tinned food), and had state-of-the-art lightweight sleeping bags that would have been suitable in a caravan. We abandoned the trek to Braemar because of a blizzard...
What came to mind also was the effect that these and similar folk have on lairds etc - it is no wonder that mountain shelters are being dismantled (Jean's Hut, Sinclair Hut to name but two).