I follow the Nog uphill on a mild overcast evening.. The snow picks out paths that are barely discernible relics worn by footfall, carts sledges even. Our route takes us up to Sarah Justina Macpherson’s monument behind and above the farm. We skirt the cliffs beneath the rusting enclosure, through birchwoods containing uncanny quiet here in the lee of the westerlies. It is a place of mounds and small valleys, sphagnum moss and blaberry plants with banks of golden chanterelle mushrooms in a moist late summer.
It is also an industrial landscape.
Many of the great houses of the area were built with Creag Dhubh granite. The place would have rung with the sounds of work and activity bouncing from bare granite faces.
So Romanian Mike, come to pick up a site saw that I have no need of, straightens in surprise at the sound of a military jet hammering low down the strath-
‘That’s not what the Highlands is about’-
Maybe not, not now – but sometimes I prefer the noise.