highland landscapes, Uncategorized, village life

The view is better without snowstorms

Its not the best day for taking in the scenery from the Glen Truim viewpoint. The wind is blowing hard: this slope catches the brunt, looking straight up to the Corrieayrack pass due west of here. This ridge is the first obstruction to the weather’s force driving unimpeded down the open breadth of the strath – the wide, glacier-carved valley that supports the village of Lagganbridge and all the outlying settlements and farms such as mine at Uvie.
Oh – and it is snowing.
I have driven 10 miles to achieve half a mile. This point looks down directly on the farm-but separated by the river Spey. The roundhouse is clear, the metalclad bunkhouse. I observe the west wall of my tool shed dark with saturated moisture, how the animals are collected on drier ground, apart from the pregnant mothers who stand squarely in the mud with their heads rammed deep into the silage dropped for them yesterday – there is always goodness to be mined in the first day or so before the fermented grass starts to stale.
But this is not what I came for – I have further to climb. The wind helps me up the slope as if with a dancer’s hand on my elbow, but driven shards force me to walk with a hand sheltering the side of my face.
At the top I find what I came for- not the traditional cairn- but a haphazard looking assembly of scaffolding poles bolted to the granite, supporting some modest electrical apparatus. This is part of the relay system for the village broadband system, developed and maintained by volunteers like myself. We have 70-odd subscribers now – but have vouchsafed to provide the service to any locals frustrated enough with the big providers to want it. It is relayed wirelessly from tops such as this, like a yodel perhaps, and I am scanning for a clear view to other village homes from this point

If the weather will permit me.

I see clear to Cluny and Craig Dhubh, Balgowan and Laggan are supplied from another mast, but Glen Truim and Breakachy, candidates for the better service, are invisible, masked by rock or trees.
Another flurry hits as I pack away the binos – time to head back down. The rounded contours of the Nog are distorted by the wind so that he looks angular at times – a thing of facets like a stealth fighter.
It is quieter among the pines – not far to the truck along the forest road.

Job done: another one begun.


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