It started out as a half-assed plan, hatched during a closed season beer & bullshit evening with Neil [he of the jammy bugger smile]. Far too much bullshit and way too much beer, in fact, so much beer that I had to be reminded that a plan had bee hatched at all!
This was a very long time ago – a couple of seasons at least. Since then we have been holding regular Strategy Planning Meetings in the same pub where the hatching first happened, with the result that asolutely nothing has been planned. More bullshit, more beer.
Last November I bought a tiny camper van that will be our home for a week or so.
Obviously, it would have been foolish to spend a week away without trying out the practicalities first so I used the occasion of the Monnow Social 2009 to give it a thorough work-out. In hind-sight, this could have been a mistake. Unfortunately, as regular readers will know, the Monnow Social is a weekend of liver abuse with a little fishing thrown in – irregular readers should take a look here and here to see what it’s all about. And, as a picture speaks a thousand words, check out Gareth’s photos.
So, now that the scene is set I feel I can be forgiven for leaving the Social with images of Tony head-butting the table and Morgan trying to roger a red-hot BBQ but very little idea of how two grown men were going to get along in such a confined space.
Scotland. To one born & bred such a long way south of the border, more of an idea, a concept than a real place, where people live out there lives. It conjurs up so many images, most of which were manufactured by English romantic poets, rather than having any real basis in the true oral traditions on this ancient land. Wasn’t it Carlyle who accused Keats of ‘weak eyed mauldlin sensibility’? He was probably right but, we are left with the impressions of our youth and there’s little we can do to shake them off. One fact that no-one deemed necessary to pass on to me at school was aptly summed up by Neil when we were gazing at the map ‘Bloody ‘ell. Big innit?’.
Big it is. Not by comparrison the the Russian steppes or the American mid-west, but for us southern softies, accustomed to towns and cities being slowly stitched together by urban sprawl so that they form an almost unbroken conurbation from west to east, north to south – Scotland, at least from the map readers point of view, certainly has an awful lot of nothing.
So tomorrow, we head north, looking for nothing and hopefully finding a whole lot more.