Monday, September 27, 2010

Pictures from the Top of Ben Nevis

A Victory handstand at the top of Ben Nevis. Well done Derek!

The derelict bothy at the top of Ben Nevis, with many walkers and scramblers picking their way across the ankle-wrecking boulders.

The long and winding road back to base camp in Fort william.

Beautiful day with great visibility and stunning views. It's not always as bright and always check the weather forecast before you start out.

Most of the trail is well maintained but it is still a mountain with precipitous sides and a reputation for catching out the unwary and unprepared.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Karen Matheson: Amazing Grace

Fear a' Bhàta video: Capercaillie sings

The hauntingly beautiful voice of Karen Matheson singing the song, composed in the late 18th Century by Jane Finlayson of Tong, Isle of Lewis, for a young Isle of Skye fisherman, from Uig, named Donald MacRae.

Fear a' Bhàta , The Boatman.

Oh, my boatman, o hòro éile
Oh, my boatman, o hòro éile
Oh, my boatman, o hòro éile
My farewell and health to you, wherever you go.

Often I gaze from the highest hill
Striving to see the boatman:
Will you come today, or will you come tomorrow?
And if you don't come at all it is wretched that I'll be.

Oh, my boatman ...

My heart is bruised and broken;
Often the tears run from my eyes.
Will you come tonight - or should I even expect you?
Or will I just close the door with a melancholy sigh?

Oh, my boatman ...

It is often that I ask of mariners around
Whether they saw you; are you unharmed?
But every one of them says to me
How foolish I am to have given my love to you.

Oh, my boatman ...

My darling promised me a silken gown;
He promised me that and a tartan plaid of beauty:
A gold ring in which I could see his image,
But I fear that he has now forgotten.

Oh, my boatman ...

Although they said you had no substance
That did not diminish my love for you.
You will be in my dreams at night
And in the morning I will search for you.

Oh, my boatman ...

I dearly loved you, I do not deny,
Not a year's love nor for just a season;
But a love that began when I was a child
And will not wither until death consumes me.

Oh, my boatman ...

My friends and kinfolk often say
That I must spurn my memories of you,
But their advice to me means no more
Than the ebbing and flowing of the sea.

Oh, my boatman ...

I will be forever tearful and dejected
Like a wild swan wounded and broken
Wailing its song of death on some weedy pond -
Left by the others, alone and abandoned.