few years ago there was a small stir of excitement in our area. It briefly lit up the gloom of our northern Scottish winter like the Northern Lights, which are quite visible to us at this latitude.
Apparently a man – a Marine, no less – had walked, wearing nothing but a grin and a beard straight out of Lord of the Rings, from the South of England into Scotland, up past Loch Ness and the Highlands where I live and on to the very northernmost point, John O’Groats – in winter. A Scottish winter, at that! I’m not sure where his starting point was but he must have walked about six hundred miles. Forest Gump would have been impressed. It was either a very brave, or foolhardy course of action, depending on your point of view but it certainly bought him his fifteen minutes of fame.
There he was on TV, being carefully filmed from the waist up, the way they used to film Elvis Presley in the early days.
“Everyone”, he said, “should be free to follow my example if they’ve a mind to”.’Not even as a joke’, thought the whole of Scotland, ‘and even less in winter’.