I’m still at my parents’ in Pitlochry. Yesterday we went to the Linn of Tummel, a beautiful waterfall, where we spotted a couple of interesting things –
1/ a humane trap for American mink with just a sandy bed which records their footprints if they pass through
2/ an early example of a salmon ladder
Dad, who used to be an environmental scientist, explained about the journey of salmon upstream (and fish ladders help them get past waterfalls and man made dams) Salmon return to the same river each year to lay their eggs. Not only to the same river, but in long rivers like the Tay (100miles long) to the exact same point where they were born. This is because the salmon are adapted to the exact environmental conditions of that point and the offspring they create will be able to thrive in those conditions. Man shouldn’t mess with this – fish farms ruin the natural balance of different fish moving downstream at different time when they escape and everything goes wrong.
Fact – fish scientists in the UK have been finding male fish with female features due to the high levels of oestrogen in our rivers probably from women taking the contraceptive pill
Skimming stones across the Tummel I will always be impressed dad
you can hit the other side
And mum proudly feeds you smooth flat stones
Afternoon tea there was too much chocolate on that plate
But great for a pipe band raffle prize
That morning, a jacuzzi, shared reluctantly with two old women who knew
everything about me and I politely smiled when they labelled me free spirit
and showed empathy
That her dog died of epilepsy
I scoffed the salmon, smoked to perfection but failed to see there was no sell by date
and i bore the consequences until I lost a few pounds
And didn’t know how to answer my 80 year old neighbour when she asked my opinion
on legalising drugs
Some good things coming up…
- My Peruvian friend Arturo is coming to visit from Holland for 3 days amidst the chaos of moving. We hung out for 2 months in Cusco 15 years ago and have only met once since but he has remained a big force in my life from afar. It is amazing how some people stick and others lose their grip so fast they are only a shadow passing through. The day I met him he taught me how to breathe through one nostril then breathe out through the other, on a day when I was just another lonely backpacker with a notepad in the square.
- Carla and I have booked our first 3 nights in a hostel in Tulum, which is supposed to be very friendly, but bed bugs have been reported. We will use our special sheet sleeping bags to protect ourselves.
- We have booked tickets to see Paper Cinema at Battersea Arts Centre on 9 Feb. It looks fabby.
I love Battersea Arts Centre. It’s such a magical place with so much character and innovative programming. The last great thing I saw there was 1927’s All the Children and Animals took to the Streets
They are a company to watch out for.