Schottland 1974, Teil 6 … Scotland 1974, Part 6

Die deutsche Version findet ihr HIER, zusammen mit Teil 7.

Scotland 1974, part 6

This map is just to show you, where in Scotland we were moving around after Glasgow. As far as latitude is concerned, Morar is in the middle between Aarhus and Aalborg in Denmark. The islands on top of the tip are the Orkney islands. The Shetland islands are even further up north.

Morar and Loch Ailort

Morar, photo: Pixabay

July 11, 1974 (Thursday)

The next morning the sun is shining! So my friend and I sit down in the landscape to play music. On the opposite bank of the bay I see the stripes of the white beach ’The white sands of Morar’, which has made Morar popular as a seaside resort (at least with the Scots). We have hardly unpacked our instruments when it starts pouring again.

In the next moment of sunshine we hike to Morar, four kilometers away. Seen in the light [the day before we walked it in vertical torrential downpour, if you remember …], this route is very picturesque, but I would still have frozen if I, like some Scots, had been sitting on the beach in a bathing suit. But they are used to their weather. I’m dressed in a turtleneck. At the end of the trip my face, hands and a small piece of forearms are tanned …

In Scotland they say that the weather is fine, when there is a piece of blue sky big enough to make a kilt out of.

The salmon streams we pass are all fenced in and private owned. They are mainly owned by aristocrats or influential Englishmen or the royal family, as is practically everything valuable in this country. That must be a remnant of old times, despite the SNP (Scottish National Party) and „A man’s a man for all that …“. That just seems like wishful thinking. It is the title of an old song (for those who don’t want to read the whole song, here is a brief summary of the contents:

Better poor than a slave;
an honest man, even if poor, is a king;
a man who thinks independently laughs at titles and medals;
Let us pray for sense and self-worth to prevail and for people all over the world to become brothers.

(Pretty progressive ideas for the 18th century in Scotland, where there was still a rather strict hierarchy, also in the clans.)

Full song text:
Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an‘ a‘ that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a‘ that!
For a‘ that, an‘ a‘ that.
Our toils obscure an‘ a‘ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a‘ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an‘ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a‘ that:
For a‘ that, and a‘ that,
Their tinsel show, an‘ a‘ that;
The honest man, tho‘ e’er sae poor,
Is king o‘ men for a‘ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an‘ stares, an‘ a‘ that;
Tho‘ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a‘ that:
For a‘ that, an‘ a‘ that,
His ribband, star, an‘ a‘ that:
The man o‘ independent mind
He looks an‘ laughs at a‘ that. 

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an‘ a‘ that;
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa‘ that!
For a‘ that, an‘ a‘ that,
Their dignities an‘ a‘ that;
The pith o‘ sense, an‘ pride o‘ worth,
Are higher rank than a‘ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a‘ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a‘ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an‘ a‘ that.
For a‘ that, an‘ a‘ that,
It’s coming yet for a‘ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a‘ that.
(1795, Robert Burns)

Very fitting that a man with the name Burns sings it.

[For those interested in Scottish history I can recommend John Prebble’s books: The Highland Clearances, Glencoe and Culloden.]

In Morar we sit down in the doll house like, really cute little pub. Our music  [that must have been my friend’s guitar] soon attracts a young Scottish couple, with whom we have a lively conversation. Their names are Margaret and Malcolm and they come from Bannockburn. For the next day they invite us to dinner in their caravan. Malcolm is in love with my girlfriend’s guitar. He would like to take it with him.

July 12, 1974 (Friday)

In the afternoon, Margaret and Malcolm take us on a sightseeing tour of the area, and we visit a salmon nursery  at Loch Ailort. Malcolm would like to find work here on the coast because his dream is to own a fishing boat.

There is not so much to see, the salmon cages are out in the loch. So at least they don’t get artificial water.

In the evening we sit comfortably together. From the caravan you can see the bizarre outlines of the islands (Hebrides), with the strange names ’Rum’, ’Eigg’ and ’Muck’. Margaret shows me a typical Scottish handicraft, gemstones from pressed heather (heather gem). It looks very nice, and depending on which parts of the plant are used, the rings or cufflinks or pendants are mostly green or purple. Later I’ll buy a ring, the ’stone’ of which is made from sliced ​​heather stilks. That is, of course, in shades of brown.

Heather gem, my own gems, my own photo.

Malcolm went to Glencoe once too. There the landlord in the pub asked him: „Are you a Cambalaich?“ – „No, I am a MacInnes, why?“ – „Because I am not serrrving a Campbell over this counter!“ – Almost 300 years after the massacre, still such an irreconcilable hatred [13 February 1692; in 1974 it had not been 300 years].

(To be continued)