Wednesday, 25 January 2012

bikes and freedom

Bikes and freedom gang the gether tae, fellow guffers.

Just showin’ off a wee bit since the 2011 census allowed for a declaration of Scots in the language section.

I have lost count of the memorable days out on the bike that have involved whisky and the scents of whisky making as we pass a distillery.
There is a very fine ride from Grantown north on the west of the Spey towards Tamdhu, Cardhu and Macallan before doubling back for a glimpse at the Imperial distillery (sadly dilapidated) and a wee squint at Dailuane. Or Glenfarclas to Benrinnes through the glen in all it’s bleak Scottish Highland glory before making the turn to Dufftown. In that part of Speyside it is hard to move without finding a distillery and similarly on Islay home of our ally thewashingmachinepost the 8 distilleries add a certain spice to your bike ride.

Burns’ Night raises the question of which whisky to have to celebrate Scotland’s National bard. Looking at our storm chasing route of 21 January I can see that we passed close to no less than 5 distilleries. Auchentoshan, then Littlemill now demolished but the casks are owned by Loch Lomond Distillery in Alexandria, Glengoyne on the return from Killearn and close to Tambowie a farm just outside Milngavie lost the best part of 100 years ago but a name mentioned by the bard himself if I remember rightly. Choices, choices. Similarly it is hard to pick out just a few words of Burns. However there are ones that resonate for me and are all the more powerful when spoken out loud. An extract from Tae a Louse…

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!

(in English
O would some Power the gift to give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!)

1 comment:

  1. when the wind is blowing from the south east, I can smell the spirits in the air relishing their memories of Tambowie