Yesterday afternoon, I arrived back in West Yorkshire following an excellent week at a Strachan clan gathering in Aberdeenshire. The five hours it took to drive home from my overnight stop in Dumbarton diminishing energy levels, but not my high spirits borne from seven days of mixing with my tribe.
On returning into chez Strachan senior (my mums house), I was immediately bombarded with motherly enquiries about the week’s activities, along with how my drive back had been. She also sought assurances I’d washed behind my ears every day I’d been away and worn a vest on the cooler days.
That being said, to be fair to the well-meaning Leeds lass, at least her inquisition on return didn’t spiral into Mrs S’s habitual filling of silence with questions whose answer she already possessed. Unlike her eldest offspring, silence isn’t golden for Maggie Strachan; voids in conversation unwelcome existential imposters for the amiable septuagenarian.
Thankfully, though, as a plunged onto the sofa exhausted at least the questions that bombarded me were relevant, well thought out and weren’t repeatedly asked. The only random observation she felt moved to relay was former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder’s apparent fondness of the rolling scenery of Deeside.
I never saw Gerhard Schroder during my time in Scotland, but to be honest I’ve only a vague recollection of what he looks like anyhow, so that’s purely an assumption on my part. Consequently, if he and his former German First Lady had’ve wandered past me at the Aboyne Highland Games, or had been dining next to me in a Banchory eatery, I’d probably have been none the wiser.
During my adventures amongst the rolling Aberdeenshire landscapes and towns, it wasn’t just Gerhard Schroder who was conspicuous by his absence. There was also no sign of either Mikhail Gorbachev, Jacques Chirac or Bill Clinton in the Grampian area last week.
There was a lass who looked a bit like former US presidential intern Monica Lewinsky meandering around the grounds of Saturday’s Aboyne Highland Games. However as she wasn’t a former world leader and, despite the lady’s interest in a stag horn cigar snipper, it most likely wasn’t her anyhow, so doesn’t count.
Anyways, enough already about last weeks paucity of former world leaders in north east Scotland, Gary!!…….
After a good sleep on my first night in West Yorkshire since my return home, I’m feeling a great deal sprightlier this morning. As I pen this narrative, sadly my views aren’t as beautiful as last week’s in Strachan village, but as Glaswegian poet Mac Maccerson once wrote “A’ guid hings mist come tae an end!”……. Which I believe means all good things come to an end!
Unsurprisingly, looking out onto drying laundry on the washing line will never hold the same aesthetic pleasure as views of Clachnaben hill, rolling green Scottish landscapes and meandering rivers Dee and Feugh. Watching my undies, jeans and t-shirts blowing gently in the West Yorkshire breeze a far less poetic sight than slow eddying waters of the aforementioned water ways.
Anyhow, like many of our Strachan clan forefathers, the kin gatherers have dispersed, leaving the beautiful motherland behind, not knowing when we’ll see her or our clan folk again. Her brood taken from her comforting arms, like the original departing children did centuries earlier. Economic reasons and the spirit of adventure leading her offspring to create a wealth of adventures in various parts of the world.
Be clear though – You can take the boy/girl out of Strachan, but for thousands of us around the globe you can’t take the Strachan out of the boy/girl!
Other musings from my trip to Strachan village can be read via the following links:-