What would have been – Day 14 Thursday 23rd May 2019 Brownmuir to Inverbervie

Reproduced from www.viewranger.com. Map data: Ordnance Survey ©Crown Copyright and/or database right 2016. License number 100043379.

From Camp follow road SE to Fordoun. Cross A90 and follow the B967 in a SE direction to meet the A92. Take the A92 SW to the junction of King Street/Kirk Burn and turn SE. Journey ends on the beach in Bervie Bay.
OS Landranger series maps: 45
Length: 12.73 km                         
Total Ascent:  118m
Total Descent: 186m
Max Elevation: 90m
Min Elevation: 0m
Route Profile:    

And so begins my last day. As I decamp, I am deep in lands I am familiar with, but having never stepped foot. This is Lewis Grassic Gibbon territory.

Most people will never have heard of Lewis Grassic Gibbon, but virtually every school child in Scotland will have, at one point in their lives, encountered a fascinating life and coming of age of Chris Guthrie in the book Sunset Song, the first installment in the Scots’ Quair trilogy.

Grassic Gibbon’s approach to life in NE Scotland Rural communities was controversial. Book 1 of the trilogy, Sunset Song was voted in 2005 as Scotland’s favourite book. It chronicled the advent of war, motorised vehicles, gentry v peasant, with political references, and conscientious objection. It is honest and open about the britality of non consensual sex, the reality of childbirth and its consequences, and how war can change and take a man from those who love him.

Book two, Cloud Howe, her life takes a turn as she marries a Presbyterian minister, and is widowed a second time after he dies in the pulpit. In book three, Grey Granite, she moves to the city and the story is focused on the political activism of her son from her first marriage.

I envied Chris and her connection with the land, her oft escape to the standing stones in the area, as hers and my own upbringing, not a stones throw from Glasgow City Centre, were worlds apart.

As I follow the road from Brownmuir to Inverbervie, I will visit the Grassic Gibbon Centre, and pay my respects to a wonderful literary character that I loved like a sister, and with whom I laughed and cried as I followed her life from croft to city.

When I reach Inverbervie, I will walk to the beach and into the bay to meet the coast. I will take off my shoes and socks one last time, make a brew and reflect on the last 14 days, and paddle in the sea.

For Bracken.

Categories: For Bracken, TGOC2019Tags: , , , , ,
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