|The remote shooting lodge on Broomhead Moor|
Earlier today, I walked two miles along a rough moorland track that leads to a grouse shooters' lodge. You can imagine them, during the grouse shooting season, driving up there in Land Rovers and other rough terrain vehicles. They'll be dressed in earthy colours with waxed Barbour jackets and flat caps.
They'll have their prized rifles and boxed cartridges with them as well as bottles of beer and flasks of whisky. There'll be handshakes and manly guffawing and a sense of anticipation as they contemplate the killing spree that will occur in an hour or two. There will be an unspoken shared belief that it is perfectly all right to blast moorland birds out of the sky as they come flying over the heather horizon.
They will be waiting in grouse butts, their hearts beating faster. Guns at the ready. Isn't this what it means to be a man? Besides, weren't grouse born to be shot? I say, what sport! How many did you bag Mortimer?
|Typical grouse butt on Broomhead Moor|
Up there on the featureless moortop I separately disturbed three mountain hares. They scooted off as if they had just seen Frankenstein's monster. Little did they know, that it would be my dream to simply stroke their fur and look into their eyes. I also disturbed three red grouse. They rose from clumps of heather just in front of me cackling in their familiar way and just about making me jump out of my skin.
|Track from the shooters' cabin|
It was good to be up there on the quiet moors with a compass in my hand and my trusty Sony camera slung over my shoulder. Three hours after leaving him snoozing under roadside pines, I returned to my moody South Korean companion - Mr Clint. He was quite grumpy when I woke him by inserting the ignition key.
"Ouch!" he exclaimed.
And then we roared off - back to the city - in time to make Nurse Pudding a delicious evening meal. Later, I watched the last episode of "Unorthodox" courtesy of Netflix. Excellent. I might blog about it next time.
|High on Broomhead Moor with my compass|