Here’s the thing: because I’m rubbish, I missed the Torchlight Procession on December 29, and Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) is a bit fuzzy. I went to the giant street party in Edinburgh, with its giant fireworks display and Auld Lang Syne – except when midnight hit and the fireworks went off I was in the Port-a-potty, and shortly thereafter I lost my bottle of vodka. That was probably fortunate.
But here’s something reportable from my holidays, almost a full month late. (See? Rubbish!)
On Boxing Day, after Christmas Day with my flatmate and her family in Helensburgh, Lindsey took me for a road trip up the West Coast in Argyll. We went to Kilmartin Glen, a place my Scottish history teacher mentioned numerous times as being one of ancient religious significance. The area is scattered with Pictish standing stones and carvings, burial mounds, and Dunadd, the fort from where Dalriada was once ruled. (We’re talkin 6th Century here).
The reason my teacher thinks the place was such a significant site lies off the coast beside the Isle of Jura: The Corryvreckan Whirlpool. It’s one of the most powerful forces on the planet, he said, that can form a cauldron in the sea up to 100 metres across, and sends whirls out into the oncoming Atlantic tide. My flatmate sails, and was familiar with the area and the whirlpool, so we packed up the dog and went for a walk on the headland.
You can’t see the whirlpool from the shore, or course, but it’s located in the gap between those two islands (and above Otto, aka Doggle McGoggle, aka Chops, aka ‘ARGH! You’ve eaten the mail again!’).
We could hear the whirlpool however – or rather, we could hear it temporarily. As we walked along suddenly there was the sound of roaring water – and then suddenly there wasn’t. We noticed the same thing on the way back: all was silent, until we reached a certain point, and then after walking a few more metres the sound was gone again. We could hear other, smaller tidal activity, like the hum of distant traffic, but the intense roar of the Corryvrecken came and then went.
I promise to update this thing more often, so as not to alarm my family that I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Also, perhaps I’ll call home more often. Sorry guys!