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Jam Side Down
Traveling the West Highland Way by William Kerr
Introduction & Preface



View of Buachaille Etive Mor - the great herdsman, as you climb the Devils staircase.


Blackwater Reservoir from the slopes Coire a' Mhorair, the noblemans cauldran, this sits behind Glencoe to the north.


The Mamores from the top of the Devils Staircase.


Walking into Kinlochleven - Ceann Loch Leamhain, the black pipes carry water from Blackwater Resorvoir to the power station in the background built to suuply the Alumimium plant (now closed) with power. 

Introduction

Again it was a hard morning, the fourth in a trot, wondering around the house nothing to do. Bernieís at work and Ewen is at uni while Susan and Liam are at school, an empty they would call it but on your own in an empty house this morning life is nothing other than bare. Yesterday was hard at work, one day back and I was totally scunnert. I had only been away from it for ten days but settling back in after the walk was hard. However work was physically very easy in comparison and I would say it was probably not as taxing on the old grey matter either. I hope I am not going back a year after all doing the walk was to pull myself away from the drudgery of day-to-day routines. I could cut the grass but that will keep a little longer. Its more than grass cutting or selling beans that is now required to beat the restless feeling that has come over me in the past few days. Kenny suggested that there was a book somewhere to be written, I donít know if I could do that, or where to start after all every story has a start and an end and I am not sure if last weeks story has concluded yet.

Itís nice sitting here, itís great to be alone, me myself surrounded with about five thousand quiet souls and not a bad morning weather wise either, one of the better ones of the year so far, certainly a feeling of spring, almost summer about it. I like this place; there is great feeling of home about it, where I want to be. I could have been here forever, it feels that way this morning, and itís a good felling, secure and sheltered. I could have done with this last week, every morning. I donít know if it would have made the walk any easier, probably a bit easier but one thing is  certain it wouldnít have been as significant, experiencing it and enduring the walk in amiable weather conditions rather than how we experienced it most of the time anyway certainly turns the mundane into something so much more exciting and I now know more enjoyable.

Maybe itís the fact that there is nothing to do, after all I did say that I would not let this scenario rise again, that no matter what, I would occupy myself, keep myself and my mind busy. Keep my body active, stop the rot; well I hope thatís what last week was all about.

I could just sit here all day in the back garden, on the garden chair, on the decking looking at nothing other than my neighbours mono-blocked and empty back yards, anyone looking out their back window would probably say Ēlook at the sad man staring into nothingĒ. They cannot see what I am staring at. Over the rooftops of the houses below and in front of mine to the west I can clearly see the Campsies. I stand up and I can see the top of Ben Lomond at a guess forty or fifty miles away. Its good to know that I was an adversary last week walking its line along the Loch and before that along the base of the Campies but more important I had done a lot more than that and walked a lot farther. I need to share that experience, I want to tell as many people as I possibly can about my experience, they need to know, I am sure that is what they need for the condition they live in, mundane-aye-tis. What I saw, the emotions I felt as I walked from Milngavie to Fort William is a cure. This is not a prognosis, more a diagnosis, but not a cure for the masses, but a cure for me. You can find your own as I did.

 How do you start?

 Share, has everyone a story to tell? Aye but itís getting started. The staring continues, from the coffee cup to the hills. I move inside and go through the CDs. Something to cheer me up. Jam side down jumps out at me; this is the start I need.

 
Preface

Thatís what friends are for.
What are friends for?
Who are my friends, what is a friend?

Where do they come from?
Where are they seen?
What is their purpose?
 Where have they been!

Will I find them at my struggles?
Or at my lower ebb
Where will they be?
I wonder.

Who are they?
I think I know who they are.
But why canít I see them, theyíre never too far
Will I see them when I find myself walking alone?
In my deepest emotions, why am I all alone?

Questions I ask what are the answers
I hope they add up too friends that support
Because these are the people that god gave me
Not righteous, nor selfish, just good mates, to me

A friend they will find me
And know what I need
I shouldnít have a worry because they will allay my fear
I say to myself, will they be there when it gets tough
I hope so

They showed whenÖÖ


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