Carnethy Hill Race, Lincoln film and folding sheets

Last weekend, my wife (marathon, half marathon and 10k runner) went to see the annual Carnethy Hill Race (scroll down to 16 Feb). The race takes place in the Carnethy hills, just south of Edinburgh. Hill runners tend to be a different breed from their road running colleagues, as they take on tough challenges, as the race profile shows. It was fine day for running/walking/cycling with a clear winter sky and only a gentle breeze from the east. The runners do several climbs on the hill range before a final vertiginous descent and a downhill run to the finish – see my photos (use teh full screen icon at bottom right). I’ve included 2 photos below. We also spent a day in Edinburgh, going to the Dominion Cinema to see the film Lincoln. the dominion is a small niche cinema in the affluent Morningside area of Edinburgh. It’s very comfortable, with leather armchairs and 2 seater couches. The film itself is an excellent portrayal not just of Lincoln the man and the times in which he lived, but also an intriguing political drama about the passing of the amendment to free the slaves in the United States. I am a history graduate and I specialized in American history as an undergraduate, so I was familiar with the issues and most of the personalities. However, while the “lay” viewer may find the opening sequences a wee bit confusing, the film moves on well as the story unfolds. A must see film.

My mother died recently and her funeral was held this week in one of the local churches and at the local cemetery. I did the eulogy and included part of Seamus Heaney’s Clearances poem:

The cool that came off sheets just off the line
Made me think the damp must still be in them
But when I took my corners of the linen
And pulled against her, first straight down the hem
And then diagonally, then flapped and shook
The fabric like a sail in a cross-wind,
They’d make a dried-out undulating thwack.

I think that all of us can remember folding sheets with our mothers – and indeed with our spouses. I love the “undulating whack” in the final line here – listen out for it next time you fold sheets. I also quoted Abraham Lincoln, who said that “It’s not the years in the life, but the life in the years”, which may be seen as trite, but like all such phrases, has a telling element.

Carnethy Hill Race

Carnethy Hill Race


Carnethy Hill dry stane dyke (stone wall)

Carnethy Hill dry stane dyke (stone wall)


One Response to “Carnethy Hill Race, Lincoln film and folding sheets”

  1. Mick Quirk Says:

    James, love reading the stories and looking at the countryside of Scotland. The Wagga roadrunners have it easy compared to the hills that the runners of Scotland have to tackle. Keep up the great work. I must admit I Iose 30 minutes of productivity every week when the RR newsletter hits the inbox, its a great escape Cheers Mick Quirk Wagga

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