a tale of man and the outdoors

Mon, Apr 21, 2014

These are just some thoughts I was having recently, especially sat in front of the bothy fire the other night. Food for thought.

A very long time ago, man lived in a cave. Man could never relax as man had to constantly go out to get fuel for his fire. To keep him warm and cook his food. Man needed his sustenance so he could go out and hunt for food, which he needed to cook on his fire.

Eventually Man moved into a house with central heating. Man had a computer on which he typed cryptic commands into a Tesco website and next day another Man, in a van, turned up with lots and lots of food. Man didn’t even have to cook this food. Man just bunged it in his microwave and heated it up. Consequently, Man had lots of time to relax.

In the warmth of his living room, Man read of bearded explorers climbing impossibly huge hills. Man hankered after his days in the cave. Man wanted to ‘get back to his roots’. Man discovered hillwalking. Man walked and climbed and read John Muir books. Man felt at peace with the world. Man felt ‘connected’.

Then one day, as Man roamed and thought deep thoughts on the Cairngorm plateau, a wild storm blew in from nowhere. Man was caught unawares. The forecast was good. The sky had been clear but now Man was cowering in a rocky nook as winds of a hundred miles an hour hurled rocks and birds across the plateau.

Global Warming had arrived.

Man ran back down. Man went home and fed his microwave with hearty fare and ate his fill of sustenance. Man felt invigorated after his tussle with nature. Man settled down in front of his telly to watch a program about outdoor philosophy.

Then the lights went out. Global Warming had reached Man’s abode.

Over the next decade or two, Man’s central heating went off as he could no longer afford the bills. His microwave broke and he couldn’t afford to replace it. The price of the raw ingredients went through the roof. The cost of the fuel to ship it from Taiwan put it out of his reach. Man could no longer drive to his hills as only the rich could afford the last drops of petrol.

As Man sat and shivered in his house, Man realised he’d come full circle and was now back in his cave. The oil had run out. The gas had run out. The deep thinking, the philosophising, the appreciation of nature, for Man, was over. Man needed to go out and get fuel, to heat his food.

Then Man remembered his long walks in the Cairngorms. And Man thought what a windy place it had been and Man covered it in turbines. And Man remembered gazing long and lovingly into lonely lochs in remote corries and Man damned them and put turbines of a different kind below them.

Eventually, Man’s heating came back on, powered by remote winds and desolate water sources. The electricity came back on and cars moved under its power. Man got a new microwave. Man was warm and fed once again. Man’s thoughts turned to the bearded explorers once more.

But Man had nowhere to walk now. Everywhere Man looked were spinning blades. The curlew’s call that sent shivers down Man’s spine as he sat and pondered on Braeriach’s lofty summit called no more. All Man could hear was the hum of turbines.

Man wondered what he’d done. In the dark of the night Man could smell the grass, the moss, the wet rocks around him. Man’s spine tingled once last time. As the sun came up, all Man could see were metal blades.

Man had a hunger he could no longer feed.