Capercaillie and Cateran

It isn’t every weekend that you share a stage with an international supergroup and then follow in the footsteps of marauding clans and cattle thieves. Not to mention the realisations that I am becoming addicted to Britain’s Got Talent.

The weekend began at the Fintry Music Festival. The traditional music group I am a member of, Get Reel, was asked a while ago if we could support Capercaille. Unlikely you would think but a fact. Under the able instruction of our tutors Mike (Malinky) Vass and Barry (Spad)Reid we learned three sets to perform. This was our fifteen minute happening.

Karen Matheson passed through our rehearsal area back stage a couple of times and gave us smiles and hellos. I think she probably felt sorry for us as we screeched and droned.
At 8.00pm on Friday night we walked out into the stage in front of the packed hall of Fintry Sports Club and played our wee hearts out. The audience clapped along and gave us a massive applause. The Capercaille show was pretty fine too.

I have heard the bookings are now flooding in.

The Cateran Trail

I found a flyer in a magazine about a new walking trail in Perth and Angus. The circular trail starts and finishes in Blairgowrie. It follows the paths that the Caterans used and takes about five days to complete. Colin and I only had a couple of days so we opted for short sections.

The first section was from Bridge of Cally to Blairgowrie. The track takes a high route over the Cochrage Muir and give the walker wide landscapes of clean ploughed fields and up close and personal access to the many nestling birds in the area. At one point we were surrounded by lapwing mothers flapping over their youngsters, while the fledgling flustered round ground nests wondering what all the fuss was about.

We completed the section in a couple of hours and caught a taxi back to the Bridge of Cally Hotel where we enjoyed a well prepared and presented meal.

The Dalhenzean Lodge B&B, just up the road, was clean, comfortable and gave us the biggest cooked breakfast I have eaten in years. It was just the job to see us off on our next trip.

This time we opted for a variation on the Cateran trail so we could enjoy a circular route. This route took us past Loch Beanie where a fledgling oystercatcher was chirping and birlin in circles like one of those wind up toys you see in Chinese markets, the only difference was this little bird never ran out of spin.

Part of the walk took us on road but it didn’t spoil the enjoyment too much. The thousands of lambs we encountered brought back to mind that age old puzzle – Why do such cute lambs turn into ugly sheep? It isn’t right somehow.

One lamb made friends with us, I was tempted to stick him in my rucksack but in the end sent him back to his mother.

One lamb trying to make his escape


  1. Pity you didn’t talk to Karen, you could have shared your new love of Eurovision; as none other than Karen Matheson herself has appeared in Eurovision representing France in 1996. Bet she didn’t publise that at the concert. Davidx


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