Friday, May 04, 2012

I will arise and go now...

Behind - or, depending on how you look at it, in front of - Crieff Hydro is a smallish hill, called the Knock. This comes, I believe, from the Gaelic word for hill, which is "cnoc". (This does seem a bit unimaginative - like calling your cat Cat.) The Hydro itself is uphill from the town of Crieff, so if you climb the Knock you find yourself quite high up without too much effort. And since it's the highest point for some distance, the views are wonderful in all directions from the flattish top.
We started going to the Hydro when I was two or three and have been going there from time to time ever since. So the Knock is very familiar and dear to me. Standing on the top and gazing at the Perthshire countryside, I feel the tension draining out of me. I suppose it's the combination of feeling at home, remembering my childhood visits, enjoying the landscape and being with my loved ones. Looking at the photos now I feel pleasure but also a sort of homesickness for the past. I've always felt like a country person but have never lived in the country and I long to see hills and green fields.

The new owners have now taken possession of my mother's flat. Now, I  hope, my mum will stop worrying about the roof which might leak, the floorboards which squeak ("I'm sure they never used to and it can't bode well"), the ants in the garden which might, one day, get under the house, the bees (or to be more accurate, the bee) which she once saw emerging from under her front doorstep ("There must be a nest down there"), the heating which was a bit erratic till she got the system flushed out as the Gas Board had been telling her to do for some years... .

She's not well today, though, so is worrying about that. She got a CT scan this morning and had to drink whatever it is that you take to show up things in your innards, and vomited and was shivery in the late afternoon. "Do you think they gave me the wrong thing to drink? Or have I got flu?"

It's not that I'm not sympathetic. It's horrible to feel sick. But I wouldn't mind, just for half an hour, being transported to the top of the Knock in the sunshine, with no sound except a few birds, a very distant tractor and the whispering of the grasses.


  1. Ah, but summer is coming and you'll be able to take a break or two! I hope your Mum's scan reports are good. Your photo is beautiful!

  2. I have happy memories of tea at the Hydro too and, of course, Perth is where I was born, so naturally of huge importance as a a city! Now I will remove my tongue from my cheek after the latter bit of information. Hugs to your mum, how unpleasant for her.

  3. Although in the poem Inishfree had a bee glade, so no doubt a nest too. And in fact Inishfree is just a muddy mound in the lough, apparently, because the island that Yeats described as Inishfree didn't have quite so poetic a name. Anyhow. May the air be fresh around you always- this post is so like the poem that I am quite amazed- calming recollection of nature and its beauty in time of urban stress. Also very Wordsworthian and Daffodillian. English teachers unite!