July 24

The eve of departure.

Tomorrow, being a Wednesday, we are setting off towards John o’Groats. Our neighbour, Billy, has suggested that we should carry on along the top as it is very nice up there at this time of the year. Is this a reflection on our acceptability as neighbours?
Scotland, as you will know, has very few marked footpaths as there is a right to roam everywhere. This wonderful law generates a few problems when strolling these being:

1. No footpaths shown on OS maps
2. No stiles.
3 Barbed wire fences.

In order to mitigate against 1 we intend to follow the coast for this stroll. Navigation should be fairly straightforward as long as we keep the sea on the right going north.

However, in order to mitigate against 2 and 3 I have been obliged to plumb my inventiveness today. I visited the local hardware emporium and purchased one meter of very stout plastic pipe. I have cut a slot along the length of the pipe and have taped it to a broom handle in order for Janet to test its effectiveness as a skirt saver when crossing barbed wire fences.

The invention

On encountering a barbed wire fence I will whip out my patent skirt saver, in the manner of Walter Raleigh or a magician producing a pigeon from his hat, and encourage Janet to climb over said skirt saver and thus the fence. A visitor to these parts, from Israel, observed me in my labours and suggested that the skirt saver could be the next google.

The tide tables tell us that high tide tomorrow is at about 10 minutes after midday. If we can manage to overcome our morning lassitude and leave before 9:00 tomorrow morning then wading across the mighty Philorth will be a breeze.

Janet is inventing, and building, pockets and pouches in order for us to attach our various gadgets to our various ample figures so the place is a hive of activity. Most people would do all of this weeks before departure but that would certainly spoil most of the fun.

As the excitement builds I might refresh myself with a small G&T in order to calm my fevered brow.

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

Posted 24/07/2018 by Mike Higgins in category "Inverallochy to Forres


  1. By Janet May on

    I think that skirt saving is only one of many usefully-saved things for which the skirt saver will be useful. I cannot feel that I will be the only person of the two of us to use it.

  2. By Sarah Kirsten on

    What I would like to know is how you plan to carry the skirt saver. Will it travel wrapped around one of your walking sticks?

      1. By Sarah Kirsten on

        Well, you have a couple of days to cut it down slightly if it proves unwieldy.


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