RED HARLAW


On my way up to the Recumbent Stone Circle I tried to see the  skylarks  singing high overhead but they were either too high or too small.  Perhaps it was just one of them. Ascending.
Far below I could see field after green field all the way down to the conical hill of  Dunideer where the sheep that fondly graze acquire golden teeth. Some chemical in the soil, some say.
And not too far away the 40ft. column that marked the battle of Harlaw. Red Harlaw:
As I cam in by Dunidier
 And doon by Netherha’,
 There were fifty thoosand Hieland men
 Cam mairchin’ tae Harlaw
Only 40,000 at the end of the day however….
But all that was a long long time ago. 1411.

Big blue sky; fluffy summer clouds; a day that made you feel like whistling. A place that had something about it that brought a smile to your lips and a spring to your step. And I was going to the sacred place that marked the centre of all the strange things that had happened here where the river Gadie runs at the back o Bennachie.
Then I  heard  voices.
French schoolchildren had been organised by their teacher to play a sort of basketball game in the stone circle.  They were clearly and loudly enjoying themselves immensely.
” Excuse me,” I called out to their teacher.  ” Excuse me!” She blew her whistle and they stopped playing. ”  Excuse me, ” I said again, lowering my voice and sweeping my arm to take in the ring of stones, ” but do you know this is a sacred place, the burial ground of brave warriors,  not a playground for noisy teenagers.  How can you be so insensitive ? “

(No, I didn’t. But I wish I had. Instead I went back to my car and drove down  to the main road to Aberdeen feeling the brightness had gone from the day)

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