The Clansman

Nearly three hours to kill on a train, out the Highlands and towards the south of Scotland. After today it’s going to be a lot less scenic with the countryside but more to view from an architectural perspective.

I’ve really liked Inverness and it’s surrounding areas. A very compact city set in some fantastic surroundings. It suffers a bit like every other British city with its fair share of people on too much of one substance or another, but it’s something that unfortunately is every day life in virtually all of our major towns and cities.

It has been a bit blustery and the rain that we have had has moved in at really lightning pace. One minute it’s clear and dry and suddenly there’s a deluge outside. I kind of expected that this far north and was something we expected, we just hoped for it to be dry in the main.

Today I stated 401 miles away from my house, and to date that is the furthest north I have have ever been on this island. We are planning another trip to Scotland for next year with a bit of luck and maybe we’ll do the extra 120 miles and reach the furthest northerly tip of mainland Britain? After that it’s the Orkney and Shetland islands.

Before our departure we hopped on a bus and took a short half hour ride to the Culloden Battlefield. We had a good hour walking around the moor where the 1746 battle took place between the Jacobites and the government forces.

The battle is something I know more through films and TV shows, I’m ashamed to say. I really do need to get into my British history more. Kings and Queens of this country and events besides the Battle of Hastings in 1066 seem to be something that wasn’t part of the curriculum when I was at school in the mid 80’s.

At some point over the next 2 days were hoping to head off to the site of the Battle of Bannockburn (or at the least where the battle is commemorated, it probably didn’t occur where the visitors centre is!) which happened more than 400 years before the massacre in Culloden.

In light of today and tomorrows sightseeing, today’s song is something by Iron Maiden and fits in extremely well with our activities. The Clansman was released on the bands second album with Blaze Bailey at the helm, Virtual XI.

It’s a song I got so see once in the Blaze era and again upon Dickinson’s return at the turn of the century. When the song was inserted into their most recent setlist it was a welcome addition, especially as it had been almost 18 years since I last saw it. This version is from the bands Rock In Rio performance in 2001 (released in 2002).

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