Holiday reads

This week sees me slowly getting the kit together for our annual Scottish jaunt.

The plan this year is to head ‘proper north’ and maybe take in an island or two. I am loath to make too many plans because if we find somewhere we like, we tend to hang around.

Wildwood and Waterlog, by Roger DeakinHowever, the first port of call will be the wonderful Rothiemurchus estate and the Cairngorms, before pointing the trusty old car towards the North Atlantic.

One thing I have sorted already, though, is my holiday reading. I’ve acquired two books by the late Roger Deakin, Friends of the Earth founder, avid collector and wild swimmer.

I came across Deakin via a well-ploughed route.

Having read Mountains of the Mind and, particularly, the excellent The Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane, I was introduced to this writer and broadcaster via vivid prose.

MacFarlane’s descriptions of Walnut Tree Farm, Deakin’s hand-turned Suffolk home, struck a chord immediately. He then goes on to describe Deakin delighting in the idea of trespassing and ‘asserting the right to roam’ in the ‘beautiful wooded land’ of Madonna’s (former?) Wiltshire estate.

Waterlog, Deakin’s wild swimming travelogue across the UK, and Wildwood, an international journey charting man’s relationship with trees, both seem fine companions for a trip to Scotland’s elemental landscapes.


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