Although I spent a lot of time solo in the hills, I’m never alone on my journey there.
The phonepod is plugged into the stereo before the car has even started. Music plays a part, mostly on return journeys but for the road away, I’m rather partial to a podcast.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned several before on these pages but special mention is required for Christopher Sleight’s Mountain Podcast.
The podcast has just reached it’s first birthday, so it’s a good time to talk about it. As you would expect from Chris, it’s a very professional sounding piece of work. His previous work on BBC Scotland’s Out of Doors program will no doubt be familiar to you. If not, you’ve missed a treat.
The first few episodes of Mountain have a familiar flavour, a kind of mix between Out of Doors and The Adventure Show, covering the Skyline adventure race, the nature of adventure and what can happen when things don’t quite go to plan.
Episode 5 ‘The Angel of Camusanary’ is where things take a different tack and is a real highlight; a tale that will be familiar to regulars over at UKC, a story of love and longing and what could have been that would bring a tear to a glass eye. Roughty toughty mountain men talking about emotions? Jings. It all stems from a photo too, which really touches a chord with me.
Episodes 7 and 8 have a real personal connection. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here, but Millie is learning to play traditional music on the fiddle thanks to the lovely volunteers at Fèis Fhoirt and for the first year Siobhan Anderson was her teacher. Millie really took to the whole thing and now on a weekend you’ll often hear ‘High road to Linton’ coming from the window if you wander past. Hearing Siobhan’s music as a support to the story of Duncan Ban Macintyre and Beinn Dorain was a joy and then to hear a dedicated episode in The Auch Jig was an absolute delight.
Chris isn’t afraid of getting personal and there’s real emotion and human heart in these stories. It’s clearly a labour of love and it shows in the end product, it really is great stuff.
If you haven’t already, I’d recommend you go ahead and subscribe on your generic fruit or robot-based device and take Chris with you on your next journey to the hills, he really is a engaging and entertaining companion.