Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Wet and windy (again)

A gentle start from Inverness, with no one else to wake I had a leisurely shower and coffee, then set off in the sunshine. That lasted until Culloden battle field just outside Inverness. Here the rain started and never really stopped, when it waos dry for a while, the wind persisted. This is a picture of the harbour at Burghead which gives some idea of the waves.

Looking away from the harbour one can see the small town of Burghead
Dominated by a gigantic industrial building. That is a maltings owned by Diageo the giant multinational alcohol conglomerate.just along the road is another similarly attractive building probably two or three times larger, that is a whiskey store.
According to Wickipaedis Diageo is the wilds largest whiskey producer and owns 30 distilleries 

This blog https://whisky1.wordpress.com/distillery-owners-guide-who-belongs-to-whom/
Although maybe a little older describes well the concentration of the whiskey production into a few multinational hands. It is for this reason that I refuse to be seduced by the wee stories about the flavours of particular malts and how this relates to the water, the peat and the loving care of generations of distillers. It may have been true, now it's a marketing lie. Last year I visited a distillery it has one of the last remaining maltings. They produce malt for distilleries all over Scotland, including those on Islay. For these the malt is smoked to produce the the distinctive smoked peat flavour, said to be a result of the "terroir " but now a product of the industrial chemist. Whiskey is a pleasant drink, but if you believe all the romantic nonsense you may be inclined to think Ferero Roche are classy chocolates.
This is where I took s break, it's Lossiemouth, can you guess why I stopped here?
Lossiemouth has an RAF base and while eating my Gelato I watched three fighters come over flying in close formation, peel away, turn and land one after the other, real classy piloting skills.
I passed through the village of Crimmond famous for the most well known musical setting of the 23rd psalm, which  was written here.
Gives the history and controversy associated with the tune and there is a link to listen to it as well. By odd coincide just a couple of days ago I was listening on the radio to an episode of "Soul Music" which told the story of setting the 23rd psalm to music, probably the most recent setting was written as the theme to "the vicar of Dibley" I don't know how long the programme is available but this link was live when I wrote this http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tkzn5

Another titbit: did you know that Peterhead is twinned with Allesund in Norway? Presumably because of the oil exploration links. I am sharing a room tonight with a young chef who is in Aberdeen on a course preparing him for working offshore on the oil rigs, it's big business round here.
And this was the history a lot of small fishing villages, low housing sheltered against the harsh north west winds
With the Church of Scotland playing a dominant role. This one is Portnokie.

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