Richard Lutz reviews the last seven days.
It’s an early ferry from the Scottish mainland to the Isle of Arran. The boat ploughs west across the rumbly Clyde estuary to the port of Brodick overseen by a mountainous high ridge.
We are off to Glen Sannox (see above) which winds its way to the pinnacles that oversee this island. The Glen rises to the bottom of Cir Mhor, a peak that could easily be CGI’ed into an ominous castle in a Hobbit movie.
We get to where the land rises dramatically. Do we want to get stuck in and scramble upwards as the sun fades to the twisted ridge that rips across north Arran?
The answer is no. Another time.
We next travel across the narrow neck of Scotland, where, on spec, we book a couple of Airbandb nights in a Perthshire castle. Lo and behold, it emerges as a haven for the re-introduction of beavers into Scottish rivers.
“You can either see them early in the morning or as the light fades in the evening,” we are told. “They’re nighttime animals.”
“Define early morning.” We’re told it’s 5am.
Obviously, we opt for fading light at about 9.30 pm and stand quietly where a wiggly river meets marshland. A beaver family appears.
They are washing, eating grasses and sedge, building dams and basically mucking about. Three tiny beaver babies, called kits, follow their mother and make a bold attempt to swim across the marsh to a half-built dam that sits on a bank. We watch for an hour and our expert says, since the animals depend on smell, it’s possible the slight breeze towards us has helped keep us unnoticed.
From beaver dams and the long ridge of Arran, it’s down to earth with a painful bump as the Chilcot Report, eight years in the making, is published into just whose dirty fingerprints are all over the Iraq debacle.
Tony Blair takes a major hit and is immediately live at a a press conference looking rattled, wounded, hoarse, but still full of equivocal language and qualifications.
It’s a sad day for Britain as it is shown as making war decisions on bad information, incompetency, lies and rumour.
Iraq today still feels the penetrating pain of those mistakes. George W. Bush, I notice, doesn’t put his head above the parapet on this story to back his partner Tony Blair.
He is invisible. He is in his home in Texas which, as a state, is today still reeling from the racial hate and attendent bloodshed that inflames the United States.