Got a phone call from Alex last weekend who was keen to make the most of the continuing "Indian Autumn" we are enjoying in Scotland at the moment with stunning sunny days, freezing cold nights and thick morning mists hanging in the valleys. He suggested Broomy Law, 426 metres and also a lower hill above Biggar near Balwaiste Farm at 363 metres. Both hills are in the rolling landscape of the Scottish Borders. For him they were two more hills on his lists to capture and for me it was a good opportunity to indulge my own passion, which is capturing great scenery.
This is Tinto, 707 metres, seen above, one of the great iconic peaks of the region but the only one that is busy and popular hereabouts.
Thanks to Alex, who is always prepared regarding online homework and handy parking spots for his hills we stopped in the quaintly named Candy Mill and found an unobtrusive spot before walking along the old Roman road and up our hill of choice. One of the things I like about this area is that the hills are wild and beautiful yet rarely frequented, mostly untroubled by paths. Views are wide and open and each hill has room to breathe as a separate distinctive peak, not crowded into a jumble of other surrounding hills.
Although it still remains a very scenic wooded area, and a great drive, a little bit of that extra sparkle has gone and most of the traffic continues past these days, rushing to get wherever they are going. As the world speeds up and technology increasingly removes familiar tangible, tactile objects in favour of virtual storage in miniature containers or unseen drives many of the more human aspects of owning, looking after and ultimately forming a bond with cherished possessions appears to be getting lost in transit.
I'm still exploring the world of games occasionally and this is a perfect fit. A great story, memorable characters, and the fact that it works well as a film in the cinematic play-through version on you tube means this still stands head and shoulders above anything else I've seen in that department. Despite being a game, watched as a 4 hour film in easy 30 minute segments I'd place it in the top five films I've seen in the last 2 years. Great art work, music, and a tribute to the changing seasons as an epic journey across America unfolds the only drawback for me is a slightly repetitive killing infected people scenario but it's still way better and more entertaining than the rest of that genre. Hopefully, this short 5 minute montage will give you a taste of the surprising beauty and quality contained throughout this "game." It's much more that that as I'm noticing additional art features and clever plot details I completely missed first time around. In fact it's better than 80 % of the current film and TV programmes released in the last year which is why I'm mentioning it again. Interestingly, the concept of a virus or spores living within humans and drastically altering their behavior is not as far fetched as it seems with several real examples in nature. Literally mind blowing.
With half the world's population already infected with this cat parasite and recent research suggesting it may be affecting our behavior or mood more than first imagined it's certainly thought provoking stuff. Look under 'Society and Culture' in the link above.