Woohoo! I've discovered how to add a few little tick boxes at the bottom of each post, to enable readers to record their reactions. Do please use them. I think I've identified the four most likely responses ...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The 2011 Challenge, day 14: Inverurie to Balmedie (2)

Just beyond the railway station, the road crosses the River Urie (pictured); and beyond the river is Souterford, where they are busily building a whole mass of totally unScottish new homes, designed in some English drawing office where they seem to think that one design will fit perfectly well in any setting anywhere in the British Isles. I do wish the planners would have the balls to tell them to go and try again. What looks right in the Cotswolds does NOT look right in the Highlands!

I hurried on by, and turned off at Lofthillock to take the little back track to Ingliston. As I did so a car pulled up and a lady got out to have a word with me. She turned out to be a reporter from the Inverurie Herald, and she'd seen me walking through the town centre and sensed a story. She'd had to go to fetch her notepad and thought she'd lost me; but inspired guesswork as to my probable route had enabled her to track me down again.

So I sat down and let her take a thoroughly implausible photograph of me "taking a break" after two and a half kilometres of walking, and gave her a lengthy interview in which I tried to get as much publicity for the Challenge as I could. She wanted to put a local "spin" on it, so I told her that I was a keen railway historian and had deliberately planned a route through Inverurie because of its links with the old Great North of Scotland Railway. She liked that; and we spent a little while concocting a quote about how wonderful it was to see the station building - a wonderful example of Scottish railway architecture - so carefully and sympathetically preserved. Something like that, anyway! When I told her that I was to finish at Balmedie, she said she'd see if she could arrange for her sister paper to dispatch a reporter to cover my arrival (but stressed that she could make no promises on this one). When would I arrive there, she wanted to know? Five o'clock, I told her, with a confidence which I did not altogether feel. But I thought that would be a nice time to reach the beach.

When I got home I e-mailed the Inverurie Herald with a few corrections to my interview (things such as that we didn't get a miniature of Bowmore for finishing this year!) and asked whether they might be able to send me a copy of the edition in which the interview was published. But I have received no copy of the Inverurie Herald, so I don't know whether or not they actually ran it.

As I continued on my way, I reflected upon the size of circulation of the Inverurie Herald implied by the fact that Balmedie is covered by a sister paper. Not all that great, it would seem ...

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