Very Dark Corners

Friday was a day of gale force winds and black rain. It was also a day on which the Council saw fit to dig up almost every road intersection in Buchan. The gales had blown all the diversion signs away. Sketchy directions from a friendly farmer took me onto a cobweb of tarred cart-tracks, the kind of sub-B roads that barely show as white tracings in the road book. Half way through this journey I noticed a set of Georgian stables on the edge of a wood. A dense and dark wood of some size. Because I had to pull in in the mouth of a driveway to let a tractor pass on the single-track road, I had leisure to look to the side and see, skulking in the heart of the wood, a small gentleman’s house. There are dark corners of the land, and then there are very dark corners of the land. This was clearly one of the latter. I began to speculate about the laird. That he would be a Catholic of Jacobite family is a given in this part of Scotland. I assumed great great Uncles in the service of the King of Spain, uncles in the Jesuits. A Cosmo Alexander portrait of whichever ancestor had fought at Culloden over the drawing room fireplace. Then the tractor cleared the corner and I drove home.
At one point in the same journey I had passed a pleasant small farmhouse with a perfectly legible signboard proclaiming it to be The Mires of Bedlam. I am not making any of this up.

4 Responses to “Very Dark Corners”

  1. Eleanor Says:

    Clearly a name that should find its way into a novel?

  2. Jane Says:

    You know what’s even worse? The Prof’s attempts to find the house on Google Earth hit a patch of particularly dense cloud.

  3. Eleanor Says:


  4. canadian professor Says:

    Think of substitutions for Mires and it becomes even more comic. (I get through aquafit by seeing ow many words I can make out of SHALLOW).

    And you didn’t stop to enauire?

    Competition: what would the owner have said?

    My offering: thank God you’re here Virgil.

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