Monday, 10 August 2009

The Lothian Skies Walk

For a while now I've harboured a notion to re-enact the story in The Proclaimers Song, Joyful Kilmarnock Blues:

I'd never been to Ayrshire, I hitched down one Saturday
Sixty miles to Kilmarnock to see Hibernian play
The day was bright and sunny, but the game I won't relay
And there was no Kilmarnock Bunnet to make me want to stay

But I'm not going to talk about it
On a night when I can see with my eyes shut
When I started walking at Wishaw, my eyes obscured my vision
But five miles on my way I began to learn to listen

I walked through the country, I walked through the town
I held my head up and I didn't look down
The question doesn't matter, the answer's always "aye"
The best view of all is where the land meets the sky.

Lothian skies, Lothian skies


Charlie and Craig, The Proclaimers:


In my imagination, I see the Reid brothers drinking in Kilmarnock after a football match, hitch-hiking as far towards Edinburgh as Wishaw, then walking the rest of the way, dawn breaking as they march through West Lothian. With the exception of having to watch Hibs, I fancy doing this walk myself: have a skinful in Kilmarnock, get somehow to Wishaw (the trickiest bit, probably), then walk overnight from Wishaw to Leith. It's about 34 miles, a long but manageable distance. And perhaps by Livingston the first trains and buses will be running, which would shorten the walk considerably.

This ambition is probably fuelled by tales of a student friend from Helensburgh who arranged to stay with a mate in Glasgow, fell out with him after the last train for Helensburgh had already left for the night, knocked the pub table over and marched out, not stopping until he reached home several hours later. Well, there was one stop: he slipped on ice crossing a bridge in Dumbarton and was helped up by a couple returning from a late night out.

"Where are you going?" they asked.

"Helensburgh," he replied.

"Don't be daft!" they said, "where are you going really?"

Whenever I would tell him of a big walk I had done, he would counter with "aye, but have you walked home to Helensburgh pissed yet?"


I wonder if any Hibbies or Proclaimers fans have already done this Lothian skies walk? It would be good to get a small group together for it.

1 comment:

blueskyscotland said...

I,ve done something along these lines but I,m a lazy old guy so did it on a bike bagging the knock ,Cairnpapple hill ,Binny Craig,Broxburn bing and finnishing at Grangemouth sea locks from my house in Glasgow.A real epic! got the train back though as it took me 10 hours. bob.
P.S I was a lot younger then.