Money to Burn?

Jura, The KLF, and geocaching

We found our first geocache on 3rd April 2004 at Accessible by Horse – the oldest cache in Northamptonshire. We took a CD from the cache, which had been placed there several months earlier by ZedFroce (“We left the CD as it contains possibly the worst piece of music that we have ever heard”). We played it in the car on the way home. Now I never was big on early 90s music – the 70s were more my era – and so I had never heard of The KLF, but the CD featured a recording of their “Justified and Ancient” track. It was a pleasant little ditty, largely consisting of the repeated phrase “All Bound For Mu Mu Land”; and it became our “geocaching anthem” over the next few months. Every time we went out caching I’d stick on the CD player in the car.

This evening, thanks to an innocuous comment on Paul Murton’s “Grand Tours of the Scottish Isles” (available on BBC iPlayer for a limited period) I discovered an unlikely link to those early days of geocaching. It seems that The KLF (now the “K Foundation”) achieved a certain amount of notoriety by burning (as in setting fire to) a million pounds on 23rd August 1994 – supposedly a reaction to their disillusionment with the music industry. And where did they perform this act? On the Isle of Jura – about 25 miles south of where we now live. This calls for a new geocache, I’m thinking…

S’Airde Beinn

Today we visited S’Airde Beinn, commonly known as Crater Loch.

crater loch

Contrary to popular belief it is not a volcano, but rather a volcanic plug – an intrusion of volcanic dolerite rock (similar to basalt) into the surrounding lava plateau. The crater is a glacial depression that has since filled with water.

Far from being the tallest mountain on the island, it does offer superb views all over the northern part of Mull and beyond – Glengorm (below), Ardnamurchan, Tobermory, Ben More and Caliach Point.

glengorm

And there’s a geocache up there too: The Crater Loch 🙂

Sheep Shenanigans

We awoke on Tuesday morning to find some unexpected visitors in the garden. A whole flock of them.
After some hasty phone calls to try to determine the owner, they seemed to be doing no harm – and indeed might save me having to cut the grass for a while – so we let them stay a while…

But then they seemed to get bored. A couple made a break for the main road, and sheep being sheep, the rest followed. So we decided swift action was required. Years of watching “One Man and his Dog” meant that Carolyn knew the best approach was to take a wide line, so as not to push them further in the wrong direction. Meanwhile I set off to identify the correct field and to ensure the gate was open.

Shepherding is not something either of us has been trained in. But the procedure went remarkably well. A couple of small groups split off and decided to investigate the holiday cottages, but we soon had the bulk of the flock back where they belonged. Well – where we hoped they belonged…

And the breakaway group made there way back through the woods to the top gate – which was open! Presumably retracing the steps of their original escape route.

We have never herded sheep before coming to Mull. But I suspect this won’t be the last time.

Normal Service will be resumed

…eventually.

Apologies for the interruption. Things got a bit hectic with the move and there have been rather fewer posts than expected (OK, no posts at all). I’ll get some recent news up here soon, but in the meantime I’m playing with some alternative themes – hope you like the new look…