46.5 miles. Total: 1,612 miles
Now I had to remember a couple of things this morning: one was to visit Pennan, location for one of the finest films ever made – Local Hero; and secondly, the fact that Radio Lancashire’s Sean McGinty wanted to interview me live on air at 10.30.
It was jolly cool to start off with but bright and without too much wind. I had a look at the old harbour in Banff, then pressed on through Macduff and out into the countryside, through Gardenstown (I thought the sign said Gordonstoun so was expecting to see Prince Charles’s old school. Should’ve gone to SpecSavers…)
It had been an undulating morning to say the least, and at 9.55 I found the junction to Pennan and dropped down the precipitous road into the village to find myself on the set of Local Hero, that fabulous 1983 Bill Forsyth film, a superb piece of film craftsmanship perfectly accompanied by Mark Knopfler’s music. It looked fantastic! – except that the telephone box, where MacIntyre rings Burt Lancaster, was in the wrong place!
Then back up the 1 in 6 hill, out of breath, 10.10 and no signal. Lots more hills, and no signal until 10.28 when the phone tells me I have a message. So I stop – two bars – and it rings again. Radio Lancashire – phew! Patch me through to live feed, get the news and then Sean McGinty interviews me for about six or seven minutes. I get a good plub in for the blog and Cancer Research UK, then we’re finished; the producer thanks me and signs off, then I decide to check the voicemail and … No Signal. That was close!
Pit stop at Rosehearty, with lots of vintage cars passing by – Ford Anglias, MGBs, Stags, Triumph GT6, Wolseley 1500 etc, etc – great fun. I set off on the second half of the day which turns out to be much flatter – through Fraserburgh, then along lovely flat country lanes to Crimond, from where the quiet main road lead
A large crowd of three people is on the pavement, shouting “Are you Bill?” I consider saying no, but realising that my sister-in-law Sheila hails from Peterhead, think perhaps this is no coincidence. And indeed it is her cousins Alan and Lynne plus David. Quick “How d’ya do?”, photos, etc, and I’m on my way again until I find the Lido Caravan Site which overlooks Peterhead Harbour with big ships servicing the oil industry and big trawlers – fascinating.
Alan, Lynne and David reappear with Kathleen, some beer and a bottle of wine. Great hospitality! Then there is even time for a walk to the other parts of Peterhead Harbour, followed by roast corn-fed chicken for Sunday dinner. I’m being spoilt here!
I’d built a few short days into the schedule in case I got behind and needed to catch up, but I’m on schedule which gives me the luxury of another 50-ish day tomorrow, down to Stonehaven, where we will no doubt be met by Clitheronian and North Sea Oil Magnate David Berryman.