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Up and Down Days, Part Five: The Smiddy and The Forge

May 16, 2021

Another great read from David Russell on Caledonia Collective. I’m really drawn in by all his stories that explore his Up and Down relationship with Scotland’s hills and mountains.

The Caledonia Collective

Part Five: The Smiddy and The Forge

In the morning gloom of another tiny hut somewhere in the Highlands, I blearily pulled on my clothes, then fumbled my way to the door. I pulled back the heavy cast-iron bolt, and the door swung wide. Its bright blue paint, surmounted by a huge white saltire cross, shone brilliantly in the buttery morning air that flooded in.

Someone cried out: ‘Natural light! Get it off me!’

Once again we had arrived by night, so until this moment all I knew of the place was the warm stony interior of the hut, lit by the soft glow of firelight which also warmed the snoozing sausages of people in their sleeping bags.

I ducked beneath the lintel and stood in the light of the sun, breathing in cold and crisp Highland air, taking in my first sights of a place named Dundonnell.

Immediately outside…

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