Another delightful read!
The second book of the Highland Journal series In My Stride plunges straight onto the wintry mountainsides of Lochnagar.
Jack takes us through the beautiful and sensorial aspects of his walk, which starts with the "snow rose pink" sunrise and ends walking through the pinewoods in the winter gloaming.
Descriptive prose flows through the chapters, and I found myself carried along with it from one mountain to the next.
I particularly enjoyed reading the postscript at the end of the chapter A Walk on the White Mounth. It was a lovely contrast between the sights, sounds and smells of the old fishing village of Whitby and the lonely silent wastes of the White Mounth.
The book moves through the seasons with wonderfully pictorial sections. Jack highlights his walks not only by sharing with us the wildlife he encounters but also his geological knowledge and the different characters of his walking companions. In particular, Gordon, who despite being blind, climbed Bennachie and proclaimed that he would like to follow this accomplishment by climbing a Munro!
By the ending chapters, temperatures have risen to 29 degrees Celsius. Dragonflies and butterflies enjoy the summer breeze on Beinn Sgulaird. We leave Jack at the end of the book reaching for his maps and wondering where his next adventure will be.
PS Thanks for the introduction to peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
by Fiona Malkin
The author grew up in Northumberland in the Fifties and Sixties.
At university, he studied geography and met his wife (at the Freshers' Hop). Their first child was born in his final year and their family has grown to four children and six grandchildren.
Jack became a geography teacher and had an interesting career which included working with the BBC and on national projects with the Scottish Education Department. With the help of St Andrews University, Perth Museum and Dundee Museum he developed the expertise to teach geology.
Wanting to experience something different, he spent a few years working in the Arts with a modern dance company, Scottish Opera and other bodies.
He missed teaching and returned, ending his career as a Head Teacher in Aberdeen.
As his children grew up and went off to university, he had time for trips to the Highlands to climb the mountains. Retirement in 2013 gave him the opportunity to go more often and Jack climbed his last Munro in 2015.
He has always enjoyed writing, drawing, painting and making maps and Jack has put all these together in his books about the Highlands.