You might not like this book if you are staunchly anti-hunting as it touches on the topic of the West Highland stag cull. The author himself is quite relieved when he misses. But he indirectly raises the point that in order to critique such practices from afar, you really need to pay a visit and take the time to understand the way of life and what’s involved, a philosophy I wholeheartedly agree with.
The book is all about an ex-Marine turned explorer, marine biologist and writer and his recently rescued “donkey sized” dog Monty heading to the west coast of Scotland to try their hand at pursuing the simple life of a crofter. Crofters were tenant farmers who tended small plots of land, raising some livestock and a few crops. The crofter’s home was a simple affair made of local stone called a bothy and the way of life has now all but died out. Here’s a clip from youtube to give you a flavour…
The book is really a journal of Monty Hall’s experience living in a small community on the coastal West Highlands of Scotland. Whilst I’m not sure that a four wheel drive landrover defender and a large RIB (rigid inflatable boat) with a 125hp engine were the tools of trade of your typical crofter, the book is still a great read and I grew to like the author. Well actually I was really just a bit jealous! To sum it up its a bit like River Cottage meets Bear Grylls with some Jacques Cousteau thrown in for good measure. Western Isles of Scotland now added to my list! Has anyone else read it or something similar?
Published by Random House you can get it here:
or probably also in the ABC shop as it was filmed for a BBC series.