7th October 1944 - Perth

Up late.  Nice day.  To Public Library.  See in press another big diver raid “on a more southerly course” so perhaps missed Colchester.  The Reference library has a special closed room for ladies and special tables.  Saw Perth histories.  Sat by river, near site of Gourse house, 4 swans, masses of seagulls on an island below the bridge, like snowflakes, some wheeling over calling, swans struggling upstream.  Pleasant gardens on the N. bank.  So quiet and peaceful.

Sirens tested at 1.30, while at lunch in Kirkgate.

Collected cycle, started to Dunkeld.  Scenery getting more and more wild and lovely.

Perth has a new housing estate, almost to the old toll bar, built like 3 storey tenements, rather attractive.

Bankfoot, tractor ploughing.  No corn left out along here.  Ugly little village.  Dunkeld by 4.15, very easy run.  Town looked terribly dilapidated, dirty, full of tinkers quarrelling and shouting.  Went right on, spoke to pretty dark foreign girl coming out of a great park.  Made for Pitlochry, sun coming through behind mountains.  There 6.30, streets full, quite impossible to get food or drink at any hotel.  Bars open, everyone drinking beer.  Crowds of snobbish elderly men and women.

Up Killiecrankie, eagerly looking for tea, but not a sign.  Great double headed trains, heading down to London.  Blair Atholl, very snobbish and foreboding.  Entrance to Castle with beautiful gates.  Asked at West Lodge for Struan.  Past the timber camps and right up into the mountains.

Found hostel was in an ugly derelict church, in a big road leading to the mountains.  2 men and 2 girls, but not all one party, all from Glasgow.  High up in the Grampians, whispering sighing trees, distant roaring water.  To be away from towns, alone.  Of the little cottages which I passed, I longed to live in one all the winter.

Tiny hamlets such as Bruar, a mere handful of cottages.  Sat till 11.3pm0 talking to the girls.  2 more men arrived after midnight making a great noise, talking loudly in broad Scots.  3 cars came by long after midnight, lights flashing across the old church.

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