Southerner's Lament, The
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Having arrived in Scotland in 1971, I did indeed have to leave only a year later. It was only a move to Newcastle upon Tyne, and in the event I was often back here for mountaineering trips and so on. Finally, of course, I returned for good, and spent my entire working life north of the Border. At the time, however, I didn’t know how things would pan out. I just knew that in those few months I had become inextricably linked with the people and landscape of this new country, and was going to miss the whole experience intensely.

The sentiments are maybe not very novel, but I tried consciously to at least make up my own clichés, rather than using the old tired ones. One or two bits are really pretty much figments of my imagination, mind. The snow on the Bens generally disappears a long time before July. And as for the "lassie"; well, I was usually mooning about some girl or other and getting nowhere. Shortly after writing it, I received a compliment from a Scottish Nationalist student friend, who said that anyone hearing it would never believe it wasn’t composed by a Scot, so maybe I didn’t get it all wrong.