I came into this world on the kitchen table in a tiny remote cottage in the Leadhills, halfway between Sanquhar and Wanlockhead—the highest village in Scotland. Every few years we make a pilgrimage to see how the place is bearing up.
It's a couple of miles off the main road, at the end of a rough track which weaves its way between the vast rolling hills, alongside a river favoured by gold panners and hawthorn trees. The imposing, claustrophobic character of the Leadhills gives way to big skies and views several miles to the south east as we climb the last slope and reach our destination—Glenim.
Aside from the occassional owl and lost sheep, I don't think anyone's lived here since we left in the mid 70s. It's sad that it hasn't been looked after but it does mean many of the fixtures are the ones we left behind, and they help the few misty memories I have flicker back into focus. Power lines hop their way across the hills to the house so I assume we had the luxury of electricity, but our water came from the burn and had to be tested regularly due to our proximity to the lead mines.
It was boarded up sometime after our last visit six years ago, and I think the roof may have been patched up to stop the rain causing any more damage. I thought we'd have to make do with a peek through a window, but noticed the padlock on the front door wasn't secure and we were able to venture inside.
We left for home just as the sun fell below the hill opposite, slipping everything back into shadow. Until next time, Glenim.