By Topsyturvy


The building here is the Hall of Clestrain, childhood home of the (in)famous Dr John Rae. He was a man who was vilified by the establishment, itself swayed by the widow of Franklin and her influential buddies (including a certain Charles Dickens) who refused to believe that Englishmen could possibly resort to cannibalism in extremis (as truthfully reported by Rae). As a result, this man, who also consorted with natives and valued their opinions, was largely written out of official records and his great achievements unrecognised until very recently. This building is now owned by the John Rae Society who have done much to bring him back into the public domain, and it is hoped that at some future point the place will be developed in a way fitting to his memory.

I have to say, seeing it today with the expanse of water, a nippy breeze and Hoy looking magnificent as usual it seemed unsurprising to me that he would be unfazed by Arctic conditions. He'd have felt right at home.

I was on my way back from a wonderful day playing golf at Stromness. The golf itself was immaterial; the company was terrific, the spread likewise and in the raffle I won more balls than I'd lost ... result!

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