Thursday, 3 January 2013

A curious and unusual day.

Nothing extraordinary ever happens here. Until today.

We were leaving to go up to the farm to see what needed doing when we saw something unusual on the hill in front of the house. We had a look through the binoculars but could not fathom what on earth we were looking at.
Our little boy thought he could see Father Christmas, Rosie thought she could see an emperor.

The Farmer went up the hill to have a better look as he was concerned that something was not quite right. Gracie the collie went with him and began to bark as she arrived at the scene first.

Sorry about the blurred photo but it was taken from a distance with a zoom lens and no spectacles.

The Farmer stood and conversed with the person for quite a while then eventually returned and told us that this man was doing an ancestral ritual to reclaim the land. He was in full ceremonial regalia yet barefoot. He asked that The Farmer respect his desire to pray and give him space.
Normally, anyone who wishes to reclaim land would be lauded in this household yet something was not right.
The Farmer and bairns went off to tend to the cattle and my two lovely neighbours and I climbed the hill to see for ourselves.

I won't go into detail out of respect but we found a man who was really quite unwell and who had been sleeping rough in a very local location (unknown to anyone) whilst on his own private quest.

As it started to turn dark and cold, we led him off the hill, under the dodgy electric fence and through the stream as it is the safest way off the hill.

My neighbours invited the man into their home, gave him bread and he requested some water. They listened quietly when he began rambling and treated him with utmost courtesy and respect. I slipped next door to phone our doctor to ask advice and was told to phone for the police.

The police took quite a while to arrive as we are so remote here but once they arrived on the scene, they were kind and patient with the man. He was determined to go back up the hill and remove his clothing as his quest was unfinished. He told them that he had been sleeping rough in our area for a week (yet none of us had seen him). It took them four hours plus extra back up to take the man to a place of safety. Things became scary at one point and it was so alien to hear screams and shouting fill this quiet glen.
I dread to think what would of happened if he had slept outside on the hill, naked, as was his wish. It is bitterly cold and wet outside plus the wind is whipping up.....

My neighbours and myself feel awful about what has happened, very shaken yet we are relieved that the man will be safe and warm tonight. My kind and gentle neighbours probably saved that man's life.

Poor man. I hope he gets the help he needs and that he recovers soon.

Post script- I'm not quite sure how I feel about the way that the man's eventual admission was handled. The police were very good at handling a very difficult situation but seriously, if someone became agitated through, say, hyperglycaemia or some similar illness, handcuffing them and putting them in the back of a van?
I am shocked that there appears to be no provision of a doctor and ambulance for someone at risk to themselves through mental unwellness in Perthshire.
Perthshire has many outmoded traits but this one really shocked me. It seems positively Victorian.

My neighbours have gone to the hospital this evening to see if the man is settling and also to return the Bible which he dropped.


  1. Poor man, that can't have been how he intended things to work out for him!

  2. Perthshire seems pretty Victorian, or worse, in more than one way!

    Funny how something seems so obvious, like mental health provision, and yet it does not exist while something which is so anachronistic to modern life, like feudal landlords does.