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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Pepe
2018-10-19 14:49:01
THE POWER OF WORDS
There I was scratching around on Slieve Binnian. Up top, I bumped into a couple out hillwalking for the day. Pleasantries were exchanged – which way did you come up, fabulous views, the weather – usual mountain chitchat. From their accents they were clearly Northern. My accent is plainly Southern. As we parted, I enquired, “Is that the summit?” pointing at a nearby tor.
“It is,” the man responded. His parting shot? He smiled and added, “You’re on the third highest mountain in the country.”
Seven hundred years of hackles suddenly rose on the back of my neck. The green voice inside my head was outraged. That voice wanted to say, “Actually, the third highest mountain in THE COUNTRY is in Kerry. Slieve Binnian is (I checked this later in the MV summit book) the 36th highest peak in THE COUNTRY, not the third. It’s third highest in OUR FOURTH GREEN FIELD.” But of course I said none of this. I just smiled, bid them adieu, and off I went scrambling up the tor.
It occurred to me, as I watched from above the couple disappear down the path, what might have happened had I said something in response to this man who, given what he had said, must be a paid-up, card carrying member of the DUP. Did he say those words in an attempt to deliver a message?
Nonsense. Of course he didn’t. Nonetheless I amused myself inventing a few newspaper headlines: “Political Row On Ulster Mountain,” “Brexit Talks Stall As Violence Breaks Out In The Mournes,” “Crazed Southerner Pushes Man Off Ridge,” “Battle Of Boyne Re-enacted On Slieve Binnian”. Isn’t it weird and wonderful the things that sometimes happen on wild mountains – and the wild thoughts that come into our heads, set off by the usage of mere words?
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