Sunday, October 24, 2010

At the source of the River Esk

I was in Eskdalemuir to see the writer Colin Betts about a possible publishing project. He lives, it's safe it say, in the most isolated house I've ever visited, three miles from the nearest proper road, in the heart of Scottish Welsh Celtdom. To get there, you have to ford the Esk, right at its source. There's no mains services.

Colin has written one of the best memoirs of the 60s, I've ever read. He ran away from home at 15 in the company, no less, of The Rolling Stones. It was with Colin that Nick Drake busked his way through the south of France to Morocco. Later episodes involved seriously nefarious characters, including the Manson Family, jail in LA, and some dangerous adventures in India and Afghanistan. Before Colin actually started a successful band called The Impossible Dreamers...

Anyway, he's written a book - Frozenlight  - and a play, specifically about his travels with Nick Drake, called Shininglight. We're hoping they'll be published online before Christmas. Watch this space!

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