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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Staging Loss



My grandad travelled to Cape Wrath on Tuesday 20th September 1988, and in 2011, the 20th September was again going to fall on a Tuesday. This felt too good a coincidence to miss, so I booked my journey for exactly the same dates.
8 hours by coach to Inverness.
5½ hours by (mini)bus to Durness; the 804, the longest stopping bus route in Britain.
Overnight in a hostel.
A 2 mile walk to the ferry point.
20 minutes in an 8-person boat across the Kyle of Durness.
30 minutes by minibus to the Cape Wrath lighthouse. 
It was only having got there that I realised, to my own surprise, that this journey was, of course, an act of remembrance. I decided that I would go and drink a shot of his favourite whisky for him. I don’t like whisky, and I don’t know very much about it. But I do know that his favourite whisky was Famous Grouse, so that’s what I drank.

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This is an extract from “Cheers Grandad! Third Angel’s Cape Wrath and The Lad Lit Project as Acts of Remembrance”, a chapter I have contributed to the beautiful publication, STAGING LOSS: Performance as Commemoration, edited by our good friends Michael Pinchbeck and Andrew Westerside. We’re delighted to be included in such a great line up of artists and contributors.

The book has grown out of a symposium of the same name, hosted at the University of Lincoln last year. It was a day of really interesting, and often very moving, presentations. I’m looking forward to reading them as chapters… The book is out now from Palgrave Macmillan. More details here.

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