I had a birthday the other day and was given a cd by Hugh Laurie (thanks Jamie) who apologises in the liner notes for being a white middle class Englishmen offering songs from black Louisiana in the early 1900s. He goes on to talk of 'furniture dipped in absinthe and towed behind a truck from Nice Table all the way to Wow, What's the Story Behind That???' suggesting that, 'Our alienation from the land, our inoculation against disease, our cultivated fear of hot things, sharp things, fast things... has made us hungry for the real thing, for Truth. If we don't get it we'll settle for its distant cousin, Authenticity.'
Earlier this week I was guiding clients in their clan lands, pulling out scraps of history and relating them to what's there now on the ground. The rocks, the rivers, the corries and to some extent the churches, are easy but most buildings are far removed from those ancient Truths. I'm grateful for the Authenticity of monuments and graveyards.
On Tuesday night I was at a B&B - a typically Scottish Victorian villa in a small Perthshire town with a lovely garden. We've used it for clients before and they've had a great welcome. As did I, from the charming young landlady and her partner who produced an excellent breakfast. This couple have had the house for a year. They come from Roumania. So, not really authentic. But what if they had been from London, or Glasgow, or Inverness, or the next town down the glen?
Ideally the landlady would have been born and brought up in the town; but there aren't so many of those about. Truths are often hard to pin down - intellectually, historically or for a tour guide on the ground. But for our Clans and Castles clients we serve up as much as we can of that distant cousin, Authenticity.
Book a trip with us and there's one very nice B&B that you won't be staying in.