Memories of Scotland

I came across the above Google Earth view today and regretted that I hadn’t included it on the DVD, but better late than never. What a magnificent thing is Google Earth and what a fantastic part of the Earth. I’ve circled some of the more significant places I visited and it puts them all into perspective, with the relief map showing the mountains, lochs and valleys especially clearly.

It also reminded me of something else. I was browsing similar maps of the South Island of New Zealand the other day and saw the name Murchison on a couple of the localities. I’d forgotten that when I was in Kyle of Lochalsh (see image above), I found a small garage and enquired about getting the fuse checked for the cigarette lighter sockets in the rental car to get my Tom Tom sat nav going again.

The guy who did it for me was named Stephen Murchison. I’d forgotten his first name until now, but he waved away my attempts to pay him, even for the cost of the fuse, and I was very taken by his quiet competence, generosity and friendly attitude. We chatted and I said his name was very familiar from the Murchison District, Murchison River and Murchison Gorge in WA. He said his grandfather was probably responsible as he did a lot of the exploration in WA in the 19th century. I had no idea.

Now I find the name in the South Island of New Zealand as well. I’m not surprised, as I believe a lot of Scots emigrated to NZ. I realise now why the Kiwi accent is the way it is – it’s not far from the Scottish accent.

Stephen said he and some mates were planning a trip to Oz this year, so I hope he’s having a good trip. I suspect he might be a credit to his family name. Thanks again Stephen.


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