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"...I live near Tain, a small town in the Scottish Highlands with a population of about 4000. It is to be found 34 miles north of Inverness and 85 miles south of John O’Groats. We have two acres of garden, a woodland really, situated 300 metres above sea level with a fine view of Cromarty (a well-known name to listeners of the shipping forecast) through our bedroom window. Winters can be harsh and summers can be short, so as a consequence it is not the best geographical location to be a self-employed gardener.

What follows is a meandering ramble through the life and times of a rural gardener charting the chaotic and often extraordinary aspects of life in the Scottish Highlands. It is also a look back over my shoulder to those who have gone before.

Many of the articles to be found in this book were written as a monthly column between 2005 and 2013 for the Ross-shire Journal, a weekly newspaper in the north of Scotland. I include them to further illustrate the story. Some were written about my childhood in Hampshire, others about my life in the Highlands, but all contain people that I have happened across in everyday situations. It is one of life’s truths that no one’s life is ordinary, we all live extraordinary lives..."

 

(Extracted from The Bit in the Middle: the Curiously Comic Tale of a Gardener in the Scottish Highlands.  An Ebook by Patrick Vickery)