Feb 17 2012 by Alison Anderson, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
ABERFELDY author Linda Cracknell’s latest ‘best foot book’ inspired by walking takes the reader to Norway and the Swiss Alps, and for the book launch she headed for wide open spaces closer to home.
‘Following our Fathers: Two Journeys among Mountains’ was unveiled in the mountain air atop Perthshire hill, Dùn Coillich, the community-owned land under the shoulder of Schiehallion, near Aberfeldy.
Linda’s little book sets off to follow in the footsteps of two men: one who embarked upon a wartime escape in 1944, across Nazi-occupied Norway and through the mountains to Sweden; and the other walk follows that taken by her own father in the Swiss Alps in 1952, on a climb with a tragic outcome.
Both died as young men from cancer in 1961, and Linda’s own journeys were taken as memorials to the men as fathers.
Normally a writer of fiction and radio plays, Linda’s non-fiction account records her own search for meaning in walking, and for the memory of her father.
“My father died when I was very young. I knew he’d been a keen mountaineer, and I seemed to have inherited some of that passion, so walking was the perfect way to make my connection with him tangible,” she said.
Her first Alpine climb targeted the 4274 metre peak, Finsteraarhorn. “As a cowardly climber myself, the thought that I had bitten off more than I could chew was never far away!” she said.
‘Following our Fathers: Two Journeys among Mountains’ is available for £6 from www.lindacracknell.com, The Aberfeldy Watermill, and various other local outlets.
Linda’s other pocket books in her ‘best foot books’ series are Whiter than White, a story set on the Isle of Rum in 1913 when servants had to walk five miles over a high pass from Kinloch Castle to the laundry; and The Beat of Heart Stones in which a walker falls into step and conversation with a dry stone dyke which climbs the north side of Schiehallion for two miles in a straight line.