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On Age

Guest blog by Mandy Haggith, Director of Assynt Foundation. In Assynt we are very proud that our mountain, Suilven, has a starring role in a new feature film, Edie, the main character of which is an 80-something woman played by Sheila Hancock. In a lovely interview in the Herald (see here) she makes out that this is a somewhat senior age to be trotting up mountains, but compared to the ancient rocks under her feet, it’s nothing. In my long poem about Suilven, I wrote: ‘The mountain appears ancient this morning but this is an illusion caused by our scurrying, fleeting shortness of time and tenacity…   Suilven is a young softy, hard-headed perhaps, but mostly just dust washed up, a grand mud pack, a mighty sand castle.’   Suilven is a billion years old, but that makes it a youngster compared to the Lewisian gneiss on which it sits! The bedrock of gneiss that ruffles out across Assynt is among the oldest rocks on earth, more than 3 billion years old, older than recognisable life. It is a metamorphic

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