I’m not paranoid, honest.

So, the Aberdeen evening express. A local paper for local people – or some such…

Hi, I’m Mark, contacted me first. He interviewed me with much enthusiasm and gusto. So moved by my story was he that he sent out Tim the photographer.

He was so moved by my story that he spent a good 45 minutes wandering about with me on Aberdeen beach (no, I didn’t know either) on the day of the royal wedding.

With a, “you’ll be in the paper by Monday at the latest…” off he went.

“It’s a right wing hater of benefit claimants ” to paraphrase Ella later on in the day.

“No – that’s the real express – this is just the local…”

“Take a look…”

There it was, for the world to see – “Benefits cheat ate my baby, my dog and also lives in a huge house, with a big car…hard working tax payers…and so on…

Days later my story still hadn’t been published.

I texted ‘hi, I’m Mark’ but to no avail – loony man walking around the edge of the uk was not as newsworthy as ‘windscreen wiper blade stolen’ to paraphrase further – possibly a little unkindly – maybe even bitterly…

Balmedie was my next destination. The home to be of Donald Trumps great big golf course complex.

Who should I meet but Susan Munro – a woman who tells me that her home is neatly somewhere in the middle of the proposed course.

Mr Trump offered her £123,000 for her 4 bedroomed home sitting in 2 acres. A 1 bedroom flat in the area goes for £97,000 – I checked – so our Susan appears not to have been offered the going rate.

Also, the construction workers have started building what could be best described as a hill next to Susan’s house – which blocks her tv signal – not to say what it does to her view.

Susan told me stories of security men blocking her way on her way home – security cars sitting atop sand dunes with folk monitoring her movements…fences going up blocking the legitimate passage of the good folk of the area.

She also suggested that the loss of her long term job at the Aberdeen express may have had something to do with her stance against mr Trump.

Who knows?

Armed with this information I walked a mile in the direction of the proposed new golf course.

After a short time I encountered 2 Americans walking with 2 german shepherds (not actually shepherds – dogs – do try to keep up)

Definitely security, I thought to myself. The Americans – they appeared to be a couple – were very friendly and their digs were absolutely terrified of me…
Probably not security then.

A bit further on I found a fence – about 30 metres long – bearing the timeless legend ‘warning – construction work – keep out’ on both sides of the fence.
The fence was passable all the way round – it wasn’t clear where it was supposed to be stopping me from entering. Perhaps I was supposed to walk along the top.

So, my right to roam wasn’t really impeded.

A little further on, I encountered a man running with a camouflage t-shirt on.

Definitely security.

I was in trouble now.

He was running up a sand dune – “good training?” I suggested.

“it’s like the Gobi desert” he laughed.

Conflict polarises folk. I was ready for a fight all over the place but I couldn’t find one.

Donald Trump does appear to be doing something a little strange though – he’s trying to move sand dunes. It all feels a bit King Canute.

Maybe there were more interesting stories for the paper…

Walk a mile in my shoes…just don’t get too close – I’m watching you….


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