If you're still inScotland after the Open Championship, do come visit my country estate in theHighlands. It's in Lochaber, near Loch Ness, just up the way from Murluggan andAchluachrach.
According to thedeed that came with the estate, "wildlife lives undisturbed amongst thissplendour, and Lochaber is home to the red deer, the golden eagle, blackgrouse, wildcat and many more species." Of course, the deer, birds andwildcats have to take turns inhabiting my land because it's only one squarefoot.
My 1‚ÅÑ43,560 of anacre was a gift from a Glasgow friend who paid ¬£29.99, or about $60, to make mea legal Scottish landowner. As such, I get fishing rights in perpetuity on theRiver Spean, famed for its salmon and trout. I am now officially Laird Kevin,while my wife is known throughout our realm as Lady Pamela. This titularstyling is part of the sales pitch from Lochaber Highland Estates. "Titledpeople are often seen as being richer, more successful and beautiful, morepopular," reads the firm's brochure. "Picture the change in attitude ofattendants when you book a table, board a flight or make an appointment. Whenyou have a title in front of your name, the service you get will be faster andbetter." I haven't tried using my title that way ("a sausage pizza forLaird Kevin"), and I have my doubts about the claim that my "friendswill be green with envy." Most of my friends are cynics. But they'relandless cynics, which puts me one up.
Since my squarefoot is heritable property under Scottish law, it will stay in the family evenafter I'm underground. Last week I took the future Laird Cal to visit our land,where we both fit if he stood on my shoulders.
July 29, 2007
Some Scots hate thethought of Lochaber Highland Estates' selling off wee bits of the auld sod.They're particularly worried about Americans buying up still more of Scotland,despite my vow not to put a Starbucks or a tiny secret prison on my plot. So Iam determined to prove that a Yank can be a helluva laird. My neighbors--andthere are a lot of them--needn't worry about any ugly Americanism on Plot10014, Reference Point NN 32821100 80665000. There'll be no loud parties on myproperty, no stock car races, no paintball and, if I ever build a golf course,no gimmes.
Kevin Cook is theauthor of Tommy's Honor. To learn more about purchasing a plot like LairdKevin's, go to lochaberestates.com.
by JAMES P. HERRE
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