Radio listener by Jim Gilchrist

How does one experience the magnificence of the Scottish hills if you can't see them?

BBC Scotland continues its current landscape season with BLIND SUMMIT, in which a group of blind or visually impaired climbers explain how they appreciate their surroundings.

Inspired by the indomitable Syd Scroggie, who lost his sight and one leg during the war but continued to hill-walk, the climbers are Robert Ferguson, who was born blind, Keith Salmon, an award-winning artist with very little sight, and Norma Davidson, who lost most of her sight at the age of 16. Extracts from Scroggie's poetry are laced through the documentary.

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The sunlight which eludes these intrepid wanderers is the subject of Radio 4's Book of the week, Chasing the Sun, in which Allan Corduner reads from Richard Cohen's encyclopaedic, yet lyrical portrait of the star around which we revolve and which is central to our philosophies, religions and very existence.

Cohen explores every aspect of solar science and lore, from observing a total eclipse from the Antarctic to quoting that great painter of light, Turner, who declared simply: "The Sun is God".

Religion, too, preoccupies Hardeep Singh Kohli in the great british faith, a three-parter in which he explores the beliefs and cultures of 21st-century Britain by visiting three of its most cosmopolitan cities, Cardiff, Leicester and Glasgow.

He starts on Monday with Cardiff, and finds that while it was once home to Somalis, Yemenis and Scandinavians, 60 per cent of its population trace their descent from the Irish labourers who built the docks in the 19th century.


Monday, Radio Scotland, 3:30pm


Mon-Fri, Radio 4, 9:45am


Mon-Wed, Radio 2, 10pm

This article was first published in The Scotsman, 11 December, 2010