This Green Winter Bivvy is a Sign of Things To Come

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Bivvy, Climate, Commentary, East Highlands | No Comments
This Green Winter Bivvy is a Sign of Things To Come

This month I have a bit of climate chat for you. As you can see from the accompanying photo of my ice-encrusted bivvy bag, my January sleep was chilly but not particularly wintery. Not only is there no snow at my bivvy spot, there is barely a scrap of the white stuff to be seen […]

Forget Peak Oil and Peak Beard, we should be talking about Peak Children.

Posted by on Apr 25, 2015 in Commentary | No Comments
Forget Peak Oil and Peak Beard, we should be talking about Peak Children.

Older people – not children – will drive population growth in the 21st century There can be no doubt that population growth is one of the greatest challenges of our time, but the recent piece in Wired Magazine, entitled ‘The Biggest Threat to the Earth? We Have Too Many Kids’, which argues that the only way […]

Why open plan offices amplify existential angst

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Commentary, Productivity, Science | No Comments
Why open plan offices amplify existential angst

Ever get the uneasy feeling that your life might be sliding past in an undifferentiated grey mass? It probably is: the machinery of the brain conspires with the open plan office to make modern work an unsettling, unmemorable experience. The brain’s internal GPS and the grey fog of similarity I recently listened to Grandmaster of […]

Boris Johnson celebrates misemployment and rent-seeking

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Commentary, Podcast and Radio | No Comments
Boris Johnson celebrates misemployment and rent-seeking

Counting billionaires must be one of the Mayor of London’s most important responsibilities. Why else would Boris Johnson have raised the topic only twenty seconds into his interview with Stephen Dubner on the Freakonomics podcast? Johnson boasted that London is home to 72 billionaires, versus 43 in New York, 18 in Paris and 40 in […]

The Meaning of Adventure

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Commentary | No Comments
The Meaning of Adventure

Adventure is a feeling that can strike anywhere. Searching for a bivvy spot in fading light on a windswept summit. The clank of metalwork while sorting gear with knotted stomach, the day’s route towering above. The mind soaring above the clinical, commercialised passage through a generic airport. The crackle of a campfire. Sipping sweet chai […]

Could we have democracy without independence? In principle yes, in practice no

Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Commentary | 2 Comments
Could we have democracy without independence? In principle yes, in practice no

The problem with Westminster and differences in Scotland / UK voting behaviour. In a recent piece  I argued that because the Scots are different from the English an independent Scotland would be very different from the UK. The basis for my claim of difference was that of the Scottish preference for not voting Conservative, for it is […]

No Democracy without Independence

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Commentary | No Comments
No Democracy without Independence

A belief in democracy is what lies at the root of my nationalist sentiments. Having the Tories back in power takes me back to when I first became aware of politics in the 80s and 90s, when seemingly unelectable Conservative governments were re-elected in 1987 and 1992. I couldn’t understand how this was possible, for nobody I knew […]

Social Justice and Capital in 21st Century Scotland

Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Commentary | No Comments
Social Justice and Capital in 21st Century Scotland

The Scots are different from the English. An independent Scotland will be a very different country from the UK. In September of this year the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum on independence. Proponents believe that an independent Scotland could build a more egalitarian society and halt the escalating inequality that is currently […]

New York

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Commentary, Travel, USA | No Comments
New York

  The anti-terror paranoia that pervades New York City had started to rub off on me. What if they were out to get me? Manhattan from Staten Island Ferry Train from Summit NJ to New York Penn Station The skyscrapers of the New York skyline, about twenty miles distant, appeared through gaps in faintly autumnal […]

Skiing, Social Capital and Scottish Independence

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Commentary, France, Ski | 16 Comments

The mogulled delights of the Grand Couloir in Courchevel Late March in the French ski resort of Courchevel. We shared a gondola with a group of well-heeled English women. They were discussing their offspring, one of whom had a job interview that day. “How did Timmy get on at his interview?” The proud mother responded. […]