Paul Theroux in Inverness

Posted by on Aug 31, 2009 in Books | 3 Comments

I spent part of saturday fruitlessly wracking my brain, trying to think of a dildo-related phrase that might be wheeled out in the heat of an argument. This strange line of enquiry had been occasioned by a comment of Paul Theroux’s in which he speculated, based on the content of their quarrels, that the owners of his […]

Canadian canoeing on Loch Maree

Posted by on Aug 25, 2009 in Canoe, Northwest Highlands | 3 Comments

The weekend brought news of a canoeing accident on Loch Maree that claimed the lives of a father and son. This got me thinking about the sport, about its risks and its rewards. Canadian canoeing has grown in popularity in recent years due to the ready availability of affordable plastic boats. I have been a […]

A local skitour for local people

Posted by on Aug 17, 2009 in East Highlands, Ski | 4 Comments

The middle of August marks a turning point in the year: the days become shorter; the ending of the school holidays congests the roads; people resume their constant droning about football after the summer ceasefire. About this time my mind begins to wander towards the coming winter and the sporting opportunities it may present. Last […]


Posted by on Aug 15, 2009 in India | One Comment

A legless beggar loomed from the crowd on an improvised skateboard, his stumps wrapped in revolting bandages. His hands, filthy from propelling himself through the unpaved streets, pulled at mine in an appeal for pity, for a donation. When my friend Martina revealed that she had booked a flight to Delhi, such memories of my […]

On Toilet Humour

Posted by on Aug 12, 2009 in Commentary, Lavatorial Prose | No Comments

Curiously, almost all of the positive feedback I have received about my blogging to date has been related to the toilet humour content. I did briefly consider blogging exclusively on matters lavatorial. The thing that dissuaded me was not any concern about my ability to crimp out sufficient words on the topic each week, it […]

The Quiraing:Trotternish, Isle of Skye

Posted by on Aug 10, 2009 in Islands, Landscape | One Comment

Wild places are in a perpetual state of flux, yet they appear constant when considered on the timescale of our short human lives. On the eastern flanks of the Trotternish Ridge on the Isle of Skye lurks such a timeless place, the Quiraing. Its towers of kidney-textured volcanic rock enclose a collection of chasms and […]

A busy bothy weekend

Posted by on Aug 3, 2009 in Bothy, West Highlands | 2 Comments

There is something wonderfully subversive about drinking in the great outdoors, free from the roving eyes of CCTV cameras and the influence of authority figures. When you strip away the commercialism and regulation of city fleshpots – the queues, the curfews, the dress codes, the cover charges – all that remains is a raw, primal […]