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. […]

Time travel using Google Earth: Kudle Beach

Posted by on Feb 11, 2012 in India, Travel | One Comment

  Google Earth image of the beaches of Karnataka, Southern India. Anticlockwise from top left: Gokarna Beach; Kudle Beach; Om Beach It is tempting to regard travel in terms of physical movement, but when one travels it is through both space and time. One does not merely visit a place, rather one experiences a unique […]

Urban exploration in New York

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 in Commentary, Travel, USA | 6 Comments

When this guy realised I was from Scotland he started singing the praises of George Galloway, who is now something of a celebrity in the US Last week I had the opportunity to travel to the US with work.  My itinerary took me to New Jersey, just outside the great city of New York. This was my […]

Iceland Part 5

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 in Iceland | 4 Comments

This is the 5th and final instalment of my recent trip to Iceland. After traversing the interior using the Kjolur route and then taking a side trip into Askja it was a pleasure to be on mostly tarmac roads when we popped out of the highlands near the town of Egilsstadir. We were on the opposite […]

Iceland part 4

Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 in Iceland | 2 Comments

Modified 4WD vehicles normally look completely over the top, but in Iceland it was our SUV (right) that looked out of place, as if it should have been on the school run rather than fording rivers in the interior. Coincidently, the night before we departed for Iceland, a BBC4 programme was broadcast in which TV […]

Iceland part 3

Posted by on Aug 17, 2011 in Iceland | 3 Comments

This is the third instalment of my Iceland trip report. Have a read of the first and second if you haven’t already. Columnar basalt, the rock found in Fingal’s Cave, the south end of the Isle of Bute and the Giant’s Causeway among other places,  is a common rock in Iceland. It is at its most […]

Iceland continued

Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 in Iceland | One Comment

This is the second instalment of of my recent holiday in Iceland. Read the first here. We camped near the top of the Hlid campsite. Below us lay a wooden church, around a previous version of which lava flows had miraculously parted during a volcanic eruption in 1729. To the south lake Myvatn with its […]


Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 in Iceland | 5 Comments

If you live in Scotland and like wild places with no people it can be tricky to select a suitable holiday destination, for a holiday should supply something completely different – and preferably better than -normal weekend activity. This year we chose a camping trip to Iceland, it turned out to be a fabulous trip to […]

Skiing: La Grave and Cairngorm

Posted by on Mar 21, 2011 in France, Ski | No Comments

Just back from a long weekend trip to La Grave, a skiing destination with a fearsome reputation and very sparing uplift; a two-stage bubble lift and a single poma.. Pisting is limited to two short blue runs on the glacier at the very top of the mountain, then you’re on your own. What follows depends […]

Living the dream in Alaska

Posted by on Jan 24, 2011 in TV and Film, USA | No Comments

Over the last few years Bruce Parry has become one of my favourite television presenters. I was introduced to his work through the documentary series ‘Tribe’ in which he spent time living with a variety of indigenous peoples around the world. The aspect of ‘Tribe’ which I found most interesting was his participation in rituals, […]