A Daylight Approach to Maol Bhuidhe

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 in Bothy, Northwest Highlands, TV and Film | 5 Comments
A Daylight Approach to Maol Bhuidhe

Some places get inside you, and the remote Maol Bhuidhe bothy is one of those places. My first visit was in the winter of 2008-09 by the most obvious route, a long icy cycle up Glen Elchaig followed by a climb over the Aonach Bhuidhe – Foagaich bealach. We returned a further three times, using a […]

Fedden and Loch Arkaig Corbetts: November’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Books, Camp, Walk, West Highlands | No Comments
Fedden and Loch Arkaig Corbetts:  November’s Outdoor Sleep

Meall an Tagraidh from Gleann Cia-aig The ruined house of Fedden lies to the west of the Great Glen, behind the great peaks of Meall na Teanga and Sron a’Choire Garbh. These are hill that I see often as I drive up and down the Great Glen.  An intriguing track snakes up to the Cam […]

Free Will meets Zen on Jura: October’s Outdoor Sleep

Free Will meets Zen on Jura: October’s Outdoor Sleep

On the weekend straddling October and November I drove south to rendezvous with nine other men, two of whom were the captain and crew of a fast boat. We travelled to the Isle of Jura, where I pitched my tent outside a bothy and spent much of the weekend inside, eating steak and drinking beer. […]

Riverside Tarp Camp: Chicken Roasting, Beer and a Flyfishing Masterclass

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Books, Camp, East Highlands | 2 Comments
Riverside Tarp Camp: Chicken Roasting, Beer and a Flyfishing Masterclass

Sometimes our literary and actual worlds collide, it is as if we become characters in the book that we are reading, as if the author is narrating our own lives. I experienced such a collision recently, when I went out for a Friday night tarp camp with a friend. He had selected a campspot by […]

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 […]

Top Ten Writing Influences

Posted by on Sep 16, 2012 in Books, Culture | 3 Comments

If there’s one thing I enjoy more than writing it’s reading. I’ve been spending some time lately considering my most important writing influences. This post takes the form of a summary of the pieces of writing that have influenced me most.  It is written ‘from the hip’. I have not re-read anything before writing. My […]

Bog wood: the Caledonian forest and climate change

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Books, Climate, Human Origins, Landscape | 3 Comments

Exposed bogwood on the shores of the channel between Loch Bad an Sgalaig and Dubh Loch, near Gairloch Anyone who has wandered the Scottish hills must have at some point been perplexed by the presence of bog wood, preserved tree stumps with radiating roots that protrude from the peat in what appear nowadays to be […]

Landscape and identity: Bruce Chatwin’s ‘The Songlines’

Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 in Books, Landscape | 6 Comments

Wildflower meadows at the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock). The photos that accompany this post were taken when I traveled in Australia in 1998 My plan when I started this blog back in 2009 was to use it to as a platform on which to explore the connections that exist between landscape and identity. Such […]

Prehistoric bothy trips

Kiloran Bay, Colonsay. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of large scale hazlenut processing by mesolithic hunter-gatherers I’ve always been more interested in prehistory than in history. Up until quite recently there has been very little reading matter on the topic, however  recent advances in science are allowing us to build up a far more complete picture […]

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, […]