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 […]

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 […]

Solar Arc

Posted by on Jan 3, 2011 in Books, Northwest Highlands, Walk | 4 Comments

We are blind to much of the wonder of the natural world. The beauty of great nature writing  is that it can open our eyes to this unseen splendour and provide us with the vocabulary needed to describe phenomena which might otherwise pass us by. In his book ‘Arctic Dreams’ Barry Lopez describes how reflection and […]

Roads from the Isles: The drove roads and old tracks of the North-West coast of Scotland

Posted by on Sep 29, 2010 in Books, Northwest Highlands | 2 Comments

This post takes its title from a book by D.D.C. Pochin Mould, published in 1950. I have recently purchased a copy second hand and am currently reading my way through. The writer makes the point that, unlike the rest of the UK, the Northwest has many more old, unused routes than it has modern roads. […]

Mobile blogging, Douglas Coupland and the Bushbuddy wood burning camp stove

Posted by on Mar 24, 2010 in Books, Technology | 2 Comments

One of the things that tipped me over the edge into smartphone ownership was the possibility of mobile blogging; this is the third consecutive mobile blog. The other was the ability to suck podcasts directly from the ether onto the playback device, meaning that I am able to catch interesting radio programmes that I would […]

Short review of ‘The Wind Farm Scam’ and a bit of skiing

Posted by on Dec 24, 2009 in Books, Climate, Ski | 4 Comments

Welcome to the Christmas edition of my blog. It certainly feels like Christmas round these parts, we’ve had lying snow for well over a week now. The photo below is of  snow-laden pine and willow. I was very pleased that last week’s post elicited a response from David Mackay, the author of the book  ‘Sustainable […]