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. […]

Capitalism and the Zeitgeist

Posted by on May 26, 2010 in Commentary, TV and Film | 2 Comments

Michael Moore’s documentary ‘Capitalism: A Love Affair’ kept me up later than intended at the weekend (ironically it was an excessive quantity of adverts, rather than the length of the film, that padded it out until one in the morning). If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend seeking it out so that you can […]

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 […]

Jonathan Meades: Off Kilter in the Outer Hebrides

Posted by on Feb 9, 2010 in Islands, TV and Film | 7 Comments

Jonathan Meades has been a favourite commentator of mine for some years. Despite his predilection for the tackling of esoteric and often unfamiliar subject matter, a combination of insightful criticism and beautiful cinematography make his television programmes a joy to watch. It was a delight to see the great man bring his rose-tinted spectacles and […]

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 […]

The White Shepherd: Walking the Strathfarrar Hills

Posted by on Oct 5, 2009 in Books, Northwest Highlands, Walk | No Comments

The weekend saw the appearance of the ‘white shepherd’, a name for the first snows of winter derived from their effectiveness at flushing grazing sheep from the high tops. The phrase dates back to a bygone era; it was the roaring of stags rather than the bleating of sheep that provided the soundtrack to Sunday’s […]

Alone in the Wild

Posted by on Sep 13, 2009 in Nature, TV and Film | 2 Comments

Take one man, issue him with a camera, drop him in the midst of grizzly country and leave him there, fretting about the risk of bear attack, for three months. This is the wonderfully simple formula for the Channel 4 series ‘Alone in the Wild’, the first episode of which was broadcast on Thursday night. California’s High […]

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 […]