Essentially, this is the beating heart of the site; a place where you can find each and every post, search through the different categories and see popular tags.
The latest posts will be here, as will old posts. It is a good place to start, in order to see the variety of topics I cover. Some old posts may still need a little reformatting, but they should be readable.
True stories do not always mean they are the truth. The truth is relative, after all. These are tales that are neither outright fiction nor travel writing. They fit somewhere and everywhere in between — everything else left behind, hidden in the cracks or sitting out in plain sight. Expect thoughts and musings. Expect me to have my own opinion. Expect subjects I love.
Any post which discusses travel, whether slow travel, fast travel or anything in between. Expect destination guides, how-to’s, tips and tricks, photos, kit reviews and anything else you may find listedd under “travel blog”.
Today, the 15th of July 2016, marks the point where I have 300 days until I turn 40. Those of you who have been following my ongoing series, Thirty-Nine Steps, will know that I have chosen my 40th birthday as an arbitrary date to try and arrive at a point Read more…
The photographs to accompany this piece were all taken on my journey southward last week. As such they are blurred in places, rough around the edges, show reflections, and are generally imperfect. Like me.
I write, I tell stories. Sometimes these are short, scant and brief, mere sketches of ideas designed to stimulate and provoke the thought process. At other times I write longer pieces, novellas and novels broken into digestible chunks, chapters and line breaks punctuating the manuscript.
My life is like this. At times I can see events unfurl that will become a chapter, a longer tale, perhaps a theme to be reintroduced later in life. At others I know that pause is permanent, this is over, put the book down, breathe and move on. Some chapters overlap, where one is defined by place, another can be predominantly about relationships — but these two things are not exclusive, they both inhabit the same temporal plane, after all. (more…)
In the introduction to this series on my forthcoming plans, I suppose I gave you a brief idea of my personal history involving my sense of the world as a whole — nature, culture, animal, mineral, vegetable — and for this piece I shall continue in this vein. Some of you will already know much of this, but I think it better to repeat myself here, rather than skip details that will later prove important.
I left Orkney and headed for university when I was eighteen. Looking back, twenty years later, I seem impossibly young, naive, hedonistic and, at times, idiotic. I suppose, however, this is much the same with many eighteen year olds. I chose the wrong university course, in the wrong place, but that did not really matter. What I got out of that time of my life was far more important; I collected emotions, experiences, ideas, voices, and observations, as others collected stamps.
Doorway in Lower Pulteneytown, Caithness. It seemed fitting to select doorways to illustrate this piece.
When I was young I wanted to see the world. I wanted to explore the unexplored, find hidden cities and lost tribes (never once thinking that these tribes were unlikely to have counted themselves lost), uncover ancient treasures and discover species new to science.
I pored over the literature I had access to at the time (in those distant pre-internet days), whether my parents’ ample collection of books, my own burgeoning supply, or the library (school or otherwise). I would read fictional tales of these adventures: Willard Price, Arthur Conan Doyle, Johann Wyss, Daniel Defoe, R.M. Ballantyne or Gerald Durrell being just some of the authors I admired and devoured. I would also work my way through the non-fiction selection, again including tales of real life explorers and, especially, works about the natural world — particular favourites being David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell (again – The Amateur Naturalist is a book I returned to, and still do, over and over).
Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris. For this piece I will decorate with a handful of Parisian snapshots, seems to make sense.
All these photos were taken on Sunday the 1th of October. They are all taken from the car, along the route recently determined the “North Coast 500“. I will be sharing more on this in the future, but for now I thought a few photographs of our neighbouring county, Sutherland, would wet the whistle.
Sutherland is a favourite county of mine and is the only county to share a land border with Caithness, fully enclosing us with a barrier of mountain, loch and moor. Although I do have problems with how much of the land here is owned by so few people (and many of them absentee landlords or conglomerations – Japanese or Danish, for example), it is still beautiful, and will still be beautiful long after those who claim “ownership” have returned to their constituent atoms. (more…)