The Inverness West Link: dodgy figures

If you’re interested in the controversy over the Inverness West Link, since writing this post I have worked with others to set up the Save Canal Park campaign website. There’s plenty up to date information there. You may remember I wrote a few posts earlier last year on the topic of the Inverness West Link…

Ness Islands

A walk round Inverness

Inverness boasts a lovely circular walk of a couple of hours or so that takes in the River Ness, the Ness Islands, the shores of the Beauly Firth, and the Caledonian Canal. Only it doesn’t really boast it. It’s not well-known or advertised as a single circular walk, but it is admittedly easy to put…

The city that doesn’t exist

It’s a sometimes curious feeling, living in a city that doesn’t exist. You may think Inverness is a real place. There are “Welcome to Inverness” road signs on the main roads as you approach it. You can walk its streets, see its sights, feel the fresh breeze and be deafened by the squawk of seagulls.…

Nearing the facts on the West Link

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll be aware of a couple of posts I wrote a while back on the issue of the completion of the Inverness west link.  I’ll not bore you with the full details here (the posts themselves should be an adequate backstory), but just want to quickly summarise…

Tourist in my own land

It’s easy to be complacent about where you live, as you see it through the prism of everyday life.  That’s a shame, especially when the place you live is as lovely as the area around Inverness. It was one of the things I enjoyed about hosting Couchsurfers regularly until a few years ago, in that…

Scotland’s council elections

I voted today in the local council elections.  Being something of a politics and electoral systems geek, I always enjoy voting. Especially when it is the Single Transferable Vote, introduced for Scottish councils in 2007. STV is by far my favourite electoral system, because it is roughly proportional, it gives you multiple representatives (a good…

Update on the West Link

I blogged nearly a month ago about the terrible decision being put to Highland Council to drive the final part of the western end of Inverness’s bypass through a lovely park.  As you’ll read in that post, I’d written to my four local councillors, the city’s provost and my MSP about some of the issues…

North and south

Inverness really feels like the middle of the country at times. Though that’s not far from the truth.  If you were to draw a straight line from the top of Shetland to the bottom of the Scottish mainland, then draw another from the westernmost inhabited part of Scotland (the south end of the Western Isles)…

The week in photos

I’ve been zipping about a fair amount this past week.  I’ve been ambling around in Inverness… …loitering between trains at Perth station… …and exploring Glasgow at night. The Glasgow visit was for an Explosions in the Sky gig on Monday night. It was my third time of seeing them and they were excellent. Beautiful, uplifting,…

Winter’s coming

Inverness, a city that depends heavily on the tourist trade, really feels like it comes to life in the springtime, with the clocks changing to usher in the longer days, Easter holidays, and flocks of visitors that give the place such character (and, let’s face it, money) over the summer. That change is a nice…

The end of The Side

I think it comes from being a over a hundred miles away from any place of a similar size and thus being in no other city’s shadow, but there is a great confidence to Inverness. No more so is this true than in the city’s music scene. Half-decent (or, indeed, full-decent) bands can crop up…

The waiting game

Nicole and I are heading off to France in September.  It’ll be a chance to catch up with a few friends we have over there, and while we both really like the country I’ve not seen too much of it and my French could do with some significant practice. We’ve decided we’re going overland, which…

Milton Jones

On Saturday night, Nicole and I went to Eden Court to see Milton Jones on his live stand-up tour. You’ve perhaps seen him on TV shows like Mock the Week, with his hair by Wurzel Gummage, shirts by Nelson Mandela, and a signature array of one-liners and puns.  With a quick, off-beat mind and perfect…

Craig Phadraig

Nicole and I went for a walk up Craig Phadraig this afternoon.  It was the first time I’d been up there in years, which is a shame as it is one of the few hills close to Inverness which allows for great views – or at least they would be great if it wasn’t for…

What I think Inverness needs, part 2

Inverness is in a striking location – at the mouth of the river Ness and northern end of the Caledonian Canal, which both flow into the Beauly Firth. Further afield are the ridges of the Great Glen, the hills of the Black Isle, dramatic mountains to the north-west, and out to sea to the east…