The Scottish Parliament

A second referendum

The Scottish Government and Yes Scotland have made great efforts during the independence referendum debate to stress that this referendum is a “once in a generation” opportunity. They’re wrong: if we vote No there’ll be another within a decade. Here’s why.

Bealach na Bà


A few words and pictures from a spectacular day trip to Applecross – surely one of the best places on the west coast of the Highlands.

Coulags circuit

Walking the Coulags circuit

The problem with agreeing to go hillwalking on a certain date is that you can’t wimp out when the weather forecast is rubbish. Our plan was to do the Coulags circuit, which runs northwest from near Achnashellach. According to MWIS the prognosis was not good, though: below zero temperatures at summits, and as low as…

The Scotophiles of Bucharest

“So… what is happening with Glasgow Rangers?” I laughed.  Partly it was out of surprise that this Bucharest taxi driver was aware of the collapse of one half of the Old Firm.  Partly, though, what I also found amusing was the tone of resigned bewilderment, making it sound like the sort of small-talk opening gambit…

Classic rail poster

Travelling into the past

If you pop into the Glen Mhor Hotel on the banks of the River Ness you’ll be transported back in time. Not because it’s an antiquated place, but because in its front lounge there is an array of vintage Scottish rail posters. They’re all, I think, prints of paintings by Norman Wilkinson, a famous landscape…

The Next Stop

I got back this weekend from a six-day journey down the Inverness to Edinburgh train line.  I stopped at every station, twenty-three in total, including my start and end points.  I tried to spend at least a couple of hours in each place, staying overnight where timetables dictated.  It was an interesting chance to see…


Fyrish Monument

It’s a sad state of affairs that it takes someone from abroad to encourage me to see something under my nose. I try to be good at making the most of the amazing scenery and history on my doorstep, but in the case of the Fyrish monument, about half an hour north of Inverness and…