Tag Archives: Scotland

Swanston Golf Course.


A mere 30-minute bus ride away from the centre of Edinburgh with all its noise and tourists rocking bum bags sits Swanston Golf Course in the Pentland Hills. I don’t play golf and never will, but a wee stroll around here with a bottle of Buckfast and a Cadbury Chomp sure does make a productive Saturday afternoon.

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Miracle on Princes Street.


Every once in a while something miraculous occurs on Princes Street. The traffic momentarily vanishes and the bus speeds beyond 5 mph. I thought I’d wandered into an alternate reality this morning. Incredible.

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Under the Skin (2013) – unexpected chuckles.


A truly mesmerising and disturbing picture, Under the Skin (2013) is film as art, an elusive, visually stunning meditation on identity and immigration. It’s also one of the few films set in Scotland that doesn’t wallow in hooligans or smack. There is one scene in it, though, that made me piss myself. Scarlett Johansson’s alien character meets a bloke in the Highlands. He cooks her a microwaved ready meal, a.k.a. a TV dinner. Scarlett Johansson – a READY MEAL.

That’s how the charming Scots treat their women. Romeos.

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It was raining in Edinburgh today.

Shock horror.


One of my ‘hobbies’ entails hanging about the back of buses when I’m bored and taking pretentious ‘art-farty’ snaps of pish. Here is Edinburgh’s Lothian Road. It’s raining. Some folk had umbrellas but others didn’t give a fuck. I love this city like George Best did ethanol.

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Auld Reekie in pictures(!).

Behold the spring delights of Edinburgh in this wee montage of recent snaps I’ve taken. No poverty or bar brawls here; it’s my propaganda piece.

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Idling away in Achiltibuie.

I became so enamoured with the enchanting isolation of Achiltibuie that any innocent impingement upon the solitude was an infection of my harmonious narrative. The mere sight of a stranger (a local) on the horizon had me hiding unceremoniously in a shrub until he exited the vicinity. It was like my own private garden had been badgered. This aside, the stay in the village was an uninterrupted mash-up of aimless rambles, a surfeit of Scotch, and episodic gazing from a minimalist lodge at the terrain … wondering ‘what it’s all about’. Scotland is relaxing.




Achiltibuie stores.


Locholly Lodge.

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Edinburgh Waverley station.


The absolute scenes I’ve seen in this place: Confused Americans struggling to locate the exit, chavs clutching Buckfast whilst vaulting the barriers, heart attacks, brawls, ad hoc mass Spice Girls renditions. It’s a microcosm of the human experience.

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Quite possibly the most hideous vista that Edinburgh offers. These manky high-rises on Slateford Road are a gruesome portrait of Hell – tenants packed like tinned sardines in structures that wouldn’t look out of place in the Soviet Union. Still, I guess they do have a peculiar charm, a statement from a rather grim era best forgotten about.

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The Great Outdoors.

Ardgartan, a secluded little village by Loch Long in Argyll and Bute, was a charming wee haven, an idyllic getaway from the mechanised racket down south.

It’s solitude up north, a place to gather thoughts, ruminate, recharge the proverbial batteries. I often listen to the devastatingly dramatic music of Richard Wagner in these moments, and think of ways of taking over the world. It’s never going to happen, but one can fantasise.



I’ve always been more into looking at scenes of natural beauty than … climbing up them. I therefore gazed in admiration at the surrounding hills with their snow-topped peaks, and took a few photos of the beasts. Neglecting any extended adventuring, I did manage to crawl out of our liquor lodge estate and ramble around Loch Long to the Village Inn and back.

The swing.

I’ve not been on a swing in decades. Nostalgia kicked in. Other estate guests offered some concerned facial expressions my way. Perhaps I should have jettisoned the Jack Daniel’s bottle.


Bug Hotel.

Even travelling insects need their comforts.


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