The Woodland Shelter

January 22, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
"Sleeping in the woods on a Saturday night!" - There are no rock songs that I know of containing these lyrics... I have known my friend Andy since our early teens. I remember even back then, Andy was into his outdoor pursuits and it has taken me about 30 years to catch up with his hobby. We had recently decided to spend a night in a local forest,...
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A Walk in the White Stuff

January 10, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
"I fancy a walk tomorrow", Bob shouted over his garden to me. "Me too," I said, "have you seen the snow up the Ochils?" I asked, "yes," Bob said, "let's go". I am lucky to live near to the Ochil Hills. They are only a 30-minute drive for me and I can then be standing 700 metres in the crisp snow 90 minutes after leaving my car. In the winter, th...
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Hogmanay

December 27, 2017  •  3 Comments
The late Harry Keen, who was a dear family friend, recalls his memory of New Year as a child in early 20th Century Edinburgh. Hogmanay, In the Scots it means, the last day of the year or, a gift given to children on New Year's Eve Hogmanay, the very word conjures up a mixed bag of images, from when I was a child growing up in Edinburgh, right u...
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Winter Camping

December 12, 2017  •  1 Comment
"Whatever the question, the answer is always more booze". This was the reply from my friend Andy to my text about the -4°C weather forecast for Saturday night. We were going camping then and it was December with the coldest weekend of the winter so far now predicted; our families and friends were all laughing at us. We parked in the picturesque...
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Buffalo Systems Special 6

November 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
The Buffalo Special 6 is a “smock” and not a jacket. Whatever it is, it is the best piece of outdoor clothing that I have bought. For three years now, I have headed to the winter hills wearing a Buffalo Systems Special 6. This is a picture of me wearing it on Beinn Fhionnlaidh in 2016. So what is special about a 3-year-old smock? In that pictur...
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Whiteout

October 28, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
This picture is of my friend Bob, taking a video of the whiteout conditions in which we found ourselves. The whiteout in this picture was due to heavy cloud covering a snow-covered mountaintop. We were heading from the rounded summit of Beinn Uldamain when the cloud closed in. I realised that there was no distinguishing the ground from the sky.
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Behind the Picture: Doggy Dreams

October 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
The reason I like taking pictures is for the memories that they contain. When I look at a photo that I've taken, all recollection of that moment comes flooding back. Below is another of these images that bring particular memories - This picture is called "Doggy Dreams". This picture is composed of three images stitched together. It includes a pic...
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Devilla Forest

September 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
Devilla Forest is located near the small town of Kincardine, in Central Scotland. The forest, although managed, is composed of mainly Scots Pines and is quite natural compared to some densely packed plantations. The forest is also quite large for these parts and I have spent many hours exploring it with my dog and camera. Some of these pictures can...
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The Grey Cairns of Camster

August 31, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
Working in Caithness for the week and having some time on my hands in the evenings, I decided to visit the Grey Cairns of Camster which were originally built around 5,000 years ago and are some of the oldest stone monuments in Scotland. The Cairns have largely been reconstructed, but they are still a great place to visit. The bonus is that you can...
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Return to Braemore

August 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
As I drove down the hill, Maiden’s Pap with Morvern nestling behind it came into view. It was beautiful to see these pointy hills with crepuscular rays shooting through the gaps in the clouds - It had been fourteen months since I was last here and it looked more wonderful than the first time I had visited. I reached the parking spot at Braemore...
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Torwood Castle

August 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
According to the Clan Forrester web page, Torwood castle was built in 1566 by Sir Alexander Forrester. The lands of the "Royal Forest of Tor Wood" were bestowed upon the Forrester family in 1450 and as such, the castle would have formed the seat of Clan Forrester. I walk here often and the history of this secluded spot is fascinating, where there...
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Final Vacation

July 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
My mother-in-law, Ericka, passed away around 8 am on the 19th July 2016, she was 68. It has always been a firm tradition of my wife's family to go away for an annual holiday together. On those holidays, we have visited many destinations in the UK and Ericka always looked forward to her week's vacation with a passion that was unmatched by the rest...
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The Falkirk Canal Tunnel

July 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
Completed in 1822, the 630 metre (690 yards) Falkirk Canal Tunnel was a marvel of its time. The tunnel forms part of the Union Canal that was built to link Edinburgh and Glasgow via the Forth and Clyde Canal at Falkirk. The tunnel was not originally intended but it is a consequence of the local landowners, the Forbes family, who lived in the statel...
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Behind the Picture: The Empty Field

June 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
The reason I like taking pictures is for the memories they contain. When I look at a photo that I've taken, all recollection of that moment comes flooding back. Below is another of these images that bring particular memories - This photo is called "The Empty Field". This image was taken beside a field near Torwood in 2014. I had walked past here e...
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Post-Industrial Chicken (a short story)

June 11, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
My Grandfather told me a lot about the way things used to be when there was plenty. I remember him telling me about planes trains and automobiles, those marvellous machines of which just remnants still remain. He told me that they had drinking water whenever they wanted and light was available simply by pressing a button. What I most remember abou...
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