The Fitzroys

My shoulder hurts from the seatbelt, plumes of steam bellowing from underneath the bonnet; I am sure I can smell petrol. Shaking fingers fumbling with the buckle. The driver side door won’t budge. Scrambling out over the gear stick. I put some distance between myself and the car, expecting it to burst into flames any moment. »

Let It Burn

A flame stretching up to heaven. The newsrooms can’t get enough, a journalist’s dream come true. You, me, everyone, glued to our screens, riveting stuff. (Honey, make us some popcorn, will you?) »

The ‘Truly Clean Green Energy’ Fallacy

A recent UKH Opinion piece dealing with the ecological cost of the forthcoming Glen Etive micro hydro, and micro hydro in general, includes this statement: ‘[we can] produce large amounts of truly “clean and green” energy ... through solar, offshore ... and tidal energy solutions’. I have come across permutations of this argument before, and it strikes me that our assessment of the environmental cost of renewables, and our understanding of renewables in general, is somewhat simplistic, glossing over what it is renewables actually do. »

On Delayed Gratificiation

Some of the photographers of old get rather upset when folk say ‘film slows you down’, so I won’t say that, but I’ll say it slows me down for sure. It’s not just the ‘on location’ pace, but also the time it takes before I get to see what I tried to visualise. »

Dr Beeching’s Unicorns

Glen Ogle. Most of the time a place on the way to somewhere else, somewhere more exciting. Yet, for me also a special, magical place where years ago my inner eye first really glimpsed the beauty of this land. »

A Prince Holding Court

I saw him as soon as I came over the rise. Hard not to, perched on a rock some hundred yards ahead, completely out of scale in this landscape. »

Of Eagles and Men

There are three of them up there, and what a racket! Correction: the racket, that’s just the two of them. She is soaring silent, near motionless, regal; aloof. Her path seemingly unalterable. On a mission permitting no distractions. »

The Wind

I saw the front in a distance. A solid wall of water, just obscuring where Kings House once stood (a view improved, I dare say). It was upon me before I had the tent up, a scramble to get inside, wait it out by candle light. »

Coille Coire Chuilc

It’s been a long time since Linda and I climbed Beinn Dubhchraig. Just another couple of Munros bagged. Not a very memorable day of drizzle and nay views, leaving a lingering impression of a long trot through a bog punctuated by spindly pine trees, and no urge to return. One that persisted for a couple of decades. But today couldn’t be more different: the sky is blue, the air is crisp, the ground is frozen. And those spindly trees? They are no more. »

Pine Seeds

Over the twenty something years since the National Trust for Scotland took over the Mar Lodge Estate, the upper Glen Lui (or, Gleann Laoigh Bheag, as it is properly called), has become a real gem of a place. But today is not exactly a gem of a day. There be might fluffy fresh snow on the ground, but it's breezy, and visibility is limited indeed. Some might think it outright miserable! »