Glen Affric

As these accounts usually begin (hence why I have not written one in a while), I had some spare time (a full 10 days in this case) and decided to fill it with mountains and empty it of thoughts. After a day of shadowing on Ben Nevis, I spent a week somewhat alone in the…

Screaming Tubes & Untraceable Stress

The adaptive ability of life is a constant marvel. It accounts for the proliferation of all manner of species in every conceivable environment on Earth, provides countless fascinating anecdotes (like the fact that a hummingbird’s tongue goes all the way around the back of the skull before coming out of its mouth) and is –…

Winter Walking in the Arrochar Alps: Part II

The next morning, after saying goodbye to Cameron and Rachel, I set off for Beinn Dubh (773m) and Ben Vane (916m). The weather, overcast but not too cold, was similar to yesterday’s, and as I made my way up Glen Kinglas to the northern slope of Beinn Dubh, I had a spring in my step…

Winter Walking in the Arrochar Alps: Part I

For a while now I have thought of myself as a ‘morning person’. I really appreciate those hours before midday and if I can use them productively, it sets me up so much better for the rest of the day. Many people, however, do not agree, and their argument against early rising is never strongest…

Loch Etive & the River Noe: A Microadventure

I needed to spend some time alone: to get away and be on the move, answerable to no one. So I headed north, just for the weekend. I caught two buses up to Taynuilt, a small village just to the south of Loch Etive, arriving at around 1500 on the Friday. After buying some supplies…

Autumn Into Winter

As the year turns, it is worth reflecting on how things change, and for what we have to be thankful. After such a glorious summer, the richness of autumn is now exploding, and this transition seems to be reflected in people too (the ones I know anyway). New endeavours are being embarked upon, prosperity is…

Away

After a lifetime of living in the city, I have finally made it back to where I started, to where we all started, really: to a natural environment. At least an environment where the tree to concrete ratio is correctly weighted to the former. Last Monday I moved to Scotland to the northwest of Glasgow…

Brainchild Festival 2018

There is something of a think-tank, symposium or conference feel to Brainchild. It is as if everyone is there to contribute everything creative they have, to make genuine connections and to participate in a melting pot of ideas, music, art, colour and the celebration of life itself. Virtually everything in the festival grounds (which was…

Album Review: Bad Witch – Nine Inch Nails

As the third instalment of three EP’s (of which it is the longest), Bad Witch begins powerfully with Shit Mirror. The traditionally distorted, industrial sound so familiar to Nine Inch Nails fans has a strong presence and feels wonderfully excessive and somehow reinvigorated. Bad Witch was recorded after a series of concerts given by NIN,…

Bulgaria Part II: Meadows in the Mountains

Waking up at about 5am, I quickly and quietly packed up my gear and made for Sofia. I walked off the mountain as the sun rose, a bloody red, baleful eye. Enormous dogs barked and snarled at me from behind their fences and I wielded my walking stick defensively, worrying at the structural integrity of…