Tagged with Scotland

A Long Trip

A Long Trip

I always take note of August 23rd. It was on that day in 1998 — so long ago now — that I set out alone to travel for the first time. I took the train from Dundee to London, then, although I’d never used an underground before, made it to Heathrow and onto a flight … Continue reading

The Real Iron Ladies

The Real Iron Ladies

I am unlikely to go to see “The Iron Lady”. I grew up under Thatcher; young, but still. I don’t think I could watch an admiring portrait without a gnawing resentment. I’m Scottish and a lot of Scottish people resent her. Moreover, I begrudge her the title Iron Lady, with its connotations of strength, resilience … Continue reading

In Pictures: The Jacobite

In Pictures: The Jacobite

The Jacobite steam train runs from Fort William to Mallaig, part of the West Highland Railway Line — probably Britain’s most scenic railway line. The train departs close to Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain and passes over the 21 arches of Glenfinnan viaduct, passes the Glenfinnan monument, which marks the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie … Continue reading

Filming Cloud Atlas in Glasgow

Filming Cloud Atlas in Glasgow

Take one book by David Mitchell: My favourite, Cloud Atlas, which begins on a 19th century ship in the South Pacific and ends in post-apocalyptic Big Island, passing through a pre-WWII Belgium, 1970s San Francisco, early 21st century England and dystopian Korea. Take one gritty Scottish city: Glasgow; the place that visitors are told to … Continue reading

In Pictures: Isle of Skye

In Pictures: Isle of Skye

For the second year in a row I spent a few days of my annual trip home to Scotland on the Isle of Skye. Skye is off the west coast; vast, peaceful and has a strong and distinct cultural heritage. Gaelic is on all the signs, fishing boats dot the water, old croft houses perch … Continue reading

Still Edinburgh

Prepping for my annual trip home to Scotland and browsing photographs from last August’s visit. I lose a little bit of Edinburgh the longer I am gone. There is still a thin, but sturdy, thread of history that stretches back there. Edinburgh changes with every year, but some places stay the same.   The Toddle … Continue reading

Tallinn

When I made my first greeting this morning it took a moment to arrive at the word. Tere. Hello. Tere. It is a gentle sound, a soft way of entering into someone’s awareness. It is a word as warm and gentle as I had found the Estonian people themselves.  

Circles

Circles

I was looking through my camera’s viewfinder at yet another Gaelic roadsign: Fàilte gu Port Rìgh, when I stopped short of taking the picture. I wondered why it was so important to me that all the signs in Skye were in Gaelic. I was in Skye on part of a trip from my current home, Hawaii … Continue reading

Loch Leven Castle

“Where do you live?” The man selling tickets asked me. “Well, I’m from here but I live in the U.S. now.” “It’s just where you live that matters,” he said, ticking the box for United States. I felt crushed: I’m not Scottish enough anymore? I went outside to wait for the boat to take me … Continue reading