September Morning Interlude

Before you start reading, here’s a wee pre-post bonus! A lakeside video of me singing one of my old songs, “Cleopatra and Aphrodite”, complete with backup vocals courtesy of a red squirrel. And now, the post. ———————————————————————————————————————————————- There’s a brisk autumn nip to the air that greets me as I ease the sliding door open,…

Arbroath & The End of the World

I coast gently downhill from Arbroath station, the sea air kissing my cheeks in welcome as a cheerful little harbour comes into view. I know virtually nothing about this place, aside from a few brief mentions in some Alexander McCall Smith books, but my immediate impressions could not be more favourable! The sunshine never hurts,…

Portugal, Where It’s Warm

Sitting on a concrete bench outside an ugly, under-construction airport and staring out at passing cabs, I stretch my arms luxuriously over my head with a sigh of contentment. After vacillating between frozen and moderately chilled for the past 3 or 4 months I can’t even believe how good this 23 degree air feels! For…

Song for December & End of Project Thoughts

On my slightly disastrous journey to Orkney last month I spent a very long time on the train. I usually find travel time creatively helpful –  sitting motionless for hours as Scotland flashes past, I’ll often end up with a page or two of poetic snippets I can turn to for inspiration when beginning a…

Song for November: “A Little Leap”

This morning I decided to edit a few photos to pair with November’s song (which I was persuaded to upload in its iphone-demo version, having been told it’s miles more “honest” than the proper version I did!), and only then did I realise much to my chagrin that I haven’t posted anything at all from…

To the Northern Isles

I sit in a frigid and remote bus shelter at 5 am, chatting with a Dutch pensioner about the merits of traveling alone. She says that the freedom is worth the occasional loneliness, and I pull my hat a little further down over my ears. It’s bloody cold. My eyes drift halfway shut the moment…

A Journey Measured in Mittens

My beautiful flat sold last week. I’m not happy about it, but I’ve resigned myself to the end of my Air B&B income and gone out and found myself a job. Amazingly, I’ve found something I don’t even hate – I’m caring for a paraplegic woman – but nonetheless this will put a stop to…

Song for October: “In A Tenement House”

Late. So, so late. What can I say? The summer and early fall were full of travel and full of change, and it’s taken me a while to catch up. My beautiful flat is being sold, so it looks like this project will be ending with the year. It always seemed too good to be…

Beachside Videos from France!

So I know I still owe you last month’s song, but until I get it recorded I thought I’d tide you over with a couple of videos. I went to France this month because, astonishingly, it was way cheaper than traveling in Scotland. The only down side was that I couldn’t bring my guitar, or…

Summer Flu Excuses

This morning at 5am I coughed myself awake, and groped blindly at my side for my ever-present companion of the past two weeks. No, it wasn’t Al – it was a roll of toilet paper. As soon as I had it in my hand I realised the horrible truth. I was down to the last…

In a Cabin in Coulter

First, a video I made. Please bear in mind that I had to heat water for my camp shower on the stove, and I filmed this while I waited for it to get warm enough. Thus the toque and general air of unwashed-ness. These trips I’m taking seem to surprise me with their loveliness every…

Song for June: “Call the Council”

This month I was very keen to write a piano-based song. Thing is, I don’t really play the piano. But I wasn’t about to let that stop me! So I hope you like it. As well as these photos from Perth. I could try to say more, but my level of over-tiredness has reached hallucinatory…