Litir Dhachaigh

The following is an installment of my column in the Loch a’ Tuath News – Litir Dhachaigh.

This is one of the many photos I took on my recent summer holiday. It’s certainly not the most interesting snap that I’ve ever taken. It’s especially dull when I tell you there are no stunning vistas or azure seas to be seen if I’d shifted my lens just a fraction. It gets even less exciting when I tell you that I’m actually standing in a car park.

As with many photos, there is more to this than meets the eye. Below my feet lies Adolf Hitler’s bunker.
Berlin 5

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MV Isle of Lewis

The voice came over the tannoy warning us of our delayed arrival. The swell had strengthened very suddenly as we sailed toward mainland Canada. Entry to the harbour was looking less and less likely.

I can’t say I even noticed anything worth worrying about. It wasn’t until, one by one, the seats around me became occupied that I thought to take a peek out of the window and see what the fuss was about. Night had fallen as we sailed from Vancouver Island and the waves were certainly dancing ferociously but, you know, it was nothing to write home about. When you grow up having your access to the mainland dictated to by the sea’s temperament and the bravery of a captain, it makes you slightly arrogant. Talk to me when we’re sailing sideways and my lunch goes flying off the canteen table. Then we have a problem.

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Discovering Robert Burns

Every New Year is ushered in to the strains of Robert Burns’ renowned Auld Lang Syne. Each January 25th his biggest fans gather at Burn Suppers to celebrate his great work by feasting on haggis, root vegetables and a little dram of whisky. And yet, despite being one of Scotland’s most famous exports, my encounters with him have mainly been restricted to humming along to Ae Fond Kiss. 

So when I recently discovered that the site of the Burns family ancestral home was nearby in Alloway, Ayr, I set out to discover more about this intriguing, Scottish wordsmith.

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Granville Island

Granville Island is a celebration of blue. The gleaming blue glass of Vancouver’s famous architecture looks down on the blue water that reflects the blue skies of early summer.

The Granville website invites you to consider their Island as “Vancouver’s Town Centre”. Even out-of-season there is a pleasant buzz of life there. The motors of passing water-taxi’s hum as they career passengers across the water. Families and friends and tourists stroll in and out of the Public Market in the hope of bagging a bargain or a delicious snack.

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