Mallaig, Memories and My Nana

Growing up, two places dominated my experience of childhood. Caithness, because it was where we lived, and Mallaig, because it was where we took all our holidays. The latter also had a special attraction: it was where Nana and Iain lived (Nana being my paternal Grandmother and Iain my uncle, who lived with Nana due…

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Hibernation Diaries – Small Steps Back Into The World

In a crisis, we find out who we are. I heard these words on TV the other day as we completed our tenth week of ‘hibernation,’ a milestone that saw Scotland ease lockdown rules to enable people to meet with others outside their household. The new rules have a distinctly outdoor focus, enabling family reunions…

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Hibernation Diaries – Sleeplessness, Outlander, The Province of the Cat and the Coming of the Blossom

This week marked my first foray into gloominess in this era of lockdown, Covid-19 and social distancing. I started the week with a pain in my back and a new bout of insomnia (something I attribute less to worries about Coronavirus, than the hormonal see-saw that seems to characterise my early forties). Added to the…

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Caithness and Coorie – Embracing the Seasons in The UK’s Most Northerly County

Over the years, I’ve embraced just about every geographical lifestyle trend imaginable. Hygge – the Danish art of cosiness and contentment: on it. Lagom – the Swedish philosophy of ‘not too little, not too much, just right’: yep, count me in. Ikigai – the Japanese secret to a long and happy life: been there, done…

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Five Unique Dog Friendly Places to Eat in the Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands: a land famed for its rugged landscape, awe-inspiring scenery and general all-round gorgeousness. And if you’re a dog owner, you might be interested to hear that it’s also a pretty good place to visit with your pet. With rugged hills, vast open beaches and endless opportunities for walkies, it’s the canine equivalent…

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Dog Friendly Places to Eat and Drink in Caithness

Among my many passions in life, the love of dogs, family and a good cup of coffee rank highly. And as any dog owner knows of course, the first two of these are exactly the same thing. Add in the coffee (and perhaps a nice bit of lunch or dinner) and you have a wonderful kind of alchemy…

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The North Coast 500, Also Known As Home

There is a road I see from the front door of my home in Caithness that forms part of the North Coast 500. As kids, we knew it better as the road ‘up west’, a passage imbued with the promise of beaches, picnics and sand between our toes. These days, the route has a new title…

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Six Places to Visit on a Scottish Outlander Road Trip

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of the TV series Outlander, a drama based on the series of books by Diana Gabaldon about a woman who finds herself transported back from 1946 Inverness to the Scotland of two centuries before. Her arrival in 1743 cues romance, tension, and lots of beautifully shot…

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A Scottish Bucket List for Spring

Last week, I was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland about Easter holiday planning for families, and some of our campervan adventures (get me, dropping that in so casually, as if I’m a seasoned radio-interviewee who doesn’t get excited about such things – I am not, and I was!) In the interview I spoke about our…

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A Sunday Well Spent

Last Sunday we took a trip ‘up west’ to enjoy some unseasonably sunny February weather and sample some of the best beaches the North of Scotland has to offer. We are fortunate where we live to be able to reach something akin to a wilderness within a half hour or so of our front door. The…

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