Category Archives: Landscape


I first met my friend Pete Clark almost 25 years ago, shortly after we had moved into our house in Strathardle, one of Perthshire’s least known and prettiest glens. The house was called Altchroskie (‘alt’ means stream or burn in … Continue reading

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Lost in the fog

From to time fighter planes come roaring over our village on their way to Lossiemouth, or heading off to do whatever they do over the emptiness of the Highlands. Dunkeld sits in the cleft of the Tay valley, at the … Continue reading

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Winter spell

The last four days have felt like real winter. The thermometer has hardly risen above zero since I arrived here. The cold bites my cheeks as soon as I step outside and the snow crunches underfoot. Through the picture windows … Continue reading

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Wayfaring strangers

When I got home at lunchtime today there was a large and magnificent-looking book sitting on my kitchen table. It was warmly inscribed to me by its author, my close neighbour, Fiona Ritchie. Fiona is the presenter of The Thistle … Continue reading

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Wild geese

On Monday I returned from a week’s holiday in Mallorca to a different season. The trees are turning, the first dusting of snow has been sighted on the tops of the Munros, and the greylag are on the move. It’s … Continue reading

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Ham central

My last post was written on the plane on the way to Spain, two weeks ago. The weather in the Andalucian hills is changeable at this time of year and the rain did not stay mainly on the plain. Still, … Continue reading

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Ubi caritas

These last ten days or so have been spectacular. There’s a generosity in the air, a sense of abundance. All around us the woods are carpeted with bluebells. Sprays of hawthorn blossom decorate hedges and roadsides. The trees are bursting … Continue reading

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Deep water

After the debate that last week’s post provoked (and thanks to everyone who commented, online and offline), I thought I would write about something slightly less contentious this week – sheep, for example. But the first thing that came to … Continue reading

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Tyger! Tyger!

Ranthambore National Park, in eastern Rajasthan, is a cross between the Garden of Eden and the setting for Kipling’s The Jungle Book. A short (by Indian standards) train ride from Jaipur, it’s 150 square miles of gentle wooded hills, lakes … Continue reading

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Nature deficit disorder

Whenever I have a day at home I take exercise, usually in the late afternoon. For many years it was a walk. Then I began to feel that was not enough, so I took up running. Almost immediately I misjudged … Continue reading

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