An Unlikely Start to a Love of Film

An Unlikely Start to a Love of Film

I grew up in a small and unremarkable council flat in Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to go to University so, when I was 17, I headed to Glasgow and a new rainy life. As soon as I did, I didn't have a bedroom at home any more. Not going to go all Four Yorkshiremen, but...

Independence Is A Stupid Idea

Independence Is A Stupid Idea

Independence is a stupid idea. Firstly, we are all delightfully mongrel. Sure, I cried when we lost to Peru in 1978, I identify as Scottish but also realise that that has no absolute meaning. In fact, my DNA suggests I’m at least 1% Finnish and that I am conclusively...

Ritornando

Ritornando

If you are self-taught at photography like me you might eventually notice that, over time, you seem to be getting better. It's not immediately obvious but a look back of old stuff can illicit some eye-rolls and "what was I thinking?". While doing all this...

We Used To Drive To The Castle

We Used To Drive To The Castle

2020 will doubtless spawn any number of opinion pieces and spraff, would be remiss of me not to join in in some fashion. That said, I'm not really trying to make a point. This is simply to record 2020 through more recent eyes rather than let it drift off into a bokeh...

I am a student again

I am a student again

My last day as a student was 11th July 1991. Almost 30 years later, I am a student again, this time with the Open University. A few years ago my friend from University, Gordon McNeilly, suddenly and sadly died. Gordon was, in my life, unique. An incredible brain...

Moments of Joy

Moments of Joy

3rd June 1978. I am eight years old. I'm about to watch my first World Cup game live. This was a big enough occasion that exciting things happen. Furniture is moved for optimum viewing, curtains are closed to block out the late summer sun, big game atmosphere sitting...

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Burning Blood

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Burning Blood

In July, I was on holiday in Greece. The sun was blue and the world was quiet. I decided to write a Sherlock Holmes story. By the end of the day, I had this. It is far from a good Sherlock Holmes story but I enjoyed writing it. I have massively increased respect for...

Trainspotting

Trainspotting

I remember the day Donna Crichton's Mum threw herself out a top floor window. News always travelled fast. We were always outside so you were only ever a short sprint from knowing what was going on. Gathering at the corner, we couldn't see what was going on. People...

I Produced A Riot

I Produced A Riot

Approach Edinburgh from the West and you will typically take one of two routes. Pass the airport and keep going and you will breeze into town through Corstorphine. It will all look lovely, nice houses, a zoo, it doesn’t even smell of hops any more. The other route,...

Favourite New Music of 2017

Favourite New Music of 2017

There is a realisation. It doesn't come on right away, it approaches slowly - like a ferry. The wonders of blogging, there's no one around to complain about my similes. The realisation is most evident if you use something like last.fm. You notice that your "Top...

Favourite Photos of 2017

2017 was generally a fairly busy year, certainly the busiest work year I can remember and, with the addition of the daily commute, I had assumed that I would have taken far fewer photos in 2017. Turns out, I still managed quite a few photos - I know this because I...

Night in Dubrovnik with the Fuji X100S

Night in Dubrovnik with the Fuji X100S

I've had the Fuji X100S for a few years now and, for the kind of pictures I like to take, it still doesn't disappoint. As I've done a good few times now, I wandered round a European city in the dark and new the camera would do exactly what I wanted. Once you get used...

At Orašac

At Orašac

“194,194, 194…” In the heat your brain slows down to the point where it struggles to remember numbers. Even important ones like the page of the book you stopped at to hobble across the lava floor to the loo. The temporary rural existence leaves you with enough...

Walking in Pollok Park with a Fuji X100S

Walking in Pollok Park with a Fuji X100S

For the last year or so, I've been spending most Saturday afternoons in the south side of Glasgow and, with a dog to walk, usually end up in Pollok Park. There is much to see and do - even with the Burrell Collection being closed for refurbishment - and it is always a...

A Tour of Copenhagen with the Fuji X100S

A Tour of Copenhagen with the Fuji X100S

As Björk once delightfully said "Ever since, I'm completely addicted to cities." ( you can hear he say this at about 17 minutes of this ). For her, reflecting on arriving in London when she was 18, it was greasy chips that did it. I, too, am addicted to cities, which...

A Brief Trip to Barcelona with the Fuji X100S

A Brief Trip to Barcelona with the Fuji X100S

I didn't go to Barcelona to take photographs. I went for the Mobile World Congress. But I did take my constant companion, the Fuji X100S. So, without really setting out to take any pictures, I came back with quite a few. Barcelona is like that, you just need to walk...

Favourite Photos of 2016

Favourite Photos of 2016

According to the Chinese, 2016 was the year of the monkey. Well, in our house, it was the year of the dog. So, not entirely surprising to see a couple of dog pics turn up in the review of the year. There are lots of dog pics on his Facebook page. Always good fun to...

Moments In Music

Moments In Music

Music has many uses. It fills your head with stimulus that can be used to stuff many a void. But, more often that not, music is about the setting or alteration of mood. Calming when you need to feel calm, uplifting when you're down. Reminiscing when you need to...

No More Goodbyes

No More Goodbyes

I start a new job today. It feels novel. And odd. Quite a bit odd. Not done this for nearly 12 years. Last night and this morning I’ve had lots of lovely good luck messages and, as I sit here on the train, it occurs to me that a lot has changed in 12 years. 2004...