eBothy Blog

The great silence

Saturday May 16, 2020

Storm brewing over the Red Hills, Isle of Skye

The land is so dry it’s a relief to see grey curtains of rain wrapping the hills. Like chain mail hanging from a giant war horse jumping the Clach Glas ridge and trailing the over the Red Hills.

Seeing past the noise

Saturday Apr 18, 2020

The Daily Exercise

Another day of lockdown. Another day of traffic free roads, blazing sunshine and birdsong echoing in the trees. The allotted time spent on the bike, spinning on the quiet roads, looking longingly at the familiar mountains but loving every mile of the ride.

A deeper landscape

Sunday Apr 12, 2020

Beinn Shritheal in morning mists

Another day, another lockdown. Sunny and windy with a brewing gale from the north, it was a good time for a spin on the bike. Just before Broadford it was a bit of a shock to see a snake of brightly coloured people crammed onto the quad bike track to the loch. It was the greatest concentration of humanity I’d seen in, let me see now, three weeks! Quite a shock indeed.

Lockdown cycle repair

Sunday Apr 5, 2020

Lockdown cycle repair

Being confined to the local area, working from home and avoiding social contact (hoorah on that one!), I had plenty time, like all day, to work on the bike.

The daily exercise

Saturday Mar 28, 2020

The Red Hills and the Black Cuillin, Isle of Skye

Deserted roads. Deserted skies. Deserted hills. With the country in lockdown for potentially the next three weeks, the rules allow one form of daily exercise. From the front door. No driving to anywhere. Only one form of exercise, either walking, running or cycling.

The old and the new

Sunday Mar 22, 2020

Almost a year ago I betook myself and Fatty McFat Bike to the wonderful Isle of Rum. I made a wee film about the trip and looking back on it, the lack of people, the peace, the silence, were not only invigorating and renewing but those scenes now seem to hold a hint of prescience.

The hill at the end of the decade

Tuesday Dec 31, 2019

Evening light on Beinn na Cro, looking towards Blaven, Isle of Skye

Walking up Beinn na Cro, a strong sun at my back, it felt like 4am on a midsummer morning. The softness of the light, the mildness of the air, the quiet road receding behind my bootsteps. It was weird.

Is the outdoors still great

Sunday Dec 8, 2019

Thunderstorm over Beinn Sgritheal on Knoydart from the Isle of Skye

With the news that the world’s oceans are running out of oxygen while humanity makes land grabs on habitats in order to blanket forest a fig-leaf for their unabated, voracious consumption and pollution. With the endless noise and light pollution of increased fish farm traffic up and down the west coast, implementing the Scottish government’s requirement to double output by 2030, regardless of animal welfare and environmental destruction. With hydro roads up many glens, industrial fencing marching with the West Highland Line from Glasgow to Fort William, creating in effect two Trump-like walls for wildlife to die negotiating, I asked myself the other day, is the outdoors still great?

Winter winds

Sunday Nov 10, 2019

Blaven from Beinn na Cro

Minus three on the tops, thirty mile an hour winds raking the last of autumn colour from the Cuillin ridge, laying down a white carpet ready for the arrival of the Winter Queen. Blasting down from the north, she detours out beyond St. Kilda, raising storm-seas in the cold Atlantic before swinging round Mingulay, resting on the raucus cliffs of Barra Head before howling in tonight to claim the mountains for her winter home.

Stormbringer

Monday Aug 26, 2019

Blaven from the bivi on Slat Bheinn

A day off, what to do? With hot weather and a fair forecast for the Monday, it had to be a bivi up in the hills. I’d always fanced bivying on Slat Bheinn summit where it looks across to the wild east face of Blaven and gives aeriel views of Coire Uaigneich and so it was decided, intending to wander around the top, composing poems and jotting down philosophical gems in my notebook. The forecast mentioned increasing wind overnight, low cloud, then clearing. Turned out a bit wilder than that!

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