Travels Part 2: Edinburgh

Sunset in Edinburgh Marchmont

It was time to leave Harris for the second part of our trip: a week in Edinburgh, followed by a few days in Helsinki, and then the long, long journey home.

We’d said our goodbyes, stuffed things back into our bags, and negotiated the notoriously tricky security line at Stornoway Airport. We were sitting on a tiny plane waiting to taxi to the runway.

Ten minutes later… we were still sitting there.

Twenty minutes later… we were still sitting there.

The pilot came on the radio and said he was going to turn the plane off and turn it back on again, in an attempt to fix whatever mechanical issue was causing the delay. Unfortunately, the old on-off-on again trick doesn’t work as well on Embraers as it does on iPhones, and a few minutes later we found ourselves traipsing down the aircraft steps and back into the airport. Continue reading

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Travels Part 1: Hobart to Harris

View from Tarbert Isle of Harris

No matter how many times you’ve done it, there’s still something miraculous and disconcerting about strapping yourself into a metal tube and flying across the world.

Airlines go to great lengths to persuade you that it’s a normal and comfortable thing to do. They try their best to make that tube feel like home. Qantas welcome you with a hearty ‘G’day mate!’ and hand out complementary socks with cartoon kangaroos on them. Finnair design their cabin lighting to resemble the aurora borealis, and Loganair provide Harris Tweed headrests and Tunnocks caramel wafers. But when you undertake ten flights in three weeks, from Tasmania to the Outer Hebrides and back again, the resulting sensory overload means there’s no escaping the strangeness of air travel. Continue reading

A Very British Identity Crisis

Flag

I haven’t written much about the European Referendum, but I’m very happy to have a guest post about it on the blog today. This is from my brother Ewan Cameron. He doesn’t mind a wee bit of debate, so please feel free to leave a comment below. Image credit: Chris Lawton at Unsplash.

I am not a writer, and as a journalist once told me (so it must be true) I am not a ‘political animal.’ I most definitely felt until recently that I had no national identity whatsoever. However, when my head is positively spinning with thought I do sometimes write things down in an attempt to find order. As I live in Scotland many of these thoughts currently whizzing around are a result of politics and involve matters of national identity so here goes.

I have a Scottish father and an English mother, which at least means I must be British. Until the age of ten this made absolutely no difference to me at all, I knew my mother was from a town called Leek in Staffordshire, I had grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins there who we saw twice a year or so and they were/are nice people and I enjoyed seeing them and that was as far as it went. Continue reading

The One with the Referendum

Scottish Independence Referendum Green Yes

Och. I was doing so well too.

You have no idea how hard I’ve tried to be good about this. How often I’ve sat on my hands, and not commented, or liked or retweeted or shared or argued or said a single frickin’ word, because it’s not my business anymore. I HAVE BEEN SO GOOD! Ask DorkyDad how restrained I’ve been. Ask him how often in the last few months he’s heard me come out with some hideously bland and diplomatic answer when people have asked me about the Scottish Independence Referendum. He’ll pull this tortured face at you, like he’s stuck at a dinner party between Britney Spears and Kim Jong-un, and he just needs the whole thing to be over already.

But I’m so inspired and enthused by reading other people’s stories – so excited by the number of folk, women especially, who are finding their political voice for the first time – that I feel compelled to add mine to the chorus.

Continue reading

DorkyDad’s Last Transmission From London

The movers are here now.  I type this against the background chatter of ripped masking tape and heavy cardboard boxes being assembled by rough, experienced hands.  Tonight this flat will be empty save for two beds and the three of us.  In just under 60 hours the plane will lift off from Heathrow, bound first for Dubai, then on beyond to Melbourne.

We are away to Tasmania. Continue reading