Tag Archives: Scottish history

Postcard from Holyrood Palace

The girls are burned out on castles, history, foreign languages and pizzas from Tesco, leek soup. I buy a box of corn flakes to tie us back home, we leave the house in search of lunch in Edinburgh, but the … Continue reading

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The ‘angel’s share’: lost whisky, lost memories

After sharing the same room, the same car, the same bathroom, I can see where Stephen King was coming from in his story about the writer Jack Torrance who collapses into alcoholism, writes nonsense, starts seeing dead people. Charlotte’s going … Continue reading

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Day 15 in Scotland, coming into Oban

The Latvian-Scottish hairstylist in the salon across the street from our flat holds my hair up in the mirror, both of us looking at it, and says it’s a disconnected style, which I ask her to define but she can’t … Continue reading

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‘Tell only happy hours’

Drink anything with enough alcohol in it and you’ll start tasting almonds, oranges, coconuts, pine needles, Christmas cake. But there’s no pretence in the tour at the Scotch distillery: our guide, who wears a badge saying Team Leader, points to … Continue reading

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Viking graffiti inside the burial chamber, Orcadia

Just as you’d think they would, the Vikings came upon a structure of religious and historical significance that had already been there a few thousand years, punched a hole through the roof because they couldn’t find the door, pulled out … Continue reading

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‘A shadow on the door of a cottage on the shore’

It has the feel of a wet campground, all the smoke and everything damp, watching the Guy Fawkes 5th of November fireworks and bonfire display here in Inverness, the largest festival of its kind in northern Scotland, because I have … Continue reading

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‘Is evil something you are, or something you do?’

We’ve hung a roadside atlas of Scotland over the door in our flat, draped there like something we shot and dragged in for drying — it looks so big on paper, but you can see much of it we’ve covered … Continue reading

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