The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.

Going for an almost 320 mile drive today to get a picture, passing through the Cairngorm mountains and up to the capital of the highlands, Inverness. Truth be told I am going for a little more than a picture. But, a great shot at Carrbridge of Scotlands (allegedly) oldest stone bridge with a great sunset would be nice. It'd be a tough trip to go back on a nicer evening to get that shot. But I guess that's the kind of choices I have been making lately.

I have been on an unfamiliar path for a while now and I haven't been taking the time to look around and see what is going on, assessing my surroundings and asking myself questions. I think the questions we ask ourselves shape our path. I have travelled a fair amount recently, looking for new paths to follow and I have been disappointed at where I have been.

Time for a new direction, via Inverness if nothing else.


Rock Tree

I remember passing this tree growing out a rock when I was young. It was part of the excitement of going to Glencoe, waiting to spot it at the side of the road. There are lots of markers on the road to Glencoe that I still look out for on my way there, but this is by far my favourite.


Private Yacht

After driving to Glencoe I thought it was worthwhile driving on to Corpach to finally visit the abandoned boat on the seashore. I have always been fascinated with old boats like this, I like to wonder what their story is and how they come to their final resting place.

It's an old fishing vessel, and I couldn't really find much information about it, apart from the news story that it's emergency beacon caused a major air and sea search. Apparently the beacon may have been triggered as it deteriorated. The report said that the vessel was abandoned "at some point" during the past ten years.

I didn't get the shots that I was hoping for but I got some that I liked that are displayed below. In the first shot you can see Ben Nevis in the background.

Buachaille Etive Mòr

With a break in the particularly miserable weather we have been experiencing in Scotland over the past week I took the opportunity to drive back up to Glencoe. I specifically wanted to get some photographs of Buachaille Etive Mòr. This is probably the most recognisable mountain in Scotland, a large pyramidal form that can be seen when travelling into Glen Coe from the Rannoch Moor side on the A82 (not that there is any other roads to travel on).

The Scottish Gaelic translation of Buachaille Etive Mòr is 'the herdsman of Etive'. I forget how many times I have summited this mountain and the munro's that are on its ridge but it remains one of my favourite places to be.

It was a rare opportunity to spend some time in the valley without midges being all over me; just enough wind to keep them away but not so strong to shake the camera during long exposures. 

Sir David Stirling

David Stirling was the founder of the Special Air Service. He was born in Doune, Stirling (1915). He entered the second world war as a sub-lieutenant and volunteered for the newly formed No. 8 Commando Unit which in 1941 formed a group called Layforce which was trying to reduce the advance of the German Africa Corps in North Africa.

Stirling was frustrated when Layforce was disbanded as he saw a opportunity for a small mobile force being able to cause considerable damage to the enemy. After discussions with British Deputy Commander in the middle east (General Ritchie) the formation of the Special Air Service took place.

He was captured by the Italians in 1943 and after four escapes they handed him over to the Germans where he was placed in Colditz Castle. He spent the rest of the war there. In the 15 months up to his capture it has been reported that the SAS had destroyed over 250 enemy aircraft on the ground, hundreds of vehicles and a huge quantity of stored supplies.

Field Marshall Montgomery was quoted as saying "The boy Stirling is quite mad, quite, quite mad. However, in a war there is often a place for mad people."

He was knighted in 1990 and died the same year. The memorial has stood since 2002 on the Hill of Row, near his ancestral home, looking towards the Perthshire mountains.