Teenagers doing outdoor writing activities

A Sense of Place

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Cairngorms, Mountains, Uncategorized, Walking

What happens when we pay close attention to nature? A Sense of Place, about my residency with the Cairngorms National Park, first appeared in the 2020 Summer issue of The Author. ‘Do you see them? There’s a ruby – and over there, a sapphire!’ The senior gentleman points his walking stick into the long, frosted grass where […]

OS map of Cairngorm Mountains

Map Gazing

Posted Posted in Cairngorms, Walking

Do you love maps? I find them fascinating, so when I was invited by Walk Highlands to write an article about what to do when we can’t walk very far, Map Gazing immediately sprung to mind. It’s what I did for a long time before making my pilgrimage to Angel’s Peak and what I did […]

three gold idols with faces wrapped in cloth

The Great Divide

Posted Posted in Nepal

A month ago I was in Nepal. The month since has been the most tumultuous in my living memory as the world has struggled to come to grips with the coronavirus. But at the same time, for me personally, it has become one of the quietest months as the dear friends who were sharing our […]

Mother and two children in front of Machapuchare, Nepal

Return to Fishtail Mountain

Posted Posted in Mountains, Nepal

My head is still in the Himalayas. Two weeks ago, I shared about my childhood in Ghachok, a village in the mountains of Nepal which is home to the Gurung people. We left it in 1976, and over the years, have made several trips back. This is the story of those returns. The first one […]

Gurung village under Fishtail Mountain in Nepal

Under Fishtail Mountain

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Language, Mountains, Nepal

Ghachok village sprawls across a sloping plateau below Machapuchare – Fishtail Mountain – one of the most striking in Nepal. At the centre of the Annapurana range, the peak rises in a sharp triangle that has never been climbed, since a failed attempt in 1957 when it was declared sacred and out of bounds. The […]

Winter landscape at dawn, snowy hill, frozen loch, dark trees, sun rising behind clouds.

Winter Worryland

Posted Posted in Cairngorms, Mountains, Scotland, Walking

From the comfort of my sofa in a warm living room, I have just booked myself onto my first ever mountain winter skills course. It is the middle of January in Scotland and having just returned from several weeks of the Australian summer, I feel plunged into darkness. Jet lag casts me onto the endless […]