When there’s no vet on the island…

It seems such a simple and straight thing for those of us living on the mainland. If your dog gets ill, you can take it to the vet to get help, or contact a charity to help out. On an island as small as Eigg, though, there aren’t facilities like a supermarket let alone aContinue reading “When there’s no vet on the island…”

Treasured Islands

When the advance copies of a new publication pop along in the post, the excitement is high as the box gets ripped open. It’s been months since I penned the last words of Treasured Islands and since then the editors and designers have been busy. So much time passes from the end of the writtenContinue reading “Treasured Islands”

National Coal Mining Museum

It’s time for another journey beneath the surface of Britain to discover another cracking day out for people of all ages. The National Coal Mining Museum, not far from junction 38 of the M1, is awesome place to go – not least because it’s free to get in and even the brilliant underground tour onlyContinue reading “National Coal Mining Museum”

Stockport Air Raid Shelters

Stockport Air Raid Shelters Days Out Underground. Some of the attractions in my Days Out Underground book are in out-of-the-way places, but not so the feature of Chapter 1 – this one is right in the middle of a big town. Stockport, near Manchester, has a secret beneath its streets. As shoppers pass by onContinue reading “Stockport Air Raid Shelters”

San Francisco – what’s not to love?

Driving holidays in and around California often start and finish at Los Angeles or Las Vegas, but leaving San Francisco out of the equation is something that should be avoided. It’s a lengthy drive up the coast from L.A. to San Fran and the weather often takes a turn for the worse, but some ofContinue reading “San Francisco – what’s not to love?”

Subterranean Peak District Gems

I enjoyed a return to Treak Cliff Cavern this week, a gem of the Peak District where you can literally see gems underground. Never one to tire of the fossils and Blue John stone within the cavern walls, I always like to head back to the family-run attraction and spend some time beneath the limestoneContinue reading “Subterranean Peak District Gems”

Murky History Beneath Edinburgh

On the rare occasions I get invited into a radio studio to do an interview, I’m never at my most comfortable. For a start, I’m not very good talking about myself and I’m so wholly focused on not making a mistake that I inevitably make a mistake. This week, to mark the launch of myContinue reading “Murky History Beneath Edinburgh”

Two Tribes – Going Underground

Anybody living through the 1980s will vouch for what a scary time it was. The Cold War constantly raised the threat of nuclear Armageddon as Russia and the USA faced off, in a real-life and potentially deadlier version of Rocky IV. While western cinema audiences were rooting for Balboa to overcome the beast from theContinue reading “Two Tribes – Going Underground”

Going Underground! Treak Cliff Cavern

Although you might think the best sights to see in the Peak District are the hills, waterfalls and villages that dot many a landscape, the real gems are found beneath the surface – quite literally!   Castleton is a small village close to Kinder Scout and Mam Tor. It’s beyond Hope, as the local jokeContinue reading “Going Underground! Treak Cliff Cavern”

Desk or exercise bike? What’s the best location for a writer?

George Orwell famously took himself off to the Scottish island of Jura to pen 1984, allowing himself to become engrossed in tranquillity and isolation for the creation of the dystopian classic. I’m writing this blog as I sweat away on an exercise bike in my one-time garage that now acts as a cold office for theContinue reading “Desk or exercise bike? What’s the best location for a writer?”