Ten years in Orkney – now what?

Ten years ago Kathie and I moved to Orkney. By coincidence we arrived on 16 April which is St Magnus Day – he is the patron saint of Orkney. And so each year we go to St Magnus Kirk in Birsay, not far from where we live, for the annual St Magnus service which alsoContinue reading “Ten years in Orkney – now what?”

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A blockhead in three countries

We’ve been on holiday in three countries – England, Scotland and Wales. You think perhaps that they are one country? I think they are becoming increasingly separate. More of that later, both in this blog and in the news over coming months and years. My holiday reading was Mr Churchill’s Profession by Peter Clarke, aContinue reading “A blockhead in three countries”

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Life

Life is sad, depressing, hopeless. Life is happy, joyous, full of hope. Which of these statements is correct? Or is it something in between? I think it is all three, depending on life experiences, the day’s events, illness, state of mind, luck, money (sometimes), expectations, and so on. The first weeks of 2016 for meContinue reading “Life”

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It’s 2016: relax and spread love

So here we are in 2016 and with it comes many questions. For example, how far can we go into the year and still say “Happy New Year” to each other? Let’s keep going for a little longer yet, and spread positive feelings. When I was young 2016 would have seemed part of some impossibleContinue reading “It’s 2016: relax and spread love”

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A Californian and an Englishman taking part in momentous Scottish events

So, after weeks and months of campaigning – years and decades for some – we are coming towards the end of the Scottish independence referendum campaign. The vote on 18 September is three weeks away and the pace of debate and argument is more frantic. Many of us watched this week a heated, that isContinue reading “A Californian and an Englishman taking part in momentous Scottish events”

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Misconceptions about Orkney

Many of our friends had – and probably still have – some strange ideas about what it is like here. Well, why wouldn’t you if you have never visited? So in this blog I would like to dispel a few of the misconceptions that some folk have about Orkney. First, Orkney is in the Hebrides,Continue reading “Misconceptions about Orkney”

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Looking from a different perspective

I grew up in England. It probably doesn’t matter too much exactly where but it was on the borders of East Anglia and the East Midlands, near Peterborough. I grew up English, with an English view of the world. In 1986 I moved to London and, a few years later, got divorced. These two eventsContinue reading “Looking from a different perspective”

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Across the Border: Broadcasting in an independent Scotland

  The devil is in the detail. What a great expression. And like many old sayings it carries great truth. Here in Scotland we are moving towards our vote on whether to become an independent country. The referendum will be held on Thursday 18 September, 2014. I think the vote will be against independence butContinue reading “Across the Border: Broadcasting in an independent Scotland”

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Dump the EU? Be rid of nuclear weapons? Be the next Greece? Developing thoughts on Scottish independence

Here is a quick re-cap for new readers of this blog. I am an Englishman who moved to Orkney, off the north-east coast of mainland Scotland, in April 2010. At present Scotland has its own parliament with many powers over domestic policy but it is still part of the UK and the Westminster parliament retainsContinue reading “Dump the EU? Be rid of nuclear weapons? Be the next Greece? Developing thoughts on Scottish independence”

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We are living in interesting times. So will the world be turned upside down?

The Chinese philosopher Confucius said “may you live in interesting times”. And we certainly do in Scotland. Suddenly nothing is certain, everything is up for discussion. Actually, let’s start with Confucius. Extensive research suggests – well, I did a Google search – that the phrase is in fact a relatively modern and Western invention. SoContinue reading “We are living in interesting times. So will the world be turned upside down?”

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