Thursday, 20 September 2012

Happy Trails

Having not had a proper 'get away from the house and go somewhere else' holiday for a couple of years we were chuffed to be invited to stay at Dingle farmhouse, an isolated house owned by a good mate. We'd heard so much about this magical place over the years, so we were very excited to be going there. This amazing place is owned jointly by our mate Jim and his extended family of siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. Located at the end of a long (very long!) and remote track and nestled near the local marshes and a shingle beach, the farmhouse has not been changed or modified in a great many years, except for some discrete solar panels allowing a water pump to function and enabling a small fridge and a couple of plug points for recharging mobiles to work.

 Blissfully free of tellies, computers, landlines, we spent 6 relaxing days swimming, cooking, chatting, cooking vast communal meals,drinking beer and wine, playing endless amounts of cards and celebrating a significant birthday with a varied crew of Jim's other friends who rolled up during the time we were there. At one point there were 40+ assorted adults, kids and teenagers lounging around the garden, loafing off to the beach or running wild in the wood.

The house is situated just off a patch of marshland and the scenery has an almost 'bleak' beauty about it. 

In late marsh Summer the marsh was covered with wild flowers and humming with insect life, whilst marsh birds, invisible amongst the reeds, sang all day long. It's an extraordinary place that lives long in the memory and was a complete contrast to our usual environment of hills, hills and more hills. 

It was a joy to photograph and a delight to have spent an idyllic few days with good friends. After all, that's what a good holiday is all about.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ramsoned by Nature

Well, it's that time of year again when the ramsons or wild garlic are in abundance in the glen. Every year we have a large patch opposite the house on the other side of the sheep field and we tend to go a bit daft, adding wild garlic to just about everything. This year is no exception. Free, delicious and bountiful - what's not to like!
Ramsons or Allium ursinum AKA wild garlic, buckrams or bear's garlic
The Bold Foragers - that's me and our Effie - headed off earlier in the week with some plastic bags for a toddle round and half an hour of gathering the delicious leaves. 
Bold Forager Effie
Getting stuck in!
A Bold Forager heads home
Then home, where we washed the first lot, patted them dry and made some wild garlic pesto - this was served up later, swirled in some creme fraiche, with pan fried mushrooms on a bed of spaghetti.  In addition we quickly concocted some home-made garlic and ramsons bread - baked for 10 minutes in the oven, I have to say this was the best garlic bread I have ever eaten.
Washed, dried and ready to be made into Pesto
Last night saw prawns cooked in olive oil with shallots and minced wild garlic and chillies served with creamy mash that had some more chopped ramsons stirred through it and a baby leaf salad. See what I mean - mad for it!

Tonight, Spanish Tortilla with wild garlic and shallots, Feta, Wensleydale and Gran Padano cheeses served with baby leaf, spinach and wild garlic salad.

And so it will continue, adding it to fish dishes, baked new potatoes, soups, salads, whatever springs to mind; until we have run out of ramsons or gotten so sick of them that we give up! I reckon on the latter.
Delicious and free, straight from the field!

Thursday, 23 February 2012


I'm not someone who makes it up to the Big City (aka Glasgow) on a regular basis, but last weekend I was treated to a night in a rather funky hotel - Citizen M - and dinner in one of my favourite restaurants - Rogano - by my lovely Mum and her nancies! There wasn't much time for mooching around the urban sprawl, firing of a few pics here and there but these four encapsulate a very nice time indeed:

Taken from the vantage point of a large, comfy hotel bed, late afternoon sun on the Theatre Royal

Sandstone and concrete - a contrast of styles and eras

Double meaning? Loud lorries or a bar that'll clatter the top of your cab!

The tower at the now derelict Ruchill Hospital looking splendidly creepy in the afternoon gloom
All in all, great nosh, exceptional company and some rapid retail therapy in the form of new school trainers, pants and pyjamas for the kids! A great time was had by all - well, me and my Mum!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

It's not all bad, really!

Yup, I may be losing my main source of income soon, my son is a raging teenager at nine years old, I am shortly to have the small bone on the top of my left small toe amputated - but hey, I get to live (and work) here, so not all bad as you can see:

Strathlachlan Mist 1

Full Moon over Bute

Tighnabruaich Sunset


Bury Me Here

Moo Coos with a View

Strathlachlan Mist 2
All images are available in various sizes as mounted and/or framed prints - please contact me at or visit my portfolio at 500px for any further information.

Argyll, photography, words