Category Archives: Scotland

MULLING IT OVER IN SCOTLAND

The Glen Tarsan, between Iona and Mull.

The Glen Tarsan, between Iona and Mull.

It was a great week. Here’s the full article about our cruise around the Isle of Mull, recently published in the Fairfax Press in Australia…

‘I so want that boat,’ says the American lady beside me.

With its dark blue hull and gold funnel, the polished wood of its superstructure catching the light, it bobs on the inlet below us, framed by yellow gorse bushes in the foreground and the rocky shore of the Isle of Mull beyond.

I eavesdrop as a discussion starts among the members of her tour bus party. Is it a local fishing boat? Too clean. A private pleasure cruiser? Too old-fashioned.

Smugness gets the better of me. ‘It’s my boat,’ I say. And for this week, it is. Continue reading

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10 ARTY REASONS TO VISIT GLASGOW

Shona Kinloch's 'As proud as...' And so he should be.

Shona Kinloch’s ‘As proud as…’ And so he should be. Particular parts of his anatomy have been very well polished by admiring passers-by.

When I spent some time in Edinburgh in the 1970s, Glasgow was a city to pity, fear and hurry through on your way to somewhere else.

Edinburgh was elegant buildings, the Castle, Holyrood, the Tattoo and the world’s most prestigious arts Festival with its mighty Edinburgh Fringe. Glasgow was people vomiting in gutters at Hogmanay and stupid sectarian riots at Celtic/Rangers football matches.

People who claimed to know better told me Glaswegians were funnier and friendlier than that snooty, stuffy Edinburgh crowd. Continue reading

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A MISTY MOISTY LOCH SPELVE MORNING

Not much happening in Loch Spelve.

Not much happening in Loch Spelve. Those black spots are mussel buoys, I’m told.

Insomnia has its advantages.

I’m usually awake around 5am and on this Majestic Line cruise around the Isle of Mull it’s worth getting up and taking the camera out on deck. Continue reading

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SCOTLAND’S HOLIEST PLACE – in pictures

The Holy Isle - Iona.

The Holy Isle – Iona.

‘What year are we talking about, Richard?’ asks one of my fellow passengers on the Majestic Line cruise. We’re about to land on the place where Christianity first came to Scotland.

We agree it’s probably about the 13th century AD. We’re wrong – not even close, in fact. Continue reading

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MULLING MAJESTICALLY

A bit of chop in the Sound of Iona.

A bit of chop in the Sound of Iona.



The company name ‘Majestic Line’ is a sort of ironic joke. It was taken from an old Scottish sitcom in which an unemployed sailor pretends to have found a great job in an elegant cruise ship with a gold funnel.

Converted fishing boats are seldom majestic and the two boats in the fleet are not the Queen Mary and the QEII. The Glen Tarsan and the Glen Massan can take just ten passengers each; the intimacy has great appeal to us during our six-day Wildlife Explorer cruise around the Isle of Mull in Scotland’s lovely Inner Hebrides. Continue reading

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