Sunset Song or “I saw Agyness Deyn”

1-P1010287Sunset Song, the novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon is a story of a woman’s life and times in early 20th Century Scotland. It is regarded as almost symbolic of Scotland itself; hardship, grief, toil, dysfunctional family life and death. The good news for fans of the book is that it is being shot partly on location in the area of its setting. North Angus, Kincadineshire and Aberdeenshire all feature in the setting.  Agyness Deyn is cast as ‘Chris’ and the small town of Fettercairn is the backdrop to a lot of the shooting. 1-P1010299Travelling to Cairn ‘O Mount I was detoured by police round the town, but being curious, stopped for a quick look. Cameras on set while filming were banned, but I did manage a couple of quickies! (Unfortunately I couldn’t get one of Ms. Deyn)

The images do give some idea of how the town looked not so long ago.

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Old Curiosity Shop

1-P1010028There aren’t too many old style shops left. Not in Dundee anyway. This little gem is one of the very few remaining. Over one hundred years old, the store moved here after the demolition of Hawkhill. the current owner has been in charge since ’94. from the outside it’s ramshackle, unloved, shabby.

1-P1000980Inside it becomes a wondrous cave of forgotten brands and incredibly useful products, coupled to a knowledgeable proprietor this is a handy local store.


The smells of a long gone era, paraffin, polish, wood stain, beeswax permeate the small area. It’s worth going for that alone. Next time I need hardware, guess where I’m headed?

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Bruce Dickinson and Me

Retrospect can be a cloudy lens.

The modern day Ozzie Osborne is regarded as a kind of fluffy, benign, Uncle Fester. Crumbling British rock stars trade their bus passes for multi millions on the American tour circus and pot-bellied fans spend their children’s inheritance on tickets and merchandise. All seemingly oblivious now, to the edgy past and general shenanigans of their rocky-excessive pasts. Cloudy lens indeed!

I was never a rockery type per se. Well most people I knew fancied  themselves as some sort of misunderstood intellectual, so I shuffled over to that particular camp. Saves a lot of explaining, and you don’t need trendy clothes!

However in the tortured Venn diagrams that link humanity together, I found myself at an intersection with a rock God.

In Venn speak: A ∩ B

Harry ∩ Bruce Dickinson out of Iron Maiden

It must be around twenty five years ago, before the days when such a chance encounter would have led to a million tweets and FB selfies. Back then  it led to people actually talking to each other.

Bruce was a very accomplished fencer and competed, when time and schedule allowed in various tournaments. This, as you may have guessed, was our Venn intersection. Though this was not some World Grade A in Berlin or Madrid, but an Open tournament in Largs, Scotland. Still, you take your fame where you can. Our team were one short for an event so Jim, my mate, asked Bruce Dickinson if he’d step into the breach. The first and only time The Iron maiden frontman was ever at a loose end! Bruce thought about it and for a second was genuinely interested.

“Sorry,” he said remembering something vaguely important, “got a concert in Paris later and we fly out of Prestwick in two hours”.

As excuses go this was a good one. So without a team event we headed for the shower. Jim, Bruce and me.

There are ageing rockers, and then there is Bruce Dickinson. Erudite, well-spoken, talented and personable. Totally charming in a very English way, and so very unlike most of his peers. He bade us farewell, and we wished him well for the concert.

Bruce turned towards Paris as Jim and myself went to the post-tournament bar.

Retrospect was about to get cloudy.



Three pictures: a thousand words

Ness Port, Post Office


Roadside VistaLewis Sunset

I visited the Isle of Lewis to visit my daughter who was working there last summer. This is an island to recharge the soul, rediscover and revive one’s mojo. Unspoilt, wild, beautiful.

This week’s photo challenge is about threes, or telling a three-picture story. I’m pretty sure the pictures do the story telling for me.