Jim's General

29th of August

by on Friday, August 29th, 2014

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Well folks, it’s been a while since I updated my blog and for that I humbly apologise. I think i have been under a bit of a spell in the last few months, being preoccupied with certain events in Scotland… Buy today I snapped out of it when I got the chance to scratch a little cross on a long awaited piece of paper. This is my vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum… I will be touring in the US on the fateful day. Sticking it in the post box was an unexpectedly uplifting experience. Whatever happens Scotland will never be the same again. We have rediscovered an appetite for political involvement on a massive scale which can only bode well for keeping our politicians on a shorter leash..
I have just about finished another solo album of great old Scottish songs, a kind of second volume to my last release Still. It will be available come October.
I have been jotting around Scotland quite a lot over the last few months and will be posting loads of pictures shortly- I promise…

Pictures from the last six months – Currently being compiled

by on Friday, August 29th, 2014

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I had a great concert on the Isle of Eigg in August. It is a magical place with an incredible history. The island now famously belongs to the community after being owned by absentee landlords for several centuries. This is the highest point and iconic landmark known as An Sgurr. Susie climbed it in the pouring rain, whilst I read a book about the island’s history in front of a roaring fire…teamwork!
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Susie emerges from the Massacre Cave on Eigg. In 1518 the entire population of the island (around 400) was hiding from a hostile band of feuding clansmen during a terrible period of warfare between the MacDonalds and MacLeods. The MacDonalds were eventually discovered and as the entrance to the cave was so small that it could be defended by one man (you have to crawl in). The Macleods outside set a fire and smothered everyone inside. Their bodies remained there untouched for centuries until Victorian souvenir hunters lead by Sir Walter Scott began to remove the skulls.. A very eerie place…
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Sandy Golems around the mouth of another Eigg cave.
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Looking out from a third cave…
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View of the Isle of Rhum from the north end of the Isle of Eigg. We had a really wonderful time and were greeted with very warm hospitality. Hope to get back to Eigg someday soon..
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A soggy Hampden Park, Glasgow.  Our national football stadium had been transformed into an athletics arena for the Commonwealth Games. We were there to see the final session of athletics, and one man in particular…
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‘What’re Usain tae it Big Man’ A blurry snap of the star of the show – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt Who ran the anchor leg in the 100m relay smashing the Games record. He is a wonderfully relaxed and flamboyant character as well as being a consistent champion. The games were a huge success for Scotland with our best medal total ever. My son Sandy was delighted when a young lady who has been one of his judo teachers won a gold medal…
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The classic view of Loch Garry in the Western Highlands, it looks a bit like a map of somewhere…..
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Summer hols saw the Malcolms heading north west to the magical Isle of Skye. Here is a view of Portree, Skye’s largest settlement with the Old man Of Storr in the background..
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Watery saltire.. the Fairy Pools of Skye looking towards the Cuillin Mountains
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Among the Fairy Hills near Uig on Skye.
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Dunvegan Castle, Skye – ancient seat of the Clan MacLeod and home of their famous ‘Fairy Flag’ which brought them great success in battle. Everything on Skye seems to be fairy this or fairy that….
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The Coral beach near Dunvegan. an natural peculiarity caused by a build up of the remains of a certain marine species…
floramc The grave of The Jacobite heroine who at great risk transferred the fugitive Prince Charlie between islands dressed as her maid. See Skye Boat Song for details…. She later emigrated to America before the Revolutionary War and ended up on the losing side again…
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Skye’s only distillery – a wonderfully peaty elixir
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Aka the Hogwarts express. The steam train service between Fort William and Mallaig passing through some of the most stunning countryside anywhere. Hang on to your chocolate frogs….

25th of February

by on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

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Been out scouting places for future trips to Scotland…a typical Jacobean fortified house…now a hotel.
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Posh George Street in the Edinburgh New Town….
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Inside the George Hotel, George St, Edinburgh New Town. A painting by famous early 20th century artist John D Fergusson…my home town of Perth  has a wonderful gallery of his work…

23rd of February

by on Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

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Sunday is family day, and as it was very poor weather a trip to Stirling Castle was run up the flag pole… though not every one saluted it…
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Outside the castle.. it’s fairy clear who the dissenter was….
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Steep bits round the back….
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A well oiled gargoyle…
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Er..slightly forgot to take many decent pictures of the many ancient and wonderfully interesting features inside. Here are some replicas of the famous Stirling Heads commissioned by James V…
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Inside the Great Hall which was really.. er ..great.
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The castle houses the Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders..this is their most famous moment at Sebastopol where they formed the now legendary Thin Red Line…
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Military museums always have lots of paintings of royalty. Queen Elizabeth II of England but only the first of Scotland.. a numerical slight that many Scots have long been touchy about…
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King Robert the Bruce whose victory at Bannockburn in 1314 led to the re-establishment of Scottish independence. Will its 700th anniversary see a similar result? In the background stands the inspirational Wallace monument..
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Argyll Lodgings, a handsome 16/17th century town house close to the castle..
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Looking down the street from the Stirling Castle grounds. A very picturesque town..
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‘A crook in the Forth is worth an earldom in the north’…An old saying alluding to the relative fertility of lowland and highland Scotland…Looking west from the castle along the Forth valley..
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The monument to William Wallace who began and inspired the fightback towards independence over seven hundred years ago..although he himself met a very grizzly end..
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A truly stunning place…..

11th of February

by on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

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Donegal lass Anne Keator in Tualatin has a cheery numberplate..
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It’s the other way round – I’m heading home from Seatac airport…
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A wee shrine to one of the several Jimmys who set me on the road to pecuniary er proffessional musicianship…
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Good old BA – that’s if they continue to let me on with my geetar. Thanks a million to all the wonderful West Coasters who have made it another memorable and magical trip to the edge of the world…