little sparta


On another quiet weekend this month we spent a pleasant Sunday investigating Ian Hamilton-Findlay’s Little Sparta garden. On a par with Charles Jencks Garden of Cosmic Speculation in terms of influence in the landscape art world it is on a much smaller more intimate scale and while it has intriging moments I found it less compelling.

On our way home we stopped in to our friends parent’s house in Leadhills (the 2nd highest village in Scotland) and had a fantastic foursies in their garden – which it turned out had almost as much to offer as Little Sparta.

cruising with mike


A quiet Sunday afternnon drive on a rare sunny day took us into Ayrshire for a quick spin. We were heading for the Graffiti Project but baulked at the steep entrance charge (we’ll go back in winter when its free!) We then stopped at Fairlie (former home of Fyfe yachts) which has an interesting juxtaposition of beautiful bay and enormous wharf (above), and then down the coast through the tired but interesting Victorian seaside town of Largs, the 1960’s New Town experiment Irvine and the oh so posh Troon.

howe in glasgow

falkirk wheel

We are in the middle of a busy 6 weeks, and currently are broadbandless at home (not such a bad thing for a household that spends 8 hours a day in front of a screen anyway) so I’ve been a bit lax with the updating.

Reaching back into the end of June our friend Howe visited for a weekend from Copenhagen (via Saigon via Adelaide via Malaysia), unfortunately he lucked out with the weather so we ducked showers all weekend but still managed to catch a fair bit of stuff.

After a late night repast at favourite haunt Pintxos on the Friday night after he arrived we did our usual customised walking tour on the Saturday – including taking in the excellent Haptic exhibition at the Lighthouse, and dinner at Malaysian Chinese gem Rumours.

Sunday we made yet another attempt at getting to Pitlochry to visit Scotland’s smallest distillery, however a late start and some poor weather saw us turn back at Loch Tay. An overly long diversion took us to the Falkirk Wheel (above)for the first time – faintly disappointing in a typical Millenium Lottery Funding sort of way.

the mamores with the mountain goats

steep decent

Late in June Chhay & I spent a night camping with the mountain goats in the highlands at Kinlochleven near Ben Nevis. We managed three munroes in a fairly arduous 18 k walk up in the Mamores – some spectacular views towards Glencoe and Ben Nevis although the steepness of some of the decents (above) were a bit much for Chhay’s sense of vertigo. For a more details report see Niall Iain’s thoughts at the goat pen.