The Worm Turns – Crinan

On a fine, if lightly clouded, blue-skied day, the puffer was tied up to the stone jetty outside the western basin of the Crinan Canal, ready to fulfil a charter. To the west of her, the sea spread away over the Sound of Jura towards the shimmering outline of the blue-grey mountains that marked the islands of Jura and Scarba. On board, the crew was awaiting the arrival of the client, top man of a well-known international corporation. He and the last of his guests were driving over by car from Edinburgh. As soon as they arrived, the puffer would … Continue reading The Worm Turns – Crinan

Murdo’s Measure  – Foyers (Loch Ness)

Murdo’s Measure  – Foyers (Loch Ness) Scratched into the surface of the bar counter in the Foyers Hotel, is a strange scale. At just over two feet long, it has marks across it, dividing it into a number of units of irregular width. Under it are scratched two lengthwise arrows, one with a capital ‘H’ pointing left, the other a capital ‘T’ pointing right. Written in uneven letters in chalk underneath this puzzling piece of primitive art is the title, ‘Murdo’s Measure’. Any visitor intrigued by this almost indecipherable marking and curious to know what it was for, would be … Continue reading Murdo’s Measure  – Foyers (Loch Ness)

Elsie Inglis Hospital – Edinburgh

Anyone born at this famous hospital? Zander Duff was born on a stormy night, in this Edinburgh hospital, 1934. As he grew up, he asked his mother the classic question which children the world over ask ‘Where did I come from?’. His mother had spent a large part of her life in and around the theatre, so recounting the following description, was second nature to her!. “It was on the Titanic in 1912, that your grandmother, heavily pregnant, was helped into one of the lifeboats by none other than Captain Edward J. Smith himself, which allowed your mum here to … Continue reading Elsie Inglis Hospital – Edinburgh

Schellenberg’s Rolls Royce in Eigg

Keith Shellenberg’s Rolls Royce Station Wagon, which was burnt to a shell not long after this photograph was taken. He was known for his legal disputes related to his ownership of the Scottish island of Eigg. Shellenberg also stood in the 1964 UK general election in Richmond (Yorks) and the October 1974 UK general election in Moray and Nairn as a Liberal candidate. Schellenberg competed in the two-man and the four-man Bobsleigh events at the 1956 Winter Olympics.  He also competed in the men’s singles in the luge at the 1964 Winter Olympics. He also played on the Yorkshire rugby … Continue reading Schellenberg’s Rolls Royce in Eigg

The Firth of Forth, Scotland – Fred Olsen cruise liners in limbo

One has to wonder if Zander and his crew on board the Emerald were in the vicinity, what mischief they would get up to, no doubt trebling the price of local produce which only they could supply! Outcomes on a less grander scale are described in my first book A Storm in Any Port, which is on sale here and at selected outlets – click Continue reading The Firth of Forth, Scotland – Fred Olsen cruise liners in limbo

Scrumping Apples and Oor Wullie

A recent visit to the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh with family, to watch the musical production of Oor Wullie, was enjoyed thoroughly by all. It’s fun to reminisce about the past, especially when Wullie’s high jinks would involve the ‘Art’ of Scrumping. The difference being that Oor Wullie and his pals are children, while Zander and his crew are grown men! Almost Run In Ashore – Campbeltown (chapter 62) describes Murdo’s expertise in the Art of Scrumping! Continue reading Scrumping Apples and Oor Wullie

A Storm in Any Port now published

We are very happy to announce that A Storm in Any Port is now available in print, after a successful release through Amazon Kindle. Set principally in Scotland’s beautiful Western Isles with side trips to Hong Kong, the Lake District and the Balearic Islands, the narrative is an expose of an ambitious, accident prone Scot with a sailing bug who leads his scallywag crew and breathes life, fun and nostalgia into these comic misadventures of derring-do, or don’t! A Puffer, a Sampan, and Americas Cup and other yachts provide an exotic and convincing storyline link, packed with outrageous, unexpected and … Continue reading A Storm in Any Port now published

Prologue

PROLOGUE Four Men in a Dinghy West Coast of Scotland  – Fairly recently The skipper, mate and two deck hands who made up the crew of the chartered yacht, were feeling the effects of their combined ages of more than 300 years, as they motored into Puilladrobhain on Seil, an island just off the west coast of Scotland. Although none of them would admit it, the day’s motor sail from Crinan had taken its toll on both bodies and minds. The slightly corpulent, white haired skipper firmly believed he was a good sailor and had an inshore certificate to prove … Continue reading Prologue

Preparing to Publish

This Website is now under re-construction, in preparation for release of the paper version. I am well into producing a complete rewrite of the original e-book. Principally to significantly tightening up the text and thereby improve the flow of the action Ann, my wife, is finished the thankless task proof reading, and having a well earned rest. Our project is now at the stage of; engaging the services of professionals, to do the things I can’t do myself. Things like cover design and the actual printing of the book. Looking to ‘hit the shelves’ this summer. JJ – 20th May … Continue reading Preparing to Publish