Nothing To See Here cover

Nothing To See Here: a Guide to the Hidden Joys of Scotland is one year old today. Its first year has been a good one - the first printing is almost sold out and a second run is on its way. It fits nicely into the Pocket Mountains stable of travel guides and is quietly making inroads into bookshops around the country.

Pocket Mountains book stall

I've been delighted by all the positive comments so far (two five star reviews on Amazon, no less!). It's been an adventure considering it didn't start out as a book. So thanks to everyone who bought it, or spread the word. It's much appreciated. I've had a year off writing but am ready to start again now so hopefully there are more books to come.

So... if anyone is looking for a stocking-filler (it will literally fit in a stocking) it's available from Pocket Mountains, Amazon and independent shops like Monorail Music and All That Is Solid in Glasgow among others.

New book: Sign Painters by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon. Some lovely stuff inside.

There are some truly beautiful pictures in Sign Painters by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon. It features interviews with over 25 US sign painters, young and old, who talk about their methods and inspiration.

The book is available from Amazon and other good bookshops. For more information on the book see the Princeton Architectural Press website. There's a film due out next year - see the Sign Painters website for details.

Above Scotland exhibition at the Lighthouse

There's an interesting exhibition on at The Lighthouse called Above Scotland.

Above Scotland exhibition at The Lighthouse

Designed by Architecture and Design Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, it's a selection of aerial photographs each with their own magnifying glass.

Above Scotland exhibition at The Lighthouse

I liked the photos and the way the whole thing was set out. Here's the Tay Bridge up close.

Above Scotland exhibition at The Lighthouse

If you're not into architecture you can use it for a bit of amateur dentistry.

For a while now I've wanted to post things here but writing and uploading everything has seemed like a bit of a chore. I wanted to post pictures of places old and new, near and far without having to write words to go with it or digging up links etc. So I had a look at Tumblr for the first time (I know, years too late) and it's just the ticket.

So if you'd like to see a new photo every please point your gaze here It posts to Twitter and hopefully to I like's Facebook page from tomorrow. I'm enjoying finding new things on Tumblr so if you're on it please say hello.

Frying Tonight


Frying times




Chippy Bank


Fish & Chips


Fish & Chips


Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

We went to Middlesbrough recently, for a trip on its famous transporter bridge. There are only three transporter bridges like this in the UK (the only other public one is in Newport), and only twelve left in the world.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge and Clock Tower

It works by moving a suspended platform or 'gondola' across the river from one side of the bridge to the other. The bridge provides a valuable shortcut for cars and passengers who want to cross the Tees.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

It runs every fifteen minutes or so, or on demand. There's no ceremony when you step on. Everyone stands around on the deck as the platform starts to move. For such a big beast it moves very gracefully and only takes a couple of minutes to reach the other side.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

It's probably not everyone's idea of a grand day out but there was something very calming about watching it rumble from one side to the other. More photos in this Flickr set.

Temenos by Anish Kapoor

Further down the river there's a huge artwork by Anish Kapoor called Temenos. This was the UK's largest public sculpture when it was installed in 2010.

Tommy and Temenos

Here's Tommy standing at one end of it, for scale. The whole area is a mish mash of decline and regeneration so these brash newcomers mingle with the old industrial inhabitants to make a very atmospheric place. Nice one Middlesbrough.

I'm not sure how 4 months have passed without a single update, but I haven't felt like blogging. Sometimes that happens, I guess. For a while it felt like Twitter and Instagram had kind of taken its place but recently I've felt like there's a gap for where I'd like to put things, and I think this is where it is.

It's nothing exciting really, just some holiday snaps of a trip to North Yorkshire and Tyneside. Familiar ground but it always has something new to discover. So without further ado, here's Harrogate:

Corgi biscuits at Betty's

Betty's famous tea room was in full swing for the Jubilee.

Diamond Jubilee cakes

Their speciality is the Fat Rascal - a fruity scone/rock cake hybrid. Really delicious.

A pile of fat rascals

Might have to give this Fat Rascal recipe a go.

That's it for now. Going to post this before I change my mind.

What Presence: The Rock Photography of Harry Papadopolous

There's a great exhibition on at Street Level Photoworks in King St, showing the rock photographs of Harry Papadopolous. It's a huge selection of atmospheric photos, really out of the ordinary in style and subject as far as music photography goes. Also, the Lovely Photos of Edwyn Collins-quotient is very high.

Harry was born in Helensburgh and became staff photographer for Sounds magazine. His friendship with fellows Scots in bands like Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and The Bluebells led to an archive of great candid photos like this one.

Aztec Camera by Harry Papadopolous

The whole exhibition really sums up the spirit of the early 80s - handmade haircuts, dodgy jumpers, charity shop chic which somehow came together to be cool. The exhibition is on until 25 February so catch it while you can.

Nothing To See Here: A Guide To The Hidden Joys of Scotland

Book plug alert. The new Nothing To See Here book: a guide to the hidden joys of Scotland is out just in time for Christmas. Published by great small publisher Pocket Mountains it's a neat volume of 144 pages containing some articles from the website plus some new pieces, all with lots of photos. The list of contents are on Nothing To See Here.

The book will be in bookshops over the next few weeks, but if you'd like one for Christmas please order direct from the Pocket Mountains website. Type NTSH into the discount box to get 20% off. Thanks and happy travels.

Oh dear, it hasn't been a good summer for blogging, but it was a good one for photos. Here it is briefly, via Instagram.

Cable car!


Closing time on the pier


World's Largest Mirrorball, Blackpool


Antony Gormley's Another Place


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