They were a while ago now, but what I did on my summer holidays was go to Oban (a town on the west coast of Scotland) with the goal of getting to as many Scottish islands as possible. Getting to, and staying on the islands has been pretty challenging this year – getting to the big islands was pretty much out of the question, but there are lots of small ones that are easily reachable from Oban or nearby.
Number 1: Easdale Island
Easdale is one of my favourite places on Earth. Home to the World Stone Skimming Championships, it is relatively easy to get to, and can be walked round in a day, or an afternoon depending on how much you want to see.
It is one of the Slate Islands – a chain of small islands in the Inner Hebrides, and is pitted with deep pools made from disused slate quarries.
The island is car-free – residents have wheelbarrows instead.
The small 10-people ferry runs regularly from Ellanabeich, which is also a pretty wee place.
The crossing takes about 5 minutes, and it is not possible to book it (there’s usually no need).
For the last few months (actually, more like years) I’ve been sorting through 18 years of digital photos scattered over hard disks, HD cards and even floppy disks. I almost lost them all once, and after that I decided it was time to make something a bit more permanent, for my own records if nothing else.
So here is Beside The Seaside – book one in what will be a series of photobooks, self-published in very small editions. Featuring 60 full colour photos of the British seaside, it is a neat and sturdy A5 softcover book.
You too can have a copy, if you so desire. The price of £8 includes UK Postage and Packaging (Royal Mail second class). If you’d like the book signed or dedicated to someone please add a note during checkout.
Alan Dimmick is a Glaswegian photographer, best known for photographing Glasgow’s art scene. He is posting archive photos on Instagram at the moment, fascinating to me because many are taken around Hyndland/Partick/Anniesland where I grew up.
The Windsor Cafe on Clarence Drive was my first local cafe, a real treasure trove of sweets and ice cream. The owners, pictured here, were a Scots-Italian brother and sister, with infinite patience from what I remember.
Jonathan Treen is also posting archive photos of 1970s Glasgow on Twitter (@JonathanTreen) just now. Some of the locations are instantly recognisable, others changed beyond recognition.