I was kindly invited on a weekend trip to Arran for the May bank holiday with friends John and Gail. I shared the back seat with their dog, Chalky, although I didn't require a dog basket. As they intended taking their car over to Arran we went via Lochgilphead and Ardrishaig past Tarbet to get the smaller Kintyre ferry over to Arran. This seems like the long way round but according to Gail, who is an excellent organizer, it was only 20 minutes longer drive in the car as we intended camping at Lochranza where the ferry came in.
As I've said before I think Scottish towns and coastal villages are missing a trick by not painting their houses bright colours as it certainly cheers up the place, in sunshine or even drab weather. Tourists love it, artists love it, and photographers love it. Buildings with a smile. Who wants grey? Promoting "Happy Houses" up the west coast of Scotland should be the tourist board's next big plan. Not entire streets but just individual pastel or primary colours dotted around. Loads of colours and shades to choose from so they all look unique in their own right. What a difference it makes to a holiday rather than grey and off white villages everywhere, particularly drab looking in the rain or in midwinter. I bet tourist numbers would go up... Maybe it's a bad idea after all :o(
Incidentally, I mentioned deeper levels within Autohighography. When I started to write this book I looked at what publishers were interested in selling and the buzz words "books on popular culture" "individual writing style" "original voice and ideas" all seemed to pop up repeatedly. So I decided to give them just that. Scrambling out of Ceum na Caillich, below.
Oblique Strategies ( Eno and Schmidt) was far too highbrow and intellectual to follow in any real detail for me personally but I just liked the idea of "the thoughts behind the thoughts" and "lateral thinking" when it came to writing Autohighography.
" Sarah " would never say "Wow. This is amazing." (Chapter Two. The Ben Nevis Weekend) but another Kent female was well known for it years ago. All the clues are there folks and "popular culture, art and film references" are scattered throughout the chapters as well as a few subversive ideas of my own. It is an Autobiography of my life and interests, but not always written in a manner you might expect. Hence an easy to read surface story but with hidden depths. I would never have met the real "Sarah" without frequent curiosity trips to Bromley, London and the south coast during that time. I fell in love with both many decades ago.
Autohighography. Bob Law. Comedy outdoor novel set in Glasgow and Scotland. Link here. £1:14pence on Kindle.
A Guide to Walking and Cycling around the River Clyde and the Firth of Clyde. Over 80 routes from New Lanark to Girvan and 146 original colour photographs. £1:99. Link here.