Friday, 30 April 2010

Inspiration

The smell of a flower

A full moon

A new moon

The flow of a river…….


Wood smoke drifting

The colour blue

mountains

desert

the smell and taste of a fish supper,

the call of a fog horn

the smile of a child

rainbows

wind in the trees….


a sunrise

the dawn chorus

the flight of an eagle

the buzz of a bee,

the bark of a stag

and croak of a thousand frogs…..


the movement of a field of golden wheat in the early summer

oak

silver birch covered in moss

the flutter of a butterfly

the nudge of a dog

the purr from a contented cat..


clouds in a blue sky

the trail of a comet

a sky filled to overflow of stars.

coffee roasting

fresh bread resting..


a v8 engine

the sound of a flute


the roar at Hamden


the kiss of a loved one

the hug of a stranger

the flow and ebb of a tide on a pebble beach


a warm cosy bed

the roar of a fire


red

green

silver

and gold


the call of an eagle

the chirp of a pied wagtail

music

poetry

a horse in full gallop





These are some things that inspire me

what about YOU ???….

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Writers block / deluge or should that be creative block/deluge…

           “EMERGENCE”
1111111111

Over the last few weeks i have seen this question asked over and over ..

Writers block how do you cope with it ?
For me the exact opposite has always been my problem ( if it is a problem)

Since i was a wee boy i have always been a person that rejoices in learning and like a wee boy i was so excited at having learned something or other .( but learned at an early age to hide this outward show of joy at learning )
The older i get this thought process has not stopped in fact as i have said now i have hundreds of ideas flood my wee brain daily ( just ask Mel lol)..
I see a flower
Dancer-1
i want to write, draw and make a wee film about it and while i am thinking of how to do this another thing or idea flashes into my brain and off i go down that route and so it continues throughout the day . only stopping briefly while i drift of to sleep but then the wee boy takes over and my dreams are full of ideas for the next day (often i will wake to write something down then drift of to the land of nod till the next one emerges ) then as my brain fills and i am forced to get out of bed and head to the horsebox and make a start on the latest wee idea .

When i was younger i turned to alcohol as a way to shut down my creative side ,i would get as many cans usually Guiness and close the outside door to the world turn up the music and escape from all the negative stuff around me at the time .

At 49 and with the help of a camera and laptop i am able to at last release that wee excited boy and truly rejoice in life and not feel the burden of others with their negative thoughts that they thought was ok to off load onto me ,even though i now know it was just a way for them to feel better about themselves simply to attack someone that is truly in awe with life .

So now i no longer drink and take very little drugs even for a headache instead my craft has become my life and through my writing photography films etc i am able to be truly at peace with the world .

I am able to wake in the mountains of Scotland and wander bare foot ,i am able to simply dance under the moon and wave my bare arse at the negative thoughts and love the fact that i am blessed with the ability to see the colours smell the smells feel the cold highland water between my dirty toes and then put it onto film
and through comments i get
i know that other people  draw inspiration from them
and this fills my old heart with even more joy and drives me on to write better etc
But at times my wee brain feels like it will explode with ideas and just wondered if you get this ?

HOW DO YOU COPE WITH WRITERS DELUGE ?
Andy the Dafthermit
winter wonder 087-1

chloe_070
a wee fat bald hermit

Coffee with the Hermit: A Story About Freedom...!

Coffee with the Hermit: A Story About Freedom...!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Golden Eagle ( my tribute to the GOLDEN EAGLE )

2009-02-24 aultguish arrival
eagle golden-eagle-2524[1]






From his nest high up on the south facing cliff an eagle watches as the sun rises in the east, slowly at first as if unsure it will make it up an over the mountain top.
 He had lived many years in these glens and mountains distant memories of his first tentative flight out and over the heather moorland  far below.
The early morning mist had receded grudgingly to the west and Ullapool far off
today was going to be a good day for the hunt …
by 11.00 0’clock the sun was beating down the skies were a blue of near perfection
He leaned forward on the nest and with one final look at the chicks gently rolled out and over the cliff edge .
Falling 10 feet then 20 he tumbled to the earth far below
but this master of the skies was playing with the air as a champion boxer toys with an opponent he knows he has mastered.
As the speed increased he gently unfurls one wing then the other and dips to his right and away from the cliff edge
The air rushed up and filled the full length of the wings..
Then all below stand in awe and look up at the master of the Scottish highland skies his full wingspan 6 feet and more .
His feathers golden ,his eyes a deep and knowing black .
A loud call that sets of across the distant glens that all Scots know .
To me as a scot whenever i have been away from Scotland ,the two things that would bring a tear to my eye and a longing to be home.
The sound of the bagpipes and the call of the Eagle ….
He set of across the glen to one of his favourite places to hunt

Passing over the river he swooped round sure he had spotted something to the edge of the river
letting the air escape from his wings he glided slowly downward till he was certain
A rabbit lay across a post an EASY meal on this sunny highland day ..

With yet another call ,this time to his partner high up  in the nest to let her know he had found some food ..

After a couple of mouth full’s of fresh meat he grasped the rabbit tightly in his mighty talons and leapt into the air ,happy that his family would feed well today …

A few powerful beats from his wings and within seconds he was soaring in an ever increasing circle gaining height faster and faster ,until he had enough height to simply soar to the cliff nest and his family ..
The calls between the family echoed out across the mountains all excited at the thought of the meal
He dipped his wing and headed to the nest
WHEN a pain the like he had never felt shot out and quickly enveloped his whole body ,unsure what was happening he struggled to stay in flight but then more pain filled his body until he lost control of his prey that plummeted to the ground .

He struggled to fly but with total loss of all his muscles his wings folded in a twisted wrap around his body
He called in desperation to his partner a scream this time
no magical call
simply pain and fear .

Then ,and no matter how hard he tried to stop it
the plunge to the ground and death began ..
A final call was quickly followed by a sound i hope to never hear ever again as long as i live ..
The Golden eagle lay on the ground his wings and legs at strange angles every bone has been smashed and a tiny whimper from him said he still tried to battle the poison within ..
High in the cliff the female darted from her nest and dash across the sky soon found her by his side ..
I watched as the female nudged him and called
but i could see his eyes had closed the poison had WON.
For the rest of the day and into the night the female let out call after call to her partner but as the sun rose in the morning she knew he had gone and with the chicks calling for food she had no choice  she had to go
so with a final SCREAM to MAN she grabbed the rabbit and headed to the nest .


………..May you continue to soar my friend safe and secure away from man ….
 peace and light 


The dafthermit x




LINKS TO THE DEATH OF EAGLES :

 http://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/tag/golden-eagle/

http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/?p=279


http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/eagle-poisoned373.html#cr


 http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/uk-ireland/poison-threatens-golden-eagle-plans-14705138.html

Article: Shocking death of golden eagle

 http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-182528462.html

Article: Fury as another golden eagle is poisoned

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-20504647.html

The Independent on Sunday
Article: Oldest known wild golden eagle dies on island of ...
The Independent on Sunday ;  August 16, 2009 ; 295 words ... News in brief :: BIRDLIFE The oldest known wild golden eagle in the UK has died, RSPB Scotland said yesterday. The eagle, which was found dead on the island of Jura off the west coast of Scotland, was 22 years old. It ...
The Scotsman
Article: Golden eagle is our national bird
The Scotsman ;  August 28, 2004 ; James Reynolds Environment Correspondent;  700+ words ... Until that point, the golden eagle - championed by Tory MSP ... Parliament calling for the golden eagle to be officially recognised ... Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: "The golden eagle is a very fitting species ...
The Sunday Herald
Article: Golden Eagle Award awaits champion of conservation
The Sunday Herald ;  December 14, 2003 ; Rob Edwards; Environment Editor;  686 words ... Birds (RSPB) in Scotland. The Golden Eagle Award is due to be the highlight of RSPB Scotland's centenary celebrations next ... sending in the form below. The Golden Eagle Award will be presented by broadcaster ...
The Scotsman
Article: Fury as another golden eagle is poisoned
The Scotsman ;  June 20, 2009 ; FRANK URQUHART;  694 words ... THE killing of a golden eagle in Scotland was condemned ... another poisoning of a golden eagle. This is an unacceptable ... investigations with RSPB Scotland, also hit out at the ... followed the poisoning of a golden eagle in the Borders in August ...
Press and Journal, 
The Aberdeen (UK)
Article: Golden eagle is found poisoned on Deeside
Press and Journal, The Aberdeen (UK) ;  July 21, 2006 ; Andy Philip;  462 words ... A Golden eagle poisoned on Deeside earlier this year was found ... across the region to look after wildlife. Senior RSPB Scotland investigations officer Dave Dick said the dead golden eagle was likely to have swallowed the poison close to ...
The Scotsman
Article: Golden eagle falls prey to poison bait trap
The Scotsman ;  May 24, 2000 ; James Rougvie;  700+ words ... A YEAR-OLD golden eagle has been killed by poison on a Scottish ... 21st century." Keith Morton, RSPB Scotland investigations officer, called ... Stuart Housden, the director of RSPB Scotland, said four golden eagles had been ...
The Independent - London
Article: `Disastrous' year for golden eagle killings in ...
The Independent - London ;  December 28, 2000 ; Melanie Harvey;  448 words ... THIS YEAR was the worst on record for golden eagle poisoning in Scotland, the Royal Society ... senior investigations officer for the RSPB Scotland, said 2000 had been "disastrous ... estates." Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, called on estate managers to ensure ...
The Scotsman
Article: MSPs reject move for golden eagle to be Scots icon
The Scotsman ;  December 6, 2006 ; Hamish Macdonell Scottish Political Editor;  700+ words ... action on behalf of the golden eagle. The decision was ... would help both the golden eagle population and the ... bird protection body RSPB Scotland but both he and The ... national symbol and the golden eagle was already an unofficial ...




……………………………………..
Thoughts of the Dafthermit:

To me a wee daft fat bald git who lives in an old bus

The person and people that do this to OUR  Golden Eagles

should be dragged to the square in Inverness on a Saturday night

Their balls should be cut off dipped in poison and stuffed down their throats
and finally the talons from the eagle should be rammed up their arse

peace and light ……………………………….


GOLDEN EAGLE
© compiled from Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission sources.
Golden eagles are huge birds of prey
with a wing span of over 2 metres. They
can soar and glide high in the sky using
air currents to help them. They are a
dark brown colour with a paler golden
brown head. Young eagles have white
patches on their wings and tail. Golden
eagles have strong hooked beaks for
tearing the flesh of their prey. Their legs
are feathered and they have strong,
large, yellow feet which they use to grip
and kill animals. Their claws or talons
are sharp and curved and pierce the
body of any animal that they catch.
Golden eagles have large eyes
and very sharp eyesight. They
can see detail several times
better than humans and
can spot a rabbit
2km away.
Nest and eggs
A golden eagle’s nest, called an eyrie, is
usually found on a mountain ledge or
crag, or in a very tall tree. It is a large,
wide nest, made out of sticks and
branches. The same
eyries are used again
and again. As more
nest material is added
to them over several
years they can grow as
much as 3 metres deep.
Golden eagles lay two
eggs 2–5 days apart. The
female sits on the eggs over
a period of about 6 weeks. The
male brings in food for her and
occasionally takes a turn at
sitting on the eggs.
Both eggs hatch but
usually only one chick
survives to become an adult.
The young birds are covered in fluffy,
white down feathers and look very
different from their parents. They depend
Aquila chrysaetos
on the parents for food until they are old
enough to hunt for themselves. The
strongest chick takes most of the food
that is brought to the nest. A young
eagle starts to fly when it is about 11
weeks old. During the autumn it stays
with its parents and learns how to hunt.
Eventually it will leave them and look for
a territory of its own.
Food and feeding
Golden eagles feed on medium sized
mammals and birds, including rabbits,
hares and grouse. If they cannot find
these animals they will eat other birds
and mammals. They hunt in several
different ways. Sometimes they soar
high in the sky and then glide or swoop
down quickly in attack. They also hunt
by flying close to the ground, catching
their prey by surprise. They will fly
several miles in search of food.
Instead of hunting for themselves golden
eagles will also eat the bodies of dead
animals, including deer and sheep.
Where do they live?
Golden eagles live in mountain areas
with few trees. They avoid areas that are
farmed or where there are a lot of
people.
A pair of golden eagles occupy a large
area of as much as 30 square miles
which is called their home range. The
home range includes the area within
which they hunt for animals and several
eyries. Part of the range is used only by
the pair and they will defend this as their
territory.
Golden eagles and humans
In the past golden eagles, along with
many other birds of prey, were
persecuted by shepherds and
gamekeepers. They are now fully
protected by law but some are still shot,
poisoned and trapped. Golden eagle
nests are also still sometimes robbed of
young birds or eggs.
During the 1950s and 1960s golden
eagles, like other birds of prey, were
affected by the use of new pesticides. It
was later discovered that these
chemicals remained poisonous long after
they had been applied and they are now
banned. It is thought that in the case of
golden eagles sheep dip was the main
problem. As the golden eagles fed on
the dead bodies of sheep that had been
dipped, the levels of poison gradually
built up in the eagles’ bodies until they
became harmful. The eggs that the
poisoned birds laid had thinner shells
which broke very easily, so they could
not produce any chicks.
Sometimes golden eagles die because
they eat poisoned bait that has been laid
out to kill other predators, such as foxes
and crows.
Changes in the golden eagle’s habitat
can make it a less suitable place for
them to feed and breed. In some parts of
Scotland there are so many deer and
sheep grazing on the moorland that
there is not enough heather left to feed
other animals. This means fewer grouse
and mountain hares and in turn less live
food for the eagles. Where there are
fewer live prey golden eagles are less
likely to rear their chicks successfully.
However high numbers of deer and
sheep do mean that more carrion is
available and this can lead to a rise in
the number of golden eagles found in an
area.
Golden eagles search for food in open
areas and cannot hunt in dense
woodland. This means that when
forestry plantations are created on open
ground in upland areas they make it an
unsuitable habitat for golden eagles.
More and more people are using the
countryside for recreation. Climbers,
birdwatchers and photographers can
disturb golden eagles and stop them
from breeding successfully.
Finding out more
Scottish Birds
Valerie Thom (Collins)
The Birds of Scotland
Emilio Dicerbo (Lochar Publishing Ltd)
Golden Eagles
Roy Dennis and Laurie Campbell (Colin
Baxter)
The Golden Eagle
Jeff Watson (Poyser)
How you can help
You could become involved with groups
of other people concerned with the
future of Scotland’s wildlife. Check your
local library for information about groups
in your area.
The Young Ornithologists Club (YOC),
which is the junior section of the RSPB,
produces a magazine and Scottish
newsletter which include information
about environmental issues and give you
the chance to help wildlife by taking part
in projects and surveys.
Contact: RSPB, Dunedin House, 25
Ravelston Terrace, Edinburgh EH4 3TP
Glossary
Habitat
The place in which an animal or plant
lives.
Pesticide
A chemical that is used to kill pests.
Plantation
An area of planted woodland (often used
to describe large areas recently planted,
mainly with conifers).
Predator
An animal that kills and eats other
animals.
Prey
An animal that is killed and eaten by
another animal.
Territory
The area in which an animal or group of
animals lives and which they defend
against other animals of the same kind.
This factsheet may be reproduced for individual or class use, but not for publication or resale

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Flickr Pictures and comments

freezer
#1: freezer
only time of the year we get to have ice in our drinks
free freezer
•  320 views  /  12 people count this as a favorite  /  60 comments
On Reflection
#2: On Reflection
This to me is the complete joy that photography has brought to me ,the simple thing of play again
•  144 views  /  8 people count this as a favorite  /  30 comments
Autumn walk
#3: Autumn walk
3hrs on the summit
•  130 views  /  5 people count this as a favorite  /  30 comments
Little  one
#4: Little one
found this wee one by the bus ,but sadly he didn't make it so i buried him under a tree xx
•  81 views  /  8 people count this as a favorite  /  29 comments
BIG   "Sioux"
#5: BIG "Sioux"
Think we might stay the night
•  64 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  25 comments
Pure
#6: Pure
•  69 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  24 comments
Yesterdays visitor on Flickr
#7: Yesterdays visitor on Flickr
beauty beyond belief
•  99 views  /  5 people count this as a favorite  /  23 comments
Eternal Cycle
#8: Eternal Cycle
A Gift
•  87 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  21 comments
Happy New Year All
#9: Happy New Year All
all the best for 2009 from andy & mel x
•  36 views  /  Nobody counts Happy New Year All as a favorite  /  21 comments
SOD U CANCER
#10: SOD U CANCER
My Brave Wife
•  104 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  21 comments
Hermit Sky
#11: Hermit Sky
The Joy Of The Scottish Highlands
•  105 views  /  5 people count this as a favorite  /  20 comments
New home
#12: New home
•  48 views  /  Nobody counts New home as a favorite  /  17 comments
Layby 56 ( A9 Highland Dream )
#13: Layby 56 ( A9 Highland Dream )
my first couple of attempts with photoshop
•  206 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  17 comments
last day at crawford 016
#14: last day at crawford 016
•  40 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  17 comments
wee bird found on road 005-2
#15: wee bird found on road 005-2
such beauty
•  43 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  16 comments
chloe
#16: chloe
our wee cat
•  67 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  15 comments
Peace
#17: Peace
•  56 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  15 comments
3 steps
#18: 3 steps
B l a c k M a g i c
•  61 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  13 comments
Custard & Dylan At Play
#19: Custard & Dylan At Play
Simple fun and games as all animal lovers know watching them at play is so wonderful
and when they got home straight to sleep in front of the wood burner true Bliss....
•  33 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  13 comments
new home
#20: new home
•  30 views  /  Nobody counts new home as a favorite  /  13 comments

New Home
#21: New Home
and only £5 a week rent
•  38 views  /  Nobody counts New Home as a favorite  /  13 comments
Crystal Flower
#22: Crystal Flower
•  26 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  13 comments
A wee Burn
#23: A wee Burn
theblackbuscompany.blogspot.com/
•  28 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  13 comments
passed mot on bus
#24: passed mot on bus
what a story cost a pound but i have got over the shock of opening my wallet ,just
•  54 views  /  Nobody counts passed mot on bus as a favorite  /  13 comments
autumn
#25: autumn
wee bee
•  30 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  13 comments
burner stroke inferno eh Jane
#26: burner stroke inferno eh Jane
•  29 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  12 comments
loch ness Mel
#27: loch ness Mel
•  23 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  12 comments
Our Tap
#28: Our Tap
•  31 views  /  Nobody counts Our Tap as a favorite  /  12 comments
Thought we had problems at least we have a roof over our heads
#29: Thought we had problems at least we have a roof over our heads
When i woke this morning i had a bad feeling about today.And slowly over the day it has been problem after problem.
But to night we got ready to head of and forced ourselfs to think positive ,and with the turn of the key ohhh ohhhh ohhh flat battery...
•  55 views  /  Nobody counts Thought we had problems at least we have a roof over our heads as a favorite  /  12 comments
Flower
#30: Flower
This is what i see when we Tarmac more and more of the country so much beauty being hidden under new roads
•  56 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  12 comments
Sunnier Days
#31: Sunnier Days
•  87 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  12 comments
Monrieth beach
#32: Monrieth beach
•  71 views  /  Nobody counts Monrieth beach as a favorite  /  12 comments
scotland
#33: scotland
•  43 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  12 comments
New Caravan
#34: New Caravan
now visitors to the blackbus can have a wee room for themselves lol
•  33 views  /  Nobody counts New Caravan as a favorite  /  11 comments
faces 010
#35: faces 010
•  18 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  11 comments
felt update
#36: felt update
•  21 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  11 comments
Ullapool 064
#37: Ullapool 064
•  28 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  11 comments
stig o the dump
#38: stig o the dump
No,No I dont care if it's your Fiftieth birthday next week
•  41 views  /  Nobody counts stig o the dump as a favorite  /  11 comments
a wee card for our ukh friends
#39: a wee card for our ukh friends
•  22 views  /  Nobody counts a wee card for our ukh friends as a favorite  /  11 comments
happy xmas to our flickr friends
#40: happy xmas to our flickr friends
•  17 views  /

me
#1: me
a little about me
•  1458 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  4 comments
freezer
#2: freezer
only time of the year we get to have ice in our drinks
free freezer
•  320 views  /  12 people count this as a favorite  /  60 comments
Layby 56 ( A9 Highland Dream )
#3: Layby 56 ( A9 Highland Dream )
my first couple of attempts with photoshop
•  206 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  17 comments
hit the road
#4: hit the road
spring at last
•  171 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  1 comment
Storm coming
#5: Storm coming
Corrieshalloch Gorge & snow bunting..
............................................................................................................
Visiblity 30 yrds ,we have just pulled into the old quarry and what a journey to Ullapool...
•  145 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  3 comments
the open road
#6: the open road
at last spring www.theblackbuscompany.com
•  145 views  /  Nobody counts the open road as a favorite  /  0 comments
On Reflection
#7: On Reflection
This to me is the complete joy that photography has brought to me ,the simple thing of play again
•  144 views  /  8 people count this as a favorite  /  30 comments
insects
#8: insects
•  138 views  /  Nobody counts insects as a favorite  /  2 comments
our home
#9: our home
our home on beattock summit
•  138 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  5 comments
it's my seat
#10: it's my seat
wilkie and chloe arguing who get's the best seat
•  135 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  5 comments
Autumn walk
#11: Autumn walk
3hrs on the summit
•  130 views  /  5 people count this as a favorite  /  30 comments
my home
#12: my home
my home power comes from a 10litre engine wind power and solar no electric bills
•  128 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  3 comments
Hermit Sky
#13: Hermit Sky
The Joy Of The Scottish Highlands
•  105 views  /  5 people count this as a favorite  /  20 comments
SOD U CANCER
#14: SOD U CANCER
My Brave Wife
•  104 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  21 comments
remote control
#15: remote control
One of mel's poems attached to photo hope you enjoy
•  103 views  /  Nobody counts remote control as a favorite  /  9 comments
wilkie chloe 022
#16: wilkie chloe 022
wilks enjoying the scottish summer
•  100 views  /  Nobody counts wilkie chloe 022 as a favorite  /  0 comments
Yesterdays visitor on Flickr
#17: Yesterdays visitor on Flickr
beauty beyond belief
•  99 views  /  5 people count this as a favorite  /  23 comments
Eternal Cycle
#18: Eternal Cycle
A Gift
•  87 views  /  3 people count this as a favorite  /  21 comments
Sunnier Days
#19: Sunnier Days
•  87 views  /  2 people count this as a favorite  /  12 comments
towbar
#20: towbar
job done nearly ready for the old girl to go in for her mot then up up and away
•  86 views  /  1 person counts this as a favorite  /  6 comments

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Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

Loch Ness film festival

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My Three films to be shown at

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Leckmelm Holiday Cottages On the shore of Loch Broom

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Our wee tin can studios here in the Scottish highlands ,from inside my wee horse i get to produce films of the wonderfful Scottish highlands ,tell my tales for my blogs and help to get my wives poetry on line ,

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