Sunday, 27 July 2008

A poem by a traveller forced to live in a council house

4 Days in a Council House

After 25 years on the road
I have been forced into a council house
In a nice little compound
Where my dog must not roam
And making a fire
Is simply
out of the question
And I must be as quiet as a church mouse
No techno music here please!
Over the years
The Council impounded 5 of my homes
3 cosy caravans
and 2 lovely trucks
Along with the woodburners
and most of my tat
5 times throughout the years
They devastated me me and my family
Left us destitute and bereaved
We pleaded...we begged
Where are our homes?
Of course they would not tell us
Until it was too late

After 5 months living in a car
an easy target for rednecks
some of them wearing full face balaclava helmets
with their threats of burning and maiming
I was 'allotted' a house
It is not mine

The rulebook is very thick indeed
Should I be grateful
for living in this concrete box?
With its soulless white walls
and the triple locks?
There is no silence
There is no peace
from the constant hum of electricity
It sounds like a sawmill to me
because I have sensitive hearing
from living outside
Glaring orange lights glare through my window
no chance of watching the stars
They are obliterated by this false light
This orange neon
which penetrates my weary brain
I cannot hear the call of an owl
or the squeak of a field mouse as he passes my door

I cannot smell the trees
but only the foul odour of central heating
I go out as much as I can
but it's freezing
I cannot walk very far
owing to injuries
As far as I am concerned
it is an inferior lifestyle
compared to being out on the road
I cannot rest
My head pounds with the fury of resentment
Oh's warm enough in here
But how can I tell the future
or see faces
in a radiator

My big beautiful dog
who is used to running for miles
stands on his hind legs to gaze wistfully out the window
and cries as he cratches at the door to freedom
Maybe I should go on antidepressants?
become a zombie
so that I don't feel ANYTHING any more?


In a few days
I'll have the money for heavy blankets
to put over my window
to block that awful unnatural light
But meanwhile
I'll just sit here
and cry.

Copyright Mary O'Brien 30.11.04

Saturday, 26 July 2008

mel at the river (wee pixie)

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

wee beastie


escaped the ratrace another friend

Subject: Travellers of the world unite...
Hey thanks for the heads up...been on the road for a little over 2 years now after benn in the mainstream , had a Tattoo Studio paying taxes etc.decided to get out and have not looked back since..Great to meet others of a little more up beat and not so drink or drug orientated like a lot of the travellers we've met so once again ta mate talk soon...Manik and Family,,...

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

wolves good news

Dear mel,

I was at home in Boise when I heard the news Friday: A federal judge has restored endangered species protections for wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

The ruling by a district court judge in Montana could save the lives of hundreds of wolves by stopping this fall's planned wolf sport hunting seasons in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

I want to thank you for the crucial role that caring people like you have played in this initial victory.

It’s a huge win that couldn’t have happened without the thousands of Defenders activists and donors who have worked to support our efforts here in the Northern Rockies by contributing money to our Wolf Legal Defense Fund, supporting our on-the-ground work and much more.

But we still have a long fight ahead of us.

Idaho Governor C.L. Butch Otter -- who said last year that he wanted to be one of the first in the state to shoot a wolf -- immediately criticized the judge’s ruling to restore protections for wolves. Wyoming’s Governor has vowed that his state will fight the ruling.

Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition leader Ron Gillette was even more direct, telling a local reporter that "[i]t is going to be all-out war."

Rest assured, Defenders of Wildlife will keep fighting for wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the rest of the Northern Rockies by continuing to...

Make the case in court to restore full protections for these endangered wolves;
Pay for guard dogs, range riders, turbo fladry fencing and other non-lethal wolf management strategies to keep livestock and wolves safe; and
Combat distortions and misperceptions about wolves to build tolerance and understanding for the vital role that wolves play in healthy ecosystems.
mel, we have a tough fight ahead of us. For now, please accept my sincere gratitude for all you’ve done to help us save wolves.

For the Wild Ones,

Suzanne Asha Stone
Northern Rockies Representative
Defenders of Wildlife Boise Office

Monday, 21 July 2008

water perfection

my idea of heaven

from annes blog

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there... to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but when you look at them, you know that every moment that you are with them, they will affect your life in some profound way. And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart.

Everything happens for a reason! Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere, safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from.... In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.
If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally not only because they love you, but also because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things.

MAKE EVERYDAY COUNT! Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people who you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, even if it doesn't seem right because you are too young or too far, just follow your heart. Surround yourself with those who make you smile, laugh, and make you happy.

Break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create your own life then LET GO and LIVE IT

Posted by ARTISANNE at 00:51

polar bears

Dear andrew,

Thank you for speaking our to ensure that threatened polar bears receive the protections they deserve.

Everyone here at Defenders of Wildlife greatly appreciates the work you do to help protect wildlife. We know that it’s only because of people like you that we can do so much for polar bears, wolves and other wildlife.

With Gratitude,

The Defenders team

P.S. If you’re interested in other ways to get involved with our work, please visit us online at


picture by a.p.lowe

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Friday, 11 July 2008



Antifa is a collective of militant anti-fascists committed to opposing the rise of the far-right in Britain and abroad. We believe in the 'no platform' philosophy and the tradition of fighting fascism/racism stretching back to Cable Street, Red Lion Square, Lewisham, and Waterloo. We are a network of various organisations and individuals who see anti-fascism as part of the class struggle.

After decades of underperforming, the far-right now poses a significant threat politically. This initiative aims to bring together those who wish to act rather than talk. We aim to oppose the far-right's electoral politics and where possible by means of direct action. As well as street activities we aim to promote militant anti-fascism in the football and music areas. This website will serve as an information and activity site, we will post up any intelligence on far-right activities and invite other anti-fascists to join us in counter activities.

The 'Antifa' initiative has come from members of the Anarchist Federation, Class War Federation, and No Platform. Although we come from the anarchist tradition we are open to work with any group/individual that is serious about militant anti-fascism, but we will NOT work with any state affiliated groups. If you are interested in getting involved then please contact us.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

My web site i set up to inspire

i am working on it at the moment and trying to get it done as quickly as i can

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

live animal skinning

Dear ANDY & MEL,
On behalf of the animalsaviors Awareness Campaign, I wish to sincerely thank you for signing our online petition. Your signature is a valuable contribution to our Campaign; every signature counts and together we will make a difference.
Please take another step. Please make a personal pledge that you will never, in the future, buy a product made wholly or partly from any fur. Please tell your family and friends about your pledge and ask them to make a similar pledge and to sign our online petition.
If you should ever see our yacht, Kristin, in a port during its solo global awareness sail, you have an open invitation to visit. It would be a privilege to meet you.

For your reference, please check that the infomation below is correct.

Surname : lowe
Firstname : ANDY & MEL
Email :
Town : leeds
State : yorkshire
Zipcode : ls123dx
Country : United Kingdom

Kind Regards

Peter Steele
Campaign Director
Animal Saviors Awareness Campaign

Native lands

Dear andy & mel,

This email message is sent to you from to confirm your signature as "andy & mel" on the online petition:

"Call for Urgent Change to US Laws regarding crimes on Native Lands"

hosted on the web by our free online petition service, at:

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to reply to this message.

Your signature number for this petition is 732.

At, we host the petition you've signed, but we didn't
create it. If you would like to comment on the petition, or otherwise
communicate directly with the petition author, you can contact the author at:

Vlad Quigley,

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If you would like to help some more to support the cause of this
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Here's some text you can just copy and paste into your own email message
to help spread the word about this petition:

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Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition:

"Call for Urgent Change to US Laws regarding crimes on Native Lands"

hosted on the web by, the free online petition
service, at:

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might
agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider
signing yourself.

Best wishes,

andy & mel

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Sunday, 6 July 2008




This page is for scapegoaters' targets - people eager to have resolution of a scapegoating. If you are a target taking a stand for undoing scapegoating, then although this is written mainly for you, some other people involved may also be helped by these notes.
I do not think that evils can be cured by blind hatred of their perpetrators. This will only lead us to become like them. Although the effort is not easy, one should understand the circumstances that turn men into fiends, and to realise that it is not by blind rage that evils will be prevented. Bertrand Russell, 1951
Truth and reconciliation processes recently have been much discussed as ways to increase possibilities for restorative justice. For some scapegoat targets the main restoration is that of reputation, character and standing. Scapegoat targets tend to feel this form of justice is a right. A right to such justice is denied by anyone involved in a scapegoating who prefers to look away, leaving the target in the prison that scapegoating so often is.

Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. Haile Selassie
It is a mistake to think that you can move healthily into the future without having strategies to defuse with the past. An undoing process is not simply a naive one of forgetting [how do we simply forget?] but of remembering and changing. For simplicity, we use the pronoun `he' throughout in what follows.


Success in resolving your scapegoating will be much more likely if those who were drawn in and did not oppose it [maybe they were duped in the process] will take a stand for its undoing. It is perhaps wisest not to ask these significant people to do anything beyond being willing to be identified as taking such a stand; some may volunteer to do more - just see that as a bonus, not as something to be sought.

Obviously, undoing scapegoating is a positive matter for scapegoaters' targets, but it can also be positive for audiences, as well as for scapegoaters themselves. It can be positive for all because almost everyone involved is burdened by what has gone on. Amongst the many burdens, here are some typical ones well worth becoming free of:

Perpetrator: guilt, hostility.
Target: isolation, entrapment, anxiety, anger, depression.
Audience: sadness, embarrassment, bewilderment, weariness.

Undoing can provide release from all those things. It brings the freedom that comes from no longer being tied to someone by the awful fetters that scapegoating creates.

No doubt your scapegoater has his pride and egoism, plus a wish to preserve his standing with his audience. Also, he knows that mud sticks and that it takes time to set hard. Time is on his side - not on yours as the target. Because time passing is to his advantage he may want to delay the resolution of his scapegoating indefinitely.

Here we offer a comparison: if, in a trial the prosecution's case was followed by a gap of years before the defense was heard, then a jury would naturally be more accepting of the prosecution's case than if the defense had been heard straight away.

It would be wise to expect that some of the audience may resist undoing if they feel that they were too easily taken in - that they were too gullible.

The scapegoating process has a characteristic way of maturing and solidifying. Consequently, the more time there is between the start of a scapegoating and its resolving, the less undoing can be achieved - especially with the all-important audience. Not only that but there are other unfortunate time-related effects:

- with the passing of time your associates may get more and more wearied by your desire and attempts to achieve undoing,
- they may also begin to feel sorry for the perpetrator being continually held to account by you, even though you are entitled to do so,
- should the perpetrator eventually complete the undoing he will tend to receive more credit for doing that than you do, especially if the undoing is far from the original scapegoating.

Usually the scapegoater will stop his process when he senses that he has effectively transferred blame and that any further transfer might be counterproductive. He, as it were, rests his case - but his `evidence' continues to harm and dismay the target - hence the need for completion and closure.

Much psychological suffering is caused by troubling events of the past being incomplete. Scapegoating is a human social-psychological process which can be, but seldom is, brought to proper completion - to closure.

Incompleteness in scapegoating usually exists because some of the participants have not accepted their accountability. Keep in mind that accountability does not decay with the passing of time.

An undoing process is best done with the help of a facilitator. You will find leads to facilitators trained in conflict resolution on our Links Page.

These are the steps necessary for a full completion process:

- truth-telling: establish the facts of what was done and by whom, whilst resisting self-justifications,
- direct accountability: the scapegoater takes responsibility for whatever he inappropriately blamed on the target,
- he agrees to give up blaming the target,
- the target takes responsibility for anything relevant and inappropriate that he did,
- the perpetrator undertakes not to restart the scapegoating, nor to claim later that the undoing process was invalid because he was forced into it.

Ideally all this would get conveyed to members of the audience in a way that is acceptable both to the scapegoater and to his target. Undoing implies seeking a balance between the legitimate needs of the target, those of the audience and those of the scapegoater himself. Achieving such a balance amounts to a win/win situation for all concerned.

A healthy basic position for a target to have towards undoing is simply to take a firm stand for the possibility of resolution. Use friends and professionals to help you keep calm and stay undaunted, whatever happens.

Nice though these are, apologies and forgiveness are not necessary when an undoing process has been properly worked through. To some people [especially the scapegoater and his audience] apologies and forgiveness seem less challenging, and so they are. And, even if not necessary, some people may find them healing - especially the audience. But a bit more needs to be said about this.

Apology and forgiveness do not, in themselves, provide effective undoing of scapegoating and they bring only partial restoration of reputation and character. They lead more to putting-away than to resolving and completing. But what is merely put away can continue to fester and be troublesome. Undoing is not just about putting away, it has more to do with positive dismantling. This is done by reversing [and thus completing] a process, a key part of which is the open and precise taking of responsibility through truth-telling. With apology and forgiveness people can skirt round issues of responsibility, the facing of which can lead to significant moving-on for everybody. For more on forgiveness, see our Links Page.


This was part of a dicussion I had elsewhere on the net:

this is me......

I have struggled for over an hour after reading this thread trying to put down what i think.
The very fact of writing this down is taking that risk of putting yourself out there again.
I too have tried to take my own life ,10 years ago over the space of a few months i slipped further and further into the abyss as i call it i asked for help and was rewarded with even more shit onto my head (true friendship is so valuable)without boring you all a number of events happened and i reached a point where i ran out of emotional and physical strength
i took myself of after making sure my wee dog was ok and swallowed bottles of pills and drank and drank eventually slipped away if felt amazing
some hours later i was awakened by a light in my face and i could hear a voice turned out to be a copper
i tried to make out everything was ok (thought i had been sol duff paracetamel)
he forced me to go to the hospital i know now meeting him saved my life
they left me in the hospital where i wa in a small cubicle with a curtain round it i heard the nurse moaning that i was wasting their time and that they had better things to do i got up a walked out of the hospital over the next few months i struggled to gather myself i was put on drugs which after a day decided to come of i went to the mountains to scream it helped eventually
now after 10 years i WILL never let things drag me back to that bloody abyss i live with mel a quiet life and we are unwilling to put ourselfs out there to much (mel herself has suferred with depression for the last three years) she is happier now where we live .
I came on the site tonight to talk about scapegoats in our society and ended up here i feel it is so important we listen and don't judge people since coming onto ukhippy for the first time in along time i feel as though i have found some trully caring people
it takes courage to talk about our weakness's espically in this society
I pray anyone that hits that wall is guided back iread earlier someone said about what stopped them was the thought they might miss the best feeling yet to come what a pure piece of magic sorry for not finding out who said it but i can't face going over the pages again .

.................UKHIPPY ROCKS.........
proud i served my country
on balance i know less today than the day i was born..

A celtic blessing

a wee celtic blessing:

May the road rise up
to meet you
may the wind be always
at your back
may the sunshine warm
upon your face
may the rain fall soft
upon your field
and until we meet again
may your god hold you in the palm of his hand xxxx
proud i served my country
on balance i know less today than the day i was born..

part five serving my country

the serving my country posts are what my side of the debate i had on another forum with regards the forces i have left out any response from other people and is purely my beliefs stated in parts 1 to 5 i was so upset with this hole debate i felt i had to write down what i felt

part four

look yourself.
if that is aimed at me being mindless and kill first etc then how insulting is that ...
to ask questions is not to be brainwashed
i know nothing i am just a little git that is trying to live on this planet the same as you
i value the chance to sit with decent people and be able to talk without being attacked
proud i served my country
on balance i know less today than the day i was born..

part three serving my country

god i have to learn how to use this laptop still not bad after only two months anyway stu
from my personal expierence there are lots of good people in the forces
re:your first point i could think the same about any part of our society ie i met some nasty coppers do i believe they are all like that no (i have plenty of reasons to mistrust all coppers but i try to be respectfull to each person i meet..

agreed stu no one forced me or anyone in the forces to join.and yes there are a multitude of reasons why people join up.
my point about traffic wardens is that our goverment pays someone more money to stick tickets on a windscreen but that's a hole other issue
proud i served my country
on balance i know less today than the day i was born..

part two serving my country

hi stu
thank god they do or we would have conscription in this country and a lot of us would be forced to either run or go to jail (splitting up familys etc)as happens all across europe again we are lucky we are not put into that situation when i was in germany i met people on the run from the french army they knew they would hve to spend their ife looking over ther shoulder people tend to say all sorts till the moment of crunch god i remember at henge when we all said stick together and we will be ok (as the coppers advanced on us)2 minutes later it was every person for themselfs...

sorry about posting twice think the eagle is playing with the bloody mast again...
proud i served my country
on balance i know less today than the day i was born..

served my country and proud of it

hi paul,
with regards your first point i think people join for a mutitude of reasons why i joined is for me alone to know.
i spent two years before i qualified to were the reme badge during that time people left for the first three months you were able to just walk after that you had to buy yourself out and until that day two years later when they give you the beret they could chuck you out.

your second point necessary evil thats what has always hammered my head when i was in the past spat at etc because i was an ex squaddie scumbag..
with regards marketing i was told from the start what i was in for the first seargent i met had half his face blown off and we watched films about war (and i don't mean holywood )
i don't understand your point about not being able to say no i did many time sometimes i ended up in colchester (jail) other times i didn't sometimes you have to go by the rules if i disagree on this site with something i can be banned for speaking up, i have to decide if i feel strongly about something and then i take the consequences
rules are everywhere only when the shit hits the fan do you find out who you are...
when you are eighteen and standing on guard duty with a loaded weapon and the base down the raod has been blown to bits killing women and children you thak god for your training and yes everyday you make a desicion wether to shoot the base in question was attacked because some felt sorry for the person at the gate and let them through..
(he has to live with that)
i thank god that i did not have to fire my gun in anger but many times i shit myself but stood on duty..
with regards the jumped up middle class officer i remember telling one no (well i actually to him to fuck off before i batter you you fucking shithead)
nothing happened to me the officer wa moved from our unit never heard from him again...

for years i was felf shame for being an ex squaddie no more i hold my head high and i pray all our boys and girls make it home.

i pray for the day when we have peace and love in the world but until that day comes total respect to the forces

it is easy to critcise from the comfort of an armchair in a safe country..
love to us all and if the shit hits the fan i will stand and fight...even though i will be shitting myself again and as for the people that don't have the guts to fight i will and many more like me fight on your behalf..
proud i served my country
on balance i know less today than the day i was born..




I was wondering if it was time to start to pay scapegoats( and if it is should it be backdated)
should they also recieve paid holiday(again should this be backdated)
I believe they save the NHS a fortune each year(emotional punchbags cost a fortune in today's world)
I heard a phrase yesterday pre google (forgive my ignorance)i only as some of you that read this will know only picked up a laptop a couple of months ago.
it made me realise how valuable the internet can be, for years i wondered about the way certain things happen around myself and mel (bit slow on the uptake sometimes well most of the time)
if you have ever wondered if you are ,or have ever been used as a scape goat visit
I hesitate to use the word eurika but i feel as though yesterday i had one of those moments in my life and i thank google for it..
I am tired of being a scapegoat(now relise what it is)and no more will i except either peoples or society's use of me or my wife purely to vent there anger and frustration on..
to many examples and i would hate to bore you with them...
but one i will mention i live as a traveller and as i have parked up at certain places people have said incredibly cruel things now looking back i realise what it was all about well sod them we are intitled to live a happy and free life as well.
hope everone has an amazing day........
proud i served my country
on balance i know less today than the day i was born..

Last edited by andymel : 06-07--2008 at 07:41 AM.

Friday, 4 July 2008

reme my old unit

my old unit which i served in

weapon of mass destruction( oh no it's not it,s my wife)

Mood: In Love
Now Playing: donny osmond puppy love... Date Posted: 04-07--2008 at 07:42 PM - Comments (0)
firstly before i start so i hopefully don't get attacked for this.

1.I love my wife we have been through all sorts over the twenty years we have know each another
2. this is my way of trying to bring in the light hearted side of life
3. can't think of a third anyway this is just a wee joke me and mel share with each other...

........................................ .................................
it came to me today as i was sitting with mel after going through the ringger on a thread about the army...

how to save many lives and save the country a fortune building weapons that break up communication etc:

1. get a big box of chocolates any kind (but cadbury flakes works best) 2 mags ie take a break and pick me up..£10 top up..

2. two sturdy shopping bags

3. give her £100 (boy that is a cheap weapon)

4. tell her she is of to tesco's (any shop will do though )

5. give her a wee hug

6. then drop her of in the middle of the invading army(and i dont care if it's the death star from star wars hilter and his croonies gengis khan any army..that is here to wipe us out....

7.i guarantee within 2 days they will be brought to a standstill

8. then all you have to do is pick her up (i,m not doing it if we are late)

9. you will see the opposing army wondering about totally confused and my wee babe will be there telling me there was two for one at such and such a shop
10. so if the ministry of defence every want a cheap version of a communiction bisabling weapon just call super mel......

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A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film

A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film
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

Loch Ness film festival
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