Monday, 31 January 2011

Scratchy Heed film studio proud to be working with 3 more wonderful musicians from Scotland Tam Cameron , Johnny McCloskey and Allan Chalmers


What a great start to the week. first just after i woke up a guy pulled into the wee site and wanted to buy the car and after a couple of hours the deal was done . great so now its back to the horsebox and no seat belts and a lot easier to drive . not to mention the huge savings of getting back to just the truck and bus ie insurance mot tax etc etc ,

Then i got an email from Tam Cameron to say that the cd of his music was on the way. he has agreed to me using it in my films , i love working with fellow artists and to help get there music out there gives me such a thrill.
meet Tam on Facebook
and myspace where you can listen to his music

And today we have had a great wee storm wind and rain by the bucket full …. free power and water

just going of topic i was watching Click a tech prog on the BBC last night and i saw this great site SOLUTO if you run windows it will help to boot up the system well worth a look .

So as soon as this storms calms doon we are of to Ullapool then a wee bit of filming , skip diving etc love and light from us all here in the wee hovel

About Soluto

About Soluto

magic seen this on the BBC show Click it helps to quicken the time windows takes to reboot MAGIC

Sunday, 30 January 2011

A Perfect Day solar panels and recycling

 Room to breathe ( spot the hovel)


A perfect day in the Scottish highlands sun,wind and a wee bit of rain. The last few days i have got on with recycling the caravan all that free insulation and piles of metal for doing the windows on the bus .
eventually the base of the caravan will become a portable base for the wind genny and solar panels
I have even made a start on building my own wee solar panel for the bus from some wee panels i had for lights
The wee blog now has 800 subscribers to it and over on my channel at you tube that also is growing daily with wonderful comments coming in all the time about my work.

Mel’s health continues to improve and now she is even talking about coming off the anti depressants something i am so happy about now i just have to get her to stop taking the morphine ..

Over on facebook i started a discussion about what is the best thing you have found in a skip , i have been a fan of skips and bins for many years the waste though continues to shock me

I believe it is time that if you chuck stuff into a skip/bin then it should be legal to turn up and take what you want after all ,we are all helping to save more and more stuff going to landfill.
peace and light from the hovel x

Saturday, 29 January 2011

YouTube - BESUREIS - SELLING DREAMS (Crippled in Pink U.S. version)

YouTube - BESUREIS - SELLING DREAMS (Crippled in Pink U.S. version)

some new friends from London hope you enjoy , love and light

Skip diving...have you ever? - Forums

Skip diving...have you ever? - Forums

STV, UTV to simulcast 'Born Fighting'

STV and UTV, the ITV licence holders in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively, have agreed a partnership to simulcast landmark documentary, Born Fighting.

Starting on February 1 at 8pm, STV and UTV will both air the two-part documentary, marking the first time that they have simultaneously shown a programme.

Born Fighting is a two-part mini-series following American Senator and author Jim Webb as he charts the incredible story of the Scots-Irish in Scotland, Ireland and America.

Co-produced by STV, UTV and the Smithsonian Channel, the documentary also features dramatic reconstructions of historical events and contributions from academic experts.

Senator Webb said: "I wrote Born Fighting after many years of thought and painstaking research. It is a singular pleasure to have been able to work with these three partners, spearheaded by Alan Clements and STV, to bring the essence of this book into a powerful visual format."

Alan Clements, director of content at STV, said: "This is a unique collaboration between STV, UTV and Smithsonian Channel, and together we have delivered a fascinating and revealing series.

"I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Senator Webb on this exciting project, and I think viewers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and America will be compelled by his personal journey to explore the trail of the Scots-Irish."

UTV managing director Michael Wilson added: "I am delighted to have forged this production partnership with STV and Smithsonian to make a great programme relevant to all our audiences.

"Senator Webb's book is a very personal view of the journey from Scotland, through Ulster and to America of his ancestors. His history of the Scots-Irish and their success in America will be fascinating to many of UTV's viewers and Born Fighting captures the essence of their history in a beautifully produced series."

Friday, 28 January 2011

Save Raf and Rn Search and Rescue (10)

Save Raf and Rn Search and Rescue (10)

Please pop over and help stop this

sign here

Barefoot and Timeless a wee tale from the dafthermit


Sitting in my wee studio here in the Scottish mountains , i watch from the window as yet another wonderful day begins .Flocks of wee birds feast hungrily to ward of the icy start to the day .
Each morning i check my email and as always i am deeply moved by them and once again i want to thank all that leave comments , email me or simply visit oor wee site , I have said before how shocked i am that my pictures films etc have such a positive effect on people.

Over the last few days news from the middle east and beyond has shown me how powerful the internet has become . Governments all across the globe now realise that people will not stand for being treated with no respect and they run scared from you tube facebook etc ..

By simply coming together we can all make our voices heard in the deepest darkness and we will make this a better place for our children.
It is Mel’s 52nd birthday today and after having her morning coffee and fag in bed she has gone back to sleep . I love her so much her strength through the tough times has amazed me and each day i find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with her.

Living a simple life has given me more time to simply think and stare and having ditched my watch many years ago into a long forgotten river freeing myself from that shackle .Time here at the hovel has no meaning we don’t chase the clock and strangely we get so much more done and when we want to sleep we sleep
One of my favourite things to do is to go barefoot to the loch something special about discarding shoes and socks and feeling the earth between you toes.

So as i head of and get some wood chopped i pray that all the people who are fighting for a better world stay safe and to those governments that have for years bullied and worse WATCH OUT YOUR TIME IS SHORT run and hide and leave this world for the people to live a happier life .

Love and light x

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tam's Playlist Playlist By Tam Cameron on Myspace

Tam's Playlist Playlist By Tam Cameron on MyspaceTam's Playlist Playlist By Tam Cameron on Myspace

A friend from up here in the highlands

DAZ 3D - Free 3D Software and 3D Model Providers

DAZ 3D - Free 3D Software and 3D Model Providers

New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel STV interview on you V interview on you tubetube

here is the link to our STV interview on You Tube , well embarassing lol

YouTube - yhbecpublisher's Channel

YouTube - yhbecpublisher's Channel

As members of the Rainbow Tribe, we live in many parts of the world while traveling our individual path on this our shared journey called Planet Earth.

We are modern day warriors defending our rights and those of the planet we live on.

We are Dreamers, Painters, Poets, Musicians, Writers and Friends of Nature.......

We are the Rainbow Tribe!

Hope Rocks

This film is the first in a series to do with HOPE ROCKS this is an idea my friend Lille in America came up with , it is simple just find some wee rocks paint them with HOPE and hide them anywhere for people to find then take a picture and visit either us at our blog or pop over and see Lille at hers ..

Lille's blog:

and oor wee blog

Visit Fort William

Visit Fort William: "Your one stop shop for everything in Fort William"

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Death of a Eagle


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 ….

Article: Shocking death of golden eagle
Article: Fury as another golden eagle is poisoned
The Independent on Sunday

Penrith Tale

Penrith Cumbria
It had been a really good day ,i had sold a bird table ,two nest boxes and a windmill i had made the day before .one of the best things about making woodcraft items was the people you got to meet through it.
Mel had just shouted "Dinner" and i had just packed all the tools away for the night and was just looking around it was so lovely the night was warm and the mountains in the distance were an incredible colour the lake district really is a stunning place.
I shut the boot and walked up the side of the bus mouth watering thinking about my dinnr we had been shopping earlier in the day and i knew we had some nice treats.
Just as i was about to open the door this large Range Rover came tearing doon the road and stopped only feet away the drivers door swung open and a huge bloke dressed in country tweeds complete with hat stormed out of the range rover and headed straight towards me .
He stopped inches from me and instantly launched into a full on abusive attack basically we were to f**k of take our bus and all the crap laying around (my woodcaft)and between his friend the chief constable and a few other people we would be gone in the morning or else.
(All i could think was shit my diner will be getting cold.)
After about 3 or 4 minutes his neck looked like it was about to burst i tried to talk to him but he ignored me and just ranted and ranted .
i eventually had, had enough and told him to sod of and get whoever .
He turned on his heels and headed back to his car and after slamming the door he opened the window and carried on his abuse to me by this time mel was standing by me asking what was going on and when she heard him shouting started shouting at him in her broad YORKSHIRE kindly leave or words to that effect..
I watched as he slammed the car into gear and it lurched forward after three attemps he still hadn't managed to turn the car around i couldn't help myself i shouted and asked if he needed some help to turn the car that really set him of and with the air turning blue drove off we could still hear him shouting a mile down the road..
During dinner we talked about what we should do and after a wee while we decided to see what happened the next day.i had a couple calling over in the afternoon to pick up some nest boxes and a large chair i had made .
After a restless night in which every noise we heard we imagined a load of cars turning up to SORT US OUT
nothing happened, and the morning was glorious the sun was so warm and it was still only 7.00am.
eventually we started to relax a bit and the day wa really nice and i met a lovely womaan who called down and we talked abou everything she really liked the coach and asked if she could look inside .
after an hour os so she left putting an order in for two bird tables and a small box saying that a bloke called tony would call over for them on friday she paid me even though i said i would rather wait till i had made them and left .
not long after she left the couple turned up and paid me and took there stuff .
all in all a superb day and during all this we had forgot all about the crazy Rangerover man.
friday came and tony arrived i found out he was a game keeper and during a coffeee he told me do you know who that wee women that had put the order for the woodcraft in was Lady Lowther and she had come down after the estate manager had stormed back shouting about us after meeting me and mel she had went back and told him to leave us alone 6 months later we headed out onto the open road
Lady Lowther had put the two birdtables by the main entrance and me and mel often have a wee chuckle imagining that sod having to drive through the main gates every day past our two BIRDTABLES..

Some of my wee fictional tales from the Scottish highlands


Below are 4 of my fictional tales from 2010 i hope you enjoy them . The Piper and the Final leap were published in our local paper

The Rock

The Piper of Glascarnoch

The Final Leap two Monarchs

The Tree the highland Guardian

Sunday, 16 January 2011

URGENT: We need your help on 25 January . Corriemoillie Wind Farm planning meeting

**URGENT: We need your help on 25 January!**

Dear Friends

Your final chance to object to the proposed Corriemoillie wind farm is
on Tuesday 25th January.

The Highland Council Planning Committee will meet on that day at
Dingwall Town Hall at 10.30am. We have been advised that a large
anti-Corriemoillie windfarm group will make a significant impact on
the Councillors. Please come along and give your support, and pass on
the details to any fellow objectors you can muster.

If possible, bring a "VOTE NO TO CORRIEMOILLIE" placard. Spare
placards may be available on the day.

We appreciate that this is a working day, and that it will probably be
a chilly vigil, but it is so important that we demonstrate the
strength of local feeling (93% of the comments received on the
Highland Council website were objectors to this application).

The crucial period is 9.30-10.30 am, when the councillors will start
to arrive. We will not know when the Corriemoillie planning
application will appear on the agenda, or how long the meeting will
take until a few days before the meeting. We will put all information
up on the website, so please visit the site to keep updated.

Some members of the public will be able to attend the meeting as
observers, but will not be allowed to speak. Therefore, making our
views known to the councillors as they go into the meeting is
extremely important.

Anyone who is prepared to stand outside the Council Buildings for the
duration of the meeting will be provided with food and hot drinks.
Transport will leave from outside the Village Hall in Achnasheen at
around 8.30am and Garve Village Hall at approximately 8.45am. There
will be a return journey to Garve and Achnasheen at around 11am, and
further transport will be provided at the end of the meeting. We'll
post full details on the website.

Please let us know if you can help as soon as possible - email us at or telephone 07810 540994

* if you are able to attend on the 25th
* how long you can stay
* how many people you can bring
* if you require transport to and from Achnasheen/Garve to Dingwall
* alternatively, if you can give anyone a lift.

Thank you in advance for your support - we hope to see you in Dingwall
on the 25th!

Kind regards
Jackie West

On behalf of Stop Corriemoillie, a group of local residents and many
others opposed to inappropriate development in the Garve and
Achnasheen vicinity.


PS: we have endeavoured to only email 'local' objectors,
however, one or two of you outwith Scotland may have been
included in error, we apologise for any inconvenience.
However, we feel sure you'll be pleased to know that we
are still actively fighting this proposed development.



* Scottish National Heritage is now raising serious concerns about
this proposed site.

* When the immediately adjacent Lochluichart wind farm site was
approved, the Highland Council stated that this site was not suited
for more than 17 wind turbines. Corriemoillie will take the wind
turbines on this site to 36 (and possibly 49 with the proposed
Lochluichart extension of another 13 turbines).

* Our cause has been backed by the community as well as the general
public at every occasion a ballot or consultation has been undertaken.
There is no majority public support for wind turbines in this area.
After the closing date for comments in December, the following was
recorded from the planning section of the Highland Council's website -
93% of respondents are against the new revised Corriemoillie
application. This is up from 71% opposed to the original Lochluichart
proposal. We would have expected more, were it not for the short
consultation period, and the fact that respondents have already had to
write in four times in five years.

* Whatever the developers say it will affect tourism; hill walkers
will be less inclined to explore the area and wildlife including birds
such as the Golden Eagle and Osprey will suffer. Visit Scotland will
be selling industry not beauty.

See website for more:
Email us:

You are receiving this email because you confirmed your objection to the
proposed Corriemoillie development. If you have received this email in error
please accept our apologies - please either click the unsubscribe link
below, or simply reply and enter 'unsubscribe' in the subject
line - we will ensure that your email details are deleted immediately.
We respect your privacy, and would not want to send you any information
you would rather not receive.

If you wish to share the above information with other interested parties,
please click on 'forward to a friend'.
Many thanks!

Friday, 14 January 2011

~Woodstock Lily~: Hope Rocks Starts Today!

Woodstock Lily~: Hope Rocks Starts Today!

A visit from my old friend “Depression”

SEA1 103 (4)



This morning as i woke from a long sleep i knew i had company.

As i sat up and dangled my feet over the side of the bed my old friend depression was all around i could feel every cell in my body being visited a cloud of darkness that swept through my whole body until it reached my brain ..


For many years i have lived with it and for a short spell i was on drugs for it but in a few days they were quickly tossed into the river one day..


The modern world seems to think that everything can be sorted by taking a pill , no time to think quick take this and move on.


It is only in the last few years i have learned not to fight it ,but to accept that it is part of who i am and now i welcome it as a friend . To live in this world and not feel depressed at some time seems almost alien to me and the wash of depression shows to ME that i still care and feel for events across the globe or closer to home.


Living in the mountains and living a simple life allows me the time to let my friend come and go


Phrases from people such as pull your socks up etc ring more hollow now than they ever have done . so easy to hurl a stock phrase until the day you are visited by the black dog.


At the age of fifty i take nothing for it , the one thing i have changed is i no longer drink i believe this is what threw me on the visits

not understanding what was happening to me .

So now this old hermit sits with his friend and chats and almost always after a visit my thoughts are clearer and a visit to my studio results in a film a story etc that had been struggling to get out ..


peace and light











Thursday, 13 January 2011

Pray for Peace - Ellen Bass

Many thanks to my good friend Michelle for sending me this , love and light to all from the wee hovel in the sky xx

Pray to whoever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or marble or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
Adonai, Allah, raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekinhah, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.

Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
to terriers and shepherds and siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.

Pray to the bus driver who takes you to work,
pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
If you haven't been on a bus in a long time,
climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.

Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latté and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.

Making love, of course, is already a prayer.
Skin and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile case we are poured into,
each caress a season of peace.

If you're hungry, pray. If you're tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.
Pray to the angels and the ghost of your grandfather.

When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else's legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheel chair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer that as the earth revolves
we will do less harm, less harm, less harm.

And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas, pray for peace.

With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.

Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds for peace, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.

Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your VISA card. Gnaw your crust
of prayer, scoop your prayer water from the gutter.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.
pray for peace - ellen bass

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Some more random thoughts from the hovel

TO TICKLE THE IVORIES a wee phrase that could end up haunting all of humanity
Off to tattoo a flower on my cats bum just so i have something pleasant to wake up too . Thanks for the laughs guys x
Love and light
No matter what i do or say i canny make my cat understand that sticking its arse in my face As i wake up is NOT LOVE
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck its a bloody DUCK dont let anyone convince you otherwise
You should always listen to that wee guy INSTINCT . Ignored him twice this week the idiot that i am
In love .flying through the mountains new inspiration at every turn
YIKES need to change the weeks too days to get it all done
2011 has landed at full gallop

Scratchy Heed Film Studio

Scratchy Heed Film Studio

the story behind my wee studio here in the Scottish highlands



Saint Kilda (1)

Saint Kilda (1)

new band from Fife many thanks Valerie for the link love and light x

YouTube - DestinationOban's Channel

YouTube - DestinationOban's Channel

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Cottages Scotland

Cottages Scotland

YouTube - LITTER PICKING in the company of Deer in the Scottish Highlands

YouTube - LITTER PICKING in the company of Deer in the Scottish Highlands

As winter eases her icy grip and the snows recede up the glens ,all the crap that people have left while viewing the sheer beauty of the highlands rears its ugly head . HOW !!!!!! can YOU sit and wonder then toss your crap you mindless idiot , take it home and bin IT ....

Monday, 3 January 2011

Highland Hospice - Community

Highland Hospice - Community

Inspire Highland - Building for the Future

As a result of a growing and ageing population across the Highlands, the need for beds has increased by more than 30% since the 1980s. We've seen a similar increase in the need for our day care unit and our services in communities throughout the region.
We know this rising demand will continue. In fact, we believe that to cope with the increasing complexity of life threatening illness, the growing and ageing population and developing technologies we need to expand our services by 20-40% over the next two decades.
Because of its age, location and structure it will not be possible for us to grow to such an extent at Ness Hosue, which means we will have to consider moving or developing and extending the existing site soon.
Despite all these changes we still hold the same vision as always, where access to specialist palliative care services and support is available equitably throughout the community and we will continue to keep this in mind throughout any developments that take place. In fact, it is because of this vision that we are considering the expansion and development options. To read more on the vision of Highland Hospice, please see our Future Vision.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Creativity a wee poem by Mel



It is said that we all have a spark off creativity within us.
Finding it is a work of art in its self.
Sent of each day to seek inspiration by mountains or streams
we returned to reflect  ,write and share our work.
The mist hung low ,hiding the glory’s of the glens and the vibrant colours of Autumn.
The mysteries are there, just open your eyes and you’ll be there .

                                    The End

Scotblood - Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Scotblood - Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Our Scotland - Let the world know about Your Scotland

Our Scotland - Let the world know about Your Scotland

Scotland from the Roadside... a journey round Scotland!

Scotland from the Roadside... a journey round Scotland!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

YouTube - Hangover Cure (The highland way )

YouTube - Hangover Cure (The highland way )


This is a well kept secret from the Scratchy Heed Film Studio up here in the wonderful highlands of Scotland . After several emails and comments with regards hangovers i thought i would share with you all (even though i risk certain death for passing this on ) ,this sure fired ancient remedy for the dreaded HANGOVER . please pass it on to help all the others who are suffering at this time . my main blog

love and light for 2011 from the wee hermits .

I hope you enjoyed the latest wee film from us and i look forward to 2011 and sharing the journey with you all.....

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Love and light

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
On Facebook

Northern Lights

Northern Lights
By submitting your story you could win £2500, and we have lots of smaller cash awards up for grabs so don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to be the first to learn about them. You can also put yourself in the running to be our Best Ambassador by talking about us and tagging us @wernlights on Twitter or @wearenorthernlights on Facebook.

Creative Boom Scotland

Spreading love and peace



Scottish Independence TV

Scottish Independence TV
This group has been set up to raise awareness of Scottish Independence in the run up to the 2014 referendum. We also welcome groups that support Palestine, Wales, Catalonia, The Basque and a United Ireland. We promote healthy debate on this group feel free to add your friends or anyone you think may be interested in the topics discussed here. We will also be setting up a youtube channel so anyone who can make decent videos message the admin. Twitter accounts and Blogspot pages will also be linked to this group so watch this space! Saor Alba!


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Helping Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Lives!

Helping Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Lives!
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Sally Hope

Greenpeace UK