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‘Unfinished’                                                  Edinburgh, October 2019

There’s nothing like being corralled in one’s home during lockdown to cause a longing review of your travel pics.

This shot of Edinburgh’s National Monument of Scotland atop Calton Hill is a particular favourite.

The Monument is a wonderful exemplar of overreaching ambition unmet in actual performance!

Intended as “A Memorial of the Past and Incentive to the Past and Future Heroism of the Men of Scotland ” (phew!), construction of the grand edifice began in 1826 but stopped in 1829 owing to the cash drying up.

It has apparently earned nicknames such as “Scotland’s Folly” , Edinburgh’s Disgrace”, and best of all “The Pride and Poverty of Scotland”.

A bit harsh really.

As I stood in the drizzle gazing at the Grecian columns framing the grey sky, I had a sneaking admiration for those who started something so grand it just could not be completed.

Been there, done (or not quite done) that!


Streets Of Your Town

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“Round and round, up and down

Through the streets of your town

Everyday I make my way

Through the streets of your town”

 – The Go-Betweens, ‘Streets Of Your Town’

A marriage of a picture of one of my favourite towns, Edinburgh, with the lyrics from one of my favourite bands, Brisbane’s Go-Betweens, who spent a good deal of time in the UK forging their career, a long way from home.

There is something about the song that captures the displaced feeling of pounding the pavement in a town that will never be your own.

Song here:

Gravestones And Battlements

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It was a dismal weekday afternoon as we trekked towards Calton Hill in Edinburgh.

Then, joy of joys, just before  our destination I saw some stone stairs leading up to a small cemetery.

Like a rat up a drainpipe, I quickly found my way to this vista, with looming castle battlements to ice the proverbial cake.

Victorian gothic nirvana!

I would have lingered, but my wife and daughter were less than impressed with another funereal photographic detour.

I rejoined them, and when we reached the top of the Hill, the drizzle became hard rain, forming waterfalls down the steps.

So wet, so grey…and I was so happy with it all.

Sometimes I wonder what the f**k is wrong with me.



Sixty one metres of Victorian Gothic goodness towers above Edinburgh’s Princes Street, in tribute to literary great Sir Walter Scott.

The monument is grimy and blackened with weather and age and is all the more striking for it.

The below view, in darkened silhouette, emphasises the spectral in the structure.

Scott was a man of letters – novelist, playwright, historian. I, on the other hand, am somewhat of a philistine  – his monument appears to me as if Dracula had a hand in designing Thunderbird 3(the coolest Thunderbirds rocket)!

Scott Monument, Edinburgh