This is a very clever piece of writing. It fits beautifully into the rubric of the shiteness of being Scottish and will either infuriate or entertain.

The Scottish Government believes that transwomen are women and that this statement is so self-evidently true that it is not even up for debate. I believe that transwomen are not women, and that this statement should not require debate in any rational society.          Which of these two opposite beliefs you hold is important because which […]


Road trip

Since we met on the slopes of Ben Dorian at the start of 2017, Martyn has talked with great animation about his mountaineering club’s hut near Achnasheen, how well placed it is for Torridon, West Monar and much more besides. Circumstances have thwarted all our previous plans to stay here for a few nights and to use it as a base, but last week we were able to coordinate other commitments, and Martyn booked two nights during a period of particularly fine weather. Two days after we returned, despite considerable stiffness and pain round my pelvis, I got out of bed and realised that I was able to stand with both feet flat on the ground, with my knees level, my legs straight and my hips perpendicular to my line of motion.

I consider this to be utterly miraculous.

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The King’s Seat, the pool of the ambitious fish and other long walks

When I reached the summit of Mullach na Coirean last November, I felt that this would be my last Munro. Not only had I taken the tally to 200, my excursions last year into the Mamores and Fannichs meant I had now summited every Munro above 1100 metres, the top 50, which seemed like a good moment to take a step back. Winter was coming and I needed to recover.

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The great betrayal

When the anthropologist Mary Douglas was asked what she thought was the first sign of human civilisation, she answered without hesitation; the oldest fossil of a healed human femur. Here was evidence that while one of their number lay injured, the other humans offered shelter and protection; a wild animal under these circumstances would quickly succumb to predators. Here is the fundamental distinction upon which all society is based, that society is in some sense superior, or different from, more powerful than the brute forces of nature that would compel an individual with a broken femur to lie down and die. Society is something much greater than the individuals who happen at any moment to inhabit it; a civilised society is one which does not allow its members to die just because they have a broken femur.

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