Highland Pride, Hector MacDonald, and How to Cover Up a Colonial Crisis

Powerful nonce
Reading Time: 6 minutes
 

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As part of LGBT history month in Scotland, Highland Pride have curated an exhibition in Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. While the exhibition on the whole features some fantastic LGBTQ+ voices, the inclusion of alleged paedophile Sir Hector MacDonald is at best disingenuous and at worst a deliberate and harmful misrepresentation.

February is LGBT History Month Scotland, and as a result Highland Pride are putting on various events and exhibitions around Inverness. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and someone who’s lived in the Highlands most of their life I’m thrilled to see queer culture celebrated here – a lot has changed since I was a scared kid coming out to a world that didn’t understand and made sure to bully me brutally for being different. With this in mind, I was excited to visit Highland Pride’s community exhibition Highland Pride History – Past and Present at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Promising interviews with prominent contemporary LGBTQ+ individuals juxtaposed with profiles of historical queerness, this seemed like the perfect beginning to LGBT history month.

Boy was I wrong.

The exhibition is very small – but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s decorated with a range of LGBTQ+ flags and is eye catching, crisp and rather aesthetically appealing. Unfortunately, this was where the excitement ended. I was immediately drawn to the profile of Sir Hector MacDonald; a Gordon Highlanders soldier and later British Army general who was accused at the time of having homosexual relations. What the profile does not state, however, is that these relations were with young boys.

Despite sections of the profile being lifted almost word for word from his Wikipedia page, all mentions of MacDonald’s alleged paedophilia have been removed in Highland Pride’s display. Words repeatedly omitted from the exhibit include “young boys” and “teenage”. The profile also states that MacDonald’s eventual suicide was a result of allegations of homosexual activity – again failing to mention that allegations concerned sexual activity with children. A photograph of the exhibit can be found at the end of this article along with a transcription.

The exhibition states that MacDonald had been “having a sexual relationship with two Burgher men along with regularly visiting a club of dubious repute”. This is taken almost word for word from his Wikipedia page, whilst obfuscating the fact that these ‘Burgher men’ were the teenage sons of a local man, and that the ‘club of dubious repute’ was a known sex club soliciting underage boys to adult men for money. [1] The Wikipedia page explicitly states both of these facts in the same paragraph the as the information presented by Highland Pride; providing compelling evidence that the organisers were aware of the allegations of statutory rape against Hector Macdonald, and chose to edit them out and publish a complimentary narrative about a wronged gay man instead.

Furthermore, these allegations are not merely uncited Wikipedia soundbites. Historian Denis Judd writes “MacDonald had taken advantage of the relatively relaxed Sinhalese attitude towards homosexual activity to become systematically involved with, possibly, scores of local boys” [2].

In Victorian Britain, legislation was only in place criminalising sexual abuse of girls under 13 years old [3] – therefore creating the potential argument that MacDonald’s conduct was not a crime, however I suspect that Highland Pride would agree that regardless of legality, it is morally and ethically unacceptable to sexually abuse children. This begs the question – why was Hector MacDonald included in the exhibition in the first place? The ‘author’ of the profile has deliberately removed all but one reference to sexual conduct with young boys, and the instance wherein it was not removed is ambiguous enough to be misconstrued as young men.

By celebrating MacDonald in a queer context, we suggest that his crimes are acceptable. Not only this, we heighten his profile – perpetuating harmful stereotypes surrounding homosexuality and child abuse. This is neither appropriate nor tolerable in modern society, especially in a political climate such as that of the Scottish Highlands.

Lastly, Highland Pride’s profile of MacDonald states that “homosexuality was not illegal there”, referring to Ceylon or modern-day Sri Lanka. What they fail to mention is that the criminalisation of homosexuality in the British Empire was due to British rule – a despicable truth that many former colonies are still recovering from. Why Highland Pride would choose to celebrate an Imperial British Army General whose role in the Empire directly oppressed the LGBTQ+ communities within the colonies is certainly a question which needs to be raised.

The other profiles within the exhibition are both interesting and informative – despite some spelling errors and questionable referencing. It is refreshing to see an exhibition which puts LGBTQ+ folks, especially transgender people, at the forefront when they’ve found themselves persecuted for centuries for simply existing. Unfortunately, the exhibition was severely let down by the inclusion of MacDonald and the deliberate exclusion of the darker parts of his story. While it’s fantastic to see an LGBTQ+ organisation of Highland Pride’s size and public platform in the Highlands, it is of vital importance that history is accurately reported and is not whitewashed in order to fit a narrative.

“Sir Hector MacDonald was born in 1853 and grew up near Dingwall. He led an extraordinary life, becoming a war hero and respected general and earning himself a few monuments around the country, before his death in 1903. Colloquially known as ‘Fighting Mac’, Sir Hector remains one of the few people known to rise from the ranks to Major General in the armed forces. Hector’s father crofter and stonemason William, and his mother Ann had five children; William, Donald, Ewen, John and Hector. Hector’s brother, William, went on to become a Reverend, known as ‘Preaching Mac’. Hector left school at fifteen to become an apprentice draper in Dingwall before going to work for a tweed warehouse in Inverness. At seventeen, he joined the Gordons [sic] Highlanders at Fort George.

He worked through the non-commissioned ranks quickly and for his service in the Second Afghanistan War was offered the Victoria Cross or a commission. He chose to become a commissioned officer in his regiment and continue his service. In the First Boer War and during the Battle of Majuba Hill he was captured. After his capture General Joubert, of the South African Republic, admired Hector’s bravery so much that he returned Hector’s sword. He went on to serve in Egypt, followed by an effort to evacuate British and Egyptian troops from Sudan at the beginning of the Mahdi War, and then became a captain, training allied Sudanese troops. After fighting in the Battle of Toski Hector was given the Distinguished Servicer [sic] Order.

At the Battle of Omdurman Sir Hector once again distinguished himself. When the British Commander, Lord Kitchener, exposed his flanks, Hector skilfully repositioned his troops in an arc and held ground against the Mahdist army while Lord Kitchener redeployed his troops. After the battle Sir Hector was personally thanked by parliament and appointed an Aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria. Hector went on to fight in South Africa and became a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

Sir Hector was Commander-in-Chief of British Soldiers in Ceylon, what is now Sri Lanka, when rumours started circulating around his conduct with other men, particularly that he was having a sexual relationship with two Burgher men along with regularly visiting a club of dubious repute. When a local tea planter caught Sir Hector in a railway carriage with four young Sinhalese men and made public allegations, other people then came forward accusing him of sexual relations with many of the sons of renowned people in the colony.

Sir Hector was sent back to London to avoid a scandal, but Lord Roberts, Commander-in-Chief of the army, sent Hector back to Sri Lanka to face a court marshal [sic] – homosexuality was not illegal there at the time. On his journey back, after reading about himself in the breakfast newspaper, he shot himself in the room of his hotel.

After his death Sir Hector was absolved of all allegations against him. He was buried in Edinburgh, and the case files were destroyed.”

 

 

 

[1] Judd, D. (2012). Empire: The British Imperial Experience, from 1765 to the Present. London: I.B. Tauris, p.171.

[2] Judd, Empire, (2012) p.172.

[3] Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Offences against the Person Act 1875, sections 3&4.

 

 

 

 

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Doors Open Days – 1st September 2018

Reading Time: 12 minutes

By Cornwallace

Intro:

One of the things for me about Open Doors Day is local opportunity.  Another is thoughts of travel, and how different parts of the world conduct this sort of experience that is on offer in the event Open Door Days. 

The pamphlet on hand and distributed uniformly through the places I visited, states that it is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust (& Co.).  This handout also stated that the main opportunity to see some things in Inverness was the first weekend, Sat 1st and Sunday 2nd of September.  The other chance is one event on the final day, in Week 5.

The front of the Brochure/ Pamphlet to look for

I’m using this pamphlet gratuitously as my one point of reference, as it was just the blue signs on the fences or gates or doors of places on the day that got me aware of this event.  That and this pamphlet, as it was given to me in a couple of places when we were there.  Research = zero, but that’s no reason to not review how we experienced it on the Saturday.

 

 

This is the schedule of places and times and dates across September

 

Overview:

Basically the idea of Doors Open Days is as it says on the box – as from the perspective of the Scottish Civic Trust, in a high level partnership with a range of Councils and Trusts, etc.  This is about opening the doors of the beautiful buildings that you see in Inverness-Shire, both Easter and Wester Ross, Caitness and Badenoch & Strathspey. 

This is where I get back to places around the world, particularly because the four buildings I saw in Inverness and highlight below were all churches.  Different cities and towns around the world offer access to varying degrees.  Some you can walk into but have to pay, some by donation, or free and regularly open for anyone to walk in – or who more regularly keep their doors shut. 

Inverness generally keeps the doors of many of these spots closed.  Even on a day like this, not all options were available.  For example, I was keen to look in the ‘Inverness East Church of Scotland’ on Academy Street, but it was one of a number that weren’t open. 

Saying that, Inverness isn’t shy of the odd church here and there, so there was still plenty to see.  I also had a visitor staying, so it was a nice way to combine a walk in the sun, getting groceries, having lunch out and also bumping into volunteers for the Ness Book Fair (https://nessbookfest.wordpress.com/ ) while shopping for other stuff in EastGate.  In between that we slipped through 4 churches.  For me, they always look so beautiful from the outside, and curiosity takes hold about how they are on the inside.  

I went to this event a couple of years ago, and I was prepared to be slippery like an eel to be out and away and doing all the other stuff as well, but also not sitting down for a cup of tea and a chat.

Actually, take those chats as you do.  With the right people they can be great.  However, this year I was pleased that I came along a lot less ‘let’s talk about…’ and more ‘what would you like to ask?’ 
There were still cups of coffee offered, and information and people sitting waiting to talk to whoever walked through the doors.  For e.g. my friend who I went with asked an interesting (to me) question relating to weddings in the Free Church, about not having a central isle to walk down.  Another about the difference between St Marys having a white stone altar or front to their dark wood one.  The range of questions we asked were things of interest (again, to us, anyway) and taken and answered really well in all of the places.

For a review of the actual places/ buildings, I’ll do this just below.  The photos are so you can have some form of objective perspective, as well as a chance to see inside these genuinely beautiful places that are mostly, sadly for me, closed.  In this though, I saw how the event would have taken a lots of resources to put on, for e.g. the high level of volunteer help in the places was great for the people going through. 

The rest of this review below will just be subjective filler, things that happened or thoughts or facts about the places.  It’s funny, it might be easier to be objective in reviewing a building as an object than it would be a band as an entity (or however you want to think about it). 
There are other moving parts though in trying to think of a review on space and buildings instead of a gig – the history of the building and one’s own feelings towards it, either over time, or on one day going in – whether it could be thought of the same as a specific gig for a band.

I don’t know if that idea will hold up.  Let’s see…

 

Ness Bank Church:

There was a small but busy bunch of volunteers as the first thing that we saw entering into the Ness Bank Church.  They were sorting out their paperwork and tidying up their pamphlets and assorted paraphernalia as we came in for a poke around.  That didn’t stop us from getting an official brochure, though – they were on the ball.  As was the main man, for it was a man, conducting the show in an apricotty (or salmon – some colour named after food) cardie.  He was funny, effusive, and open to showing people around, should they wish to.

      

Plain wood ceiling – for some reason particularly pleasant                                

 

Ness Bank Church, coming down the haugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a really good looking church from within, one of my favourites, particularly for the uniform and sparse wooden ceiling.  I’m usually for all sorts of bells and whistles up there on a church ceiling, showcasing the best artistic talent and local tastes that there are to offer.  However, there is something about this place, with the plain but extremely well-crafted ceiling, the raw stone within and the homey dedicated rag-work art by the congregation.  There’s a name for it – it’s even a big cultural thing in some places like the Southern States of the Us of A.. – quilting!  That’s it.  Good counterpoints to the old-school stone and wood, and showed a side of congregation hanging out together and doing stuff, I’m guessing.    

Looking back on it, Iron Maiden on this beauty would have rocked hard

                                                

Wood, raw stone, and quilting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was the organist playing away giving mood and atmosphere.  I was tempted to shout out ‘you know any Maiden’ (The ‘Iron’ in Iron Maiden is of course redundant and unnecessary when shouted out this way.  It is a given, even in Churches).  However, we were quite liking her choices and left her to her own discretion, as the staff did to ours, apart from pointing out where we could go upstairs and get a better view for the photos.  Nice of them, hey!

It’s an interesting thing to review a church, and this is the 1st of 4, so the place for me to work out how. 

A little sample of the lead-lighting

Thinking about this structurally for the review, there is a bit of crossover for/ with gigs – there was music and there were chats had, and learning done.  They are one of the only places to have the consecrated wafer and wine already set out before people at church so they save some time in the proceedings of the service, for e.g.  The best crossover aspect for the analogy seems to be when thinking about both of them as a moment in time, and in this respect, we enjoyed the place and the space.

In preparation for wafer and wine.  Respect to the prep!

In terms of trying to say the same sort of thing across the board for the 4 churches in terms of recommendation to try to get there, probably the easiest way to go about it is to have a look at the photos and see if you’d want to look inside. 

For the people hosting it on the day in the Ness Bank Church, they were friendly and informative, if that helps any decisions on the matter.

 

St Mary’s Church:

We crossed over the bridge, I loaded up the backpack with goodies at Tescos (should have done that at the end, in hindsight) and we moved to St Mary’s, again sitting on the riverside. 

River frontage of St Mary’s Church
Some nice people had already bought him flowers.  He was well chuffed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The volunteers for this church were very consciously, it looked, more hands-off.  Actually it was half ‘we respect your space,’ and half ‘we’re actually busy organising other things,’ but the benefit of being left to ourselves was positive, and we explored accordingly.

This is one of those ones where the church was definitely beautiful in its own right.  Much different to the others seen, as aligned to variations of type according to and aligned with the various denominations.                    

Beautiful and ornate….
But also with a little chique industrial feel in the corners.

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

This one had white marble altar, ornate and intricate and such.  And a lot of Sacre Coure sorta stuff – the statue and paintings with Jesus or Mary either having their heart displayed, or heart glowing beams of light.

The contradictions of the images on display was probably the biggest out of the 4 places we visited, with the caveat it had more on display for that to happen also. 
By way of example, there were long and high lead-light windows with important events of the bible depicted, but also ones with cascades of flowers coming into the picture, or random stuff like a guy with a guitar, or kids playing football (spoiler alert: the red lead-light kid hogs possession over the blue one, poor kid.  The speed of the game and the ball-hogging tendencies was I figured a homage to the Spanish team’s tactics in this year’s World Cup).

        

“You Reds!!!  C’mon You Reds!!!”
Interesting contrast of imagery on the walls, e.g. these 2 here…

                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underneath these bright positive communal images there was also a line of images on what may be thought of as inverted crests.  These were much more ‘keep in line’ sorta images, more than one of them being Jesus getting whipped by the Romans, for e.g..  How these component parts come together in the religion is known to many, I expect, and not much a pot I’m inclined to stir.  However, the balance of these images juxtaposed against each other made for good conversation between us, that’s for sure.  We liked the place in a respectful kinda way, and then moved on.

Free Church:

Over the bridge again – Grieg St one this time – but still on the riverfront, where we next headed to the Free Church. 

 

Free Church was too big to get into the photo once I’d crossed the bridge.
That scale shows inside as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember seeing the inside 2 years before and wanting to see it again, but this was the heart of ‘have a cup of tea, and let me tell you a little something about our Lord.  You’re familiar with our Lord, I take it…’ last time.  Feel a bad person for saying it, but have to in order to put that against the experience this year. 
This personified the happiness of the day for me, in being able to pop into somewhere beautiful, and cared about by a community (or congregation in this context) and just ask them the things we wanted to.  They were kind – for e.g. they let us go to the top of the altar and see the view that the Pastor (or other name of your choosing) would see – which is a really good view.

The view from the highest of the 3 places available for preaching at the front.

I should also say that this was my friend’s favourite.  The questions like those mentioned above, such as not having a centre aisle for weddings, or why they chose to be so different to the Catholic church we just came from brought more questions, more engagement with the volunteers, more smiles. 

They were informative, knowledgeable, and if I wasn’t such a chicken and also needing to get continuing with other things in the day, then the home-baked goodies to go with the proffered cup of tea that looked tasty from afar may have been sampled and chat had.  This Saturday though, we had to keep moving.  Luckily the next one was basically just up the way.

You’d think it’s all about the space and the ceiling, but the curved seating was another touch where the builders thought about what they wanted for the congregation.

High Church:

The word is that there’s been some sort of church on this space since the 6th Century, when the Picts were chatted to and were down with the idea.  Might have been one of their last chances for input in the local area, but that’s just one for the history buffs to niggle each other about.

      

The outside of the Church, which I saw a bit, while my friend was zoned in on.…

                           

…“BunnyFest (as above).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took a little while to get into the Church, both because of the beauty of the graveyard surrounding it, and also that this very graveyard had a cute bunny in it. 
Accompanying friend duly had a very touching moment with said rabbit, where they got to know each other across a safe gazing distance.  Took time to build up the rapport, but this was a lovely day outside, and they were indeed having a moment, so who am I to push into that space.

Eventually though, being human, my friend tried to get that little bit too close to the rabbit and that was that, spell broken and we could go in.

 

   

Main altar, to the side of the Church
This meant that there needed to be some ‘creative’ seating arrangements

 

The interesting part about this space for me is that the main altar is on one side rather than an end of the building, and how the seating wraps itself around in accordance to that. 
It is another good looking church with simple but extremely well crafted full wood ceiling.  My apologies for my photos re the ceiling, just couldn’t get one to focus right.  Maybe it was the dark wood absorbing common perceptions and notional understand of light.  Playing with the fundamental dancing in and out of corporeal form of spirits both on the wing and in the rafters.  Then again me stuffing up possibly had something to do with this bad photography also.  One shouldn’t always blame immutable spirits manifesting in corporeal yet shifting form for their inability to get the photo into focus.  Anyway, apologies – it is interesting inside, we got another invitation to another cuppa (but I think only as they were putting on the kettle anyway, and they were nice people), as well as more help, more information, and more smiles.

It is an interesting layout of church, and one with an interesting history.  Architecturally inside it wasn’t necessarily my favourite, but still interesting and worth a visit.

Just couldn’t focus on this ceiling.  Meaningful, or mistake…(Mistake).

 

Conclusion:

In true Nettle fashion, arse-backwards by chance I stumbled fortuitously across this event.

I say fortuitously as I liked the event and wanted to let people know that there are still 4 weeks of options, even if they are out across away a few hours.  Depends on how much you like buildings, architecture, history, a drive through the countryside, a walk through town, etc.  If you like that type of stuff, have a look and see if there’s anything of interest to you on the rest of the weekends throughout September.  This above was 4 places on Saturday the 1st that we visited:

I was happy that I was able to get to see the insides of these building, especially as they are often closed.  The event is a great collaboration between a number of Councils, Trusts, etc.  Is this sort of thing is your cup of tea (of coffee, perhaps with a home-baked slice) then I highly recommend it.  There was a lot of effort, coordination and, importantly, volunteers on the ground to make this a success.  I’m glad it was, and hoping that there’s some more open doors next year.

 

 

A divergent ramble about random weekend offerings in Inverness 3/11/17 – 4/11/17

stetsonhead-marketbar
Reading Time: 6 minutes

A weekend in Inverness, featuring Stetsonhead, Stravinsky, Highland Techno Collective, Sargent Major and others

 

So, there was a plan for the weekend.  There genuinely was.  It’d been a little while since I’d gone and seen some live music, and I also wanted to dabble with my first foray of doing exactly what I’m doing now – a review for here. 

So far so good, and this feeling doubled up when I saw what was on offer.  Walking past the front of Hoots I had a peruse of the poster of what’s on for the month and Saturday night came up trumps with The Mystic Shoes.  Later on in the day saw the StetsonHead were playing the Market on Friday night.  The ‘plan’ seemed perfect enough.  Two exceptionally good experiences to be had, showcasing some of the stalwart local talent in Inverness.  Let’s lock it in, so the thought went.

 

Of course this isn’t what happened.  Well, not ‘of course’, I guess, but instead, what happened was Inverness.  Inverness happened.  A random weekend just on the wrong side of the turning of the clocks to the dim and dark winter months has me writing a love-note homage about the town/ city* instead.

[*Note – I leave this debate for another time – suffice to say it is small enough to be a town, Royal degree has it as a city (so I’ve been told), and my personal opinion, the thing I wanna highlight here in this review/homage, is that it fights above its weight, however you want to classify it].

 

Friday night started off indoors with a movie.  It’d been eyeballing me for a few weeks since I picked it up for 50p, the sticking point to watching it being the inherent risk for it to be either great or utter, utter shit.  Cockneys Vs. Zombies (how can you not try a movie with that name for 50p?) turned out to be neither extreme, but well watchable.  Gore, humour, that freakishly scary Cockney gangster ‘pig-farmer’ from Snatch as a bad –arse old-age pensioner.  It did what it said on the box, and also turned out to be a good start to a great weekend.

 

Next stop was the Market Bar and StetsonHead.  I’m sure that somebody here on The Nettle will do these guys justice sometime with a set piece review just focusing on them.  I’m hoping it’s me, as they are one of my favourite local acts.  They’re not going to be for everyone, but what they do, they do exceptionally well.  Pounding, driving, lurking, menacing, growling doses of mood ooze out at you.  This Friday night it skulked off from the stage and permeated the (admittedly small) space in the Market and had everyone ‘in.’  I didn’t see the start or the end of the gig, for other long-winded reasons, but not for lack of love for the band.  If you get a chance to see them, just do. 

 

stetsonhead-marketbar
Stetsonhead doing their thing.

 

Next stop was to deliberately meet people elsewhere, but 1st bumped I into a lovely couple I met recently and was reminded of how many fundamentally good and interesting people there were in Inverness.  They’d just been to the ballet in Eden Court, and talked in emotive terms about tears streaming down their face, about the beauty and the flux of emotions they’d just been through.  To get out of chronological synch I took their advice and did see the ballet on the Saturday night, an experience I hadn’t had before but will do again.  I didn’t have the same reaction, I didn’t even have the same reaction as the friend who came with me, a more experienced hand in these things, but it was well worth checking out.  Scottish ballet company did two versions of Stravinsky, one classical re-telling and one modern ballet counterpointing the diversity of the medium.  The dancing showed what the human body is capable of – not mine, necessarily, but there is apparently the potential to leap in the air and just hang there for a second telling gravity you’ve got other plans for the moment.  There’s the ability to – shit, seriously, thinking back on it, there was a lot more to like about this ballet stuff than I imagined, not least of which was the orchestra in the pit, once again showcasing the talent and the connective pull of music.  Yeah, give it a crack if you haven’t before, people.  Like it or don’t, it’s worth the respect to try it and find out for yourself.  It took me a good long while to come to this conclusion, and I’m not going to go all reformed smoker evangelical on you, but it’s well worth giving it a chance.

 

Anyway, in among this weekend that was there was also a techno night on at Ironworks on the Friday.  Not always my cup of tea, and as has almost been universally noted about the Ironworks, it’s a good venue but can feel like people rattling around an empty barn if not enough people are there, which was the case by the time I got there.  Despite this, the guy up on the decks was working it, the crowd of true believers was loving it, and the lights and the base thumping through me were personal highlights.  With the caveat of not being on the right gear to fully appreciate the nuances of such repetitive music, I gotta say that it was worth it – another one to dabble with properly in the future.

 

Light and Decks at the ironworks
Lights and Decks

Lights and decks at the Ironworks

 

Over and above this there was Sargent Major rattling out some classic pub rock when back at the Market again on Saturday.  The people were dancing and the place was bouncing.  The two-piece had a drummer on the floor with a mike hanging over him making him sing ‘up,’ reminiscent somehow of Motorhead’s Lemmy.  He wore gloves for the drumming that made his hands seem 3 sizes smaller than the rest of his body.  The singer was self-deprecating funny as well as having a good voice.  They knew what the punters wanted, and they gave generously.  What’s not to like.

 

The Saturday night was rounded off by some bumping into people in the smoking area of Hoots and some dancing upstairs to the DJ, in a dance/ retro style that blew over to outliers including The Doors, Talking Heads and whoever the fuck did the well-known ‘I’m free (to do what I want, any old time…)’.  Suffice to say that they held me there well past at least 3-4 self-determined claims of ‘I’m heading off soon,’ and if that’s not a skill in a DJ, I don’t know what is.

 

Also thrown into the weekend mix was getting in early Christmas shopping at the monthly Farmer’s Market on High St.  That and croissants (don’t know the stall by name, but I gravitate to them whenever I can for their buttery flaky joy that is croissants), and venison sausages for dinner that night.  There was the reliable smiles and quality coffee at Velocity, lung-cleansing taking in the air along the river and artery clogging delights of late night kebab shops with the not so stable hordes. 

 

I never quite got to see The Mystic Shoes, but like me, they’ll be around in this underrated town for a wee while yet.  When they do, do yourself a favour and give ‘em a try.  Or wait for a favourable review here, which is the angle I’ll take next time I see them, and then see them anyway.  Your choice.

 

This review wasn’t quite what I had planned, but the weekend wasn’t either.  The point being that there’s a bit of something for everyone on a random weekend in Inverness.  I couldn’t quite get to the fireworks or bonfire, either at Bught Park or Rosemarkie which friends said was a great time, and there was a range of other events missed to.  But fun was there to be had, and had it was. 

I’ll try to promise to be more ‘on point’ with the next review, and have it stick to a band and the event they create.  For here though, I just wanted to pay a wee homage to Inverness and the options that it presented on one random weekend.  Onya, Schneckie!  Love ya work!