Glasgow

When you come to Glasgow, you might wonder at Saint Paul’s assertion that, “the wages of sin is death”—and not because of the famously gloomy weather or the dreary, coal-stained sandstone of the buildings. Nor because of the crime, violence, and drug addiction that have afflicted the less […]

Sleepers

We’ve now traveled by sleeper coach train through every major west European country except Spain, and it’s uncanny how the experience has reflected the culture of the train’s country of origin. The French sleeper was dignified and correct, if a bit prim. The Italian was a wonderfully stylish mess. […]

Galveston

The Galveston Seawall was always a little raunchy, but on the evening of September 13, 2008, we were still sorry to see the Balinese Room and its pier vanish into the jaws of Hurricane Ike. Opened in 1942 by the mobbed-up, bootlegging barbers and brothers, Papa Rose and Mr. Sam […]

Saint Andrews

The sunrise is the same, and the bunkers on the 17thhole look as fearsome as ever, but otherwise, there isn’t much to recall from journeys with my mother to the Old Course in Saint Andrews. Mom was an accomplished amateur golfer by the time we started trekking northward […]

Scotch

Before we settle down to a wee dram of Talisker 18-year, peat-smoked, oak-matured, distilled and unfiltered, single-malt Scotch whisky, a handful of definitions: Whisky—A spirit made from grain (as opposed to grapes for brandy or potatoes for most vodkas). The feedstock for a whisky distillery is in fact […]

Smithfield Market

Is it just me, or is there something a bit off about the English staging their public executions across the square from the oldest and largest wholesale butcher’s market in London? Admittedly, Smithfield boasted one of the larger open spaces in town, and executions were one of the […]

Rubha an Dùnain

My mother’s McCaskills collided with their dreary little bit of history in 1832, when they were evicted from their village Rubha an Dùnain on the Isle of Skye and booted off to North Carolina to make way for flocks of more docile and profitable sheep. Thus arrived on […]