All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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ABC Wednesday: I is for Inverness

ABC Wednesday is all about having fun. It is all about the visitors and everyday life around our world. This week is all about the letter I…which I have decided, somewhat unsurprisingly, stands for Inverness.

Inverness-2008-0005It’s funny how our perception of landmarks can change over time. During the years I lived in Inverness, whenever I walked past its castle I’d always think the same thing: what a hideous building!

After months of doing this I’d purposefully avoid any roads that either directly passed the building or were near enough to offer a close up view.

The simple fact is, it’s not, in my mind, what a castle should look like. Urquhart is a castle. Eilean Donan is a castle. Edinburgh, now that’s a castle.

Inverness? It’s…pink!? Castles should never be pink!

But now, five years since I last walked the streets of the ‘Ness, five years since I had the misfortune of looking upon that far-too-neat collection of Lego bricks, I’d give anything to wander up Castle Street and smirk at its brightly coloured facade again.

A building that was hewn from a child’s playtime has become a symbol of the homesickness that plagues me.  A structure that, more than any other, defines one of the greatest times of my life.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is:

Change

CNV00034

Inverness Sunrise © Addy

“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”
~ Vera Nazarian~

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change (Day & Night)
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Be the Change You Wish to See in the World
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is:

CHANGING SEASONS

~ January 2002 ~

In January 2002, I was living in Inverness with my partner Louise. The days were short (five hours of daylight if we were lucky), cold (regularly dropping below zero) and beautiful (winter is my favourite season). To get us through the season we adopted a combination of snuggling under the duvet, snuggling under a blanket and snuggling under a duvet and blanket at the same time.

Given that so much snuggling often led to so much of something else, it’s not so hard to understand why days like below excited me so ;)

January 2002

Snowed Under (Inverness, 2002) © Addy

~ January 2003 ~

In January 2003, I was living in Melbourne with my partner Louise. The days were long (five hours of darkness if we were lucky), hot (regularly hitting the high thirties) and stifling (summer is my least favourite season). To get us through the season we adopted a combination of stripping to our swimwear, stripping to our birthday suits and stripping to our swimwear then birthday suits.

Given that so much stripping often led to so much of something else, it’s not so hard to understand why days like below excited me so ;)

January 2003

Sunbaking (January, 2003) © Addy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons
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In defence of Inverness

Today’s WordPress Daily prompt is:
You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!

Inverness © Addy

Most people who travel to Scotland will visit Inverness as it makes an excellent base for the aspiring monster hunter. However, once they’ve stared out over the loch and concluded a rogue wave was indeed the monster they move on, speeding down toward the world-renowned hubs of Edinburgh or Glasgow, relegating the wee city that could to become ‘that place I slept in when I went to Loch Ness‘.

Which is a shame. For there is so much more to Inverness than lochs and monsters.

For a start, there is a rich and vibrant music scene, with venues such as Hootananny, Ironworks and a wealth of pubs offering local and international musicians on a nightly basis. Whereas the exceptional Eden Court provides a wide range of entertaining, educational and inspiring live theatre and international cinema.

History, too, is richly served. Culloden Moor, site of the last pitched battle fought on British soil, is minutes away. Whilst a little down the road are the Clava Cairns; always overlooked in favour of the more promoted neolithic sites but equally impressive all the same. Fort George is on your doorstep, as is Craig Phadrig, the Caledonian Canal and the Black Isle.

There are altruistic options galore, a wide selection of local and international cuisine and the greatest bookshop in the world!

So the next time you’re in Scotland, forget the glory of Edinburgh or Glasgow and spend a week exploring the city at the heart of the Highlands. Savor its flavor, relish its laid back approach to this crazy thing called life and inspire yourself with all it has to offer.

I guarantee the moment you stop seeing it as a stopover for monster hunting is the moment you fall in love with one of the greatest cities in the world.

And c’mon? Where else will you find a castle that looks like it’s been constructed solely from pink Lego bricks?

Inverness Castle © Addy


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Behind the Lens #5: Inverness Sunset

This week’s theme ‘Behind the Lens’ is a combination of photography and memory. Each day a random image will be plucked from my archive and – regardless of how good it is – showcased on the blog along with the story behind the image. Today, a photograph I’ve adored for nearly thirteen years; Inverness Sunset

Inverness Sunset (Scotland, October 1999) © Addy

“How strange this fear of death is! We are never frightened at a sunset.”
~ George MacDonald ~

The time, October 1999.

The place, Inverness.

After nearly two months of exploring this beautiful country I had settled into the Inverness Student Hotel backpacker hostel. My ‘home’ was room number six, a four bedded dorm room with a view of Inverness from a paint peeling, rotting window. From the River Ness to Craig Phadrig and everything in between, I fell deeply in love with that view over the months I resided there, never more so than on one quiet Autumnal evening when I arrived home from work.

Wearing only my boxer shorts, I grabbed my camera and threw myself out the window. With my body dangling precariously in the air and both hands steadying the camera, the only thing preventing me from falling seventeen feet to the concrete below was one leg clinging desperately against the ledge. For three minutes I hung in that ridiculous position, snapping several images in the hope to capture the awe-inspiring sight before me.

The result, a photograph that has attached itself firmly to my heart and shall remain there until the day I draw my last breath.

Containing no manipulation, no filters, no editing, no photoshopping, nothing; this was exactly how the sky looked that quiet Autumn night in Inverness.

Hence why I threw myself out the window in my boxer shorts!