Letter from Denmark: Torchlight Procession

There’s a sea of flame gathering in the twilight. It started with only one torch, but each newly lit passes the flame to two or three others. Soon we are legion. Our gathering point is the old station in our small town. A procession is to be led by the band of the ‘Hjemmeværnet’ —Continue reading “Letter from Denmark: Torchlight Procession”

Letter from Denmark: Cannonballs, Kingdoms and Unions

‘Raadmand Davids Hus’ is one of the oldest and best conserved houses in Helsingør. It was built by David Mellvin, a second-generation Scottish exile in 1694. He was a high-standing member of the city administration. Today his house is a cosy lunch cafe — and I’m here with my own second generation Scottish exile. It’sContinue reading “Letter from Denmark: Cannonballs, Kingdoms and Unions”

Letter from Denmark: The Dubliner

“Hey, it’s Gus here, you called?” The voice is unmistakably Scottish. “Aye, we’re showing the game by the bar,” he tells me. I hadn’t actually left a message, but Gus returned my call within five minutes. After weeks of SNP leadership drama and various work deadlines, I needed tae get oot the hoose, as it were. LivingContinue reading “Letter from Denmark: The Dubliner”

Another Time, Another Place

The story goes, that my Auntie Rita broke down in tears during a visit to the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle. She had discovered the name of her uncle James among the dead of the Great War. He belonged to the unlucky one-in-five of enlisted Scots who never returned from the trenches. Seeing his name andContinue reading “Another Time, Another Place”

Letter from Denmark: National Consciousness

There are two ways to see the Danish parliament. The first is a standard 45-minute guided walk about. The second is the longer ‘Kunstomvisning’, or art tour. I suggested to my wife that she give up her sacred Saturday morning downtime to join me. Unexpectedly, she agreed. There’s track work between the Eastbridge (Østerbro) Station and Copenhagen Central.Continue reading “Letter from Denmark: National Consciousness”

The Distance of the Years

“You wouldn’t recognise Duke Street now,” my sister says, “it’s all bric-a-brac stores.” Lizzie is the only one of the litter who has remained close to our roots. Today, she lives just across from my primary school at the top of Armadale Street. Her daily shopping trips take her along the Parade, though she clearlyContinue reading “The Distance of the Years”