Ken and Sheena’s Excellent Adventure in the Scottish Highlands

  • In Perth, we had dinner at the Hightower Hotel with
    my long-lost, DNA-found cousin Jim McGugan.
  • In Sutherland, we visited Dunrobin Castle, the most
    politically incorrect edifice in Britain.
  • In Helmsdale, by about an hour, we missed coincidentally
    encountering our Orcadian pal, historian Tom Muir . . . and so failed to
    meet his new wife!
  • We almost got killed when, on a narrow two-lane
    road, with a rock wall on our side, the driver of an oncoming camper-van decided
    to pass a group of cyclists and swung out into our lane. I managed to slow
    just enough . . . .
  • At a bank machine in Stornoway, while withdrawing funds, we encountered Toronto writer Heather Birrell, who is
    sojourning on the Isle of Lewis. 
  • While staying at Fort William, we made our way to the top of a mountain in the Nevis Range. All right, all right: we rode a gondola
  • At Waterstone’s Books in Oban, in a section called
    Recommended Reading, we came upon five copies of Fatal Passage. This was after we found two copies at a
    bookstore in Portree. Hats off to Bantam Books for keeping the work alive
    after fifteen years — and to my agent, Beverley Slopen, for bringing that team aboard.

  • In Helensburgh, we visited a National Trust property,
    Carisbrooke House, and got inside an addition created by William Fraser,
    Sheena’s architect grandfather.
  • Along the way, somehow, we amassed an unconscionable
    pile of obscure books.
  • As to how it all fits together, well, that will
    emerge in due course.


  1. Unknown on February 1, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Heather Birrell taught me short fiction at U of T years ago. And I'm super glad you didn't die.

  2. Denis St-Onge on February 1, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Glad you survived all of that Ken…plus all that scotch.

  3. Charlie on February 1, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Amazing that we just missed you on this trip – although you traveled far wider and longer than we did!

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