A Nightmare Begins with Boris.

The Scotch – what a verminous race!

Canny, pushy, chippy, they’re all over the place.

Battening off us with false bonhomie;

Polluting our stock, undermining our economy.

Down with sandy hair and knobbly knees!

Suppress the tartan dwarves and the Wee Frees!

Ban the kilt, the skean-dhu and the sporran

As provocatively, offensively foreign!

It’s time Hadrian’s Wall was refortified

To pen them in a ghetto on the other side.

I would go further. The nation

Deserves not merely isolation

But comprehensive extermination.

‘Friendly Fires’ by James Michie. Published in The Spectator Magazine by then editor Boris Johnson. Yes, the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister. It has since been removed from the magazines archive. Can’t possibly understand why.

Prick.

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Scotland will fucking flourish.

Excuse the swearing. I’m a passionate man. And nothing brings out that passion like a Scottish Independence March.

I love my country. I am a proud Scotsman and I want it to be free.

On Saturday gone by the Saltire prevailed and the good in this country was there for all to see in the city centre of Glasgow. The hope, the smiles, the sheer joy rampant in celebrating our home and willing it on to step away from a crooked union and into a very bright and positive future. It’s beyond the right time now to take back the control. Brexit is a very real example of how much ‘Great’ Britain has overrun its sell-by date.

Let’s get the fuck out lads.

I’m working on some longer Independence pieces for all you beautiful punters but for now I just hoped to share some very uplifting evidence of how class the Yes Movement is and how it stands for everything good in Bonnie Scotland.

Saor Alba, Free Scotland. 

 

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Taken by me. Incredible.
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Again, Me. Get oot.

 

 

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And this is me. Proud and spirited.

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise (be gentle). I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 


 

Good Wee Reads – Chris McQueer.

 

Bringing back the Good Wee Reads series for another spin on the blog I’ll be recommending (highly) finding copies of Hings and HWFG by the newly crowned sheriff in Glasgow town… Chris McQueer. This will probably be a fortnightly feature where I introduce the literary bangers I’ve been reading in my spare time. When it comes to my reading taste there are no holds barred so expect to see a variety of genres. And at the end if you fancy them for yourself you can click on the ‘Buy Here’ tabs available to grab a copy for yourself.

 

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Chris McQueer (404 Ink / Sinead Grainger Photography)

I heard good things about the Glasgow-based writer not long before Christmas and enjoyed some of his hilarious daily Tweets. I was filled with high hopes for good native chat and witty, creative stories. I wasn’t disappointed. I first read Hings and it was fucking brilliant. What a laugh I had. I used to read it during my quiet time and commuting while working in France. I’d be sitting on the tram howlin’ at the mad stories developing in the pages and attracting queer looks from the slightly bewildered passengers I shared my journey with.  I almost felt sorry for them. They just wouldn’t appreciate the sheer ridiculousness of the gags being churned out in such a Scottish manner. And for me  that is where it strikes the chord. I love reading and I read many books while being away from home. But none of them brought me back to Scotland quite like this. It felt like I was reading the group chat between my mates or like I was sitting on the bus and pausing music to hear what the dafty sitting behind was shouting down the phone, loud enough for all to hear, squirm and cringe intolerably. Hings brought me home. HWFG followed suit.

 

 

The laughs role out from story to story. Solid, earthy, comedic twists combined with the local charm which allowed me to not only enjoy the books but to also appreciate just how fucking hilarious Scottish patter is. I really hope and wish Chris McQueer has the best of success in the future and goes on to cement his place as a pioneer of said patter. There’s probably a lot of aspiring writers around including myself working hard to find that mark of originality or touch of magic that seems to have been discovered in these two books. He’s been name-dropped with the likes of Irvine Welsh already which is pretty incredible considering the reputation the Trainspotting author holds himself. But it’s all part of the newer generation looking for their own household names and fortunately we have young guys like McQueer who have both the talent and the baws to step up to the plate.

 

 

So Chris, thanks for the laughs so far mate. We’re all looking forward to what the future holds.

 

Chris McQueer – ‘Hings’ (404 Ink). Buy Here. 

Chris McQueer – HWFG (404 Ink). Buy Here.

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or even criticise (be gentle). I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 


I’m Home!

Happy Sunday folks! I hope everyone is feeling well and life is good.

I haven’t been productive with regards to the site for a while now. I recently moved back to my mums place from France so there has been a lot of change and upheaval. I do intend to ramp up the activity again in the coming weeks, with some more anecdotes and patter to enjoy.

Thanks to all, Aidan X

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‘SCOTLAND!’ Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

 

 

Dubrovnik, Hrvatska.

It was my last stop on the Balkan tour. I didn’t want it to be. But my money management killed off any ambition of making it to Sarajevo. Lesson learned. But I still had a great few days in Dubrovnik to finish off what had been an amazing experience.

To be fair, I could’ve seen it all in a day. Apart from the Old Town there wasn’t much else to do. But I spent some time relaxing and reading after a hectic few weeks of running aboot this fascinating, absorbing (and sometimes baffling) region of the world. Until now it’s probably been looked down on by the majority of outsiders. Still there seems to be an underlying legacy of war, corruption and poverty. But the people fight on and rise above all that they can’t control. It wasn’t so long ago that foreigners like me coming through this area would have been seemingly unthinkable.

Fortunately, things change. We can all enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of these countries and its people through visiting and embracing the amazing cultures.

For the Balkan countries who showed me their kindness… Hvala, Благодаря ти, mulțumesc, Ви благодарам, faleminderit.

Thank you.

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Casual
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Dubrovnik
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Hrvatska
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Scenic
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God Help Us
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Old Town
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Stairs
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Top of the Stairs
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Square
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Painting
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Walloper
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God Help Us Again
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Aw the Boats

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos (unless credited) are my own aswell. I put a lot of work into upkeeping this for little or no return other than the gratitude I feel when my work is appreciated. Please.. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates do not hesitate to like, share, follow, communicate or even criticise (be gentle). I am in no ways a professional blogger/writer/photographer and any sort of interaction which may help to improve my future work would be hugely appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something aswell.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you so much. The Wide-Eyed Scotsman.

Hangin’.

So I’m trudging downstairs to the bins out the back. Pair of old shorts and last nights jumper. It’s late in the afternoon of the first day of the New Year. The end of the festive season for me as it’s back to 6am wake-ups and out on the grind tomorrow morning. I pass a couple of fresh-faced neighbours and we exchange the usual niceties.

‘Bonjour monsieur. Bonjour messieurs-dames.’

There’s something about the people I meet in this same situation that I can’t get my head around. The seemingly carelessly ecstatic aura that they encompass. Emanating an ambience of sheer life and energy.. Ready for the adventures of the day that lay ahead. Even if (for talking’s sake) the Gilet Jaunes were to successfully overthrow Macron and his government or an ISIS uprising raised hell in the French suburbs these same ostensibly & untouchable folk will always be there to meet me, dishevelled and hanging, on the first floor landing of the flats of Cours Berriat.

I’m back in my cave now. The room is a tip. I haven’t taken the time to unpack my bag from the week spent back home in Glasgow. In all honesty I haven’t even managed to sort myself out yet. But I don’t really mind. For now I’m back in my own little world ready to jump back into my studies and my work. Back into grafting. Learning on the go. And I fucking love learning. Learning is power, strength.. profound and utter bravery. To me anyway. It takes a courageous soul to commit to education in the world that we live in. Often I think about what it means to rebel against the system of education in fear of something truly feign. A common theme throughout young people who choose to walk a path that strays away from their potential. Like me when I left school. Why did I not want to learn? Why did I not want to acquire knowledge? I think it was probably just that I couldn’t be arsed. Are all the disenchanted folk similar in that respect? Can we all just not be arsed? It’s possible. If it wasn’t for this hangover I’d probably indulge a bit. But I’m fucking hanging and for my own well-being I’ve decided to give it a by. Earlier on a friend asked me why I once collected so many records and threw myself into the clubbing industry as an aspiring DJ, only to give it all up and sell all that I had. I wish I had just said ‘I couldnae be arsed.’

I’ve got a few hours left now to prepare my work things and lay low for a while. I’ve just finished reading ‘Hings’ by Chris McQueer (what a book by the way) and I’m about to stick on the trusty Fitbaw Manager in the hope that signing foreign wonderkids will nurture my bevvy-riddled corpse back to a decent standard.

Happy New Year everyone. Bonne Année.

Aidan x

Posted Missing.

Hello all, salut!

I’ve unfortunately neglected my duties to this project whilst I attempt to adjust to my new chapter in life. My partner and I moved into an apartment in Grenoble around two months ago. My time has been dedicated mainly to my new career (Landscaping and Green Space Management), part time work to keep the rent coming and improving my French so I stand a chance of understanding my studies.

Yes, I am studying entirely in French. It’s tiring. Ça me fatigue. But it’s utterly rewarding and I can’t begin to tell you just how putain smart I feel. Now things are settling and I have more of an idea of my routine I hope to continue writing and sharing my experiences with you. I still have many pictures and stories from my Summer trip in the Balkans which I hope to upload in the coming weeks so please bare with me. For now, I’ll leave you with some snaps of my new home, the city of the Alps. I can’t wait to share this wonderful region with you all…

 

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”Le tram de Grenoble.”

 

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L’Art de la Rue.”

 

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”Parc Paul Mistral”

 

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”The mountains of the Alps at my doorstep.”

 

Don’t forget to follow. À la prochaine 🙂

 

The Hidden Life of Trees.

“A tree’s most important means of staying connected to other trees is a “wood wide web” of soil fungi that connects vegetation in an intimate network that allows the sharing of an enormous amount of information and goods.” 

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“There are more life forms in a handful of forest soil than there are people on the planet. A mere teaspoonful contains many miles of fungal filaments. All these work the soil, transform it, and make it so valuable for the trees.” 

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“When you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children, then you can no longer just chop them down and disrupt their lives with larger machines.” 

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“If we want to use forests as a weapon in the fight against climate change, then we must allow them to grow old, which is exactly what large conservation groups are asking us to do.”

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My hope is that the wolves’ stewardship of natural processes in Yellowstone will help people appreciate the complex ways that trees interact with their environment, how our interactions with forests affect their success, and the role forests play in making our world the kind of place where we want to live. Apart from that, forests hide wonders that we are only just beginning to explore. I invite you to enter my world.

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All quotes taken from ‘The Hidden Life of Trees‘ by Peter Wohlleben. Just this week I plunged myself into a new career path. I’ve begun an apprenticeship in landscaping and green space management. l’Aménagement des Espaces Verts.. Paysagers.

It’s a whole new world to me. A path in my life which opened after reading this book. It details a fascinating insight into the lives and communication systems of the forest and trees. I came across it at a time not long after a very upsetting episode where my health took a hit. And the combination of moving to an area of the world with an abundance of ecological wealth and the ‘luck’ to find this book on a spontaneous visit to the Argyle Street Waterstones in Glasgow City Centre, has given me a certain belief that this may just have been meant for me. It’s no surprise to me that the quality of my life has vastly improved since redirecting my focus down this road. And it gives me great motivation to work harder to succeed in these challenges set out for me.

I took these pictures in two separate places. The 2nd, 4th and 5th at the Old Kilpatrick Hills, Scotland. And the 1st and 3rd at the Gorges du Versoud, France.

70 Years of the NHS!

A little unrelated but I wanted to take the time to say Happy Birthday to the NHS!

In my opinion, this is the single greatest thing to happen to Scotland & the UK. I always see many people complaining about how bad the service can be (I won’t exempt myself from this either) but it’s important that people remember just how vital an organisation this is. In recent years the UK Government has looked to sell the NHS to private investors who would no longer allow for free healthcare but instead implement pricing and fees to fill pockets. This is a privilege which I am sure many will agree can’t be taken away. Being in France now and prescribing to medication myself I already know just how much the costs can be concerning. I am very fortunate that I can still work and pay but for some this may not be the case. Infact for many it may be the difference between staying healthy or staying out of debt. In 2018, in developed countries like our own.. this is not acceptable. To have it and to then lose it would be a massive blow for the many people in need who use it often. We only have to look to other countries such as the United States to see how much damage medical bills can cause.

Protect the National Health Service. Cherish and support it with everything you can. And hope that we will have it for another 70 years. We just don’t know how lucky we are.

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Photo Credits – @Givebloodscot via Twitter.

Here’s to My Treasure Island..

It’s a new day tomorrow. Wednesday, 30th of March to be exact. And it marks the beginning of another new expedition to add to the previous escapades on record. An early morning drive to Milan in Italy followed by a fairly short flight to the Bulgarian capital of Sofia and I will be ready to take on the lower half of the Balkans. I have my tent, my hammock, my Jack Kerouac books and lavender spray for the mosquitoes and I am ready to go. I hope to take six or seven weeks and make my way through some of Europe’s poorest and unknown countries by throwing the thumb out and taking a lift with some happy locals willing to share their hidden piece of this world with an enthusiastic, ginger, 20 something from a country they might never have heard of (before anyone contests this I’ve had several conversations with people who don’t know what Scotland is. Or if they do, they think it’s a part of England..).

The majority of the countries I will be going through are not the typical destinations at the top of a European getaway wish list. But after doing some research and targeting some adventurous places I decided to go with my final findings. I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t nervous. It’s a region of Europe which still has various issues mostly linked to the break up of the Yugoslavian Republic and the brutal wars that preceded. This is not my reason for choosing these places and I wouldn’t like to think of myself as some sort of ‘war tourist’ (I don’t know the phrase word for word but I read about some Danish guy being accused of this after visiting Syria.. And after seeing widespread criticism of folk posing emphatically for photos at several commemoration memorials I intend to pay my utmost respect). Most of these countries are trying to move on from the past and bring the benefits of change to help their poor nations. And with the attempts to step away from the limelight for the wrong reasons I hope to embrace the future with the locals in a shared hope of personal wealth and a long-lasting happiness.

I can’t choose a favoured part of the plan I have drawn up for the coming months; I hope to spend time in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, venture through the wilderness of Montenegro, find out more about the Continent’s newest country Kosovo (or South-Western Serbia for when I arrive at the border) and experience the valiant & enigmatic cultures of Albania and Macedonia. Even as I head North to more common-known places like Croatia, Slovenia & Italy, I can’t begin to dream about what is in store for me.

I look forward to the moments that await me and the joy they will bring. In the previous days the thought running through my head has been one of great excitement. Embarking on a trip like this to me is potentially life-defining. Or as we fondly say back home.. ‘One to tell the grandweans‘. Maybe i’m getting carried away and it won’t be anything extraordinary. Or maybe they’ll talk about me in parts of the region as a ‘much loved Scottish explorer’. I don’t expect my name to be up there with Robinson Crusoe after a summer stint in the Balkans, but these are the scope of thoughts that enter play in the preceding moments before an adventure as such. And is it dangerous to aim high? To dream of great happenings and endearing moments? The romantic in me says no. The realist in me says ‘get a f**kin hawd of yersel!‘.

Perhaps striking the balance might be what shapes this chapter as a decorated highlight in the ongoing novel that is my life..


The last few weeks I’ve been exploring various places in La France with my partner. We’ve mainly divided our time between the wonderful city of Lyon and the South of France. Over the coming weeks while i’m away i’ll be sharing various tales from our shenanigans, so keep updated by following the blog at the links provided. Cheers X