Part one of this photo essay is a walk near the attractive (by Scottish standards) village of Drymen (pronounced "drimmin") during which our youngest dog, Eadric, brought disgrace on the noble Ellan Vannin border collie line by rolling in smelly, fox poo, not once but twice. I say "attractive by Scottish standards" for factual rather than insulting reasons. Scotland is full of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world but it is also full of the most ugly cities, towns and villages on the planet. The architectural policy of the nation appears to be throw together a decidedly uninspiring, box-shaped building and paint it grey. The few attempts at flamboyance channel the fairy tale imagination of an out of control Hans Christian Anderson and the social housing is, more than likely, the habitation awaiting traitors in the ninth circle of Hell. The Scots are good at gardens, though. I'll give them that.
Part two is a visit to Hill House in the leafy and, extremely, affluent, northern suburbs of Helensburgh. This building, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, was designed and built for the publisher Walter Blackie between 1902 and 1904 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh. Personally, the exterior does nothing for me, in fact I find it quite repulsive. However, the interior is a different matter. The use of light and geometry is breathtaking throughout and the fixtures, furnishings and ornamentation are visually stunning. However, I cannot help thinking that the chairs must have been hellishly uncomfortable to actually sit on. Not that I would say "no thank you" if a long lost relative of mine was to die and leave one to me in his will.