After 10 years of publication, 'Northings' (the monthly arts e-magazine for the Highlands & Islands) closed down in 2013 and is archived here. High Life Highland is pleased to enable this extensive body of work to remain accessible to the public. Please note, though, that material will not be updated or added.

Robert Livingston Blog

Wanted: Alive or…

29 Nov 2012 in Blogs, Robert Livingston Blog

At a recent meeting of members of the Highlands and Islands Theatre Network, a colleague from the Edinburgh-based company Stellar Quines gave a fascinating presentation on the company’s experiments with live streaming their work, and also recording one of their most ambitious productions, Ana, as a 3D film. Stellar Quines had been supported by the […]

How to come third and win

16 Oct 2012 in Robert Livingston Blog

We are binary creatures, cursed by our bilateral symmetry to think in terms of pairings and oppositions: black and white, right and wrong, formal and informal, incomer and native. We are (no pun intended) uncomfortable with shades of grey. We are sceptical of politicians who offer us a ‘third way’. After all, three’s a crowd. […]

The Shock of the Neuk

10 Aug 2012 in Robert Livingston Blog

Before moving to the Highlands we lived for twelve years in Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife. In the mid 90s Anstruther and its smaller neighbour Pittenweem were sad places: empty shops along the harbour fronts, derelict domestic and commercial properties with little prospect of regeneration, and loads of houses for sale. It took […]

‘A Great Summer of Art’

25 Jul 2012 in Blogs, Robert Livingston Blog

I hate sport. All sport and any sport, from tiddlywinks to Premier League Football. So, this dismal summer has held a particular horror for me, what with Wimbledon, Euro 2012, wall-to-wall golf tournaments, and now, at long, long last, the London Olympics. I am not unreflective about this passionate aversion. I know that it has […]

Sausages, trains and Old Spice

22 May 2012 in Robert Livingston Blog

We’ve been to the lands where everyone eats sausages and drinks beer, where the trains run on time and are spacious and clean, and where culture still seems to be funded—and supported—to a remarkable degree. We’ve been to Germany and Austria. The sausage and beer thing is interesting. Here, that would be very much a […]

Whaar is da snaa o fernyear?

10 Apr 2012 in Blogs, Robert Livingston Blog

We spent part of the Easter weekend in Ullapool and, even if there hadn’t been a persistent drizzle of that fine rain that soaks you to the skin, we’d certainly have visited, as we always do, the village’s two excellent—and complementary–bookshops, the Ullapool Bookshop and the Ceilidh Place Bookshop. I firmly believe that the great […]

Is Beauty Useful?

25 Mar 2012 in Artforms, Blogs, Music, Robert Livingston Blog

Last Saturday we went through to Nairn to hear Joanna MacGregor play Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It was revelatory. Bach fanatic though I am, I’d never really managed to properly engage with this hour-long display of compositional and keyboard virtuosity. MacGregor’s performance made me understand why: too many players approach the work with reverence. MacGregor grabbed […]

Grumpy in Glasgow

6 Feb 2012 in Blogs, General, Robert Livingston Blog

Forget policemen and doctors, you really know you’re getting old when some of the regular contributors to ‘Grumpy Old Men’ are younger than you are. My home town of Glasgow regularly brings out my inner grumpiness. I spent most of the first half of my life there, but I haven’t lived in the city since […]

Living in a Heissenberg World

2 Nov 2011 in Blogs, General, Robert Livingston Blog

I love the serendipity of libraries. In the past few weeks, browsing in Inverness library, I’ve come across two fascinating books which I wouldn’t otherwise have read, for the simple reason that they are so lavish and costly that it’s unlikely I’d ever have bought them. And both are books which set out to deliver […]

A Grand Day Out!

23 Sep 2011 in Blogs, General, Robert Livingston Blog

OK, so Lancashire is the home territory for Wallace and Gromit, and we were in fact spending a week on the Eastern edge of North Yorkshire, in Robin Hoods Bay, but ‘a grand day out’ seems nonetheless the best way to describe our visit to Scarborough, just 15 miles down the coast from our self-catering […]

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