"...I love anecdotes. I fancy mankind may come in time, to write all aphoristically, except in narrative; grow weary of preparation, and connection, and illustration, and all those arts by which a big book is made. If a man is to wait till he weaves anecdotes into a system, we may be long in getting them, and get but a few, in comparison of what we might get."

Boswell quotes Johnson in Tour to the Hebrides 16th August 1773.

Over tired and over stimulated, is the story for today, art ideas are coming thick and fast now but the 4 hours in the evening work slot seem to by folding in on themselves, and always end in a longer than anticipated 'fetch and correct' session.

Today was the Karen Guthrie personal history docu/drama - and was rather too filmic to be true. Small details such as the Peter Pan tea shop in Kirriemuir, the over official lady at the JM Barry Birthplace - "I can't let you in we haven't dusted yet" - finding Guthrie Castle straight away - then finding Guthrie Aisle - THEN finding a very old man who used to be the Gardener at the castle still living in the house across the road - and further more encouraging us to proceed up the drive despite the security warnings and sound of gunshots.

I felt almost too weak with nerves to keep the fly on the wall camera rolling as Karen knocked on the castle door found no one at home and then went photo crazy at her liberty. The whole episode was very strange. I should explain here that she had previously written off for images of the castle to use in her work - so the whole thing was a work/personal pilgrimage.

As if all this wasn't enough we also had the Glamis bonanza experience - only slightly marred by having to accompany a party of bratty school kids in order to gain entry - I just hope the rustling of their cagouls hasn't spoilt my recording of the guide's ghost stories.

If the castle was too sumptuous to digest the topiary was enough to push us over the edge - Glamis may have been officially off the B&J trail but I think the hedges alone justified the trip.

"I should scarcely have regretted my journey, had it afforded nothing more than the sight of Aberbriothick"

Johnson in Journey to the Western Isles

We're spending tonight in Arbroath (finally) and have enjoyed an obligatory smokie before holing up for the evening in Jackie's B&B. Monastery will have to wait for the morning. We did see the huge cemetery on the outskirts of town - again full of fantastic topiary, pairs of yew hedges by each grave.

I'm rather regretting that these diary entries can in no way be seen as moving &/or poignant but to be honest I'm too tired by the time I write and also we've whipped each other up into a frenzy of flippancy that only exaggerates with each day.


SATURDAY