My name is Katrina. I live on the east coast of Scotland, not from choice. After 30 years here it still doesn’t feel like home. Hence the name of my blog. West is still best as far as I am concerned. I’m married with two grown up ‘boys’. I’m interested in books, films, art, crafts, cooking, politics,gardening, museums and travelling around Britain. I worked in libraries before having my children.

29 thoughts on “About

  1. My great great Aunt Agnes McCallum was credited by giving the name to the raspberry sauce for ice cream, it is a simple story how it started.

    • Slessor,
      That’s interesting. I’ve just recently discovered that in other parts of Scotland ice cream with raspberry sauce was called ‘Taly’s blood’ – very off putting I think.

  2. I just re-subscribed after realising I hadn’t been receiving updates from your blog for some days. Now to catch up 🙂

    • Valerie,
      I’m sorry about that, I had an inkling that subscribers weren’t receiving updates. Duncan is going to rectify it. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. I’ve really been enjoying your blog. However, your perspective on politics has been seeping out and is not very nice for those who disagree with you. But, I’ve enjoyed your travel thoughts and book descriptions. Thank you.

    • Melody ambler,
      I’m glad you’ve been enjoying ‘pining’. It is a huge advantage in life to get different perspectives on anything. I’m glad to say that I have friends of all stripes and opinions – even within my own family. Vive la difference – as they say!

  4. Hi Katrina,
    I am a recent follower through my blog feeder and am sure many of our interests are in common. My grandmother came from Buchaven in 1912 to Australia, settling in Ipswich (part of the amazing Scottish diaspora!); and I feel a great affinity for Scots and Scotland and her Fife. Hubby and I had a wonderful drive through Scotland in April. Indeed, the West Coast you pine for is exquisitely beautiful. In this new age we were chuffed to recieve a phonecall from Brisbane from our son and (my)step-son on a remote beach outside of Tongue on the NC 500. Regards from kindred spirit, Cathy

    • Hi Cathy,
      It sounds like you had a great time in Scotland recently, I haven’t been to Tongue but my son and his girlfriend cycled the NC 500 in the summer. Did you not visit Buckhaven while you were here? Mind you it isn’t really a place of beauty, or interest. I think I would have left if I had been your grandmother! Thanks for taking the time to comment I hope you continue to enjoy my blog. I have family who went to Australia in the 1960s and an ancestor who was transported there in the early 1800s for sedition!

  5. Yes, Katrina,
    We visited Edinburgh, the Highlands, Inverness, Islay, the West coast and all along the “top”, John O’Groats, Lochs Ness and Lomond, Glasgow, Stirling and the Kelpies, before train to three nights in Paris. My bucket list was done.
    My parents had done a similar drive thirty years earlier; my mothr suggesting W and I do it one day an dtoast them there. We toasted them and my maternal GM and GGM while staying in Anstruther. It was very moving seeing Buchaven, and photographing Methil across the bay.
    The Orkneys and Shetlands and other islands are yet still calling…….
    Australians with “convict” forebears are very proud of their heritage. I have often thought they have given the Australian character its larrikin aspect! Sedition sounds very exciting!

    • Cathy,
      You certainly got about! I hope you managed to get to St Andrews too while you were in Fife, it’s the most interesting place in the county. We’re going to the Orkneys in June – for the first time.
      My great great great-uncle or whatever he was didn’t last long in Australia as he died of a fever, but there is a very big monument in Edinburgh commemorating him and the others who were convicted along with him, you can see an earlier blogpost about it here. https://piningforthewest.co.uk/2010/05/04/martyrs-monument-edinburgh/

  6. Hi Katrina, Please could I use one of your images for a talk (unpaid!) I am giving to the Skye Gardening Society next month called “Where do Plants Belong?” It is the one with plants coming out of chimneys in Kirkcaldy.
    Best wishes,

    • Hi Stephen,
      Yes you can use the photo, I’m not sure if you can use it straight from Flickr, let me know if you need me to send you the original image. Interestingly Kirkcaldy High Street was ‘weeded’ a couple of weeks after I posted that blogpost, but of course it’s a never ending task, especially where the buddleia is concerned. I hope your talk goes well.


    • Anne,
      If I happened to be in England I might be pining for Kirkcaldy too! You are an unusual Langtouner, not many ever leave – in my experience. I plan to put some photos of old postcards of Beveridge Park on this blog soon, you might be interested to see them.
      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.


  7. In 2007 we drove by a sign that said ‘Crianlarich’, and not long after, pulled into a lay-by and I was in tears. I was embarrassed. Had never done that before. But it was my first view of the Highlands, and I’ve never felt like that before or since. I’d have stayed if I could have. Nine years later we returned to Scotland for a month. I live in America, but I pine for the West Highlands too!

    • Julie,
      It’s strange but I know that other people have had that sort of experience. I read of one American/Scots man who was on the train and he thought he was having a heart attack – but it turned out that the train had just gone over the border from England into Scotland!! The other passengers celebrated by breaking out the whisky so a good time was had by all. Travelling up to Skye a few years ago I was entranced by how majestic the mountains looked. I hope you manage another trip back to Scotland.

  8. I enjoy reading the blog so I’ve bookmarked it instead of receiving email alerts and will check it every few days. 🙂 I found out recently that I am part Scottish, of course I loved Scotland before that too! Lynn, Maine USA.

  9. I enjoy reading the blog so I’ve bookmarked it instead of receiving email alerts and will check it every few days. 🙂 I found out recently that I am part Scottish, of course I loved Scotland before that too! Lynn, Maine USA.

    • Lynn,
      I hope you continue to enjoy ‘pining’. Do you have any idea which part of Scotland your ancestor came from?
      Ragards, Katrina

  10. Hi Katrina,
    am a red haired, freckled Librarian in Perth, Western Australia with two grown up sons (Lachlan and Fraser) with maternal Grandmother from Aberdeen and Grandfather from Kirkcowan in Wigtown and Galloway, while paternal Grandfather from Selkirk and paternal Grandmother from Berwick.

    I teach the data base ancestry.com to customers in my library and also have a very keen interest in my Scottish Family Tree.

    I long distance solo hike every year in Scotland (West Highland Way, Rob Roy Way and John Muir Way) but my long distance hike this year will probably be postponed to next year.

    Came across your block as a hyperlink (via Bill and Pat Paterson’s Scone blog) and just love it as I am such a ‘Scottaphile’. Congratulations on a great site!

    • Hi Heather-Sophia,
      Thanks for dropping by! We seem to have so many similarities. I love your sons’ names, I almost had a Fraser, but he turned out to be a Gordon.

      I’m amazed that you come to Scotland every year to hike, we’ve always planned to do the West Highland Way but it has never happened, probably because we live in Scotland and in theory can do it anytime. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying ‘Pining’. I must look in at the Paterson Scone blog.


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