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In between bouts of Scrabulousing, I went out on a random drive last night for the first time in ages. (I seem to know less people with cars these days...) We went, uh, northish, and tried to get up on the escarpment near Balfrom and Fintry and things, but couldn't find a helpful road. Had to turn in various people's driveways, and one police station car park.

We found an AMAZING place, which we knew was a school, but didn't know what kind. It was very discreet, miles up a side road. A medium-size castle/ country house thing, with loads of archways and a few turrets and stuff. There was a stupidly high bridge nearby over a very small stream, and the grounds were huge. A bit of googling when we got back, and we discovered it was Ballikinrain School, a centre for about 30 delinquent or abused boys from 8-12. There was apparently a documentary about it back in February, which I wish I'd seen. An interesting article about it here.

There is a difference, too, between bad boys and boys who have done bad things. Extreme behaviour - the dope, the drinking, the repeat offending, the violent defiance of schools and parents - has a hinterland for a Bradley, a Steven, a Ryan or a Marco. Some of the reasons are "deeply hidden", or just unspeakable. Often enough, "these boys have had to grow up quickly" without being granted the chance to grow up at all. They are traumatised, quite simply, and powerless. Things just keep happening to them.

Ballikinrain seems to operate on the principle that there is not much point in punishing the traumatised. Nor is there mileage in deploring the world. A child is traumatised: that's the present. The narration in the first episode notes, for example, that most of the boys who come to the school are not used to the countryside. Therefore, it is said, they have a tendency to seek out "hiding places" in the grounds. I wonder. When a mouthy street kid seeks refuge in a quiet place beside a waterfall, something deeper is going on.

We also found out that the Baronet of Ballikinrain is the highheidyin of the Masons in all of Scotland, and is the only person to have held that office twice. The internet is amazing for just following up random little bits of information.

And I took some pretty pictures.

Entrance to Ballikinrain:

ballikinrain entrance

Sunset over a random lake:

near balfron, i think

View over Glasgow:

view near balfron, probably

Big bridge, small stream:


Sunset at Ballikinrain:

mike sharp

This one came out all blurry - this is it sharpened up and debrightened, but I'm not that good at fiddling with Photoshop. Must get a decent camera.



( 10 comments — Comment )
Sep. 4th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
Excellent photos.
Sep. 4th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
I'm just using the camera on my phone, and it's quite frustrating, because the quality is so variable. I think because I don't really know how to get the best out of it. But the quality of the third photo there is great, whereas some of the others are pretty crappy, and I don't know why...

I think I'm gonna buy a proper camera.
Sep. 4th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Haha, I have sent children to Ballykinrain!
Sep. 4th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's a fantastic place! Not that the kids probably appreciate it, but it's stunning.
Sep. 4th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
Coo :)
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 7th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
Heh, brilliant! I saw it was a girls' school at one point. It's stunning!
Sep. 6th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
Good photos! :)
Sep. 16th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
pickwick is a sheep shagger
oh rather, jolly hockey sticks old boy.... out for a spot of sheep shaggin on the hill...very nice.

Q: what does this arse call three sheep tied to a pole

A: a leisure centre
May. 4th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
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And did you hear news - price for XRumer 5.0 Palladium will grow up to $540 after 15 may 2009... And XRumer 2.9 and 3.0 - too old versions, it's cant break modern catpchas and cant break modern anti-bot protections. But XRumer 5.0 Palladium CAN!!!!
So help me for download this great program for free! Thanks!
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
a was in there fur about 5 years n it was the best place ive been a think if a stayed anywhere els at that point a wouldnt be here the day i was never out of bother but wen i went there it changed ma life
( 10 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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