In 1918, my grandfather and seven other British officers escaped from a Turkish prisoner of war camp. That was the easy part. They then faced 450 miles of deadly heat, hostile terrain and trigger-happy brigands.
Dreams, gods, ghost guards, emperors, a lovestruck moon – tea has a rich and often macabre heritage of superstition and stories.
Bedlam is at the end of the road, but that’s the least of it.
It’s outdated, sprawling, industrial and CO2 spewing. Yet there’s also a strange beauty to be found walking by the Grangemouth Refinery.
Submarine commander, sailor, governor of Burma, prisoner of war camp escapee and politician – my grandfather served a fascinating public life yet remains an elusive family figure.
In the 18th century the secret world of the molly house was a place for gay men to socialise, cross-dress and role-play. But it was also a place of danger and treachery.
A return visit to the enigmatic ruins of Crawford Priory yields family memories, new secrets and golf balls.