Published: 20/05/2014 10:19 - Updated: 23/05/2014 11:26

Not so naked truth about Scottish life


Peter Ross. Picture: Robert Perry
Peter Ross. Picture: Robert Perry

AWARD-WINNING writer Peter Ross had a good reason for choosing Dingwall’s Sandstone Press to publish his collection of articles, Daunderlust.

He admired the novel Site Works written by the company’s managing director Bob Davidson.

Peter said: “I loved it and thought Sandstone might be sympathetic to the idea of my book.”

Daunderlust collects the many articles the six-time Scottish Press Awards journalist Peter wrote about what goes on beneath the surface in Scotland, from the extreme cleaners who tidy up after the forensic squad to Loch Lomond’s naturists to latex-clad Edinburgh fetishists.

So did he feel underdressed for the fetish club – or overdressed for the naturists?

“My biggest challenge at the fetish club was choosing what to wear,” Peter said.

“I decided, in the end, that there was no point trying to blend in, and that I should try to look as much as possible like a journalist in order to attract attention and therefore interviewees.

"So no leather, no rubber, no whips and chains.

“I wore a suit, a herringbone overcoat buttoned up to the neck, and a full beard.

This outfit caught the eye of a passing dominatrix.

"You're so square," she murmured, approvingly, through her mask, "it's almost perverse."

“When I visited the naturists in Inchmurrin, I was prepared to go naked.

"I took along with me an old towel, naturist etiquette being that one should sit on a towel while visiting the chalets of others.

"However, as it turned out, there was no need for the towel – I kept my clothes on.

"The reason for this was that not everyone was naked at all times.

Daunderlust by Peter Ross"Some were naked, others dressed, and others were somewhere in between – wearing, for instance, nothing more than an apron and Ugg boots.

"Had everyone been naked (or “in uniform” as they put it) then I would have taken off my clothes out of politeness and respect for being in someone else’s environment.

“It’s really no different from offering to take off your shoes when you enter someone else’s home.”

The unusual title of the book is a word Peter believes he created for an article about a Glasgow soup kitchen.

He said: “We wanted to highlight the humour in the book and the word is a pun on ‘wanderlust’ – using the Scots word ‘daunder’ – because I enjoy going out, seeing Scotland and writing about it.

“I wrote it in a story for Scotland On Sunday and the editor really liked the word, but when the story appeared in the paper, the sub editors had cut it out.

“So basically the title of the book is an act of revenge!”

Daunderlust (Sandstone Press, £8.99) is out now.

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