‘Straylya’. That's how I can remember first hearing it – stray-lya – as if it was a place filled with strays. I wasn’t aware at that very young age of paying too much attention to the origins of the country’s name. But later I recall a growing sense of satisfaction that it suited the place my small family had decided to make their home. My parents had been dedicated strayers well before they got here. They’d ridden motorbikes all across Scotland and the north of England in the postwar years. Proud owners of a BSA Golden Flash, they were members of a club that set off each weekend to rumble through the Royal Mile and head out beyond the Edinburgh boundary lines, into the moorlands and hills and glens. When I came along there was a sidecar added, and I became the club’s baby. Lots of pictures of me being passed around – all rugged up with fat, wind-chafed cheeks – to members posing proudly by bikes lined up against backgrounds of fairly grim grey landscapes. Looking back at those old photos now, I realise the club was training me in the art of straying.