Stay at home, save lives – nothing else matters now

24/03/2020

We’re locked down. We knew it was coming and yet when the moment came it was still deeply shocking. It made for an evening none of us who live through this crisis will ever forget. And for the vast majority of us, like none other we’ve experienced before. Or ever thought we would. If living […]
How do we survive a plague? Only connect!

21/03/2020

Picture it. Edinburgh, the Meadows. It’s late March. Dusk. The evenings have only just lightened up again. A group of runners assembling for our Thursday session. Sidling up in dribs and drabs. Chit-chatting. Waiting for coach Alex to call us to order. ‘Thanks for rocking up’, is how he’s always started. Accompanied by knowing grins […]
How do we survive a plague? Together

13/03/2020

For those of us who found ourselves at the heart of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, COVID-19 incites old emotions which have never been far from the surface in the intervening decades. In myriad ways, the world of 2020 is one we couldn’t have imagined back then — not least the digital connectivity we […]
Tough times and golden moments — the story of Pyllon Endeavour Two

27/01/2020

I wasn’t there at the beginning and it’s hard to know where to start. Perhaps the best place is the bare facts about Pyllon Endeavour’s challenge, Out of the Wild, completed earlier today. Nine runners, between them, have run the entire length of the Scottish National Trail — Cape Wrath to Kirk Yetholm. That’s 102 […]
Scotland has decided it wants a different future — and we need to get there together

13/12/2019

In the dead of election night, I polled my Twitter followers about whether my next move should be tea, coffee or gin. The result was overwhelmingly gin. A bottle, not a glass, one suggested. Intravenously, said another. But I chose tea. A strong mug of Scottish Blend. I was reminded of election night, 1987. In […]
Lest we forget: Communities make the difference

28/11/2019

Another day of AIDS awareness and mourning is upon us. It’s the 32nd since the 1 December was designated World AIDS day in 1988. This year’s theme — both timeless and timely — is ‘Communities make the difference.’ Earlier this year I republished a letter to my late partner, Lawrence, who died of AIDS in […]
One day in East Berlin

09/11/2019

I never went to East Berlin. Not really. By the time I first set foot there on a freezing, grey morning in December 1989, it was too late. I was 28. The Berlin Wall, built six months after I was born, had fallen just weeks earlier. Those exultant scenes of hammers and chisels being taken […]
Coming Out — an act of repetition — because the personal is still political

11/10/2019

TS Eliot died in 1965, four years before the birth of the modern gay liberation movement. What he might have made of being quoted on National Coming Out Day, goodness knows. And yet his words, from the final stanza of part three of East Coker, came to me this morning — as they often do. […]