How Westminster politics failed us when it mattered most


Brexit’s place in the genre of storytelling is hard to pin down. Part tragedy, part thriller, part farce — even whodunnit. The Thick of It refrain has become ubiquitous. But beneath its well-worn exterior, a more careworn temperament lurks. For all the gallows humour that gets us through the moment, these are deeply troubling times. In fact, […]
There’s only one Andy Murray


If he were a football player it’s a chant you’d have heard from the terraces a thousand times over. Tennis isn’t football. Its audiences are every bit as passionate but their enthusiasm is tempered by a different culture. Yet it’s a mantra that has a certain ring to it and in one sense it’s undoubtedly […]
Shortening days, lengthening reflections — and Settling Up


Just a week to go until the shortest day and winter’s beginning. Somehow, though the year stumbles on for another ten days, for me, it’s the winter solstice that marks its finale. I’m no pagan. In a fragile world, I cling onto my Christian faith, against the odds. For all the fairy lights that bedeck […]
We’ve beaten the virus — it’s time to kill the stigma


Disclosures, published by Stewed Rhubarb Press, is a book of sometimes harsh contrasts. Of visibility and invisibility, silence and noise, innocence and experience, openness and closedness — despair and hope. And the contrast at its core is about shame. It is, unashamedly, a book about living with HIV in Scotland today. And yet, without the shame that […]
The Pyllon Endeavour — an unmissable story of strength and vulnerability


Eight men. Twenty four hours. One hundred and ninety-two miles. If you’d been walking through an underpass, on the edge of a shopping precinct in Milngavie, just after 4.00pm on Saturday, you might have caught a glimpse of those eight men. Heads bowed, in a group hug, surrounded by a small crowd of well-wishers. A […]
Katie and William were not our children — but their tragic deaths are about us


Just another Monday. Even in this increasingly dysfunctional world, we still have them. We go about our business. I’d been meeting a colleague over coffee in Edinburgh’s George Street. A cheery enough hour spent. That thing we call catching up. I couldn’t help being reminded, while the caffeine was good, the coffee bar had been […]
Whose community is it anyway?


The lives of people with learning disabilities are changing. The burgeoning alumni of Scotland’s learning disability awards, since their inception in 2017, are a powerful testament to that. Along with the 2016 recipients of six lifetime RSA fellowships for people with learning disabilities in Scotland, they provide compelling evidence of the talent and potential in […]
What’s left undone — Remembering Olivia McLeod


Our journey together scarcely left base camp. But the tent pegs in the ground were already secure. In the midst of an ending, we forged a new bond. Green shoots burgeoned. Abundant with hope, possibility. Stuff to talk about, things to do. Such was the thrill of my short friendship with Olivia McLeod. Facing death, […]