One Moment in Time: the other 9/11 and how I fell in love with Berlin


On the evening of 9th November 1989, I was at a trade union lesbian and gay conference at the Swallow Hotel in Peterborough. It was long before gay marriage was anywhere near the political agenda and the only other guests at the hotel were people attending a big straight wedding with all the trimmings. The […]
From Scotland With Love: a gift for all of us


From Scotland With Love is a tour de force. Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a screening of the film accompanied by King Creosote live at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. I’d caught the tail end of it on television at Christmas and had been immediately drawn in by the fascinating archive images […]
On writing and endeavour


‘We could stretch our legs if we'd half a mind But don't disturb us if you hear us trying To instigate the structure of another line or two Cause writing's lighting up And I like life enough to see it through’ From Writing by Bernie Taupin on Elton John, Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown […]
Singin’ in the rain with Ricky and Lorraine


Oh, what a night. I’m not as much of a concert goer as I ought to be. And I’m not a fan of stadium gigs. But there are some opportunities you just can’t turn down. And seeing Deacon Blue at Edinburgh Castle is definitely one of them.
Making a contribution shouldn’t be a privilege – it should be a right


I’m very lucky. I have a great job. As chief executive of the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD), I work with a brilliant team and some terrrific organisations. I’m privileged to work close to the heart of government, influencing legislation and policy. Most importantly, in all of this, I get to work alongside people […]
Stories – a gift worth giving


Earlier today I tweeted my ‘Show and Tell’ for Scotland’s Learning Disability Week which starts on Monday, 14th May. It’s a book, A Kestrel for a Knave, by Barry Hines. It was turned into a film, Kes, which I was taken to see at the age of nine at our local cinema. Later I studied […]
Damian, Me – and Maggie Too


On the morning of 13th October 1984, aged 23, I stood on my friend Sue’s doorstep in Stoke Newington. Sue was a fellow trade union activist. We were members of a small but determined community, engaged in a struggle for our rights — lesbian and gay rights. I’d gone round to drop off some papers for a […]
Notre Dame – ‘the heartbeat of our story’


‘The heartbeat of our story’, said Archbishop Vincent Nichols on the radio this morning. He’s right. And it’s why, for a moment last night, my heart stopped and then felt broken. The unmistakable image of Notre Dame on my Twitter feed, caught in a casual glance at the screen when I should have been looking […]
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