On being one of the 1 in 4 (and the road back)


In September I will take on the position of chair of the board of trustees at SAMH, Scotland’s leading mental health charity. This post explains why I got involved with SAMH and one of the things I hope to bring to the role. PART ONE It’s the summer of 2002. I’m 41 years old. I’m […]
What Ken should have said – and still could


Here’s a thing. I cut my political teeth just over the river from Ken Livingstone’s GLC, as secretary of NALGO at Westminster City Council. It was led at the time by one of his arch enemies, one Lady Shirley Porter. I only met Ken very briefly a couple of times. I didn’t especially warm to […]
A way to go: Jog Scotland’s new partnership


‘From the Colorado mountains, To the California sun, I won’t stop until I get there, I will run, run, run.’ I’ve been running for a long time. And the lyrics to Michelle Lewis’ song Run, Run, Run, get right under my skin.
Scotland’s mental health: shoulders to the wheel


I’ll be honest. This time last week I’d never heard of Scott Hutchison or Frightened Rabbit. I’m not completely out of touch. But the indie music scene isn’t part of my world. So when news of Scott’s disappearance emerged I had to look him up to find out about the man behind the unfolding story. […]
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 […]
Why men have to talk about the stuff that shames us


Anyone for a Peyronie? No, that’s not a spelling mistake. I don’t mean Peroni, the fashionable Italian lager, which quite a few of us might have been reaching for as the late spring sun finally graced us with its presence. I do mean Peyronie’s Disease, a condition which causes curvature of the penis, resulting in […]
Suicide — it isn’t always good to talk, but talk we must


Sixteen years ago, just a few years shy of middle age, I came to Edinburgh to make a new life. Summer was just beginning but it was a cold coming. An inauspicious arrival. All bets were off. I came to begin a new chapter in the very place where, scarcely six months earlier, I had […]
Tough times and golden moments — the story of Pyllon Endeavour Two


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 […]