‘Look Outwards, Not Inwards’ – Finally, a Womens’ Magazine For the Real World

Reading, eating, sleeping: are these not the very foundations of wellbeing? Most else, I could take or leave (exercising is only for emergencies; handsome lovers and disco dancing and holidays in sunny places are the extras we get if we’re lucky and/or persistent). As a kid I avidly read cereal boxes at the breakfast table... Continue Reading →

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‘Hardly a Season for Daylight’ – Why I Love Lanark by Alasdair Gray

I hated Glasgow for the first four years that I lived here. Before I moved, I’d been warned that it would rain interminably, but ‘the humour’ would make up for it. The city seemed to me (eighteen years old and fresh from the Highlands, as green as you get) just a big brawling mass without... Continue Reading →

The Introvert’s Guide to Disappearing

Important Daily Activities: An Incomplete List Make coffee. Dress. Neglect to check mirror for errors made while dressing. Check Facebook, Instagram, What’s App, news websites and Twitter. Stare out of window at high rises. Wonder if anyone is looking at me. Conclude: no. Feel tired. Download a Taylor Swift song. Feel guilty but invigorated. Arrive... Continue Reading →

The Friday Happy List: 30th January 2015

If ever a Friday needed a Happy List, it's Friday the 30th of January. One day I plan to gather all my mutinous feelings about this time of the year (acht, cursed, wretched January) into the introduction to the astonishingly brilliant, grammatically experimental, culturally significant and ludicrously handsome book that I will write. This will not... Continue Reading →

Islands and Books and Winter

In the winter of 2009, I spent four days in the dark windswept wilds of Shetland. Without any phone signal or internet, I was reduced to digging my book out of my bag.  Luckily, that book was Lanark by Alistair Gray. It was just what was needed. It reminded me of the days when I... Continue Reading →

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