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

10 Love Stories for Valentines Day

Wandering around the shops today I saw a man walking very fast, carrying a bunch of red roses. Ah, Schmalentine’s Day. Whenever I was single on Valentine’s Day I used it as an excuse to treat myself to all kinds of treasure – baskets of cats wearing bow-ties, a cinema date for one with an… Continue reading 10 Love Stories for Valentines Day

On Rejection, Failure, Holding your Nerve, and Eating a Whole Baked Camembert

When I’m not painstakingly crafting sub-standard jokes or stealing something funny I heard someone say one time a while ago, and then wrapping it all up into a bundle so I can post it on this blog with a title that mentions cheese somehow – I spend my other spare time writing fiction. Ok, I… Continue reading On Rejection, Failure, Holding your Nerve, and Eating a Whole Baked Camembert

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

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 Introvert’s Guide to Disappearing

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 Islands and Books and Winter

Review: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

I picked this book up from the library because the title was irresistible, started reading it on the train home, and was smitten, immediately. Often books arrive just when you need them the most, and this one arrived, volatile and funny, full of dark wit and poetry and joyful hope, on a grey Sunday in January. It was meant… Continue reading Review: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

Heavenly Places

Life is pretty short on miracles. I know this because I have made that shift, as pretty much everyone has, from my childhood state of believing pretty much ANYTHING, to the slightly flattening realisation that unexpectedly wonderful things are few and far between. Which is fair enough, because life is unmiraculous, and I'd be hell… Continue reading Heavenly Places

Secret Style Icon(s) No.15: Bluestockings

"Brilliant in diamonds, solid in judgement, critical in talk" This was Hester Thrale's description of Elizabeth Montagu, the Shakespeare critic du jour and Bluestocking Society hostess, in ye olde 18th century. Thrale met her at a legendary bluestockings get-together in London and was clearly enthralled. How. Flipping. Cool. I'd like to be brilliant in diamonds… Continue reading Secret Style Icon(s) No.15: Bluestockings

Cheap Thrills and the Dangerous Miss Jean Brodie

Here it is again, the arse-end of winter. What's a girl to do but stay in and eat condensed milk straight from the tin with a spoon. I've also been buying lovely things, as is my wont. (And reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, so I can brush up on my morningside accent and use words… Continue reading Cheap Thrills and the Dangerous Miss Jean Brodie