This is All Good News

Winter is like a Jean-Luc Godard film: it’s painful and it feels like it’ll never end. Everyone is saying significant things in stilted, self-conscious ways and wearing stripy jumpers. There are naked people reading newspapers, and a car crash, and it all feels bit surreal, but also, really boring. Well that metaphor didn’t really hold... 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 →

Hygge Will Get You Through This Winter

The long, dark nights are beginning. The Scottish winter demands effort and thoughtfulness, to get through it successfully to the other side. So I’ve been writing lists (‘make cookies. Wash clothes and self’) and making plans to go to the pub now and then. These things may seem small and lame. The lack of grandiose... Continue Reading →

John Donne, that Feisty Old Rascal

Sometimes it's hard to remember that life was ever about lying flat out under the sun in a hot July. At these times, I heartily recommend eating and poetry. And eating poetry! (No, don't). As a strategy for getting through the dark, you can't really go wrong with eating and reading. I've been baking with the radio on and a... Continue Reading →

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