Launching Finn and Friends, A Collection of Verse and Stories

Earlier this month, myself and fellow writers Andrea Wotherspoon, Ian Leith and Charlotte Platt launched new book Finn and Friends at John O’Groats – A Collection of Verse and Stories. The launch marked the culmination of almost a year’s worth of work, which started with us meeting at John O’Groats to discuss how three new…

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Scotland’s Year of Stories, Wick Voices, and Our Cultural Landscape

I’ve written a lot about stories, how they shape and define places. Here in the north Highlands, it can sometimes feel that our stories are being written (or perhaps, rewritten) for us – a landscape of wilderness in which we not appear. I was comforted recently reading The Shepherd’s Life, James Rebanks’ beautiful account of…

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2022 Writing Plans and a FREE Short Story

Leo Tolstoy once wrote that ‘spring is the time of plans and projects,’ but actually, so is January. I’ve spent the first weeks of the new year easing myself back into writing, and making plans for the year ahead. After a low spell at the end of 2021, I’m entering the new year feeling creative…

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Of Snow and Stories

Last weekend brought snow to Caithness, two days of respite from the unchanging nature of lockdown. As it fell that first evening, my 11-year-old ran into the street without a jacket while I watched him from the door. There was a simple kind of magic to seeing him spin under heavy, lamp-lit flakes, like parts…

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Hibernation Diaries – Homeschool, Helping, Lost Shoes and Hopeful Sunsets

We are now entering week five of lockdown here in the UK (at least I think it’s week five – it could actually be week four, or six, and I’d currently be none the wiser). The days and weeks are melting into one somewhat, and a sense of routine is becoming ever more important –…

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The March Moon, Cold Comfort and Being Astonished by the World

This week, I have found myself reflecting on the changing seasons as winter slowly turns to spring, and then back again, in the game of back and forth that so often characterises March in Caithness. Here and there, primroses peek out in cheerful colours, while on verges, daffodils open up like yellow, honeyed eyes. In…

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The Lion King at the Edinburgh Playhouse and the Year of Experience

Years ago (MANY years ago…. 😉 ), in the days when I was a student living in Glasgow, my friend told me about the Lion King musical. She had just been to see it and couldn’t stop talking about how absolutely amazing it was. I was of course, envious, and also broke – not the…

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2019: My Year in Numbers

At this point in December I like to emerge from my turkey-induced fog and write a few words to usher out the year that’s leaving us. Of course, this year, we’re ushering out a whole decade, and I’m excited about what’s to come in the ‘twenties’ (not least because we’ll finally have a decade we…

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Summer So Far and A Little Catch Up….

I’ve really missed writing on my blog over the summer holidays, and it seems like forever since I’ve posted here. These precious few weeks without the routines of school (and after school clubs) always go in so quickly, and unless I either get up very early – or go to bed very late – my…

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On Trying New Things and Embracing Your Inner Mermaid

If you follow me on social media (I’m mostly on Instagram), you might have noticed that I’ve been trying out a potential new hobby this week – sea swimming. Spurred on by the enthusiasm of a friend – who’s been willingly flinging herself in the Pentland Firth for several months now – I was curious about the…

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