In the (Fieldfare) Press

Implicit in my writing plan for the year (which I wrote about in this post back in January), was a desire to focus less on social media and more on the other writing I could send out into the world. As engaging as social media is, events towards the end of last year made me…

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Falling in Love With Place Through Stories – Landscape to Light by Neil M. Gunn

Recently, I’ve been reading Landscape to Light, a collection of essays by the late Neil M. Gunn – who, in addition to being one of the 20th century’s foremost novelists, also hailed from Caithness. I’ve loved reading Gunn’s views on all sorts of things, and as well as finding his essays interesting in their own right, they’ve also helped…

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New Year, New Plans, New Name

As someone who is generally not a fan of ‘new year, new me’ narratives, I’ve entered into January with an odd sense of gusto for newness. The Christmas holidays saw me taking stock of thoughts and ideas, and I’ve spent the early days of January easing myself back into desk-mode with a few updates that…

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Goodbye 2021 – The Highs and Lows of Another Year Behind the Blog

At the end of each December, I’ve fallen into the habit of writing a reflective post on the year that’s about to leave us. The format has varied slightly during my time in the blogosphere, but sharing the highs and lows of another twelve months has become a ritual I enjoy. It also eases me…

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My Ten Favourite Books of 2021

At around this point in winter, I like to round up my ten favourite books of the year, in no particular order (and with the caveat that the list refers to the year of reading – I often read books many years after publication). This year I read thirty-nine books in total, fewer than normal…

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Stories and Solastalgia – The Aftermath of Writing About The North Coast 500, Park-Ups, Potholes and Poo

This summer, I wrote a piece about living on the popular ‘North Coast 500’ route through the lens of my own experience as a resident of Caithness. Entitled ‘Poo, Potholes and Park-Ups – Why Highlanders are Tired of Scotland’s North Coast 500 Route,’ the article was probably more even-handed than the alliterated headline might suggest.…

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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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Storms, Seasons and Social Media

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. Anne of Green Gables It’s not the first time I’ve used this quote on the blog (and I’m sure it won’t be the last time). Autumn is finally upon us – that season of colour, crunchy leaves and closing nights. This year feels…

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Hibernation Diaries – Storms and Sunshine, Projects and Plans

Leo Tolstoy once wrote ‘Spring is the time of plans and projects.’ Yet here at home in Caithness, the ninth week of lockdown meant plans and projects put on hold. Keeping up with the daily cycles of homeschool, home work and domesticity leaves us feeling that boredom might be a luxury. Half-weeded patches of garden…

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Hibernation Diaries – Big Emotions, Doorstep Gifts and Lost Teddies

Week eight of lockdown was a challenging one in our household. With my husband working long hours from the spare bedroom, it fell to me to become chief teacher, cook, cleaner, dog walker and all-round operative of essential domestic tasks. On the school front, we had a day of big emotions as I tried to…

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