Category Archives: Music

Be prepared

It’s nearly book festival time again – by which I mean the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Every August, Charlotte Square Gardens sprout canvas and are transformed into a kind of intellectual carnival of some 800 events that seem between them … Continue reading

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Finish your stuff

Thanks to everyone who responded so thoughtfully to last week’s post and my dilemma. The outcome was roughly two to one in favour of not singing the song at all, and most of those who thought it was still feasible … Continue reading

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Six-letter word

I have a dilemma. It involves a song and a six-letter word. It’s a song I’ve always loved, not just because of its melody and rolling New Orleans piano style, but because of its bitingly brilliant irony. The dilemma arises … Continue reading

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Summer in Scotland

There are times when writing this blog feels beyond me. No matter how much I promise myself that I’ll start mid-afternoon on Thursday, it’s invariably 5.00 pm before I get going and then, on a normal Thursday, I’ll go for … Continue reading

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Magic bus

I wrote last week about acting on wild ideas. My father was a judge. As the profession would suggest, he was the most rational of men and not given to frequent flights of the imagination. Occasionally, though, he surprised us … Continue reading

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A work of beauty

In the five-and-a-bit years I’ve been writing this blog it has brought me satisfaction, pleasure, occasional anxiety, occasional joy, and a lot of good connections. It can also sometimes feel tyrannical. Today is a case in point. (More accurately, it’s … Continue reading

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Magic in the air

Sometimes there’s just a little bit of magic in the air. So it has seemed these last 10 days. I can’t really explain it, but it feels as if maybe the planets have been particularly well aligned – or something … Continue reading

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Wayfaring strangers

When I got home at lunchtime today there was a large and magnificent-looking book sitting on my kitchen table. It was warmly inscribed to me by its author, my close neighbour, Fiona Ritchie. Fiona is the presenter of The Thistle … Continue reading

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Food of love

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In the 10 years that we’ve been running our writing courses, many good things have come out of Dark Angels. Along with sharpened senses, there have been new friendships, changes of personal direction, and the  publication of writing of all … Continue reading

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Things that make me cry

‘Are you turning into a marshmallow?’ asked Sarah the other night. The answer is probably Yes. I seem to cry more easily as I get older. What’s curious though is what makes me cry. It’s not so much the things … Continue reading

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