Category Archives: Nature

The company of wolves

Twenty-five years ago I published a novel called The Mapmaker. Set in 1349, the year the Black Death reached England, it tells the story of two young men who are driven from their village and find themselves following a mysterious … Continue reading

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Affairs of the heart

A friend wrote to me this week to let me know that a novel I had read for her a couple of years ago is starting to make waves. She has the interest of both a good Scottish publisher and … Continue reading

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In Africa

Last year my work took me around the world, from Auckland in February, to Rhode Island and Boston in October, with several European countries in between. I vowed to try and slow down in 2019, my seventieth year. It hasn’t … Continue reading

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Rockall, Malin, Hebrides …

A few years ago I took up running. It wasn’t long before I stumbled on the kerb, turned my ankle and had to be scraped off the road by a passing motorist. A physiotherapist subsequently told me that injuries within … Continue reading

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Out of body

I have always thought that the last word in disembodiment was Tenniel’s illustration of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. ‘I have often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat,’ says Alice, watching … Continue reading

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A fine balance

Over the last 20 years I’ve made nearly a dozen trips to India. Each time I find myself re-enchanted by it, and each time by some new or different aspect of the place. I was born two years after Indian … Continue reading

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Feet of clay

Last night I finished reading H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald’s extraordinary and much-fêted memoir about how she worked through her grief at her father’s death by training a goshawk. I loved the book for the luminosity of the writing, … Continue reading

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