Across the great divide

I’m watching Debate Night, the new BBC Scotland channel’s answer to Question Time. It serves to underline a question I have been asking myself more and more frequently in recent months: how do we engage with people who hold diametrically … Continue reading

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Stranger at the Rodeo

Lost in the hills to the south of Perth is a former schoolhouse, one of the four or five buildings in a hamlet gloriously named Path of Condie. The place feels like an eyrie, with brackeny valleys plunging away below … Continue reading

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Acts of kindness

In late January 1973 I arrived in Chile overland from Argentina. I was travelling with a group organised by the adventure company, Encounter Overland, whose regular itinerary, up until that point, had been the hippy trail from London to Kabul. … Continue reading

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Paying attention

Birnam, the village where I live, and neighbouring Dunkeld, across the river, have a combined population of just 1,100 souls. For our size we’re unusual in having an arts centre, fully equipped with a 150-seater auditorium, studio and meeting spaces, … Continue reading

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Closer to the stars

The last time I posted, nearly three months ago, it was with an unfinished story. My mother was in her final hours, and I wrote about how touched I was by the loving kindness she was receiving from the staff … Continue reading

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Kind to the end

The kindness – perhaps I should call it love – that abounds at my mother’s care home is almost overwhelming. She is in her last hours. Since early yesterday morning my brother and I have been taking it in turns … Continue reading

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Wine dark sea

In my last year at school I discovered that there was a small bursary for anyone studying Greek to travel to Greece. It was one of those things you had to find out for yourself; they didn’t tell you about … Continue reading

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