Lockdown Victorian Style

One of my favourite aspects of writing is the world-building component. I love to create a setting that feels completely real to me, one that I can inhabit, breathe, experience alongside my characters. Even when the world I’m writing about is wholly invented, there are always parts of the landscape that have their origins in …

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The Ghost of Lockdown Present(s)

I don’t usually go in for extensive Christmas present buying (a combination of thinking it an exploitative commercial con and not having any money), but I do try and make something modest for my family and close friends each year. What my gran would call “a wee minding”. This year, knowing that I wasn’t going …

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2020 – Not Drowning but Waving

Hurkle-durkle is an old Scots word that means to linger in bed a lot longer than you should. In todays parlance, it’s called a duvet day, and like most people, I have indulged in a good few more of these this year than usual. Though I try not to give in to the grey clouds …

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A Window on the (Covid) World

Like many writers, I’ve always been an avid people-watcher. I idly speculate about fellow passengers on buses and trains, giving them personalities, life histories and even names. )You’d be surprised how many axe murderers use public transport.) I inspect the trolley ahead of me in the supermarket queue and wonder what is going to be …

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There’s No Place Like Home Improvement

It’s odd, speaking as a writer who is well used to working from home, to say that I felt cabined, cribbed and confined (to steal Mr Shakespeare’s patter) by lockdown. But during the pandemic, as the restrictions have tightened, eased, and then tightened again, there have been times when I’d give a great deal for …

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Eat In to Stay Thin (I Wish!)

As you’ll know if you follow me on social media, or have read any of my previous food posts, I love to cook. One of the many great things about being a writer is that I don’t have to settle for a snatched sandwich for lunch, or get home too late to cook a proper …

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Living In a Material World

When we went into lockdown here in Scotland back in March, I rather naively believed it wouldn’t impact on me unduly (apart from securing adequate supplies of food – and wine of course!). As a writer I’m used to working at home, and I don’t do a lot of socialising, so I assumed at first …

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