The Loser’s Guide to Writing #1 Where to begin?

At the begining? Once upon a time? In a galaxy, far, far away? The longest journey starts with the first step. Just pick up your pen and write the first word. Close your eyes, imagine, channel. Mmm. Or stare at the evil blank page / screen until something just pops up. Like an email from... Continue Reading →


An Electrified Calf

Growing up in Scotland in the 1970's, draped in tartan, soaked in whisky, buried in shortbread and fearful of Nessie, it was probably inevitable that I'd be drawn to Big Country. After all, they were Scottish, weren't they? If not exactly draped, they were certainly trimmed in tartan. In their music videos they could be... Continue Reading →


Spiders Some stories lead you on a merry dance. They start off by saying "Let's have a bit of fun, come on" but then they usher you into the woods and you wonder where the hell you're going as the light fades and the shadows lengthen. I didn't know where this was taking me. All... Continue Reading →

First (real) Gig

First (real) gig Big Country at Ingliston Exhibition Centre, 5 December 1986 Edinburgh (Ingliston). Edinburgh Exhibition Centre 5 December 1986 Driving through the Scottish highlands in a temperamental VW Golf in the middle of winter, all the way from Inverness to Edinburgh, and back. It was as epic as it got for a shy, homely... Continue Reading →


The faint outline of the rooftops at the edge of the town was lit by the dim orange glow of the street lamps below. I couldn’t see anything beyond the line of the roofs but I knew what was out there; bulks of hills looming silently in the deep darkness; the black waters of the... Continue Reading →

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