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A winter weekend in Perth, Scotland

I have felt prematurely festive this year and — until last weekend — I blamed it all on Edinburgh. It’s tricky to keep those love-hate Christmas songs out of your head when the Street of Light is on your doorstep! Yet although Scotland’s capital is the cliché Christmas city with its European-esque market, to get the real spirit of Scotland at the start of winter we headed … Continue reading A winter weekend in Perth, Scotland

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Paisley: UK City of Culture 2021?

What do you think when someone says Paisley? If you were a Scottish teen in the noughties, this town was associated with one thing: Paolo Nutini. For me, he was an example of how a humble background is no barrier to creativity and success. I remember listening to These Streets and wondering if Paisley was anything like my home town; a stark contrast to the big cities … Continue reading Paisley: UK City of Culture 2021?

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Exploring Edinburgh: Behind the bar at Blackbird

When we talk about creativity, we’re guilty of associating it solely with music, culture, literature or art. But what about bartending? I’d never really given much thought to this but — one nippy November night in Scotland’s capital — we opened the door to Blackbird, a cosy pub in Bruntsfield, and discovered this alcoholic artistry for ourselves. Our host for the evening was Joshua Ramsay and, … Continue reading Exploring Edinburgh: Behind the bar at Blackbird

Gullane Point towards the Pentlands

Exploring East Lothian: Autumn at Aberlady

It’s only when you move to the city after years living in the countryside that you realise you were completely spoilt. As a child, I could close our front door and in minutes be surrounded by fields, thick woodland and one of the most controversial pieces of modern architecture Scotland has ever seen (more about that here). Now, living beside one of Edinburgh‘s busiest streets, I lament the loss … Continue reading Exploring East Lothian: Autumn at Aberlady

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On my bookshelf: 3 for dark nights

To me, there is nothing more self-indulgent and introspective than reading. It’s a selfish and complete escape. It has nothing to do with work, no bearing on my blog (which, really, is another form of work) nor does it involve other people and their unpredictable behaviour (I say this flippantly, of course). It’s just you, paper, words, and pure imagination. As we come into autumn, … Continue reading On my bookshelf: 3 for dark nights

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A short break in the Scottish Borders

When I was younger, we used to spend a fair bit of time in the Borders. I remember waking up to chilled windows, icy ditches down Kelso fields and trees hidden under frozen fog, back in those days when the October holidays were actually cold. It felt like you could be walking onto the set of Little Women, so suspended in another era were these tiny towns on the … Continue reading A short break in the Scottish Borders