Good Company

I’m proud to be a Dangerous Woman.

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The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh are asking what being a dangerous woman means and providing a myriad of answers, one per day, over the 365 days between International Women’s Day 2016 and International Women’s Day 2017.

My piece, entitled The Business of Incantations is here.



52and40/7 Revise, Run, Roll Again


Dear Sixty Year Old Me,

Saturday was that day of sliding down a long snake after a clear climb on a few recent ladders.

You felt low afterwards. Low and relieved.  Relieved because I wasn’t chosen to read out.  Two hours after emailing the intro to my submission to the novel writing workshop I could see holes in it, after all.  Huge holes.

Leerdammer through a telescope holes.

Here, forty eight hours later, I dare say I’ll stand up for attempt 654 of trying to birth this goddamn story.

Say you’re laughing?





What am I on about with #52and40?  Find out here.

52and40/6 When They Go Low 


Everyone’s a tourist, up Calton Hill. You can see in all directions and take in the various curiosities providing perfect photography props.


You can grab coffee and cake then wander through art.


I was reminded of Berlin, up Calton Hill. Different accents, space for everyone; no tension between worker bees and butterflies. The National Monument, our memorial to lives lost in the Napoleonic Wars, stands in its long since abandoned state of grace as people climb up it to smile and laugh for iconic photos and memories.

History & modernity at a peace.






Read more about #52and40 here.

52and40/5 Foreground Focus


I don’t rage against the dying of the light in a Scottish Autumn.  I like putting on lamps in the afternoon and seeing into people’s windows from the bus; stealing details for stories.  I relish the warmth of the house in contrast to the new chill outdoors.


I’m letting the idea that, ‘what’s in the way is the way‘ guide my creativity since hearing it on a podcast.  It’s illuminated a lot for me about further tuning victim narratives into survivor stories; I’m enthralled with the empowerment born from simple cognitive adjustments.


Read more about #52and40 here.

52and40/4 Goldilocks Desk


The season so far’s been kind in Edinburgh. Underfoot the ground’s mercifully dry and the sun seems brighter for longer than in recent years. 52and40-1



I’ve moved my desk to a window so I can soak up as much light as possible while I work. It’s made such a difference to feel connected with outdoors and in; from clouds, buses and birds on one side of the glass to the simple luxuries of late afternoon radiator warmth and lamp light inside.  At last, I’ve found a balance that’s just right for me.  Phew.



What’s #52and40 all about, Alfie? The answer’s here.