On Mental Health Awareness Week, Caithness and Caring

Here in the UK, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, an initiative hosted by the Mental Health Foundation to focus attention on mental health issues across the nation. This year the theme for the event is nature, with a focus on the supportive role the natural world can play in boosting mental health. The theme appears…

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Tread Lightly, Travel Politely

As travel restrictions ease across Scotland, many people in the North Highlands are feeling nervous about the resumption of tourism. 2020 was a challenging year here in the far north, and memories of irresponsible camping, inconsiderate motorhome parking, and the litter and human waste left by a minority of visitors will be difficult to erase.…

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No Wilderness: Reshaping The Way We Talk About Far North Places

Exactly a year ago, on the Sunday before the UK entered lockdown, I was out walking with my son here in Caithness when a man pulled over in his car and rolled down the driver’s side window. He asked us where he could find a place to eat and have a cup of coffee. The…

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Castles of Steel and Thunder in Paperback

If you’ve been reading recently, you’ll know that the last month or so has been a very exciting time for me. My debut novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, launched in November as an eBook and quickly went to the top of two Amazon categories in the eBook charts. Recently, I took delivery of my…

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eBooks, Excitement and #ChangeHerStory

If you were reading last week, you’ll know that my first Young Adult novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, has just launched as an eBook (paperback launch coming soon – more on that subject next time). The last week has been very exciting, and I was delighted when the eBook hit the number one spot…

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Castles of Steel and Thunder is Here – and a Very Special Offer

I’m delighted to announce that after weeks of editing, proof reading – and spending rather a lot of time in loungewear – my first novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder launches officially today as an eBook. For today only, you can buy the eBook at the very special price of £1.99 (normal price £5.99). If…

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Where Stories Come From: Caithness Lore and Legend

If you were reading last week, you’ll know that I’m soon to publish my first novel, a Young Adult fantasy inspired by the folklore of my home county, Caithness. I’ll be sharing more details on the story soon, but for now, I wanted to share a little on why I was inspired to write the…

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The North Coast 500 and the Summer of Discontent

Since its inception in 2015, The North Coast 500 – the re-branding of an existing 516-mile loop around the North Highlands – has attracted visitors from all over the world, keen to experience the untamed beauty of this area of Scotland. Originally the brainchild of North Highland Initiative – a non-profit organisation set up by…

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Mallaig, Memories and My Nana

Growing up, two places dominated my experience of childhood. Caithness, because it was where we lived, and Mallaig, because it was where we took all our holidays. The latter also had a special attraction: it was where Nana and Iain lived (Nana being my paternal Grandmother and Iain my uncle, who lived with Nana due…

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Hibernation Diaries – Small Steps Back Into The World

In a crisis, we find out who we are. I heard these words on TV the other day as we completed our tenth week of ‘hibernation,’ a milestone that saw Scotland ease lockdown rules to enable people to meet with others outside their household. The new rules have a distinctly outdoor focus, enabling family reunions…

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