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 remote area of Scotland. Originally the brainchild of North Highland Initiative – a non-profit organisation set…

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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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Hibernation Diaries – Sleeplessness, Outlander, The Province of the Cat and the Coming of the Blossom

This week marked my first foray into gloominess in this era of lockdown, Covid-19 and social distancing. I started the week with a pain in my back and a new bout of insomnia (something I attribute less to worries about Coronavirus, than the hormonal see-saw that seems to characterise my early forties). Added to the…

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Caithness and Coorie – Embracing the Seasons in The UK’s Most Northerly County

Over the years, I’ve embraced just about every geographical lifestyle trend imaginable. Hygge – the Danish art of cosiness and contentment: on it. Lagom – the Swedish philosophy of ‘not too little, not too much, just right’: yep, count me in. Ikigai – the Japanese secret to a long and happy life: been there, done…

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Five Unique Dog Friendly Places to Eat in the Scottish Highlands

* COVID-19 UPDATE – PLEASE CHECK WITH INDIVIDUAL ESTABLISHMENTS BEFORE VISITING AS POLICIES MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE TIME OF WRITING. * The Scottish Highlands: a land famed for its rugged landscape, awe-inspiring scenery and general all-round gorgeousness. And if you’re a dog owner, you might be interested to hear that it’s also a pretty good…

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Dog Friendly Places to Eat and Drink in Caithness

* COVID-19 UPDATE – PLEASE CHECK WITH INDIVIDUAL ESTABLISHMENTS BEFORE VISITING AS POLICIES MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE TIME OF WRITING. * Among my many passions in life, the love of dogs, family and a good cup of coffee rank highly. And as any dog owner knows of course, the first two of these are exactly…

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The North Coast 500, Also Known As Home

There is a road I see from the front door of my home in Caithness that forms part of the North Coast 500. As kids, we knew it better as the road ‘up west’, a passage imbued with the promise of beaches, picnics and sand between our toes. These days, the route has a new title…

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