Chariots of Fire, the Xylophone version, or Why I Love the State of Michigan

This wee bit follows on from this post… where, having been racing through Detroit Airport in the hopes of catching the day’s final flight to ...

TV screenplay, Travel Memoir and Fruit de Mer Fiction

One of the things my mum found most hilarious in life (along with Terry Wogan’s annual commentary on the Eurovision Song Contest and most things after a couple of drams of Jameson’s) was the fact that I once asked for help with the personality quiz question, “Am I Decisive?” I insisted afterwards that I was […]

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Rush Hour Reading

I’m trying to read a book a week on the streetcar on the way downtown each morning. The feeling of finishing a book is a splendid one and if accomplished during a morning commute, shunts my day into the success category before most people have even struggled to their desks. Very little needs to happen […]

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Learning Scottish Gaelic in Texas: From Ovine to Bovine and Back

My Texan Gaelic teacher tells me it is fun to get Dwelly’s Scottish Gaelic dictionary and look up words for sheep. She is right! There are words for a small or inferior lamb, draft gimmer, crooked hogg and other sheepish types I’ve never heard of. For a short tailed-ram, pet ewe-hogg and three-winter ewe. You can […]

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Crow’s Feet

This morning I walked up to the library to collect a few books I’d ordered. The books were a lot heavier than I’d expected, so I had to weigh up how much I really wanted today’s tomes. I checked that nobody in the vicinity was doing online bongo lessons like the last time I was […]

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Today I’m in a Venezuelan café where they sell empanadas and play slick R’n’B. I’m drinking very strong coffee that will soon turn me into a crazed monster who will wreak havoc on the world. I’m not supposed to drink coffee. Usually, at this writing slot time, I write in a Starbucks, its bland anonymity […]

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Norm and The Herring Belt

I live in Parkdale. I like to call it Little Scotland, but it’s actually Little Tibet or Little Roma-ville or Little Halfway House. Doing laundry round here can be interesting. There’s a laundry much closer than the big, airy one I trek to at King and Dufferin, but I prefer a laundry where the folding […]

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The Stars of Spencer Avenue

Spencer Avenue has always got something going on. Maybe it’s the vacant eyed guy in the burgundy fedora, preaching damnation as he strides north. Or the six-foot-five man who wears pristine jumpsuits, belted at the waist and tucked into knee high sports socks, might model a fine new cream or taupe number. Or the sweet […]

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Nude, Neon, New Orleans

Ahoy! Here’s a wee snippet of the latest chapter… the second last one. The end is nigh! Let me know what youse think of it. When Maggie and I eventually reach downtown New Orleans, we stroll to Canal Street, the eastern hem of the French Quarter. The street is grand, wide and punctuated by a […]

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Summer nights in Scotland

  I was back home in Scotland last week and it was still as bright as (a cloudy Scottish summer day at) midday at 9:30 pm. The evening light is rather delicious. It’s only really dark between about midnight and 4 am at the moment. Twenty hours of brightness is obviously splendid… we just try […]

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Nice One, Hen, or The First Time I Worked At A Fish and Chip Shop

When I was 18, I got a job in a fish and chip shop in Dumbarton, just north of Glasgow. This was a mistake. Dumbarton has a picturesque ruined castle and views of the Highlands, 3196-foot-high Ben Lomond and the River Clyde. I did not see any of these things. I did see a lot […]

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