The Hare, the Heron and the Professor: a story for ‘children of all ages’

Late one Spring evening, with the sun’s rays slanting low in the sky, the Professor took a walk around his garden. He paused for a moment to admire the view to the hills beyond. Then something in the grass caught his eye. Lying next to a stone that had been warmed in the sunshine wasContinue reading “The Hare, the Heron and the Professor: a story for ‘children of all ages’”

Five days at the Fringe: first performances of Cicely and David

Here’s my journal of 16-20th August 2022 at the Edinburgh festivals. The shows are back with ‘in person’ audiences and the place is buzzing. Meanwhile, I’m in a dual state of excitement and trepidation. The reason? 16th August will see the premiere of my first play: Cicely and David. It tells the story of aContinue reading “Five days at the Fringe: first performances of Cicely and David”

My play reaches the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The year was 1947. David Tasma was just 40 years old. A Polish migrant who had fled his homeland weeks before the Nazis invaded, he’d spent the war years living on the margins of London life, eventually finding employment in a Kosher restaurant in the West End. When peace came he hoped for better things.Continue reading “My play reaches the Edinburgh Fringe Festival”

The frugal academic

Gary lived alone. A social scientist, he was good at structures, patterns and policies, but less adept in the world of relationships. Gary’s minimal approach to intimacy was echoed in the frugal aspects of his living arrangements. His home was a bungalow, well below his pay grade. Among his few luxuries was a pair ofContinue reading “The frugal academic”

The host and the special Baden wine

The big moment was imminent. For weeks the host had been rehearsing in his head how the evening would end. I knew this because every morning when our paths crossed at the school drop-off he’d had something to say about the special wine that would conclude his next dinner party. It was to be aContinue reading “The host and the special Baden wine”

From scalpel to story: creative reactions after surgery

It’s curious how a moment of creativity can sneak up on you by surprise. After months, even years, of struggling with an idea that will simply not allow itself to be realised, something changes, and the floodgates of the imagination are opened. Here’s how it happened in my case, quite recently.

Alan McClure: creator of songs and wielder of words

I first met Alan McClure over 10 years ago when I read a review of a CD from an upcoming trio called The Geese. I quickly bought a copy and was rewarded with a selection of songs that combined wit, insight and enthusiasm with great tunes and memorable choruses. The acoustic band was quickly bookedContinue reading “Alan McClure: creator of songs and wielder of words”

Play-writing as a shared endeavour 

When I first set out to write a play, I envisaged it as the lone writing task, par excellence. I thought of someone like Henrik Ibsen, exiled and working alone with only his dramatic imagination to guide him. The prospect was uncongenial. I called my friend Jo Hockley, who had once produced a play at the Edinburgh Fringe,Continue reading “Play-writing as a shared endeavour “

Hazel Campbell: at the stroke of a brush

The year was 2010. Heading to our favourite cafe/gallery in Castle Douglas one gloomy Saturday, we paused at the front window. A large watercolour painting was mounted on an easel and seemed to be lighting up the whole High Street. Electric blues and vibrant greens shone out around a quirky white cottage. In the foreground,Continue reading “Hazel Campbell: at the stroke of a brush”

Karen Campbell – a writer’s story

Photo credit Kim Ayres Back in the early months of the 2020 lockdown, like many others I was using enforced isolation to broaden and deepen my reading. I found myself reaching out to the works of authors I was aware of, but had not yet ventured towards. In this context, that spring I became immersedContinue reading “Karen Campbell – a writer’s story”