Book Week Scotland 2018

  Along with many of my fellow wordsmiths, I was criss-crossing Scotland last week (19th to 25th November) to celebrate Book Week Scotland 2018, run by the Scottish Book Trust. The theme this year was ‘Rebel’.  My first event was at the Brander Library in Huntly in Aberdeenshire, a lovely wood-panelled Victorian building, where the librarians had...

Remembering One of the Many

  George McCurrach was the dominie or schoolmaster at a small village school in Aberdeenshire. He had risen from humble beginnings to eventually study at Aberdeen University. Enlisting in the Gordon Highlanders, he was then commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Highland Light Infantry. His wife Elizabeth, also a school teacher, took over...

Dance to the Storm Update

Robert Catto always strides into my kitchen as though he owns the place. As usual, I try to divert his attention, offering him claret or brandy in the evening, black coffee during the day. My tactics never work. Nothing gets past this man. ‘Coffee,’ he growls. ‘And, if you please, your word count for...

On Courage

Noor Inayat Khan GC (1914-1944) Noor Inayat Khan was an agent of the British Secret Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War, working as a radio operator in occupied France. She demonstrated exceptional courage in this perilous role, saving many lives before she was betrayed and captured by the Gestapo in Paris. She...