A gown for all ages: landscapes, objects, and family in a global context

On October the 16th, we christened my daughter Penelope. Having family and friends come along for the service, next to our new house in Motspur Park, felt like a milestone in our lives. When we first spoke about the Christening, my Mum mentioned that my Gran had looked out the gown that I was christened in. I thought it sounded really nice to re-use the … Continue reading A gown for all ages: landscapes, objects, and family in a global context

Burns Night – The Immortal Memory

I thought I’d share my own take on ‘The Immortal Memory’ written a few years ago to deliver at a Burns Night celebration. E’er still the sturdy Ayrshire Bard’s Rough-hewn poetic glory Speaks tae us, ‘cross time and since is wov’n in wisened story: We ken his swagger had its way, A gallus rogue and ay sae bold, Left scores o’lassies aw a-quiver And hauf … Continue reading Burns Night – The Immortal Memory

Echo Chambers and Exit Polls

I’m still stumped, I suppose. It’s tough for me to get my head round what happened, and so I’m writing this partly as a way of digesting the events of Thursday night and Friday morning. Polling stayed locked in a dance of minute intricacy, a slow suite building towards crescendo. Steady numbers, fluctuating almost imperceptibly, seemed to establish a digestible narrative that convinced us all … Continue reading Echo Chambers and Exit Polls

Rugby and Heritage: Connections to the 1871 International

I’ve always liked my rugby. I can’t honestly say I’ve ever been that good at it mind. At school, I was – to put it charitably – an enthusiastic front row forward, shifting to flanker as others got bulkier. Nowadays, I’m confined to non-contact rugby by recurrent injuries. Yet there has always been an interest, for me, in the way in which rugby seems to … Continue reading Rugby and Heritage: Connections to the 1871 International

‘The World is too much with us’: Scotland & Britain After the Referendum

The principal figures that emerged from the debate with their reputations enriched were not callous youths, but wizened campaigners. Salmond led a campaign that seemed to energise and undermine political engagement in equal measure. By drawing people into the Yes campaign, he created a surrogate for traditional civic institutions. Inclusivity drove engagement with the cause and activated a core of the electorate previously not well … Continue reading ‘The World is too much with us’: Scotland & Britain After the Referendum

Refashioning the Fashioned

There will be no great flood nor biblical disaster should the result of the imminent referendum favour Independence. Yet both Scotland and what is left of the United Kingdom will be tarnished by the process: poorer for want of diversity, and poorer for lack of solidarity. Old acquaintances forgot for want of favour. Despite never emigrating, I was denied a vote on the future of … Continue reading Refashioning the Fashioned