Be the First to Like This: LAUNCH event

thumbPoetry news! A few of my poems have been selected for publication in the new Be the First to Like This anthology, showcasing ‘promising young Scottish poets’. Very excited to say that In Mobius, How the Beasts Survive for So Long, and Immortal Jellyfish will be included. ‘In Mobius’ and ‘How the Beasts Survive’ first appeared in Where Rockets Burn Through, and ‘Immortal Jellyfish’ is a new one!

So chuffed to say my poems will be sitting amongst those from many great poets, including: William Letford, Ryan Van Winkle, JL Williams, McGuire, Russell Jones, Rachel McCrum… actually really too many to list here. It’s a really great list and I’m honored to be included. Honoured even.

A call to action!BTFTLT front

If you’re Edinburgh-local, please come and celebrate the launch of Be the First to Like This with me on Thursday, 25th September.

Festivities will start at 6:30pm at the Scottish Poetry Library.

There’ll be readings from some of the poets, plus booze and amazing chat.

Also, check the Be the First to Like This website for more content including recordings of readings (one from me to come!).

Addendum: There was a HUGE photoshoot spread in the Herald for BTFTLT! It’s so great to see press for poetry!:

Dine on coins: DONE!


We have this cupcake piggy bank which was given to me as a gift. We put £2 coins in it – ONLY £2 coins. It’s not a big bank. Normal cupcake size.

My goal was to wait until this piggy bank had filled up and then open it up and go out for a fancy dinner! Thus, ‘Dine on Coins’ was born!

It’s been a pretty mega year, with lots of huge expenses (read: mortgage, two trips to America), and we’ve been watching our pennies vigilantly. So I’ve really been looking forward to this tiny treat.

As August (and the end of my 30 by 30 challenge) is nearing, we thought it time to crack open the bank and check the damage.




You ready?


I was shocked.

How did all that ££ fit into the wee cupcake??!

SO what better way to dine on coins than by splurging on a restaurant we’d been dreaming about for ages:


Champany Inn in Linlithgow!

This place regularly comes up on the ‘Best Steak Restaurants in Scotland’ lists (that I am constantly drooling over), and we’d been recommended it by family and friends. It takes weeks to get a booking for the proper restaurant though so as time was tight, we opted to go along to their equally amazing Chop and Ale House also on site (lower prices, but the same great steaks! No reservations allowed – only walk-ins). From their website:

The Chop and Ale House is an entirely separate operation from the restaurant. Housed away from the main building in what was once the Inn’s public bar, it has all the unpretentious homely atmosphere of a Lowland Bothy. With its own brigade at the grill and a friendly team of waiters and waitresses, it caters for people in need of a more simple and speedier meal.


Processed with Moldiv

We had a short wait for a table (about 40mins wait, but they’d warned it might be an hour and a half – usual for this place! So we were pleasantly surprised to get to our table ‘early’).

I had the smoked salmon roulade for starter. Handsome S had the Champany pate and oatcakes.

We both ordered massive T-bone steaks, which were so, so tasty. A sort of smoky sweet we couldn’t quite put our finger on (which means we’ll have to come back again!). The meat fell off the bone, juicy and perfectly cooked.

I was SO stuffed after cleaning my plate, but ordered a coffee and managed to squeeze in a delicious lemon posset for pudding. (Greedy guts..)

The service was fantastic. Our waitress was so nice, and any time we needed anything else, there were a variety of other servers and staff on hand to help as well. I can’t wait to go back!

And actually, try as we might (a proper three courser for me, and even with drinks for Stuart), we didn’t manage to break £100 let alone spend our full £112 winnings, so we’ll DEFINITELY be back again soon. #Omnomnom!

December catch-up

Hello again! Another month under my belt in the ever-forward-moving progression towards my big 3-0.

Ridiculous relief as blessed Gordy from the Apple Store, Buchanan Street, saved my poor MacBook Pro’s life (by replacing its logic board), and thusly my harddrive and all my many things. Thanks Gordy!!! I’ve since backed everything up again and will be more diligent, scout’s honor! Have also upgraded my OS from Leopard (retro!!) to Maverick and upgraded RAM so feeling slick and shiny in the new year. *my tech teeth are tingling*.

baublesDecember has been pretty eventful: we completed our Race for charity, I went Glassblowing!, we spent loads of time playing boardgames with pals (and enjoying our friends’ new super-cute puppy!), and we racked up another few hours at karaoke (+2hrs with Stuart & +2hrs with my Bball team on our night out – danger!). Supercube gang stamped up my point card as well so looking forward to trying to squeeze in another cheeky hour+ before 2014!).

So many Christmas parties – work, bball team, pals & family. Handsome S and family were very good to me this Christmas, and I am looking forward to many upcoming adventures and trying new things (including scuba diving lessons!, trips abroad and tasty meals). I am also immensely grateful for all the glorious free time. I have read lots and played lots of video & board games and generally gotten loads done that I’ve been putting off as work has been so manic lately. There is nothing as wonderful as free time.

More specific 30-by-30 updates:
I managed to finish a poem called ‘On the first day’; it’s pretty pants (a sci-fi villanelle… will never see the light of day!). But at least it’s finished!
Back on the Duolingo bandwagon (only just) with Spanish and can now read 64.8% of newspapers(?) in Spanish. Haven’t touched the German though…
And my Coding class starts in January!
Looking forward to dedicating Jan-Feb to 30 days of proper Paleo (hopefully making a dent in ‘cut 30lbs’.
I think it’s my last chance to try and plant garlic to grow this year – will get on this in January too.
We’ve also booked our Iceland holiday in February – Northern Lights boat trip and tickets to 3-day Sonar Festival sorted! V excited = understatement of the year.
Still to plan is our LA trip (hopefully including a ‘mommy & me’ element), and how to squeeze in the many, many remaining adventures before August. Bring it!

In other news, a teacher-friend asked on FB recently about winter traditions around the world, and it got me thinking about all the amazing festivities in Scotland around Christmas & New Year (Hogmanay). Reflecting on this made me really grateful for what an amazing opportunity it is and has been to live in this city, with so many kind and friendly people. I am so lucky and so fortunate; I promise I don’t take it for granted.

Kona Macphee – Perfect Blue
Paul Muldoon – Maggot
Rachel Boast – Sidereal
Matthew Sweeney – Sanctuary

Ursula Le Guin – The Other Wind
Ursula Le Guin – Tales of Earthsea (short stories after the Earthsea trilogy)

Ms Mr – Hurricane
POLIÇA – Chain My Name
Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
Disclosure – Help Me Lose My Mind

You know what are almost as good as Red Bull adverts? GoPro adverts: GoPro hero3+ advert
Was watching the Russian space walk the other day and even they’ve got GoPro cameras now. The future is all around us.

Lastly, to get you in the spirit of the season, be sure to check out Google’s 2013 zeitgeist! It is tops.
And keep an eye out for my wee Lion&Sloth 2013 in review – to be posted shortly!

See you in the New Year! Here’s to family & friends & living a content-rich life. Lang may yer lum reek!