Category Archives: Awards

Recently

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Just a quick note about recent work—I was delighted to hear earlier this month that I’d been shortlisted for feature writer of the year at the Scottish Magazine Awards for my work on the equestrian magazine EQY. It was a wonderful evening, and although in the end the title went to the very deserving Pennie Taylor, a former BBC health correspondent, I was pleased to see my writing on the shortlist.

Elsewhere, I’ve written another dispatch for the Guardian’s Country Diary, this time from the far northeastern corner of the country, at Duncansby Head near John O’Groats, where I was lucky to come across a seal colony during the pupping season and hear their haunting siren song. (Full text can be found on the Guardian website).

I was fortunate enough to be commissioned to do a series of reviews of some of Scotland’s top hotels, in remote and beautiful areas of the country, for the Telegraph. Our stay at Arisaig House was blissful—helped no doubt by an invigorating swim at the silver sands at Camusdarach, in the clear winter sun—while Torridon House offered ultra-luxe accommodation in a most perfect location down by the lochside. Ardanaiseig House, near Oban, was a perfect romantic getaway (in a secluded country house decorated in flamboyant style by a noted antiques dealer), while Natural Retreats in John O’Groats was a bastion of Copenhagen cool in a part of the country that, to put it kindly, is not well known for its style. Continue reading

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Tracing the Butcher of Gippsland

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Currently I’m working on the first draft of a family memoir in which I retrace the story of my great-great-great uncle, Angus McMillan, who fled Scotland during the Highland Clearances and became a celebrated explorer in Gippsland, Australia – only to reenact brutal ‘clearances’ of his own, upon the local aboriginal people.

I have been lucky enough to receive funding from both Creative Scotland (through their Quality Production programme) and Arts Trust Scotland (through their Emerging Artists programme), which has enabled me to visit Gippsland myself to conduct interviews, follow McMillan’s original exploratory routes, and gain insight into the problems affecting the Gunai people today as a direct result of McMillan and his peers’ actions.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this project – or if you have some information which you’d like to share – I’d love to hear from you. I also keep an Amazon wishlist of books I’d like to acquire for research purposes – so if you’d like to make a contribution I’d be delighted!

A girl’s got to eat so I’m still taking commissions – do get in touch if you’ve got some work for me!

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Truffle hunting in Istria

Istria food tour

My reward for winning the Independent on Sunday/Bradt travel writing prize last year was a ludicrously luxurious tour of Istria, the Croatian peninsula, and a commission to write it up for the IoS travel section. We hunted for truffles with dogs, tasted dozens of different wines and ate until we couldn’t eat any more.

It was published last weekend – find the full text on the Independent’s website here, or after the fold. Continue reading

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“A snow angel in distress”: the winning entry

Bradt-IoS competition win

I found out last week that my article “In Deep Snow” was the winner of the Independent on Sunday/Bradt travel writing award. It was published with a few of my photos in the Independent on Sunday’s travel section this weekend.

The theme this year was “A narrow escape”, which was interpreted very differently by all the shortlisted writers (including one who cleverly wrote about a trip on a narrow boat in the Norfolk broads). All of the shortlisted entries are available to read on the Bradt website here.

Full text of the article can be found on the Independent’s website here, or after the fold.

Continue reading

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