Author Archive

Always in stock

Ron Lambert asks me when Skinner will ben his favourite bookshop.

Well, Ron, that’s a question you should really address to that shop, wherever it is. I can tell you that the entire list is in my favourite bookshop . . . . . . and that every copy leaving there is signed, yes, by me. If you’d rather have an unsigned copy, that can be arranged too.

Categories: Uncategorized

Clever girl

August 18, 2014 5 comments

This morning, I drove Our Mia and her dad to Drem Station for a morning at the festival. On the way there, she asked Dom, ‘Why is Grandpa driving on that side of the car?’

I was doubly pleased. I reckon that’s pretty bright for someone who’s only just turned four. Also, because she asked the question in Catalan, and I understood it!

Categories: General


August 18, 2014 1 comment

At this moment I am sat, gob-smacked, listening to Julian Assange whine to a hand-picked media audience about the effect on his health of two years’ enclosure within the Ecuadorean Embassy. Fact: at any time during those two years, he could have walked through the front door. Fact: he didn’t. Fact: as soon as he leaves his diplomatically protected hidey-hole he is liable to arrest and extradition to Sweden to face questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct.

Categories: General, Politics


Thanks to everyone who came along to EIBF this afternoon. Great gig from where I sat. Thanks also to Susan, my chair.

Categories: General

Police state

August 15, 2014 2 comments

I have nothing to say about the Cliff Richard story, save this. When the police raiding party arrived at his place in Berkshire, the media were waiting for them, and BBC even had a helicopter hovering over the scene.

If we were talking about a major drugs bust here, or a terrorist cell being captured, there might be the semblance of a pubic interest argument for such behaviour, but it isn’t. This is a well loved public figure whose reputation has been tossed into the bear-pit. No charges have been levelled, no cautions administered, and no advance warning was given to anyone other than the press.

I would like to think that this morning a second investigation is under way, to find the person who tipped them off. Will that happen? In the normal course of events I’d say, ‘No chance’. But this isn’t quite normal. Sir Cliff is a Tory icon. Watch this space.

Categories: General, Politics

You do know how to whistle, don’t you?

In the media storm that has followed the tragic death of Robin WIlliams, it’s important that we don’t overlook someone else who left us yesterday, from a generation earlier, but an equally iconic figure. RIP Lauren Bacall.

Categories: General

Best of causes

I am not big on plugging other people’s books, but I’m happy to make an exception for ‘My Dog, My Friend’, a new compilation put together by Jacki Gordon and published by Hubble and Hattie, a dog-dedicated imprint that’s part of Veloce Press.

It’s a couple of years since Jacki approached me and asked if I would contribute a doggie story to her collection, the clincher being that all author royalties would be going to the Samaritans.

I don’t have a dog, but what the hell, I’m creative, so I did a small piece dedicated to the boy Canelo, the younger of my step-son’s Labradors, in Spain. He and I have a special relationship. You’ll find my story on P 102 of the finished work. Canelo’s in good company, since my felllow contributors include Fred Macaulay, Esther Rantzen, Simon Callow, Charlie Dimmock, Richard Holloway and William McIlvanney, and many others.

You’ll also find this very nice photo of my subject being walked by his Granny.

‘My Dog, My Friend’ can be found on Amazon and, as they say these days with a twist of acid, in all good book shops.

Strongly recommended, and poignant, given the charity that will benefit, that it should be published in the week of Robin Williams’ suicide.

Categories: General

Thanks Dom

A few days ago, my step-son went to a concert in Spain. The performer was Gregory Porter, an American jazz singer. I’d never heard of him, but I gave him a try and a couple of days later his entire catalogue is in my music library. He’d fit well in yours. 

Categories: General

No time at all

And so we start yet another SPFL football season. My prediction: Celtic to win the Premier League. Yes, I know; I’ve always been bold. For England, top four: Man U, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, to finish in no particular order, but if I was forced to bet I’d take City again.

Categories: Sport


Twenty per cent of the Rolling Stones want Scotland to stay in the Union. So does Tom Daley. So does Lord Jock Stirrup. So does Professor Stephen Hawking. So does Ross Kemp.


Categories: General, Politics

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