“Don’t think of art and politics as separate parts of your life – you can do both”. These were the simple words of Katharine from The Stove in Dumfries that, in a few seconds, managed to make disparate bits of my life make sense. Our conversation took place at a thoroughly inspiring event – Art_Inbetween – at the newly refurbished Stove on Dumfries high street last week. Luckily for me, it was just one of a whole day full of provocative, compelling and exciting conversations with artists, performers, community workers and more. Continue reading
Last night I went to see David Greig’s phenomenal theatre adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s epic novel Lanark. Afterwards David’s mum asked me what I thought. I was dumbstruck. And not just because it was a brilliant piece of theatre but because I knew that if I started to talk about how I really felt, I’d burst into tears. With more time to think it over, here’s my thoughts on why Lanark made such an impact on me.
Today I joined what felt like every MSP in Parliament for the launch of the One in Five campaign. Ambassadors Pam Duncan-Glancy and Jamie Szymkowiak have done an incredible job in just a couple of weeks to create this brilliant campaign which aims to encourage, empower and increase political participation amongst disabled people in Scotland.
Here’s the opening speech I gave to the Pilton Community Health Project hustings on 19th March. Continue reading
Alongside some fantastic candidates, I had the privilege of speaking at a hustings for Scottish Green Party members in Castle Douglas recently. Hosted by the Dumfries and Galloway branch, the hustings formed part of the selection process for the party to choose its candidates for the South of Scotland regional list ahead of the 2016 Holyrood election.
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale. It’s the Westminster constituency currently home to Scotland’s only Tory and it’s roughly the same size as Belgium. But those facts don’t tell you much about the area, its people and the issues they face. To find out what the constituency is really like, I accompanied Scottish Green Party candidate for the seat Jody Jamieson on a wee tour. Continue reading
This time three years ago I was keeping busy catching up with a different friend every night over a pint, coming to terms with the loss of a dear friend. Mike, a beautiful radge I met when I was 15 had been killed in a car crash and the loss was devastating to the huge number of people whose lives he’d been part of. Thinking about him this year on the anniversary of the accident, it struck me that then, as now, I’d spent the weeks before Christmas running on adrenalin, keeping busy, coping, being with others who’d been part of his life. This year I’ve been busier than ever, spinning a lot of plates and trying to give as much time as I can, not just to my close friends but to the people I’ve met through the last couple of years of campaigning for a Yes vote. Continue reading
For the last nine days I’ve been campaigning out of an old Police Box on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk. With polling day now upon us, I’m reflecting on the experiences of the last week and a half. The ups and downs, the tears, the dancing in the rain with a huge grin on my face. Here’s my time in the Green Yes Tardis… Continue reading
When I got home from A Night for Scotland at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall just four days before the referendum, my ears were ringing and I could hardly feel my feet after a day of campaigning. Yet I felt utterly exhilarated. Continue reading