August thoughts

Carbeth loch

High summer in Scotland. Days of rain, and days of grey, and weird, unseasonably chilly days, and then the occasional jewel comes along. A day of warm sunshine and breezes when, after work, we pick chard or courgettes from the garden, lament the woeful state of the tomatoes, and sit outside to eat with swallows and housemartins whirling above. The late sun lights up the house across the loch; a blackcap sings a song of startling beauty atop a neighbour’s TV aerial, and the world turns the colour of old gold. We walk up and over the hill, where German scouts in kilts are camped out enjoying the view. Below us, the Blane and Endrick valleys stretch away toward Loch Lomond, the Trossachs and the west Highlands beyond. I feel that sensation of familiar astonishment that this is actually my doorstep.


It has been an interesting few weeks. Several things have happened as a consequence of my Woman’s Hour interview, both good and bad. All I will say about the bad is that when a tabloid journalist tells you they are going to use your radio interview as the basis of an article in their own newspaper, uses offensive phrases in reference to your own (and others) disabilities, and demands to see photographs of you suffering in hospital after having had a stroke, you can be pretty sure that their output is of the very lowest quality. The good consequences are much more interesting, and indeed much more positive. They led to a stimulating meeting in London yesterday which has really made me think, and which may perhaps mark some sort of new departure. We shall see.


Meanwhile, Tom and I have been married for a year. It has been an incredible year of hard work, lots of fun, and many changes! In case you hadn’t realised, Tom hopped off the academic merry-go-round, and is now enjoying the world of photography, book production, and yarn (lots and lots and lots of yarn) instead. KDD is all about making things (yarn, knitted garments, books, words, images) and we are having a blast making them together. As you might imagine, we have a lot on the go at the moment, and we are currently working on two very exciting projects. Both of these projects are very much under wraps right now, but I will be able to tell you about them very soon (hints: a new shade and island travels).

Here’s to year two! Slainte.