Writing

Welcome home Prime Minister

cameron-book-cover-invite-3I worked as a duty officer at 10 Downing Street between 1983 and 1985, a junior civil servant with the privilege of being a small cog at the centre of government during part of the controversial premiership of Margaret Thatcher. From tea for Tutu to being held at gunpoint in Moscow, this was a fascinating, rewarding and sometimes frightening experience.

In October 1984 I was on duty during the weekend immediately following the Brighton bomb explosion and was the first person at Downing Street to greet the Prime Minister and Mr. Thatcher on their safe return from Brighton – ‘Welcome home, Prime Minister.’

There are many political autobiographies and biographies of this important period in Britain’s history. My book provides a personal insight from the perspective of a junior civil servant watching modern history in the making.

Rooted in Scotland

Rooted 2nd editionDuring my work on ancestral tourism I have had many conversations with people of Scottish ancestry and I am always struck by their strong sense of ‘rootedness’ to their ancestral homeland, and the variety of ways in which they choose to explore this.

Inspired by them, and by the journal my grandfather wrote about his own emigration journey, I wrote Rooted in Scotland: getting to the heart of your Scottish heritage. The book, published by the Luath Press, is being revised ready for its second edition. It explains why it is important to explore your heritage and introduces ways in which you can begin your personal journey of discovery.

On the trail of the real Macbeth

otto_macbeth_new_edWhen Alistair Murray and I undertook our King Macbeth project, the one thing we would have found really useful was a book about the real Macbeth. So we decided to write one and the result, On the trail of the real Macbeth, King of Alba, is now in its second edition, published by the Luath Press.

The book uses the rather fragmentary surviving evidence to describe the life and times of this misunderstood King, a much better man than Shakespeare would have us believe. We include a touring itinerary for you to follow and explore the landscapes and places where the real story took place.

The Vikings are coming!

Alistair and I are collaborating on another book, this time telling the stories of some of the Vikings who appear in the Orkneyinga Saga. We are lucky enough to live in the landscapes of the sagas, me in Orkney and Alistair in Caithness.

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