Posts Categorized: HNM Column

The stopped clock: a symptom of life slowing down

The kitchen clock has stopped at quarter to nine. It’s been like that for about three days now (or is it four? Can anyone remember?). It’s only since it stopped that I’ve noticed how often I look at that clock. But of course, these days, time is stretching and has less meaning than ever. Which… Read more »

Is everything in the lockdown garden rosy?

I have never been more grateful to have a garden. Right now, I’m sitting in the conservatory of our house in Inverness with the doors flung wide open. It’s raining and the sound has taken me back to childhood camping holidays on the West Coast. The only thing missing is the repeated warning from Dad;… Read more »

Cooking, baking, gardening and counting blessings

This week I have mainly cooked, baked and eaten. There is cake in almost every tin, and the tally of tubs of home-made soups in the freezer has risen to eleven. There’s nothing guaranteed to give me more satisfaction than producing a meal – or a cake, tray of scones or fresh-baked loaf – for… Read more »

Is it wrong to enjoy these strange times?

Is it wrong to be enjoying these strange times? I know. Many of us are or have been ill, many are at risk and already too many have died. Lots of people are extremely worried about their own health and the health of the people they care about. Despite the measures put in place to… Read more »

Strange days, indeed

Intro: What a week it has been! I wrote this piece for the Highland News and Media Group papers on Monday – and so much has changed since then, for all of us. I hope the measures implemented keep more of us safe and healthy, and I hope our small businesses will recover after it’s… Read more »

Bravo Scotrail for exemplary communication

Scotrail come in for a lot of criticism, especially here in the north of Scotland. Some of it is justified, some less so. With my ‘Old Lady Railcard’ (I think the official term is Club 50) I get fantastic discounts. Between January and the end of March it has been just £17 for a return… Read more »

Are Petitions ever worth it?

Are petitions ever worth the (ahem) paper they are written on? The rise of online petition companies like Change.org and 38Degrees.org.uk make it easy for us to add our voices to causes we believe in, and to stand up and be counted. A petition is a hammer in our toolbox of democratic options – if… Read more »

Time to call time on boxing

Let’s get straight to it. I am no armchair sports fan. Apart from downhill skiing and speed skating in the Winter Olympics, watching sport on the telly just doesn’t interest me. I might occasionally join friends in the pub on Six Nations match days, but that’s more for the chat than the rugby. It would… Read more »

Celebrating our first Vanniversary.

While the world and their partners were getting loved up and soppy last weekend, Mr Marr and I had celebrations of our own to get busy with. We didn’t ditch St Valentine completely – cards were, after all, exchanged – but far more exciting was that last weekend was our first ‘Vanniversary’ – a whole… Read more »

Ten years on Facebook? Ouch!

I reached a milestone this week and I’m  conflicted about it. It’s not a birthday – that’s not till later in the year, but an anniversary. Ladies and gentlemen (pause for drumroll) it is ten years since I joined Facebook. Roll back a decade and a few weeks, and it just didn’t seem like something… Read more »