You’re on a train

17 July 2019 | Diary

You’re on a train. The man across the aisle is reading a book and he keeps smiling and occasionally snorts with laughter. It’s one of those times when someone is reading something funny and just can’t hold it in. Something is really tickling him. The cover of the book is nondescript but you want to […]

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A revolving column of doner kebab meat

16 July 2019 | Diary

To Liverpool to see my parents. They don’t live in Liverpool; I just didn’t want to go to Dudley and they didn’t want to come to Glasgow so we meet partway. At the Walker Gallery, we see Glasgow Museums’ travelling exhibition about Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It feels a bit silly being there when Samara and […]

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| Diary

AJ from New York is staying over. Kicked back on the chaise this evening, he suddenly sits bolt upright. A moth has landed on his eye. I don’t say this at the time, but I actually saw the moth en-route. It came up from a gap in the the floorboards and went straight for his […]

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Allergy Catch-22

15 July 2019 | Diary

Wanting to get my eczema fixed, I attend a clinic this afternoon for a long-overdue “patch test.” This should involve having adhesive patches applied to my back, each one instilled with a common allergen: wool, polyester, dust, gorilla saliva, etc. I’d then endure them for three fun, fun, days before reporting to a dermatologist to […]

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14 July 2019 | Diary

Fraser and his six-year-old daughter come over for tea. They bring books. And what books! I’ll see you in the autumn.

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13 July 2019 | Diary

Cooking together in the kitchen, we’re surprised when a clothes moth appears seemingly out of nowhere. We do not dwell on what the little bleeder is doing in the kitchen. The moth scourge is known to all who live in old Glasgow houses and, while they’re easy to smite when you catch them in repose, […]

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Deeper than sense

12 July 2019 | Diary

Ever since Peter introduced me to the pre-installed app in my phone, I’ve had more than half an eye on my daily step count. I wish this weren’t the case. I’m a flaneur by nature and step-counting is hardly of the ethos. But it’s also in my nature to be quite obsessive, and anything involving […]

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Big Butts

11 July 2019 | Diary

I’m out for a walk this afternoon when Samara texts me something about how we need more exercise. We’re putting on weight since I became a full-time writer again last year and Samara quit a physically-demanding job for something more desk-based. I’m about to reply with “I like big butts and I cannot lie,” when […]

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10 July 2019 | Diary

Reggie emails first thing this morning purely to say, “they should have cast Bruce Willis in Die Hand Die Verletzt.” I like to think he woke up with that in his mind. A good day to die verletzt.

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The Present

09 July 2019 | Diary

To dinner with Graeme and Louise. Graeme says he has brought me a present and he passes it to me over the table. I say “passes,” but “hefts” would be a better word because the present is quite large and heavy. It is wrapped in carrier bags and jumbo bubble-wrap and I have no idea […]

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