T2 Trainspotting: back to what future?

“Except for a brief cameo of the Parliament building, you would be forgiven for not realising how much political upheaval there has been in Scotland alone since the first film was released—in 1996, before devolution—for there is a feeling of stasis throughout.”

A steep learning curve

“With so many reasons to avoid sex, whether it be long days working and longer nights with the baby, and so many alternatives at my finger-tips, it can be tempting to neglect this area of life under false pretences and disappear down a digital rabbit-hole.” Loki learns to cope (and with himself) in the third part of his diary.

Poetry and the power of simple pleasures

“With Trump in the White House and Britain heading blindly for Brexit, we must not be silent about horrors we witness, but let’s not stop enjoying and sharing simple pleasures’.” Fay Young reclaims the right to joy as a weapon against totalitarianism.

Fatherhood fears

In the second extract from his diary, Loki reflects on his fears of being a Dad but getting closer to his own parents. “Intimate relationships are very challenging and the feelings of vulnerability are overwhelming at times….In my parents I see the two extremes of what I am capable of.”

David Bowie, devout sceptic

Like millions of other Bowie fans I find myself listening to his music more than ever since he died a year ago today….it continues to offer consolation, not only for the hard fact that we shall hear no more from him, but for the particular challenges of my own life. Why should this music, so often abstract, glacial, detached, obscure and mockingly ironic, hold such a powerful emotional appeal?

Where does Scottish writing go from here?

“Nasty Women will showcase a wide array of female voices, many of them new writers, focusing on intolerance and inequality to cover everything from Trump’s America to pregnancy. Like Freight, the arrival of 404 Ink is a sign that when we talk about cutting-edge Scottish publishing, the small publishers are increasingly defining the scene.”

A dad’s first baby diary: the annunciation

“I grew up in an environment where parental figures were under a lot of pressure and stress. In fact, many difficulties of childhood came as a direct result of our collective inability to express and manage emotions.” In the first extract from an occasional diary, Loki reflects on becoming a new parent – and on his own boyhood.

Hogmanay hype on drunk women

“Articles and images of drunk young women may reinforce gender stereotypes which should be challenged – the double standards that allow women to be more harshly judged for drunken behaviour than men, for example; and sexual assault victims being seen as “asking for it” if they were drunk at the time.”