Blog

View of Edinburgh from Blackford hill

Moved to Edinburgh

I have been fairly quiet on this blog recently, mostly because things have been pretty busy in real life. The biggest piece of news is that I have now moved to Edinburgh, and moved in with Alex.

Bike

Back on the bike!

Five weeks on from my cycling accident, I am delighted to be back on my bike.

Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi

It is difficult to know for sure what Jules Bianchi would have achieved in Formula 1. We can, however, reflect on what he had already achieved.

Tiree

Trip to Tiree

Our trip to Tiree was my first visit to a Hebridean island. The beautiful and quiet island reluctantly revealed its secrets over the course of the week.

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

We have lost one of our greatest liberal voices just when we need one the most.

Arthur's Seat

Moving on

Today I have started a new job. After over five years, I have left the University of St Andrews. I am now the web manager at SRUC in Edinburgh.

SNP Scottish government

Why the SNP are fairweather friends of freedom

I wish the SNP every success in their attempt to work with Conservatives to block the UK government’s snoopers’ charter. But their actions as the Scottish government show that the SNP’s commitment to civil liberties only lasts while it can be used as a stick to beat “Westminster”.

Blockbox

Strategies for dealing with creative block

It’s a puzzle that has haunted writers, artists and other creatives since the caveman first applied ink to a wall. Blockbox is one brilliant way to tackle difficult creative problems.

Colosseum

Italy adventures part 1: Rome

Alex and I took a trip to Italy for new year. Among our highlights from Rome were a visit to the Vatican City and new year’s eve at the Colosseum.

iPod playing a podcast

The year of the podcast

Just when it seemed as though podcasts would never break into the mainstream, 2014 seems to be the year they made it. Here are some of the podcasts that are currently floating my boat.

Flags of Papua New Guinea and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

PNG versus SVG

For years the debate has raged on. Which image file format is better: PNG or SVG? The Commonwealth Games gave us the chance to find out.

Website redesign

The annual redesign

Every year, at around this time of year, I get an urge to scratch that itch. I have to redesign my website. This year the visuals are jazzier. But the code behind the scenes is making me cringe.

Fernando Alonso

Is Fernando Alonso banking on three car teams?

Intrigue surrounds the future plans of Fernando Alonso. He says in retrospect his decision will be seen as “obvious”. Is the obvious choice to remain with Ferrari — in a three car team?

Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi’s accident and the lessons to learn

I can only express my shock and sadness about the accident during yesterday’s Japanese Grand Prix. I have little insight to offer. I am not a motorsport safety expert, nor a medic. But like any motorsport fan I have an opinion and I do have some concerns.

No and yes posters

Referendum reflections

There have been two weeks to reflect on the Scottish independence referendum. Amid talk about the personalities, demographic factors and conspiracy theories, there is a simpler explanation as to why Scotland voted no.

Rainbow

A note on hope

The yes campaign’s ability to sell a hopeful future is its success, but it is also its luxury. History teaches us to beware.

Scotland, Britain and Europe from space

Why I will be voting no thanks

Scotland is facing a big decision, and it has to get it right. This is not like a normal election. We cannot just give independence a shot and see how it goes. We would be stuck with it forever.

Screenshot of the Scottish Unionist blog

Scotland in a federal Britain

In 2009 I was asked to write one of a series of blog posts for the now defunct blog Scottish Unionist. The piece was a vague exploration of a federal model for the UK, but also touched on questions surrounding what independence means in a post-globalisation world.