Story Calendar

A Letter for November

Dear Readers, I think we might all be forgiven for thinking that the world at the moment is a somewhat difficult place. And there are many, I suspect, who would feel that is putting it mildly! This year has not been the most peaceful year for many, but – and this is an important but […]

A Story for October: On Food and Friendship

When I wrote the opening chapter of the first 44 Scotland Street novel, I had no idea how the book was going to develop or how long it would turn out to be. I had responded to an invitation from the then editor of The Scotsman, Iain Martin, to write a serial novel for daily […]

A Story for September: A Labourer in the Vineyard of Love

September 2023 They were sitting in the office of the Perfect Passion Company, Scotland’s only non-virtual dating agency, as the local paper had called it, or, in the words of an article in a lifestyle magazine, ‘a place where you go if you want to meet other people who don’t know how to use a […]

A Poem for August: The Sun on Princes Street

The Sun on Princes Street On Saturday we stopped and gazed On Princes Street, on Princes Street, As unexpected came the sun And kissed the stone of Princes Street, And up above us, all the flags Fluttered brave on Princes Street, In semaphore they made the claim Of freedom there on Princes Street. And somewhere, […]

A story for July: An Extract from The Discreet Charm of the Big Bad Wolf

July 2023 Ulf looked at his in-tray and sighed. This was not because it was piled high with pressing matters; it was not – it was empty, apart from a memorandum about micro-aggressions in the workplace that the Human Resources department had recirculated. Ulf had heard that they felt people were not paying sufficient attention […]

A Story for June: ‘Homecoming’

An early summer treat. Alexander says of this poem, ‘Every journey must end, and that may be at home – the most glorious ending of all.’ Homecoming If there is one story that we, in our need for narrative, Persistently ask for, it is a tale of homecoming; The journey of a classical hero coming […]

A Story for May: An extract from the next instalment of 44 Scotland Street

Enter Galactica McFie. Alexander is writing the next volume of Scotland Street at the moment and is keen to share the goings-on of his favourite characters. In this novel, we are back in the world of Angus and Domenico, Bruce, Matthew and Elspeth, and, of course, Bertie and his friend Ranald Braveheart Macpherson. There is […]

A Story for April: ‘Ferry Timetable’

His name was Fergus Andrew Mactavish and he was a farmer in a remote part of Argyll. He went to his grave, unexposed, in 2003. At that simple ceremony of farewell, conducted under a West Highland sky filled with sharp, April light, only two of those present were aware of any claim that Fergus might […]

A Story for March: ‘Cook for Me’

‘Cook For Me’ – taken from the first eBook novella in the new, The Perfect Passion Company series They were two young women, lingering over a cup of coffee in a slightly shabby Edinburgh bistro. Both were thirty, or thereabouts; both were dressed, unintentionally, in matching outfits: well-cut jeans and white linen blouses. There were differences, though: Katie […]

A Story for February: ‘Zeugma’ from Pianos and Flowers

She is smiling, the young woman perched on the cross-bar; she is smiling broadly as they follow the tram lines. Behind them, the morning mist is lifting slowly, although the figures within it are ghost-like and the trees still harbour lingering pockets of darkness. She did not know what possessed her to accept a ride […]

A Story for January: ‘Monty, Tiger, Rose, etc’ from The Exquisite Art of Getting Even

Rose first saw Colin at the thirtieth birthday party of her vivacious, redhead friend, Vicky. It was a large party, held in Edinburgh, at Vicky’s father’s golf club. “Vicky has countless friends,” somebody once said to Rose. “It’s something to do with being a redhead. You speak to virtually anybody – anybody – and they’ll […]

A Story for December: The Enigma of Garlic

Domenica Macdonald, anthropologist, resident of Edinburgh, observer of humanity and believer in the old-fashioned and increasingly rare virtue of tolerance, looked out of her window onto the cobbled street below and wondered what to cook for dinner. It was not a question on which she would spend much time – nor was it one with […]