Welcome

Every year swallows fly between the Scottish isles and Africa. These migratory birds can call both places home. Curlew cry and hyena whoop, howling Atlantic gale and tropical thunderclap – these are the sounds in their lives.

My childhood was spent in the northern Scottish islands, yet I have lived in the Ethiopian Highlands for 20 years. I too can call both places home, and I know their sounds well. After decades spent running charitable projects and social enterprises in northern Ethiopia, illness prompted a change and I am currently in Scotland, training as a writer and drawing on my experiences of islands and highlands for my work. I aspire in due course to follow the sensible swallows: summers in the north, winters in the south.

This website is having a major overhaul, so please excuse glitches. I have removed my blog and many old news items. After I’ve done a considerable amount of work on these, they will be available as e-books to purchase. Some blog anecdotes may appear in my memoir of Ethiopia, a work in progress that I hope will be published as a print book.

Thank you for coming to my website. Do enjoy your visit, and drop by again soon.
My writing training is through distance learning at university undergraduate level: I’m in Year 3 of a BA Creative Writing degree course (2020-21). In fiction, my particular interest is novels for middle-grade children (age 8-12) and young teens (13-15), although I also write short stories for adults. The course workload is great, so progress on my own writing projects is slow, despite the wealth of material I have on file.
Empress Mentewab School had to close temporarily but will re-open in September 2021 for a new intake of infants. Until I write a bestseller, the school relies on donations to keep going because the rural families it serves are too poor to pay fees. As I always say, a little money goes a long way in Ethiopia: for the price of one cappuccino, an entire class of hungry children can enjoy a nutritious morning snack. Please help.