Tilda Swinton

TILDA Swinton is standing on the beach at Nairn, the beige sand dotted with worm-casts, bladder-wrack and mussel shells the shape and colour of bruised eyes. She is wearing a fuzzy orange coat, her red hair is dyed blonde, and she is being photographed with her back to the Moray Firth. Swinton has called this… Read more »

Nicola Sturgeon

THE village of Dreghorn, Ayrshire, one summer evening in 1987. In her home, “Tulsa”, a bungalow down a quiet cul-de-sac, Kay Ullrich, a 43-year-old social worker and SNP ­activist, is preparing to go out canvassing. The prospect fills her with little joy. She has no chance of being elected MP for Cunninghame South. This is… Read more »

Whatever Happened To The Castlemilk Lads?

IT is early 1963 and a group of schoolboys are standing on a green hill in Castlemilk, Europe’s largest housing estate, having their photograph taken. They jostle in front of the camera, crowding into the frame, anxious to be in the picture. One stands on tip-toe, leans his chin on another’s shoulder, and stares straight… Read more »

The Forth Bridge

IT is Saturday night, almost Sunday morning, and 150 feet above the chill, black water of the Forth, in a sheet-metal bothy the colour of blood, the men of the bridge are waiting to begin work. “Sweetie?” Someone offers a barley sugar. “That’s what gets you through these shifts. Better than a hip flask.” The… Read more »

Lou Reed

IT was a bright cold day in March, and the clocks were striking one when I learned I was to interview Lou Reed. Lou Reed! My immediate reaction was elation, swiftly followed by doubt, then dread. Reed is notoriously difficult; he is to journalists what Cape Horn was to 18th century sailors – a vicious… Read more »