One soldier and his dog

  THE end, when it came, came quickly; death arriving shortly after dawn. At 
approximately 8:30am on the 1st of March last year, a team of soldiers from the Irish Guards were advancing towards a meeting with US troops through the northern part of the Nahr-e Saraj district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Among them were Lance… Read more »

Scotland’s mod scene

IT is the last Friday in April, the day of the Royal Wedding, and all over Britain people have been watching it on television. Paul Molloy, perhaps Scotland’s most ardent mod, was not among them. His mind has been on other things. Important matters. Like what to wear that night at Friday Street, the monthly club he co-runs in Glasgow…. Read more »

Scotland’s rockin’ scene

  SATURDAY night. Edinburgh. Tojo, a stocky, kindly-eyed 49-year-old Fifer wearing vintage peg-trousers, an Argyle shirt and a Jay Gatsby cap, reaches into his box of seven-inch singles and places a record, reverently but without hesitation, on the turntable, a diamond horseshoe ring on his left pinky sparkling in the dim, buttery light of the… Read more »

The “lost genius” of Paul Reekie

ON Sunday the 6th of June last year, at the tail-end of the final weekend of his life, the poet Paul Reekie walked into the Artisan, an old-fashioned pub on Edinburgh’s London Road, one of his favoured locals. Reekie was, according to those who met him that evening, his usual gregarious self. He had a… Read more »

The Scotia

“THE Scotia?” says Wullie. “This isnae jist a pub. Issa a way of life.” Although he topples backwards into a urinal shortly after making this declaration, there is no denying its heartfelt sincerity, and – though Wullie slurs his words – no difficulty in grasping his meaning. You could fall for The Scotia no bother…. Read more »