Things I’ve Had to Research | Blogging

Malcolm Gladwell is associated with the ten-thousand hour rule. This holds that ten-thousand hours of deliberate practice is required if a person is to become world-class in any given field. Being world-class in precisely no fields, I can nevertheless safely assume that in many cases such practice must necessarily comprise a high ratio of tedium and repetitiveness. Colonel Sanders’ recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken was rejected over a thousand times before he hit upon the secret which would make him famous, whilst Michael Jordan estimated that his nine-thousand missed shots contributed to his ability to score baskets under pressure.

Continue reading “Things I’ve Had to Research | Blogging”

Urban Creep | Short Story

It is remarkably difficult to manage a discreet business in modern Britain. Gone are the days of bootlegged whisky, of smothered lanterns and boat keels grinding across beach pebbles. When clandestine activity is not made impossible by CCTV, urban creep, and light pollution it is impinged upon by idiots walking their dogs or morons waving mobile phones. Those of us who wish to avoid attention have had to diversify. Continue reading “Urban Creep | Short Story”

Capturing the Mountain | Short Story

zzzZZZIP.

It is a molar-rattler of a wind that bursts through the tent canvas. It is a wind that makes a person’s eyes run and their cheeks burn, a wind that pulls and shrieks and buffets and tugs and moans. Nevertheless, even the relentless howling commands only the tiniest flicker of attention from my senses. What I hear cannot compete with what I see. Continue reading “Capturing the Mountain | Short Story”

Serving a Semi-nomadic Community | Doctorate

Not my usual kind of post this morning but go with it…

I’m approaching the end of my first year as a doctoral student. Aside from the energy-sapping workload of juggling a family, research, a career, and a blog [insert applause here please], there is nothing that suggests to me that taking on a Professional Doctorate was a mistake or that my topic – Scottish Gypsy Traveller interaction with the Criminal Justice Service – was the wrong one to choose. Scottish Gypsy Travellers heritage and culture form an important part of modern Scotland. This culture celebrates close family values, an oral storytelling tradition, and mobility, whether corporeal or reflected as a symbolic identification with mobility and change. Nevertheless, discomfort with mobility on behalf of the sedentary majority in Scotland is still very much apparent. A lack of access to health services, poor political representation, biased and caricatured portrayal in the media, a non-assimilationist education system, and local authorities unwilling to tailor basic services to a semi-nomadic ethnicity all contribute to huge inequality between Scottish Gypsy Travellers and the rest of Scotland’s population. Continue reading “Serving a Semi-nomadic Community | Doctorate”