Former feature writer and music editor of The Scotsman, former arts editor and features editor of the Sunday Herald, sometime contributor to BBC Radio Scotland on (variously) music, films, visual art and pirates.
I once spent an hour in an Edinburgh bar with Charlie Higson, formerly of The Fast Show but better known these days as an author of books for teenagers. We chatted and I watched dry-mouthed as he necked a bottle of IPA. Under the circumstances, a Bloody Mary might have been more appropriate.
Mostly we talked about zombies, the subject of his latest novel, and at one point we mused on the subject of why boys tend to like them while girls prefer vampires.
For a few weeks during the 1976 Montreal Olympics I became obsessed with Finnish athlete Lasse Viren.
I was 10. It was his kit that fascinated me, in particular the royal blue Onitsuka Tiger shoes he raced in and which he can be seen holding aloft in a photo taken after his victory in the 10,000m. So while my mum sat up watching David Wilkie swim his way to gold, I dreamed of trainers and shorts and stylish tracksuits with trouser legs you could unzip to make massive flares.