I started out as an editor with W & R Chambers, godfathers of English dictionaries, but was lured into newspapers with the promise of free novels. I was literary editor at Scotland on Sunday for several years before joining The Herald. E-books have yet to encroach on my desk, but every other kind has so that, 10 years on, it resembles a broch.
A steady slap, slap, slap of raindrops filled the air, yet the sky was blue and the sun was up. I went to the window. The sound was not a downpour but a tsunami of pounding feet, as the Edinburgh Marathon streamed beneath my windows.
Speaking of the Cardinal's banishment from Scotland by the Vatican, he expressed his disgust. Never mealy-mouthed, he likened the cleric's forced exile for what Rome has termed "the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer, and penance" to the CIA's tactics of extraordinary rendition. Decrying this draconian act, Mr Holloway urged compassion towards the elderly Cardinal O'Brien, who should be allowed to return to Dunbar, where he had hoped to spend his retirement.