06 Mar 2012, Posted by Nick.

Start Clowning Around


Not so long ago, I signed up for a clowning workshop called “Spring Fool” (www.thefoolstory.com). It was one of a series of adventures in the lost art of letting go (later chronicled in my book Urban Worrier), and I comforted myself that it couldn’t possibly be any scarier than wingwalking on a bi-plane. But actually, clowning turned out to be uncannily similar to diving at 150mph towards the ground, in a psychological sense at least. Clowns, I discovered, die and resurrect themselves many Read more [...]

28 Nov 2011, Posted by Nick.

A chat with Annie Lennox


I’ve long admired Annie Lennox, both for the gutsy emotional honesty of her music and her commitment to human rights campaigning (not to mention my Eighties nostalgia for all those insanely danceable Eurythmics riffs). So when I got the chance to interview her for the December issue of Third Way magazine, I decided to dig a little deeper to find out what has shaped her philosophy of life. Here are some of my favourite moments from our 70-minute conversation… In 1984, you were married briefly Read more [...]

13 Oct 2011, Posted by Nick.

When White Lies Won’t Work


First published on the Fathers' Network Scotland Website “Daddy?” “Yes, love?” Story time is over, and the lights are out - but I’ve noticed my six-year-old son often uses his last waking moments to bowl me the kind of question that might stump a philosophy graduate. Past belters have included: Is the Evil Vilgax (from Ben 10) really evil, or just listening to his naughty part? What is Charlie (our cocker spaniel) thinking about when he stares? Or what happens to us when we Read more [...]

04 Oct 2011, Posted by Nick.

Paradoxical Commandments


Check out this great song by the Roches. Apparently it comes from a list of "paradoxical commandments" first penned by a guy called Kent Keith and since adopted by folks ranging from Steven Covey to Mother Theresa. Stick them on your computer for those days that feel as if you're pushing rocks up hill...  Anyway People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If Read more [...]

04 Aug 2011, Posted by Nick.

How life became radio drama


  BBC link to This Solitary Bird Not long after my friend Will McMillan passed away in 2005 (see The Saving Grace), I began to consider writing about him. His angry public outbursts were no secret, but I knew a much deeper, more generous man too and wanted to commemorate his short but vigorous life. I remembered many conversations, often surprising to both of us, which lent themselves to drama - particularly the intimate, intense medium of radio drama. But I had no prior experience Read more [...]

03 Aug 2011, Posted by Nick.

The Saving Grace


Journalist Nick Thorpe tells of the inspiration for his new play - an unexpected friendship formed at the margins of society. When I first saw Will McMillan, he was wearing a battered overcoat, a silk cravat and a frown which hung like forked lightning above the storm cloud of his beard. He struck me as just the kind of man I would instinctively avoid in the street. As a cub reporter, newly arrived in Edinburgh from London, it fell to me as a kind of rite of passage to field the latest “story Read more [...]

02 Aug 2011, Posted by Nick.

My Radio Play – This Solitary Bird


This Solitary Bird, my first radio play went out today on BBC Radio Scotland. It's a fictionalised story of an unusual friendship formed at the margins of society, based loosely on my late friend Will McMillan. I met him soon after I arrived in Edinburgh 18 years ago to work as a cub reporter on the Edinburgh Evening News. I'll be blogging shortly about the experience of writing and recording the play. But here's my article in today's Herald about the friendship that lay behind it. Read more [...]

27 May 2011, Posted by Nick.

Edinburgh Book Launch Jun 7th


Edinburgh Launch of Urban Worrier Tues 7th June, 6.30pm Blackwell's Bookshop 52-63 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1YS Ticketed but free  Calling all Urban Worriers! Do you ever wish life could be a little less stressful? Well come and join the club! In less than a week my new book will hit the bookshelves and I'm hoping you'll help me launch it with readings and chat over a relaxing glass of wine. Urban Worrier: Adventures in the Lost Art of Letting Go (Abacus, 2 Jun 2011) is the story Read more [...]

27 May 2011, Posted by Nick.

Pre-order Offer on Amazon


With less than a week until Urban Worrier goes on sale, I noticiced this morning that Amazon is doing a big opening offer for those who pre-order the book: reduced from £13.99 to £7.75 - so you're almost getting two for the cover price of one. With my business hat on, I should probably avoid flagging up this kind of mass-discounting, but I'm also a realist - and a good pre-order would do wonders for my Amazon ranking on day one, which in turn helps to publicise the book in a difficult economic Read more [...]

22 May 2011, Posted by Nick.

Sunday with Sally Magnusson


Somehow dragged myself out of bed at 5.30am today for a live interview at BBC Radio Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday Morning with Sally Magnusson. Given the hour, Sally thankfully went a whole lot easier on me than all the politicians she grilled during the recent Scottish elections. In fact we meandered our way through a very convivial half hour of music and chat, touching on some of the more spiritual/personal aspects of Urban Worrier, including childhood faith, fatherhood, and that Read more [...]
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