Are you a witch?

"Are you a witch?" a three-year-old girl asked me a few days ago. I was walking my dog past her house, and we'd struck up a conversation. As soon as the words had left the little girl's mouth, her mother looked the way mothers do when their toddlers blunder obliviously into faux pas. Horrified, she … Continue reading Are you a witch?

Mehri’s Story: Persecution and Faith

I am half-Iranian but have never been to Iran. I grew up in Edinburgh, and the closest I’ve ever been to visiting my mother’s home country was in 1978, when my Scottish father was offered a job at a Tehran university. At the time, the country was one of the most westernized in the Middle … Continue reading Mehri’s Story: Persecution and Faith

Race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership

Today - February 19th, 2017 - is the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. And in the current political climate, it's a day that invites considerable reflection. Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, allowing the Secretary of War to create special military zones within the US. It led … Continue reading Race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership


By guest blogger Alan McArthur A punk tattooist named Ugly. OK. It's Thailand - where your nickname comes before your real name. And you do get some odd ones. Nasty, his friend. Yep, actually a really nice guy, like Ugly. The subject's the Otherworld. Where the Others live. And who is an OTHER. Another oddball, … Continue reading Ugly

Nori Shirasu: moonwalking… and writing his own script

Nori Shirasu is many things - a fine artist, a performance artist and an actor. He paints, he dances, he mimes, sometimes he teaches calligraphy and anime, he's writing a book - the list is pretty limitless. Within minutes of meeting him earlier this year, we got talking about not fitting in. Originally from Nagoya, … Continue reading Nori Shirasu: moonwalking… and writing his own script