HOME was a council house on McGregor Road. My little sister and I shared a double bed. At night, we whispered stories to each other in the dark and pretended to be dead. When we got single beds, we rubbed our feet up and down beneath the duvets to make the nylon covers spark. There was a story that the bin men threw stray children into the back of their truck. I didn’t believe it, but I made sure I was inside whenever the bin lorry came.
THE first adult book I read was Jaws by Peter Benchley. From that moment The Famous Five were binned. Jaws wasn't the best book ever written, but at ten years old it gave me the word vagina - pronounced in my head, as va-jee-na. Many more words relating to interesting body parts were discovered on reading works by Stephen King and James Herbert. I read anything I could get my hands on, from pulp fiction to classics, but I always enjoyed a good scare.
BUILT in the bowels of the Carbuncle-winning Town Centre, The County Cinema was a regular haunt. It was basically a bit of sectioned-off car park. I went there almost every week, regardless of what was showing. By the time I was fifteen, the application of green eye shadow was usually enough to gain access to X-certs. It was in The County that I saw classics such as The Incredible Melting Man and one of my favourite films of all time, George Romero's Dawn of the Dead.
As a stand-in usher for Scotland's Mobile Cinema, the Screen
Machine, I reckon I've got one of the coolest jobs in the Highlands,
even if it is occasional and very part-time.
Favourite films: Both Dawns of the Dead
Recently seen: The Ritual
Favourite small screen: Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Blue Planet 2
Most recent watch: Mindhunters
Looking forward to: Next season of Better Call Saul
At school, a boy accused me of liking all sorts of music, and it really was an accusation. Music has always been tribal, but in the late 70s, it was profoundly so. Queuing to see Bill Haley and the Comets at the Glasgow Apollo, I was jeered by punks. A few months later, I dyed my eyeballs red for a Stranglers gig. The red dye was an accident, but I still like all kinds of music. The Twenty One Pilots gig in London was an incredible experience. Photo of Josh Dun by MK Thomson.
Favourite authors: Patricia Highsmith; Jim Thompson; Chuck
Favourite author when I was a teen: Stephen King
Favourite book of all time: The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham.
Just finished: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
Reading now: Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Top of the pile: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Coastal rowing is one of Scotland's fastest-growing sports and has
been described as the adventure side of rowing. With the wild
weather we often experience on the north-west coast of Scotland,
even a straight-forward training session can be an exhilarating
With a haul of four gold medals and one bronze, 2017 has been my top year for rowing so far. The photograph depicts one of the calmer days in sea loch, Loch Broom.