After a few years of blogging at A Scottish Liberal, today I have launched a new, personal blog which I hope will be an outlet for my creativity - or, failing that, at least afford me the opportunity to reflect on what really matters to me.
Essentially Against the Grain is a self-portrait, and one which I hope will be an honest reflection of the multi-faceted and sometimes contradictory person I am. When I write, I am inviting you to eat at my table, to share in my experiences, to understand something of my world. I can't promise you that my world is any more exciting than anyone else's, but if I've learned anything in 35 years it is that life is an incredible experience - always interesting, often unpredictable and almost without exception worth sharing with as many people as possible.
Creating this new blog means that A Scottish Liberal will focus solely on political issues. My Liberal Democrat friends, and those of other political persuasions, will no longer be subjected to my views on Albion Rovers' promotion prospects, discussions about photography or reflections on my personal struggles. All that of course I will bring to Against the Grain, in which I imagine I will discuss a range of interests from sport to the arts and from music to scientific developments. Obviously a personal blog will also contain a great deal that is incredibly personal to me - including my sexuality and issues relating to it, family news (I will be a first-time dad in a few weeks - prepare for plenty of updates!), reminiscences and thoughts on the daily grind. My liberal Christianity might occasionally be explored.
I will also frequently publish photographs, which may be either artistically inspired or simply a visualisation of recent events. The blog is definitely something intended to be something of a picture book, and (hopefully) much easier reading than A Scottish Liberal. Updates may be more frequent but inevitably shorter.
What it will be is a politics-free zone. It will be a place where I am simply myself. Of course, my political beliefs are a part of my personal identity, but far from the only or indeed the principal influence on my life. And so while occasionally my political sympathies and worldview will become apparent in Against the Grain, all overtly political contributions will continue to be made here.
So, please feel free to take a look at the new blog. Thoughts and comments will always be welcome.