About me

I have always enjoyed writing and have been lucky to have had the opportunity to do so throughout my career as a medical educationist, in which field I published several books and articles, and latterly as a published writer of historical biographies. For my up-to-date activities please look under News on the left hand menu.


I have lived in Scotland for most of my adult life, first in Aberdeenshire, then in the Scottish Borders. I live now in north Northumberland.  I carried out a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship in Australia in 1988, studying innovation in Australian medical education.

While I was in Australia I was struck by the immediacy of Australian colonial history and this led me ultimately to write my first biography when I retired This was a complete new departure for me as my first publications were in the field of medical education.  I have continued to specialise in writing about 19th century personalities whose lives made an impact on history, first in the UK and then in Australia and who now have either been forgotten or have received what I consider to have been a 'bad press'! There is usually a strong historic medical element in my work. Click 'Biographies' to learn more.


My family: I am happily married to another writer and have two daughters and four grandchildren.


Societies: Apart from my Churchill Fellowship. I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, I belong to the Society of Authors,  the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, the Scottish Society of the History of Medicine, the Cairngorm Club (the oldest mountaineering club in Scotland), the Till Valley Archaeological Society and the Borders Archaeologcal Society. I am also a member of the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland.


My interests are reflected in the societies I belong to but I also love art, music especially opera and choral music, travel and walking.  It goes without saying that I love reading–I will read anything and everything, from chic lit to academic tomes. I paint whenever I can, mostly using soft pastels. My travels provide me with plenty of paint-worthy subjects but I can never make up my mind which I love best–the sea or the mountains so perhaps the ideal holiday is in the hills of Scotland and the Lake District or among the Hebridean islands or the Norwegian fjords.  The very different beauty of the Australian bush and outback also inspires me.  

What I am reading at the moment


My current reading, apart from necessary research mostly relating to the Arctic, has been affected by my having more time because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I have indulged myself by reading several old favourites such as the entire sequence of the Aubrey/Maturin books as well as a few John Buchan novels.