Activism not Slacktivism

student protestors

My good friend Adam Ramsay had a piece in the Guardian the other day about student activism, putting forward his view that the main job of students is to save the world and have fun. Despite what many people think the two are not mutually exclusive.

I credit my time at university, and the people I met in that period of my life, with shaping my politics quite substantially. The groundwork may have been laid earlier – by compassionate parents and dinner table discussions – but uni was the time when I became more able to articulate what I believe in, and why. Continue reading

Guest Post: A Walk in the Woods

This is a guest blog from one of my favourite people, Adam Ramsay. When he’s not being an uncle, you can find him tweeting as @AdamRamsay and blogging at Bright Green and 101 Ways To Cook Mushrooms. Adam has previously posted on DorkyMum about being an uncle  – he enjoyed it so much he’s back to do it a second time.

I’m going for a walk in the dark and the snow,” I declared. It was my last night at home. The white which has in recent years appeared just in time for Christmas had instead turned up right as I was packing to head south for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. “Who’s with me?”.

The library was snug – warmed by the log stove, ten bodies and just enough booze. In turn, each of the members of my family declined. But then a voice piped up: “I want to go for a walk in the snow.” My three-year-old nephew. Always intrepid. I got into warm clothes, found his snowsuit, hat and gloves, took his hand, and we walked out of the back door. “Will we fight monsters in the woods?” he asked me.
Continue reading

On Being an Uncle

green toy dinosaur on a white stair banister

This is a guest blog from one of my favourite people, Adam Ramsay. When he’s not being an uncle, you can find him tweeting as @AdamRamsay 

There can be few things on earth better than being an uncle.

It’s only happened to me once, so far. My nephew is, like me, called Adam. He’s so named for a lost best friend of his father, for generations of paternal ancestors, and because ‘Adam’ is both Arabic and Scots. Like him.

Like me, he was born in Ninewells hospital, Dundee. I sat up all night with my mother and my sister. We played Scrabble. I lost. I always do with my sister. It was dreich late January, and the labour lasted for hours. But then, eventually, there he was: my blissful brother. And there he was, his tiny son. I remember losing my breath slightly at his beauty, my heart slowing to appreciate the moment. Continue reading