Downloadables for Press & Media
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Snippets from Press & Media
This page has been set up to allow a quick glance at any press & media coverage I’ve received for my books and writing (that I’m aware of). It’s all in chronological order, most recent first, so feel free to scroll down.
*Copyright laws mean I am now unable to include images of any newspaper articles. Where possible (and where they are still live), I have added a link.
My piece on why libraries are essential has made it into the Blairgowrie Advertiser.
AND THEN CAME THE SNOW!
Thank you, once again, to the Perthshire Advertiser for publishing my blog article…
It’s now been four months since we left our little patch of rural Perthshire to move into town and, foolishly, we were almost convinced that we’d melted into town living like ducks to water. Until that is, we had our first snow of winter!
Thirty-one years after leaving my hometown, I returned convinced that town living was for us. We had overcome the initial strangeness of never having visitors or the inability to be making new memories with our family in our new home, thanks to another lockdown, and had begun making more permanent plans for our future.
Then came the snow! Suddenly, the feeling of being closed in was all-consuming. After years of country living, we had grown used to seeing the weather rolling in over the hills as it made its presence known. We had watched as the surrounding countryside changed dramatically before our eyes. We had adapted to the hardships a change in weather could bring to rural Perthshire and, for us, that was all part and parcel of the joys of living in the country. But now, we can’t see beyond our garden hedge.
And, as I drove into town, I caught glimpses of the surrounding hills, white, dramatic, and beautiful. My eyes began to water, and silent tears fell as I thought about what I was missing out on, what I had left behind.
For us, winters normally brought deer to graze around our house. Birds would scramble between our hedges in search of food and shelter while stoats, dressed in their white winter coats, would lurk below ready to pounce.
Then, I found my thoughts instinctively turning to the contents of our freezer, and then to the log store. Do we need a restock? Do we need more logs?
But a surprising calmness followed as I realised that town living meant it was okay if the freezer was a little low. And it was certainly okay that we’d no logs, after all, we’d no place to burn them in our new house.
Suddenly, the snow wasn’t such an issue, it was beautiful, and I could allow myself to enjoy it. That was, of course, until the snow arrived mid-February. Yes, we got more than we would have liked but I watched as our garden transformed into a winter wonderland, just as it had done in the countryside. I watched as we cleared snow from our paths and driveway only for it to be covered again within minutes. I watched as the mercury fell and I felt relief to get back into the warmth.
All this culminated in the realisation that, although my initial subconscious response was to shed tears for the countryside I was so used to, I was now feeling settled and at home in my new surroundings. We discovered new walks, trudged through the snow to the local shop, met new neighbours, and adjusted to the winter weather just as we would have done in the countryside. The vast open spaces I missed were not gone, they were just around the corner and in view during our dog walks.
And while my other half revelled in the fact he was shovelling snow from a much smaller driveway, my youngest, who’s in our bubble, was reminding me you are never too old for a snowball fight.
If you’ve followed my blogs, you’ll know that after years of country living and with a need to downsize, my husband and I had initially decided to give town living a year before we made any final decisions on where we should settle. I’m certainly a country girl at heart but I do remind myself of the reasons we decided to move into town; we were both craving a less isolated lifestyle now our kids had flown the nest and a lot less garden to keep. And, as I think about the many reservations I’d had at moving back into town, I realise that my first emotional hurdle has been won!
Now, as I look out at a foot of snow, I no longer feel closed in. I’m no longer wondering about what I’m missing in the little patch of countryside we used to call home. Instead, I find myself wondering how the seasons will change my new surroundings. And I look forward to next winter when our world will have hopefully returned to some semblance of normality and our home and garden can be filled with family and friends again…and the snowball fights can resume.
As if moving from the quiet of the Perthshire countryside into town wasn’t daunting enough, we chose to do it during a pandemic.
We moved in just as lockdown restrictions meant no one was allowed in our home. Family couldn’t visit and workmen, who were still working to a backlog after months of lockdown, struggled to fit us in.
The result is my husband and I have had to become a jack of all trades where our abilities have allowed.
Initially, it felt as though this home move was an enormous life changing event. A decision that would change the course of our lives forever. How wrong we were!
Returning to Blairgowrie, thirty-one years after leaving, has turned out to be more of a non-event for me, and I mean this in the best way possible. I feel we have melted into life and when I’m not writing or throwing myself headfirst into our ever-growing list of DIY jobs, I am revelling in the fact it only takes a few minutes to drive into town. And, I have to say, walking our dogs after dark still feels like a luxury.
But, most of all, I am enjoying the novelty of bumping into people I haven’t seen for years, people I went to school with, people I worked with. There is often a moment where there is a flicker of recognition and then the years fall away as we catch up on thirty years in a few short minutes. There are others whose eyes are familiar, but I can’t quite place. I would imagine I am much harder to recognise, gone is the 80s perm and large hoop earrings that, of course, came in every colour. But, either way, the result is me delving into memories that were long forgotten, reminding me of friendships and specific events in my life that deserve to be remembered.
Bizarrely, and somewhat unexpectedly however, we find our little patch of suburbia almost as quiet as our old house in the countryside, but with the added pleasure of far more incidental human contact. So, our experimental year when we decide whether we should stay in town or return to the familiarity of the countryside, is something we are embracing and are so far enjoying.
However, to be truly honest to our big decision, we must face the negatives as well as the positives and, although my husband and I have settled into our new house, there is a strange feeling of isolation.
If you have followed my previous blog, you will know I was determined to build a family home wherever we ended up. And at least during lockdown in our old house, we had the memories of a bustling house and a full dinner table, laughter, chatter, board games and, although moved out, our children’s bedrooms and belongings were a reminder of our life there.
But, here, in our new house, lockdown restrictions have meant there are no such memories being made. We have had no family or friends to visit, no family gatherings around the table.
In this surreal world, my dad has walked around the outside of our house, peering through windows to see the changes we have made. My daughter, who is part of our extended bubble, is a primary school teacher, and for that reason alone has visited only once for fear of bringing the virus home to us. Our son has also followed the rules and not come to see, what is now, his new family home.
We are living a new life in a new house that has not brought with it the usual hustle and bustle of family life, we’ve no friends popping in for a visit. Family photographs scattered around help, but it’s not the same.
This, however, is the world we are all finding ourselves in just now and, one day, normality will return. That is when we will know for sure if we are going to lay down our roots and settle in town. If so, there will be walls to knock down and others to build, life will be busy again and that is when I thrive. That is when I will have to juggle a desperation to write and desperation to create a family home.
In the meantime, I will continue to make the most of my new writing spot, inspired by its views and the changing seasons in suburbia.
My emotional blog article on downsizing and moving from a family home has made it into The Perthshire Advertiser.
What do you do when you are in the depths of moving to a new house, and you find yourself with two and a half hours to spare? You write a blog! Inner, creative me has won over organised, there’s too much to do, must stay on track me as I park myself in a corner of our new empty living room while I await the arrival of a workman. The echo of each tap of the keyboard resounds as I avoid the inevitable to-do list for a little longer.
For us, this house move is exciting. It’s the beginning of a new chapter where my husband and I make our lives a little easier, give ourselves more precious spare time, and enjoy what will now be a remarkably smaller and more sensible garden to keep. This move is about looking forward, onwards, and planning new and exciting trips (once Covid allows). It’s about living, about embarking on new adventures as we find ourselves with an empty nest while we are still only in our early fifties. The fact that this move will give me far more writing time is filling me with excitement and an eagerness for the next couple of weeks to be over. I’m desperately looking forward to a new daily routine which will work far better around my writing and I’ve already picked out my new writing spot.
It does come with the realisation that all I am doing is delaying the inevitable as the next week and a half will be spent packing up our old house during the day and finishing the painting, renovating, and working on the new house in the evenings and weekends all with the unwavering goal of uprooting years of an existence and packing it away into boxes. Which brings me on to the real reason for writing this….
My children are now twenty-seven and twenty-three, they have finished university and have embarked on their own journeys in this ever-changing world. They have moved out, met wonderful partners, and, coincidently, are happily living just a few minutes away from each other in our capital city. But they regularly come home, filling our house with their familiar laughter and personalities. Of course, our dinner table has grown from our little bubble of four to six and that is wonderful. Their laughter, hilarity, games, and the joy this brings is, to me, what life is all about. Not to mention our two little dogs, they have no idea to what extent their little world is about to change, but I’m sure if we are all together, they will settle quickly.
I was organised, on track, and in the swing of all that I had to do until my youngest came home to pack up her room. Obviously, there will always be room for our children no matter where we are, but this room has seen her through her primary and secondary years and through university. It has evolved with her, grown as she has, and, even although she now has her own flat, her room has always been here, waiting on her whenever she needed to return. Now though, those memories have been packed away, boxed up and labeled through tears (mine, I should add) and neatly given their place in our new attic. I was that same, tearful person a few years ago when we packed up my eldest’s room to allow for a spare bedroom. At the time we weren’t to know how handy that room would become. But now, removing those same boxes from our old attic and transporting them to our new attic, it hurts all over again. Memories are by far more valuable than possessions and I will live determined never to forget the memories and images that have brought us as a family so much love and happiness in a house that we have adored for so long.
But the dreaded time has come. Our beloved house is now too big and the heartache I feel at leaving must be turned into an overwhelming appreciation that we were lucky enough to be one of its caretakers in its lifetime. At almost one hundred years old, it has seen many people come and go and the excitement we felt when we moved in all these years ago is now turning to sadness as we prepare to leave.
But there is more to life than hoovering and dusting rooms that are mostly unoccupied. There is more to life than battling to keep up with a garden that goes on and on and there is certainly more to life than maintaining an existence that we have all outgrown.
So where to now? Well, having had no neighbours or streetlights for almost twenty years and having been surrounded by fields and woodland, we are moving back into civilisation. We have decided that because the sun disappears around three-thirty, four o’clock in the depths of winter our days should certainly not be over. We are looking forward to the luxury of walking our dogs in the evening under streetlight, we are looking forward to the luxury of walking to a local shop, of going out for a meal without having to drive miles to get there. To be able to walk out our front door and carry on with our day will, to us, be luxury.
We have lived the ‘out in the sticks’ lifestyle and we have loved it! I cannot emphasise that enough, but as we get older (and the point is older…not old) we still have so much to do, so many places to see and so much life to live. Our house was at one-point bustling but now my husband and I barely make a dent in its rooms.
So, our big decision is to give the town a year and see if we like said streetlights and town living as much as we think we will. We are moving back to the town I grew up in and where my husband was just a year below me at secondary school. We will be closer to some members of our extended family and further away from others but as always, our door to them will always be open.
Last night, as we put the finishing touches to some of our DIY projects, both my brother and brother-in-law turned up to help and, as is always the way, both acquired a couple of other jobs while they were here. My point is, home will always be where we are, where we congregate and the people we come to for love, support, and to make things better when the universe throws us a curveball. Just because we are leaving a happy (albeit too large) family home doesn’t mean we can’t create another.
That is the challenge that excites! That is the challenge that we are ready for! That is the challenge that will be met as we are why our children still come home. We are why our children make their way north, we are why our children meet up even without us. A home is not only bricks and mortar, it’s the people within! Its generations keeping in touch, sticking together, and not allowing the nasties of this world to intrude, to hurt, to damage the precious existence we have worked so hard to create.
26th December 2019 – The Dunfermline Press
McLean Primary School’s Christmas Writing and Colouring Competitions.
I was thrilled to be asked to judge the writing competitions for pupils of McLean Primary School in Dunfermline. As you will see in the attached article, there were four very deserving winning stories. It was an absolute joy to read all the entries and such a festive way to spend a morning. Thank you!
December 2019/January 2020 Edition – The Bridge
My Novel, A Life of Their Own, has been included in the Unique Gift Idea section of the Bridge “Give a book written by a local author”… along with a selection of books by other local authors. It’s great to see such a fantastic selection all from our local area.
12th October 2019 – The Courier’s Weekend Edition.
I was delighted to be interviewed by Hollie Bruce from the Courier. Unfortunately, due to copyright laws, I am unable to share this with you.
A Life of Their Own came out on the 16th of this month and it has been all go since then. As we prepare for the official launch tomorrow I thought I would bring you up to date with all that has been going on.
Firstly, it made it onto a Waterstones table…a complete and utter thrill for an author!
Secondly, there was this lovely article in the Perthshire Advertiser, link below.
This article was also published in the Blairgowrie Advertiser.
A few days later it was Book Of The Week in the Courier’s Weekend Magazine. Reviewed along with others, it was lovely to see it get such as wonderful review concluding with “Tait has created a real page-turner and shown herself to be a successful adult fiction novelist.”…
September 2019 – The Bridge
It’s publication month for my adult fiction novel, A Life of Their Own, and again I am thanking The Bridge for their article….and their continued support!
May 2019 – The Bridge
Once again, The Bridge has included an article on the publication of one of my books. This time, it’s the turn of The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical…
Fairytale Life Rooted in Landscape
…was the title for an article in The Perthshire Advertiser on Tuesday 23rd April 2019. It’s a lovely article and shows off the county of Perthshire beautifully. Follow this link if you would like a glimpse into my writing life and how the local countryside has inspired me to write and bring The Fairy in the Kettle series to life.
The Perthshire Advertiser has a lovely article today about my visit to Pitlochry Primary School as part of their World of Work Week. It’s always inspiring to meet such enthusiastic children…
September 2018 – The Bridge
Thank you to The Bridge for publishing an article on the publication of The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish…it’s really appreciated!
25th August 2018 – The Courier
I was thrilled that the Courier ran an article in their Weekend Magazine on the publication of The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish. And, they gave me a double-page spread…
21st August 2018
Both The Blairgowrie Advertiser and the Perthshire Advertiser ran articles on the publication of The Fairy on the Kettle’s Christmas Wish. I’m extremely grateful to them for both their time and print space, thank you!
28th February & 3rd March 2017 – The Perthshire Advertiser
Thank you Perthshire Advertiser for your time and column space TWICE, you helped make my signing event far busier than I could have hoped for!
6th Dec 2016 – Perthshire Advertiser
Thank you Perthshire Advertiser for your piece on the publication of The Fairy in the Kettle today.
November 2016 – The Bridge
I’m back in The Bridge as part of their Christmas Book Promotion…
October 2016 – The Bridge
Thank you for including me in this month’s Art News. The Fairy in the Kettle’s first media piece 🙂