The Edinburgh-born author, Laura Hird, received enormous critical acclaim in 2000 for her debut novel, Born Free. A new collection of her stories will soon be published by Canongate.
MY HEART is scattered around different parts of Scotland at different times of year. In August, it lives in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square Gardens, at the Book Festival. Midnight in the gardens is magical, when silence and darkness descend briefly before the next teeming morning, the words and thoughts of the world’s great writers still echoing in the night.
MY FAVOURITE place is Tiree. We’ve got friends who holiday there every year and we’ve joined them a number of times. They’ve been going there for a long time now, and know where to find all the really remote, secluded beaches on the island. You usually have to drive over a field to get to them. The bit I like best is called Happy Valley.
IT'S a piece of wood in the Clyde. I only started sailing a couple of years ago and I have a lovely old wooden boat called Nimbus. She’s 23ft long and made of larch with oak beams with a big spruce mast - a very traditional old boat. There’s room in it for me, a friend and a dog, so it’s just about the right size.
MY favourite place is the Ullapool area in the north-west. It’s so romantic - it’s the first place my husband and I went for romantic weekends. Then, when we got married 18 months ago, we went for a few days of our honeymoon.
I love every aspect and facet of Scotland with all my soul - the Borders, the Highlands, the cities and the Hebrides. If my life depended on having to pick just one thing, though, I’d have to say the drive towards Stirling.
I COMPLETED my MA at the University of Edinburgh, so that city has to be my favourite place in Scotland. It’s where I made some of my closest friends and enjoyed four very happy and carefree years. We must have been among the most fortunate students in the world, living in the elegant Georgian flats of the New Town and only a short distance from both the sea and the hills.