That’ll be 2016 here then.

The New Year came in with more of a gentle pfft than a bang; and a stark realisation that everything is a mess. I am a mess, my house, my car, my training, my life – you guessed it, a mess.

It sounds somewhat negative but really it’s more of an epiphany. It’s time I clean up my mess and to do that I have to focus on me. Not entirely, but more. Just a wee bit more than I have been.

That’s about it really, 2016 is going to be different and I’m going to get some of my stuff done.


Starting over, running again

I hadn’t run for over three months. First I was trying to give my injuries a proper chance to heal and then I got hit by a long-lasting virus, which took a good five weeks to shake. I missed it, then I reckoned I wasn’t missing it that much but in reality I was stressed at work and stressed in general. I’ve had a lot more time for armchair activism and shaking my angry wee fist at the world. Don’t get me wrong, the world has certainly deserved some fist shaking and more, but that aside when I reflect back on the past few months I realise that running is definitely not just my hobby but my therapy. No doubt about it, it’s a stress reliever.

I’ve started back now, gently. Firstly I added little sections of jogging into my dog walks – down a hill, between lampposts and that sort of thing. I’ve now gone out for two actual runs. Short runs, 2 and 2.33 miles respectively. It felt awful and it also felt fantastic.

I have a race schedule and a coach for next year; and my biggest challenge to date – 24 hours of running at Glenmore. How I feel right now is fat, unfit, slow, self conscious but also full of hope and anticipation, because I am running again and I love it. I’m getting my happy place back.

The refugee crisis: Debunking the myths

This article was co-authored by Nasar Meer and Daniela Sime.

Recent weeks have seen a refugee crisis unfold in Europe. Around four million Syrians have now fled their country. Over one million Somalians and more than two and a half million Afghans have also become refugees in recent years. The vast majority have fled to neighboring countries, which is consistent with a wider pattern where 86% of the world’s refugees reside in non-western countries. Since the start of this year a relatively small proportion (about 320,000) have sought refuge in Europe, especially through unsafe travel across the Mediterranean Sea with at least 2500 fatalities this summer. These events have dominated the UK media and in response a number of charities, organisations and citizens have mobilised to offer support, and collections of money and provisions are taking place all over the country, including in Scotland. The UK government too has modified its

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