That Was the Year That Was: Lesley Riddoch, columnist and writer

GOOD year, bad year? With 2014 drawing to a close, we ask writer and columnist, Lesley Riddoch: ‘How has it been for you?’.

Briefly, what is it that you do?

Write columns, help run Nordic Horizons think tank, research a PhD, keep updating latest book, Blossom, and race across Scotland to speak at meetings.

Choose three words that sum up 2014 (so far), from a professional point of view.

Exciting. Moving. Emotional.

In 2013, what was your biggest ambition for 2014, and to what extent did you achieve it?

My greatest aim was to produce a case for independence that would convince my family. Did OK with husband and step-daughters. Failed with 89 year-old mum. Mixed results elsewhere.

How has 2014 (so far) been for you, personally?

Well, I was diagnosed with vasculitis in my kidneys – a nasty condition that meant chemotherapy. But it seems to be under control. Despite that, I’d say 2014 was the best year of my life. I’ve never felt so purposeful, hopeful and connected to so many other folk who felt the same about this often frustrating wee country – all thanks to the indyref.

Any changes this year in technology, legislation, the economy, etc that have had a relatively significant impact on the business?

The runaway success of the Serial podcast was a great development for a keen podcaster. Anything that improves the upload speed of rural broadband will also cause great happiness for my ‘other half’, Chris, who edits the weekly Lesley Riddoch podcast in deepest, slowest Fife.

What looking forward to, in 2015 – personally and professionally?

I hope to get my PhD finished, some fitness back after a year of too many long car trips and another book published on Scotland’s distant relationship with our fabulous outdoors. I imagine the General Election will bulldoze all of these into 2016 to battle it out with the Holyrood ballot. We continue to live in interesting times.