Shona and Simon’s Humanist Wedding at the National Museum of Scotland

No limousine could be more appropriate for a French/Scottish wedding than a Citroën Traction Avant! First produced in 1934, they’re still très chic today. My couples meet in all sorts of interesting ways, but Shona and Simon’s was truly a first: they were brought together by their daughters, Amy and Sophie. Best friends at school, they schemed to […]

Scottish Government Remembrance Day Ceremony 2018

I was honoured to be invited back to the Scottish Government’s Remembrance Day at St. Andrew’s House last week.  Last year, I became the first humanist ever to be invited to speak at an official government event, which was a pretty big deal: as I said in this article in The Herald, “it seems fitting that […]

The Language of Flowers

Today I want to talk about the forgotten language of flowers.  My memory is terrible these days and that’s strangely appropriate. It wasn’t until I began writing this speech that I remembered that for thousands of years, the poppy wasn’t ‘the flower of remembrance’ but ‘the flower of forgetfulness’: our earliest ancestors ate its seeds to […]

11/11 – a Humanist Poem of Remembrance

I wrote this poem for the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day when I became the first humanist ever to address an official government ceremony of remembrance. It’s a response to Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’. To the nameless millions who lie in mass graves, From the forest of Katyn to the killing fields of […]

Joe’s Toes

There are emails you don’t want to get, and this one from Marie and Keith is one of them.  On 8th February 2014 you married myself and my husband at Dundas Castle. It was a beautiful ceremony and we were thankful we chose you to conduct it. This is a really difficult email to write […]