Walking The Crow Road


I like being an author.

Although the only bookshop in which you can buy a copy of my one small work is in Biggar, though my sales number in the low thousands rather than the high millions and round my way, I’m known as “your local celebrity no one’s ever heard of,” I can always content myself with the knowledge that those who come after me will be able to read my innermost thoughts and know that I was there.

Diamonds aren’t forever.  A book is.

Iain Banks died the other day.  I never met him.  I once sat near Alasdair Gray in Oran Mor, and that’s the closest I got.  But he and Iain and I, we were all linked in some subtle way.  I live just off the Crow Road, where Iain set one of his novels.  And he loved Glenfinnan, where I long ago loved and lost a wife-to-be.

I am ten years younger than this late, great man but for all I know, I might well join him in that sunless sea sooner than I expect.

The only solace we can know is that literary immortality is not for us a phrase for show.

The memory of authors now gone away lives on amidst the streets and paths they strode along in their day.  There is the plaque which shows the passer-by where number 84 Charing Cross Road once stood.  The tablet still telling the traveller the route to the Crow Road.  And for me, there was the guide helping me find my way to Candlewood Drive after I came over the brow of the hill.

Writers live on in the nation’s memories.  They may become unfocused images seen only from the corner of the eye, but like old soldiers, they never quite fade away.

Iain Banks will not.

Nor will I.


Cross At Needles by James Christie
Joss at the GFT

This section: James Christie Blog

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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