It is always sad to hear of someone dying of cancer, especially when the victim has earned the respect of so many others. Iain Banks is a case in point. I am particularly impressed by the bravery – and humour - he shows in dealing with his illness.
Ian Jack – another well-respected writer, and founder of the Independent on Sunday – also lived in North Queensferry at that time. We travelled to school together on the bus into Dunfermline.
I mentioned this to Iain Banks when I met him in the bar at Swanwick: wasn’t it a coincidence that such a small village seemed to attract boys who grew up with a love of writing?
“Must have been something in the water,” he said.
Did you mean uisge beatha, Iain?