born somewhere near Glasgow. The details, I'm afraid, escape me... I
wasn't paying attention at the time, so I'm afraid you'll just have to
make up the details for yourself. My parents were a boatbulider called
Nathan Wilson, and a nurse called Gill Wilson. They were respectively from
Shropshire in England and Wales. Nonetheless, I'm definitely Scottish, so
I don't remember anything of the lowlands, as soon after my arrival my mum
and dad moved to a small village called Ullapool, which, I am utterly
convinced, is the most beautiful place in the world.
We lived in a small crofter's cottage next door to the oldest man I ever
knew, whose name was Fahkie. I don't actually know how old he was when I
knew him, he just always seems like the oldest guy in the world. He used
to give us the poorly lambs to look after so we could keep them warm by
the fire. My earliest memory is of the smell of wet wool and woodsmoke. As
my sense of smell is very poor, I think the memory is probably stronger
than anything real.
I grew up in Ullapool, playing with friends on the beach, on boats, on
small, uninhabited islands where the sound of seabirds in the morning is
like the whole world suddenly realising how great it all is, only with
lots of avian swearing thrown in. I once ran almost straight into an
otter. It looked vaguely apathetic, and then walked away.
When I was about 14, my dad got a job offer at the boatbuilding college
he'd trained at. We'd never been well off, and this job paid pretty well.
All I remember is that I was very scared to lose the mountains. I still
am, a bit. But we moved, nonetheless.
When I was 15, we went on a camping holiday to the Massif Central in
France, and I went for a walk very early in the morning, during which I
was repeatedly charged and roared at by roe deer. It was very scary and
brilliant at the same time.
Suffolk is very very flat. But I've made some great friends, some of whom
are almost as insane as I am. I finished sixth form a few weeks ago. And
turned 18. I'm probably going to have to learn to grow up at some point.
Apart from that, though, the future looks fun. To my shock and vague
bewilderment, I got a scholarship to study creative writing and English at
Aberystwyth University. I can't wait.