Fay Young trained as a newspaper journalist with EMAP in Spalding, Lincolnshire and worked for the Oxford Mail and Times before coming to Scotland with her husband Ray Perman in 1975. Since then – 42 years, 3 sons [plus three grandchildren!] and an Open University Degree later – her work has evolved through newspapers and magazines to new media publishing.
My career as a journalist helped me to discover that so-called ordinary people are always doing extraordinary things. The cult of celebrity (swallowed so eagerly by much of our media – new and old) ignores the rich abnormality of normal people and demeans the incredible triumphs that all of us achieve in our every day lives.
In recent years my work has taken new directions. While I still enjoy editing (and occasionally writing for) printed publications, I now concentrate on communication through digital media. Since 2011 I have had the great pleasure of working with a creative young company Walking Heads using digital technology (spoken word with moving images) to bring hidden stories to a wider audience.
Scotland’s political landscape also presents new challenges and opportunities for journalists. For the past two years I have been a contributing editor of Sceptical Scot a new online forum exploring what kind of Scotland we are and might become.
Before that, five years as a non-exec director of the former Edinburgh City Centre Management Company opened my eyes to the importance of public space and led to a place on the steering group of Poetry in St Andrew Square.
In spare time I co-ordinate the multicultural voluntary group Leith Open Space, which runs an informal shadow scheme, Opening Doors. In 2009 I helped to found a unique multicultural community group, World Kitchen in Leith and I am proud to be a non-executive director of the bold and imaginative Leith-based activist community theatre company, ACTive Inquiry.
Somehow it all fits together. The manmade and and wild worlds are always entangled, a constant source of creative stimulation. My interest in gardens and gardeners goes with a concern that we need to spend less time and money on consuming goods and learn how to get more fun out of making and sharing things.
And that is part of a belief that if we look after our environment more sensitively we will help to create a healthier society where natural resources are more fairly shared. Apart from anything else, in the words of Crispin Tickell, the gentlemanly eco-warrior who persuaded Margaret Thatcher that climate change was something to worry about: “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.”
Is there someone to tickle Trump in our newly chaotic era?
All of these interests make their way into the website my sons created for me as a birthday present in 2005. I hope you will enjoy exploring a world of such ideas with me.