December 2, 2022. 'Close Encounters'. Show of Date Paintings in Dennistoun, Glasgow.

August, 2022. First phase of On Kawara website complete.

June 20, 2022. First Date Painting workshop in Kenilworth, thanks to John Wilson.

February 1, 2021. Began researching and writing about On Kawara.

January - August, 2020. Conceived and executed 'The Brideshead Festival' single-handedly. The fun starts

November - December, 2019. Additions to the Peterswood section of my Enid Blyton website. That's the Find-Outers series. So, for instance,
this is new.

July - October, 2019. Working on new section of my George Shaw website.
'The Lost of England'. Concentrating on his 'Brexit' paintings from 2017.

3 July 2019. A weekend spent at Coniston in the Lake District reminds me that I wrote book about John Ruskin that Grizedale Arts published in 2002. Adam Sutherland has been director there fro 20 years. He and Karen Guthrie have vision. And they get things done.

10 May 2019. Pproductive trip to the Midlands. Delivered a talk at Chipping Camden Literary Festival then visited Piers Court and Barford House, key Evelyn Waugh locations.

November 2018. Chapter after chapter being added to my Evelyn Waugh website. This is becoming my main project. Five times as much work has gone into it than into any of my other websites.

August 2018. Helped Kate with her latest Silver Swimmer escapade. She walked the streets of Dennistoun with a placard stating 'BRING BACK FREE SWIMMING FOR OVER-60s'

31 May 2018. This website is now hosted by Siteground after the service from a company called Easily started to fall apart.

April/May 2018. Helped Kate and XSexcentenary with NOT DEAD YET at Glasgow's Necropolis.

20 October 2017. I appear in
Britain's Lost Masterpieces on BBC4, talking about Patrick Allan-Fraser. Thanks to the director, Spike Geilinger. The inside track on the morning's filming can be found here.

27 September 2017. Five years after publication, and on my 60th birthday, a very nice
review of Looking For Enid has appeared on the website of writer and researcher, L.H. Johnson. It uses the words 'mad' and 'brilliant' three times each. So maybe 'nice' isn't quite the word I'm looking for.

20 September 2017. In July, The Guardian referenced
PEN PALS on their Tips, Links and Suggestions page. D.J.Taylor's feature on PEN PALS was published in the September 15 issue of TLS (Times Literary Supplement).

7 June 2017. I was told last September that the Saga website no longer archives the 'Visiting Mabel' blogs they commissioned from 2010 to 2014. I've had pleasure revisiting these and uploading them onto a dedicated website:

4 June 2017. For the last 18 months I've been working on a book called
PEN PALS. The book investigates what's happened, in the 30 years since, to the 32 writers who contributed to a short story anthology, PEN New Fiction 2. I dare say I'll be revisiting the project on the 40th anniversary of its publication, which gives me ten years breathing space.

December 2016. An article for
Newsweek on Assemble's winning of the Turner Prize. Thanks to Isabel Lloyd for commissioning this. I made very heavy weather of it, possibly due to the American way of editing. (Let's just say that the writer is given far less autonomy than I've been used to in the past.)

14 March 2016. My father died six weeks ago. Here is a tribute:
The Book of Ian.

November, 2015. Commissioned to write a piece called
The Lovers for Intelligent Life. I was given the images, all I had to do was come up with the texts. The magazine has since changed its name to 1843, but the piece is supposed to be timeless: The Lovers

7 October, 2015. Invited to give a talk on Evelyn Waugh at Topping's Bookshop in St Andrew's.

1 August, 2015. Launch of website
The Call of the Commons in anticipation of Dundee Commons Festival which will run from Aug 24 to Aug 30.

1 July, 2015. I'll be appearing at
Appledore Book Festival on October 2, doing a double act with Kate re the Evelyns.

30 May, 2015. Three residencies completed in the last month here at the bcca: Claire Briegel, Morvern Odling and Alice Maselnikova
Thanks to the artists for their company and commitment.

28 May, 2015. Summary of principle press since the
Mail coup:

  • Miranda Seymour says it is 'beguiling, comic and original with wonderful photographs' in the Telegraph.
  • Marcus Field in the Independent thinks the approach goes further than any conventional biography
  • GQ commissioned me to write: 'How to Drink like Evelyn Waugh'
  • Philip Eade writes in The Literary Review: 'For lighter relief, Waugh enthusiasts might turn to Duncan McLaren’s contrastingly madcap Evelyn! Rhapsody for an Obsessive Love, a work of unexpected authority and revelation as well as great charm, which will make seasoned Waugh scholars sit up and see things they wish they had spotted themselves. Visiting various haunts from Waugh’s early life, he expounds breezily yet with considerable insight and originality on the complex ways on which he mined his own experiences for almost everything that he wrote."

12 May, 2015. Official launch of
Evelyn! For full details see here.

1 May, 2015. Thanks to Roger Lewis who has made
Evelyn! the Daily Mail's 'Book of the Week'.

24 April 2015. Delivered a paper in the digital humanities slot at the Waugh Conference in Leicester. Very well organised event for anyone interested in a certain 20th Century writer. Like me. Recording of the event is the second half of
this, from twenty minutes in.

9 March 2015. Cover for
Evelyn! has been designed. See the cover artwork and read an analysis of it here. Thanks to Jamie Keenan whose website is full of fabulous cover designs, such as this one for Lolita.

8 March 2015. Struan Kennedy and Morvern Odling have been selected for the bcca residencies in May. Congratulations to them and thanks to all who applied or showed an interest. More residency opportunities later in the year. Keep an eye on the

1 March 2015. Cateran's Common Wealth is a project that's coming to East Perthshire and
here is its website. It's about time contemporary art reached these parts on this scale of ambition. Good luck to its producers, Clare Cooper and Donna Holford-Lovell. Looks like Kate and I will be doing a project focussed on Wilson Laing, Blairgowrie's local photographer for much of the Twentieth Century. More later, but we'll be asking what constitutes 'family' and a 'family photograph' these days.

30 January 2015: Jeremy Beale at Harbour Books confirms that
Evelyn! Rhapsody for an Obsessive Love will be published on 27th April, 2015. There's quite a lot to do before then. Like the cover, which Jeremy will need from his designer before we can start to publicise. And the black and white illustration section, which is going to complement colour illustrations embedded throughout the text. It's all very exciting, but the most exciting thing of all is how I can use my ongoing Waugh website to promote the book.

25 January 2015: In doing my tax return for 2014, I did an audit of my four-year Saga blog. 99 blogs were written and posted on Saga's website, but only 97 were paid for as demonstrated by the money showing up on my bank statements. The extra transfer of £300 will be most welcome. Oh, the joys of self-employment!

18 January 2015: Kate and I are inviting artists to apply to do 24-hour residencies at the bcca. For a residency in the second week of May, apply before the end of Sunday, March 1, 2015. Full details