Parked up on a cliff edge in East Lothian, gusts of wind rocking my car, I waited for my friend and his two dogs to arrive. Our Sunday morning plan: breakfast followed by a walk. I stared out onto the bruised blue of the North Sea, looked upon the vast nearness of the Bass Rock … Continue reading When The Sky Falls In
They say after every seven years of life, there is a shift. Some might say it is far greater than a shift, it is a transformation. After seven years, every cell of one’s skin has been shed, regenerated, and a new person is born. Seven is the mystical number linked to the idea of completion … Continue reading Every Seven Years
“In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.” Isn’t that a lovely line? It’s from The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. It makes me think about reframing awful things in a different way. Maybe this (insert whatever your trouble is) isn’t so bad after all. And if to reframe … Continue reading The Sunset of Dissolution
Over four nights, I read The Old Man and The Sea to the two brothers, twenty-five pages before they went to bed. I did wonder at their eyes staring into corners of the room, seeming to follow spiders, or shadows, sometimes a hand reaching absently for another Ginger Snap. Were they listening at all, or were they … Continue reading Destroyed but Not Defeated
There ought to be aversion therapy for tears; a programme targeted at those people who squirm when faced with someone else’s crying. If controlled exposure to spiders for people with arachnophobia is a proven means of slowly dissolving their fear of eight legs, then surely the same should work for people who are mortified by … Continue reading Crying Over You
The weather, the grass, and emerging from lockdown.
C. tells me she is taking her laptop in to be serviced “as its sooooo SLOW”. Reconditioned, she calls it, then, as a quick aside, she adds, “maybe they ought to take me in too, to be reconditioned.” Now there’s a thought. When I was growing up, everything was ‘reconditioned’ with a lick-and-a-spit and a … Continue reading Recondition Me
Gabriel Byrne, the Irish actor, had a book out last year, I heard him talk about it on a radio interview. I didn’t know it was him at first, I just thought, ‘there’s a man with a lovely accent who knows how to tell a story’, and so I kept listening, mostly because of that … Continue reading The Best We Can Do Is Move On
Small consolations. That’s what the last year has been full of. We are told to observe them, to remember that life is made up of them, a series of tiny moments, most of which we dismiss as inconsequential. Yet the more we take notice of the small consolations, the more apparent it is that they … Continue reading A Year of Consolation
What do you miss being able to do?