In the morning I’ve taken to lying in the dark for a while before I get up. I listen to the birds outside and try to decipher what they have to tell me about the day ahead. “Stay in bed, it’s freezing out here,” is what I’ve been hearing a lot of lately. I’m using … Continue reading Winged Messengers
If ever I was out walking with my dad on a clear night - maybe up along the Black Path in Portrush or along the beach at low tide in winter, before they installed the lights on the promenade – we would look up into the Van Gogh night and cast our eyes to the … Continue reading What Is The Stars?
‘The devil is in the detail’ - it’s an awfully cautious expression. Used to alert us to tripwires made from words, to snare traps hidden in contracts or agreements. It makes an assumption that ‘they’ are out to get you in the small print. I don't think it’s a great training for life if we … Continue reading Devil In The Detail
“Did you ever play the looky-likey game?” T. asked me this as we were sitting at the airport. I didn’t know what it was, but I should have guessed from the name. “Take yer man over there, he looks a bit like Declan Donnelly.” “Well I don't know whether I agree with you or not, … Continue reading You Look Just Like……
I’m heading into York soon to catch a train north. The sound of suitcase wheels clicking over the cobbles will forever remind me of this city. I suppose it is the combination of the place having so many visitors, and a city centre that is largely closed to traffic, thus forcing people down the two-legged … Continue reading Look Up
I’m back in Yorkshire for a few days. Mostly I’ve been in York itself, town of snickets and ginnels, inviting little passageways that you might call an alley, close, entry or vennel, depending upon where you come from. Last time I was down here was December and I could barely move through the narrow streets, … Continue reading Yorkshire
The Bayeux Tapestry is coming to the British Museum in 2020 on loan from the French. It might seem to be too early to be talking about it, but two years is a blink of the eye when you consider that it hasn't left France for 950 years. The museum in Bayeux, Northern France, where … Continue reading May I Borrow It?
Walking around Edinburgh, at any time of the year, but especially at summertime on the Royal Mile, I’m a sucker for groups of people gathered around street performers. Over I’ll trot, sheep like, blindly going with the flow and I’ll stand and watch and wait. Not ploughing my own furrow I end up furrowing my … Continue reading Turner
The Pentlands, a range of hills to the south-west of Edinburgh, are just about eight miles out. We went up them yesterday for a walk. Or, I might borrow famous Scottish hiker, Nan Shepherd’s better fitting expression: yesterday we went into the hills for a walk. Nan Shepherd’s mountains were further north, and she wrote … Continue reading Pentlands
Edinburgh is filled with beautiful buildings, some unquestionably so: Edinburgh Castle, the Usher Hall, Holyrood Palace. Some are more controversial, bound to divide opinion: the Parliament Building, or the modern glass-fronted flats at the Quartermile on the edge of The Meadows, new housing mixed in through the old Royal Infirmary. However, there are two edifices … Continue reading Imposing