I’ve been travelling on trains these last few weeks. First, an early morning train from Antrim to Portrush, the sun not long up, mist lying in patches on the fields. It looks like the land is draped in a soft, white muslin cloth, which makes everything appear dreamy: half-real, half-apparition. A slick of dew coats … Continue reading I Love Trains
I had driven to the north-west shore of Edinburgh, still within the city boundary. The tide timetable pinned to a board told us we had a four-hour window to walk out, around, and back from the tidal island lying in the Forth. When I first moved here, I met a man who told me that … Continue reading Cramond Island
Do you ever see beauty in something that is not conventionally beautiful?
On feeling precarious right now.
I’ve written before about looking up, skyward, and how the spaciousness and unfathomable expansion brings up a mixture of feelings within me: awe, hope, and sometimes even a sense trepidation that I can’t quite understand. Like last week’s pink flume of cloud that rose at sunset making my world feel supernatural until, gazing at it … Continue reading Pay Attention to the Open Sky
“I wandered lonely as a cloud” – isn’t it amazing to think that when Wordsworth wrote that line it was new and arresting? As fresh as a daisy, which was once also an original phrase. It’s a tricky thing this word spinning, tricky, that is, to come up with fresh ideas and novel combinations of … Continue reading How Romantic
Some summers are golden; they are tanned legs, they are parched yellow grass, they are sunshine dancing a path on the ocean. Other summers are filled with the primary energy of blue and green; they are endless azure skies into which runner beans curl and stretch, they are hedgerows heavy with honeysuckle, they are jewelled … Continue reading Whiter Shade of Pale
Yesterday, my friend and I walked the land around Ireland’s oldest linen fabric mill, Clarks of Upperlands, in Mid-Ulster. A section of it is still working after 300 years, but much of it is disused and abandoned, but for a few dog walkers, quiet explorers like ourselves, and more than the odd ghost. We walked … Continue reading Strolling With Ghosts
I’m no lark. At this time of the year the sun is up many hours before I am. It is breaking, rising and shining whilst I remain snoring, sinking and languishing. Earlier this week, however, fuelled by a rush of midsummer energy, enthusiasm for life, and renewed hope that it is, after all, a wonderful … Continue reading Rise and Shine
The good thing about walking alone is that you have time to stop and see and take note. The bad thing is there is no one to enjoy it with. I write this for you, and I walk with you. Come with me. I’m cutting up the side of London Road Gardens. Cow parsley sways … Continue reading Come With Me