My great-uncle Gerry grew it from seed. He liked to eat apples, must have eaten a particularly nice one on the day he decided to plant the pip and grow his own, which, they say, is a hard thing to do. But he had no knowledge that to propagate an apple tree from seed is … Continue reading Silver Apples of the Moon, Golden Apples of the Sun
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
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
Do you ever see beauty in something that is not conventionally beautiful?
I am walking along the West Strand when the sight of two couples playing frisbee unlocks a memory. Down it falls from the sky, unbidden, a moment I did not know I had filed away. It plays out like a film; so like a film that I wonder if it is my memory at all … Continue reading Frisbee
The weather, the grass, and emerging from lockdown.
I love a bargain, and (confession/judgement alert) I cannot understand anyone who doesn’t. You know the sort of people who are embarrassed about buying supermarket food that has been marked down after 5 o’clock, or they run the other way when you start haggling at the fish market, or they won’t buy an old book … Continue reading Amaryllis, Amaryllis
The Door, written by Magda Szabó, is a post-war story about a woman’s relationship with her housekeeper, of whom the narrator says, “One can tell instinctively what sort of flower a person would be if born a plant, and her genus certainly wasn’t the rose, with its shameless carmine unfolding – the rose is no … Continue reading Hello Petal
The light is coming!
We start to lose the light this time of year and the sun moves back towards the bridges. Every evening as I watch it set from Calton Hill the sun creeps closer to the whale bone rib cage cable stays of the Queensferry Crossing. The runner beans in the backgreen have stopped searching for whatever … Continue reading This Time of Year