I didn’t know burial grounds were so full of life. Cemeteries filled with crumbling stones dating back one hundred, two hundred years, hidden and forgotten places known only by lonely dog walkers, head-dwellers, and retirees, places like Warriston Cemetery where the dead sleep while new growth teems with life. My friend took me there earlier … Continue reading Warriston Cemetery
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
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
It is a letting go time of year. The light and leaves are dropping, the colours are fading, the fruits all gone, the seed pods blown. When I’m out walking or driving east along the coast, I see huge flocks of geese fly in formation, resolute in their destination. They fly so high that the … Continue reading Under the October Twilight
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.