We’re not quite done with it yet, but as good as. Just a couple more days and we’ll be into a new year with fresh challenges. Are you glad to see the back of 2020, or were there some things about the year that surprised you and that you secretly quite liked?
“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Look upon a little child; Pity my simplicity, Suffer me to come to thee.” I came across this prayer in anthology of favourite prayers chosen by people from all walks of life: a jockey, a fireman, a shepherd, a baker. One was chosen by John Le Carré and his caught … Continue reading Pity Mice Implicitly
What is it to make a memory except to take notice of the everyday.
Outside Scotmid a young girl with matted hair sits on a tartan blanket. ‘Any spare change, please.’ A man carries a baby, pressed like a pillow into his belly. He stops at Bayne’s window to point out the green spider decorations and the buns shaped as pumpkins, iced with orange fondant. The baby is too … Continue reading The Street Where I Live
I do not mean this in a cruel way, but there is nothing funnier that someone who does something badly. I’m not talking about executing something in a half-baked, not-very-good-but-might-be-if-they-practiced way, I mean full on shocking, how can you possibly be so bad at that? And it is really only funny if they know; when they are … Continue reading Doing What Doesn’t Come Naturally
Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately: not knowing; having a blank slate; feeling uninformed and therefore not able to put forward a considered opinion; having hardly any of the answers; not being sure what I am writing about. It’s not fashionable these days to say you don’t know, or that you haven’t made up … Continue reading Knowing Nothing
“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
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
I had never heard the phrase before and then (how does this happen?) I came across it again within twenty-four hours. ‘Happiness writes white,’ he said. ‘When I am content, I have no inspiration. Ease causes the muse to fly.’ I didn’t want to believe it, that one needs to be tortured in order to … Continue reading Happiness Writes White
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