Five years I’ve lived here, and this is my first visit to the Mansfield Traquair Centre. The former Catholic Apostolic Church closed its doors to a dwindling congregation when the last priest died in 1958. After that, the building had other short-lived reinventions, but its decrepitude had begun. A slow decay of fading and peeling, … Continue reading Mrs. Traquair
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
I have become accustomed to the online life; even those things I thought I would hate to attend virtually – like an online book festival – it turns out I rather like. Last month, I joined some talks by writers organised by Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall annual festival. One speaker was Ben Okri. There … Continue reading Doubt
The weather, the grass, and emerging from lockdown.
By the entrance to Edinburgh’s Modern Art Gallery, you will find the first of a series of six Anthony Gormley cast iron sculptures; those well-known life-size male figures that stand straight as soldiers, arms by their side. The peculiar thing about this particular one, however, is that it is buried to its chest, just above … Continue reading What Does It All Mean?
Edinburgh is very pretty this morning now with thick snow everywhere, it makes the day seem extra bright. My last post was long, so here's a short one: two poems I've written about snow. Snow, by Eimear Bush Softer than the moon, Dimmer than a torch, Last night it lit my room, I wakened to … Continue reading Thick Snow Everywhere
(It’s a long read today. I’m out walking the city of Edinburgh with my nephew and you’re more than welcome to tag along.) We tramped about the city in the rain in search of hot chocolate. Rule number one (for one needs to establish rules at the outset when spending time with a thirteen-year-old boy, … Continue reading Edinburgh City Walk
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
At first, I thought it was nighttime roadworks. Or an ambulance pulled in by the side of the street, its lights flashing. Largely, I’d pushed the flickering to the back of my mind, dismissing it as some sort of strobe lighting outside. That was until I heard the BOOM! Then I knew it was the … Continue reading A Terrible Beauty
Oh, Edinburgh! Dearest city mother with too many children; lady of grace with so much to do; cherished nursemaid laden with contracts of responsibility. Yet you tend to it uncomplaining. You raise your progeny consistently, watchful over everyone who lives here and passes through as you sleep lightly, keeping one eye half open. I know … Continue reading Edinburgh Resting