It’s coming on Christmas. The days have crossed themselves off the calendar, and here we stand at the year’s tipping point of light into darkness into light. ’Tis the season for enfolding, being quiet, doing less. Instead though, the season demands a deluge of doing, much of which is enormous fun – should one have … Continue reading It’s Coming On Christmas
I came away thinking: how can I convey in words what I have just heard? For someone who’s not been here, how can I describe it to them? If felt impossible to recreate that sound in writing. I’ll try. St Giles’ Cathedral, just after dusk. A short concert of choral music, a programme entitled Glimmering Light. … Continue reading Glimmering Light
I love the part of being home that allows me to meet up with old friends, small reunions that taste so much sweeter after these long months of social confinement. The days of the open door and of ‘come on in’ have not quite returned, but the outdoor replacements – beaches and backyards, park benches … Continue reading Old Friends
From my seat at the café window, tucked into the bend in a side street off Leith Walk, I have an uninterrupted view onto the main thoroughfare. The Walk has double lanes of traffic, cycle paths, and a broad pavement. It’s a route through which most Edinburgh residents, at some stage of the year, will … Continue reading Digging
A Little Bit of Heaven
The earth is threatened with extinction and children and young people from all nations have been marching in their thousands to demand that those in power wake up and listen. What they are doing is fantastic, worthy of attention, comment and action, but sometimes I need to bypass the anxiety-inducing issues and focus on what … Continue reading A Little Bit of Heaven
I Don’t Want Pity
‘The thing I dread most, far more than the gossip – and God knows, I really don't like gossip – is the pity. The thought of people feeling sorry for me is too much. My worst nightmare is others holding a pity party on the coat tails of my misfortune.’ It had been a long time … Continue reading I Don’t Want Pity
What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
I once knew a woman whose ambition it was to play the harp but life and raising a family got in the way so she told me she would play it when she got to heaven instead. I have not seen or thought about this person for thirty years until this week, when I heard … Continue reading What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
I’ve not got any, even though apparently one third of Scots aged 26-40 have at least one. Ok, so I fall out of that age bracket, but I reckon I’m unlikely to fall into the ‘inked up’ category at this stage of my life; although you never know, didn't David Dimbleby take a rush of … Continue reading Edinburgh Tattoo
Light Lingers Long
Michael Viney has been writing a weekly column on nature and natural history for the Irish Times since 1977. Alongside his words the newspaper includes an illustration, a sketch in ink, also by him, matching whatever has beckoned to be written about; maybe the distinctive ecosystem of a dry stone wall or comparing the song … Continue reading Light Lingers Long
Flowers Appear On The Earth
I was listening to a gardening programme on the radio at the weekend while driving back to Edinburgh along the East Lothian coast. It was the usual Sunday Q&A, this time broadcast from Northern Ireland where one woman, from the Ards Peninsula, asked why her foxgloves were eight feet tall this year. Most of the expert … Continue reading Flowers Appear On The Earth