Old Calton Burial Ground, Princes Street

XVII. Old Calton Burial Ground Ensconced behind a ferned wall, moss clad and lichen laden, lie this city’s ancestors. Tombs, mausoleums, marble headstones, monuments in granite obelisk, all stand – or slump – in terminal decline. They tilt and lean, bereft of those who grieved them. No solemn mourners now, they’ve been forgotten. Slaters, snails … Continue reading Old Calton Burial Ground, Princes Street

Bruntsfield, Blackford Hill

XV. Bruntsfield Each Tuesday, I wait for niece and nephew by Gillespie’s gates where flocks of youths migrate. A flow unstoppable, torrential surge of students off to colonize, with laughter, leafy laneways of this southside’s suburbs. In pairs, in gangs, chatter erupts, calls of, ‘wait up!’, ‘see you, Cam’, ‘call me tonight’. A lucky dip … Continue reading Bruntsfield, Blackford Hill

St Andrew Square, Eyre Place

XIII. St Andrew Square Bring back Highwaymen! Have them roam the streets. Have them pistol-pin us with the order, ‘Stand and consider!’ Pay close attention to the open sky. Never lie. Sit on the stone benches bordering St Andrew Square. Mull, ruminate, notice the steel-toe-capped booted, yellow-vested builders eating sandwiches under high-plinthed Henry Dundas, ‘Grand … Continue reading St Andrew Square, Eyre Place


Alone in the conservatory, house full of people, none yet risen, is the feel of Portrush in the summer. Half an hour’s serenity before sixteen hours of clatter and movement. For now, all is still and quiet, but behind the silence is a mix tape soundtrack of the day wakening. Back door ajar, I hear … Continue reading Morning


Between. Not here, not there, not anywhere. That’s what I feel like when I travel, especially when I travel alone, which is how it is mostly these days. In transit I am someone else; I am subtly different. I am an extension of my bags, a parcel of possibility. The responsibility for getting ‘there’ is outside … Continue reading Between