British yachtsman, Alex Thomson, is currently competing in the Vendée-Globe; a round-the-world, single-handed sailing race. It should take him around ten to eleven weeks to complete it. I heard him interviewed on the radio one morning this week, just nine days in. I shivered with horror as I lay in bed calculating how many days … Continue reading Navigating the Doldrums
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
Today, I am obsessing about spikes.
Elon Musk has implanted a chip into the brain of a pig. I found the story compelling when I read about it over the weekend. It’s another of his pioneering experiments, this time with a view to having us control phones or computers with our minds sometime in the future. Sounds supernatural, magic, mad! But … Continue reading Are You On My Wavelength?
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
My favourite time of the day has come to be the evening. A fluttering restlessness builds within me and I have to leave the house, take a walk out. Lately I’ve been scheduling my walk to get to my destination on high in time to see the sunset sky burn, then I watch it turn … Continue reading Let Evening Come
We imagine that the things we have make us. All sorts of trivial stuff. Or at least I did, when I was younger. I thought I would only become a responsible, functioning adult when I had a house filled with everything I needed and more besides. And I spent years accumulating; accumulating things I thought … Continue reading All Sorts of Trivial Stuff
The grey heron is back. I have been watching and waiting for him, and finally I’ve been rewarded. Last year he was a fixture on Dunsapie Loch, on the east side of Arthur’s Seat. There he would stalk, or wade, or stand frozen in position like some sort of prehistoric decoy. This year he favours … Continue reading Passing Through
I wish it wasn’t true, but there is no teacher like adversity. And the lessons that come from sudden calamity are often the ones that teach us the most. The learning is far from over, because our shadowy visitor hasn’t just dropped in for the weekend, it has yet more to impart. It is not … Continue reading The Calamity Lesson
The majority of planes are grounded and the sight of a contrail ribboning the sky (I’ve always thought them beautiful) has become noteworthy. I turned my car engine over yesterday and revved it; car-physio, is what I’m calling this monthly, one-minute resuscitation. I’m not sure it will make any difference, it’s probably as effective as … Continue reading Close Your Eyes and Go