VI. Royal Terrace Some habits punctuate my days, like sunset walks to Calton Hill with robin, rat and wren. I’ve met them all, housed happily in hawthorn hedge, that neat-clipped edge to Royal Terrace with its high and haughty ‘cannot-help-it’ tinge. Enough to say, I saw a couple dancing there beneath a crystal chandelier. A … Continue reading Royal Terrace, Calton Hill
III. Bonaly The wind is up on my drive to Bonaly past cherry tree trunk soldiers lining Redford Barracks. Fallen leaves St Vitus’ dance in the gutter. At Colinton, I turn towards the hills and take a narrow, pitted road down bumps and bracken-broken verges. Slower now, a herd of alpacas graze the Pentlands’ sheltered … Continue reading Bonaly, Capelaw Hill, Willowbrae
This time two years ago, September 2020, we were deep in the throes of the Covid pandemic, mired in lockdowns and uncertainty. A vaccine was on its way, that much we knew, but we didn’t know when it would be administered, if it would work, or how much of a winter of isolation lay ahead. … Continue reading Once Upon a Time in Edinburgh
I didn’t know burial grounds were so full of life. Cemeteries filled with crumbling stones dating back one hundred, two hundred years, hidden and forgotten places known only by lonely dog walkers, head-dwellers, and retirees, places like Warriston Cemetery where the dead sleep while new growth teems with life. My friend took me there earlier … Continue reading Warriston Cemetery
The weather, the grass, and emerging from lockdown.
(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
On feeling precarious right now.
Being in the now, immersed in the moment, rooted in present time is said to be the best thing for us, because when we are in the present moment we cannot think about what has happened or what is to come; life is more immediate and almost certainly easier to navigate. I find it a … Continue reading Here and Now
“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
Yesterday, my friend and I walked the land around Ireland’s oldest linen fabric mill, Clarks of Upperlands, in Mid-Ulster. A section of it is still working after 300 years, but much of it is disused and abandoned, but for a few dog walkers, quiet explorers like ourselves, and more than the odd ghost. We walked … Continue reading Strolling With Ghosts