Friday, 6 September 2019

Sea of grass

The sea of grass in the wind.

The end of observation.

And a new mast.

This is the remains of the Kincraig Gun Battery overlooking the Firth of Forth (and MacDuff's Cave). These gun emplacements or pillboxes have unusually in my experience been deliberately demolished.

In addition to remaking these concrete jigsaws, there are other pleasures in store on the terraced ridges where the barracks themselves would have stood in the past.

You can find out more here at Canmore

PS the video at the beginning gives you a little taste of what it must have been like being stationed here and keeping a lonely watch over the Forth.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Guilty pleasures at the Edinburgh Fringe

What can I say? Everyone has something that something that puts a smile on their face. In my case, a quick visit to Fags, mags and bags. They delighted me.

And I hope I delighted the cast with some mangos.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Scottish Book Trust Live Literature

Back from holiday and work commitments and MSc dissertation preparations to find the wonderful Scottish Book Trust have updated the Live Literature Author Directory database with a snazzy new frontend. Lots of fantastic, surprising and inspiring authors and poets and so much more available to come to your writing group, school, college etc.

Fascinating for writers to check out the range and heft of Scottish writing talent too.

You can play with it here:

The profile itself was fun to write - here is my quote:

"Some people describe me as a nature writer. This is fine with me as I think nature makes sense of the world. Disruptive text, sound art, art poetry, spoken word, scraps, recipes, contextual poetry, peripatetic writing, engineering, hacking, online text. That's more like it."

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Cambusnethan Priory

I met my good friend Marie Michlova in Cold Town House and shared our common interest in all things Abbotsford.

Marie whose book Smrt Muz (Death of a muse) Torst 2012 reimagines the home life of Walter Scott and his son-in-law John Gibson Lockhart is now also involved with the friends of ruinous Cambusnethan Priory.

Courtesy Friends of Cambusnethan Priory

Courtesy Friends of Cambusnethan Priory

She has found a family connection with the priory through her academic research on Lockhart and has visited to share her expertise. (And coincidentally this house was also home to family of Scottish astronomer and mathematician Mary Somerville).

Also a chance for nice chat.

If you want to learn more about Cambusnethan or visit it, try

Monday, 24 June 2019

By the water of Leith

An irresistible map of paint.

A parking bollard I assume concrete crunched by Lady Haig's Poppy Factory and not far from the old dog track site of many a monster truck extravanza.

Almost lichen-like when viewed from further away.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Happy holidays

Very glad to say the taught part of my cyber course is over. Just the dissertation to do now and that is due in December.

Holidays are here.

Monday, 20 May 2019

walking the water

Doing the monthly BTO survey on "my stretch" of the river Tweed is a very good opportunity for wandering through some ideas too. Even while counting mallards (including 24 ducklings in various stages of growth), grey heron, black-headed gull, mute swan, oystercatcher (my birds as they are the helpers of Bridget in Gaelic - gille-brìghde), dipper and goosander.

Onto the cauld which stretches across the river to create the pool you just saw and has these metallic edges as it scatters down onto the rocky section below.

Finally to a lower pool and its weedfilled cobbles.

Later I made a long audio recording where I get a bit distracted by a grey wagtail which flies over my head towards the end. But unfortunately blogger doesn't seem to like that. Still I enjoyed myself and got some good birds too. Creativity and wellbeing mix well with science and nature.