A carrion crow on a chimney pot sings the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. It's a high soprano rendition and a bit croaky, but instantly recognisable. I continue humming until I forget how it goes. The crow has already flown off.
I wake as a cat. And stretch out a leg of flexing paw, uncurled claw. There is no one here to see me rise. Save the sun. I circle once, twice and settle back. I bask in an easy arc. Warmth envelopes me. Breathes. Soft. Through fur and sinew. I turn to face the sun. … Continue reading morning
part 1: the need for a rocking chair In Kilnman Cottage, Pierowall a rather complicated metal-hinged rocking chair creaks loudly but rocks only slightly. It needs to be finessed into gear, maybe with a drop of oil. The chair is fine, sat by the fireside, for reading from a book of Westray tales. And to … Continue reading rocking chair
Moments flow faster than I can write them down. While the night-long conversations of lighthouses safely hush into a velvet-grey dawn, over South Ronaldsay low clouds gather and brim with fire. They seem to tell of an unearthly conflagration out in the North Sea, beyond the horizon, somewhere near Valhalla. And the clouds fleetingly present a … Continue reading dawn at Cantick Head Lighthouse
“It's a shame they're not all here anymore,” says the midnight photographer of Stenness. Perhaps if we count them, and keep coming back to count them, they'll start to return. But for now there are just the three giants. “Thirty seconds is all I need.” He needs us out of shot and our torches off. … Continue reading the midnight photographer of Stenness
I saw you once for a beautiful evening at Bull Bay. Your soft, low shadow rested long across the harbour past half-awake oystercatchers and gulls, out to where porpoises and terns fished for their suppers. It felt like your shadow could reach forever across the water. And we made plans to walk everyday along your … Continue reading my Ynys Môn
“The time is seven-thirty,” grizzles the radio, “here is a news update.” The fridge whines, pipes gurgle and burp. A pot of basil wilts on the window sill. I pull up the blind to let sunlight in. A tap drips. The radio rambles on. Background tunes, jokes and chatter. I have to turn it off. … Continue reading after the cup final