Six Degrees of Separation: from Wolfe Island to The Passion

Here we are at the start of another month, bringing with it the chance to write another Six Degrees post.  This is a monthly book meme hosted by Kate over at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest.  I don’t seem to be able to concentrate much on proper reading at the moment.  So thinking about books is a good substitute for now.

This month we start with Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar.  This does not appear to have been published in the UK yet, but its premise sounds like it will be worth a read in due course:  a woman lives in isolation on a small island which is threatened by rising sea levels.  The arrival of four unexpected visitors turns her already threatened life upside down. Continue reading “Six Degrees of Separation: from Wolfe Island to The Passion”

Natural Magic on the Orkney Islands: Part Two

When I was typing my first Orkney post a few days ago, the weather was unexpectedly Mediterranean-like: calm, warm and beautifully sunny.  Since then, the weather has remained beautiful (if you like rugged and spectacular weather, which we do!), and in some cases sunny. But the word ‘calm’ definitely has to be dropped.  We find ourselves in the tail end of a hurricane and so with typical British understatement, it’s been a bit blowy.

Not that you would know it from my photos.  These shots were taken at Yesnaby on the west coast of the Orkney Mainland, where the wind was so strong I could hardly stand up.  It looks almost tranquil, apart from those menacing black clouds! But aren’t the sea and wave colours gorgeous in the first image:

Continue reading “Natural Magic on the Orkney Islands: Part Two”

My 2019 Festival Diary Vol 1

Edinburgh styles itself ‘the festival city’. We have all kinds of festivals, about all kinds of subjects, all year round. But it is in the summer where the party really gets started.  Over the course of a few weeks, we have the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh Art Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.  It is an incredible period of vibrant creativity, excellence and fun.

My Mum and I kicked things off this year with art-immersion over a couple of days.  We saw the City Art Centre’s stunning exhibition of Victoria Crowe’s work.  I wrote about my love of this artist here and here. It was wonderful to see some familiar paintings again, and plenty of new-to-me ones too.  Here is a screen-shot montage of some of the photos I took as we went around.  I love this collage display of colour and texture, which is the epitome of Crowe’s style:

 

Continue reading “My 2019 Festival Diary Vol 1”

The gulls are back….

Early April, but you wouldn’t know it from the temperatures and weather we are having here in Edinburgh. It’s more like early January on both counts.

Nature is unpredictable. She keeps us on our toes. This is our view on a sunny day:

This is how it looked this morning (it’s snowing now as I type!).

 

I am in no way complaining. I find these changes endlessly fascinating.

And I am also captivated by those events which remain regular and routine. Nature is the ultimate paradox – plus ça change plus c’est la même chose.

Take ‘our’ gulls, for example. Every year, these greater black-backed gulls* return to the roofs of the houses opposite us.

Our regular neighbours (with apologies for the terrible photo)

 

With spring comes, of course, mating. They seem to enjoy many weeks becoming reacquainted before getting on with the business of creating life. This involves spending a lot of time together on the right-hand roof, before they build a nest which, appropriately enough, nestles among the chimney pots of the roof on the left.

Right roof = courting; left roof = nesting!!

It has become such a pleasure, over the five years we have lived here, to get to know their routine. Waking up to their soft cawing and cackling as an added dimension to the dawn chorus. Watching their courtship, home-making and in due course incubating. And most excitingly of all, watching the chick-rearing. That comes later. But it will come – of that we can be certain.

 

*of course, we have no way of knowing whether they are the same gulls. But I like to think they are… 🙂