Moments of Astonishment

Word of the day: “astonish” – to amaze, to stun with wonder by means of something unexpected or unaccountable. Probably from the Anglo-Norman French verb “estoner”, to stun, itself in turn from the Latin “tonare”, to thunder. To be astonished is, at root, to be thunderstruck. Robert MacFarlane on Twitter, word of the day 23rd […]


Laughing in Flowers

It’s Earth Day today. It’s a cool, damp kind of day here and I spent a happy morning just watching the waves on the shore, and feeling my feet sink softly into the wet sand. It’s been one of those weekends really, less demanding than the sunny sort but warm enough that you can walk […]


Islands from Islands

It’s hard to beat going to an island from another island – layer upon layer of end points and start points, liminal eddges, and ferry boats. With our weather continuing to be outrageously gorgeous, here are a few photos from the most recent expedition to North Uist, Benbecula and Berneray (Harris). (I’m afraid the combination […]


Some Times

Sometimes the timings all work out right. Your day off falls on the day before the rain returns, the last of the glorious sunshine weather. Your planned expedition comes in the hours before that demon, the common cold, starts tickling in your throat, before you’re rendered dozing and thick headed (without the brains to think […]


So Light

The weather here this week has been stunning – cold, sunny, with the clearest quality of light. Stepping out to scrape the ice from my car on Monday morning, the sun was streaming into the garden, warm enough you’d want nothing but to stand and turn your face to it, the ground white beneath your […]

Here at the Edge

The dance of renewal, the dance that made the world, was always danced here at the edge of things, on the brink, on the foggy coast. ~ Ursula K Le Guin Journeys are strange things. Not just beginnings and endings but off-shoots and diversions, and often, so very often, looping and returning, over and over, […]

Believing in Spring

Sunrise today 6.33am, sunset 6.34pm. 12 hours of daylight. 2 days to the equinox. 10.9 hours of sunshine yesterday in Stornoway. (I know, we are lucky. But everything here is done to extremes, including the sunlight.) ~~~ When I got home at the end of my working week the first daffodils were out, planted the […]

Landscape Mode

The days are stretching, the skies on my drive home alive with light and a last burst of colour. I am learning the places where I might safely watch, and notice. ~~~ The sun was so bright on Friday that the world turned brilliant blue. We didn’t seem to have the words for it. ”Did […]

Your Own Way

“I am your own way of looking at things,” she said. “When you allow me to live with you, every glance at the world around you will be a sort of salvation.” William Stafford, from When I Met My Muse

Watching the Weather

It’s not hard to take photographs here. The combination of landscape and constantly changing light means the world presents itself to you photographically, over and over. It makes photography easy to practice and I confess I can do it lazily here, with a phone that likes taking landscapes. What the easy-ness is good for is […]