A Patch of Waste Ground

If you follow the path down from the end of our street, there are steps that lead down to the car park, the shops, and the pub.

There’s a piece of rough ground to the side of the path, left by a negligent, or thoughtful, council to run wild.

It’s full of wild flowers.

Even today, on the 5th November, it is rich with flowers,

enjoying the end of the season,

faces turned up to the sun.

The Poetry of Heather

Way back in the summer, I found myself reading a poem by MacDiarmid.

It’s called Scotland small? a line and a question that you might quite often find asked (and answered) in your head. When I went back to the poem though I found it full of the Scottish hillsides, the moorland, the heather.

It sent me out on a hunt up the hill (of the blaeberries), to find some heather for you, to share it here. Continue reading “The Poetry of Heather”

Clutching Snowdrops

clump of snowdrops dancing in sunlight

I feel a little foolish sharing more snowdrops.

snowdrops by the river

I mean, I have already told you that the snowdrops are back.

I’ve written about them countless times. Shared photographs. Penned poems.

And yet:

These are the flowers that are here, right through the drag of these slow winter months, through the weather and all.

drookit snowdrops

There is something that’s so lovely about the brightness of the snowdrops against the cold dark blue of the river.

riverbank snowdrops

Something about the way the sunlight blinks on white

snowdrop light

Something that catches your eye, your heart

Something so lovely –


It’s impossible not to.

Where Flowers Bloom

Misty, low cloud, driving through this barren, moon landscape. At the horizon, by the sea, the cloud is lifting, the light is clearing,and excitement pierces the heaviness of the day. We are are driving to the Atlantic.

We stop at the limestone car park. The stone is damp, dark, slate grey in the dampness and the grasses are glowing, burning with light, with colour, with autumn – bronze, orange, amber, grasses of fire burning against the slate grey rock.

The stone is calling me. The rock is alive. Continue reading “Where Flowers Bloom”

Plugging Into the Source

When one of you works shifts (not me), and ‘weekends’ happen at odd moments during the week, you have to grab your moments of free time together when you can.

And when that window of free time should happen to co-incide with the weather *finally* deciding to improve, there’s nothing for it but to head off outside, grab a cheese roll or two, some grapes and a packet of crisps – our tastes are simple, but our appetite is for the sublime:

A twenty minute drive and we’re on the edge of the Lowther hills. There’s a path that leads up and through the hills, it’s an ancient path, the Wald Path it’s called, you could walk through the hills to Lanarkshire if you’d the legs for it, and the path moves you instantly into a different time, up past the old Roman fort

wald path

but to be honest, we’ve not much appetite for walking today, the day is just too beautiful.

The heather is in full bloom – you can just see it there by the side of the path, and it’s almost impossible to walk past it because the flowers are singing out to me, all scratchy and wiry and purple of Scottishness, all reminders of childhood summers, and there’s nothing for it but to stop and stop again to take their photograph:

heather in sun

After our picnic lunch: nothing more than mooching about.

I’ve taken my shoes and socks off (to cross the burn – I’m hopeless at jumping and have been known to walk huge detours to avoid the ‘invitation’ to jump across) and it’s so lovely just to wander about feeling the grass under my feet and feeling the warmth of the earth.

The meadows are damp after all the rain and they’re hoaching with bog asphodel and ragged robins, butterflies dancing along the tops. There’s a farmer working nearby and the only sound, the only other human we see or hear, is the rumble of the tractor on the hill.

It’s such a beautiful day.

It’s one of those days that makes you think: oh but there’s nowhere like Scotland on a summer’s day after weeks of rain.

It’s one of those days that makes you glad to be simply: here.