The Finders.

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Men in camouflage. Spades and wellies. Hunters of all things metal. ‘Anticipation’, one said, ‘An addiction’, said another. ‘I go to bed thinking about it…. That and sex…’ Banter, chat and then a dispersal across fields of pasture, of stubble, of tatties. Alone with their machine, beep, beep, beep, beeeeeep…..Dig.

Cleaning muddied,cloddy earth between fingers and thumb reveals a musket ball, Russian flax seals and ancient Roman beads. History, lottery, friendship, discovery, nails, ring pulls, viking jewellery and silver. All waiting.

Thankyou for a great morning spent in the company of the detectorists.

Isle of May

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Wind at my back sitting just off the coastal path . Walkers pass by, cheery greetings. One shouts, ‘She is just so self centred’. I look up thinking she might mean me for a moment as it was delivered in my direction,  and then I see her friend walking with her. I chuckle. There are times the island looks like a submarine or a great whale depending on the light and time of day. I put my sketch book in my duffel coat pocket along with all the other bits and bobs – train tickets, old tissues, little bits of worn down pencils, a wagon wheel wrapper, bits of string and head back watching out for stray golf balls whacking me on the head.

On the road to Leven

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As I walk down the road cars hurtle past. Wind picking up, warm and giddy. I veer off into a small woodland of beech and sycamore and ferns.Leaning against a tree to draw I feel a thud, and another . Looking up, the treetops are swaying into each other. It surprises me to feel the tremor descend the trunk of the tree and down through my body to my feet. I draw a beech and let my eye follow the shape of the branches. My hand knows what to do.


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Brattlin’, bletherin’, black glent green

spread the word of the toon from the spire of its kirk.

Clypin’ clishmaclaivers,

the pursing of beaks.

A nudge of wing send the drave

blawing, birling,

falling over the rooftops, to begin agane.

the gibble- gabble.


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Bella wears gold slippers. She gives me a houseplant for my studio. In her back garden she has model sheep on her lawn. She brings them in at Christmas.

Bellas dahlias

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Walking through the village I stopped to look at a garden full of dahlias. Bella asked if I would like some. As she cut them she told me the railway station had been just up the way – ‘Aye grand fae gettin’ tae Dundee’. The line closed just after the war.Her husband had been a farmer and her father a fisherman. The gate to her front garden had a fishing boat in the design. Her favourite colour of dahlia was pink, the same shade as her overcoat.