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A silver artificial Christmas tree stuffed upside down in a tartan wheelie shopper. The kestrel hunkers in the grass out of the storm, not noticing me passing a few feet away. Sky, sea, foam, salt, spilling in the wind. Crouching on the rocks, precarious dipping brush in an inkpot.

Postcards from the edge.

This afternoon on returning from a walk along the coast a misaddressed postcard lies in the porch. Its from someone on holiday in Madeira. It reads – ” Its a beautiful place, lovely hotel and warmer weather. What more could we want ? Funeral on the 16th. Lots of love….”      The delights of postcards , especially ones that are not meant for you. I came across a stash of old postcards in a charity shop in Broughty Ferry last year and here is one of my favourites. I like the tents, the banality of composition and the man that is standing on the edge of the cliff. Why ? What might he be doing ? And in Thurso ?

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Carrot field


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Along the road  I pass a man in a hoodie, his shoulders hunched forward. I cannot see his face. I sit on the council grit bin next to a wonky Santa and look toward the hills and the ploughed field of carrots.





I wait in the queue, for the loo at Waverley train station. Glancing to my left I see a woman of middle age dressed in a black, belted, wartime overcoat and the blackest, shiniest polished brogues. Her hair is dark and worn in a bob, the fringe resting on her eyebrows. She stands in front of a mirror, arms at her side, motionless and stares at herself. She watches her features intently and quietly, with no sign that the image is one she might recognise. She is still and upright and concentrated for a a full two minutes and then suddenly she tilts her chin upward, revealing her pink, fleshy neck and, with her left hand slowly strokes the skin in a downward manner along her trachea. This, she repeats a dozen times or more. Lowering her head she returns to her original position. Below, her polished shoes twitch, causing them to sparkle under the ceiling lights. Another sharp movement brings her right forefinger up to her forehead . She rubs, again and again with effort, her face passive. She drops her hand and looks. And looks. Stepping back, her eyes take in her body and she turns, her shoes twinkling as she exits. I inch further forward in the queue.