A boat called ‘Dignity’.

Soft, wet blanket of rain pins down the landscape. A man in green wellies schluffs along the road with a bottle of milk, a woman hurries on with a daily paper under her arm. The coverlet starts to lift in the southwest corner, toes of cloud poke out from under, wiggling the rest of the warm dry sky to rise. Drawing the sheds at the far end of the harbour. Iron rails descend the slope to the waters edge, where once boats were built and launched. At the top of the slipway a rowing boat planted with scarlet tulips named ‘Dignity’. A shower of rain returns spotting the paper .

St Monans kirk.

St Monans kirk dates from 1369 and is said to be the closest church to the sea in Scotland. It is one of the finest examples of a Middle Ages church still remaining in the country.

The wood

A small, dense, difficult wood .The ground here is wet, home to midges, hoverflies and bees whose drone underpins the birdsong which rises and falls and trills and squawks in the canopy above. Most of the trees are relatively young , mainly birch and sycamore but there is evidence of a much older wood with grand coppiced birch and hazel , their size and shape indicative of such a practice. I draw an old willow at the edge of the wood. The main trunk has snapped and broken, its centre hollow, yet the tree flourishes none the less. I had thought it worth the investigation to see if it was a place where I could make some large paintings but due to the density of planting there is little space to lay down big paper. Still, I might think it over, as it is a wood where no- one seems to come. Its privacy and difficult terrain are perhaps advantageous. I follow deer tracks through the trees, there is no human footpath here.


A cold north west wind offers little in warmth, a droukit rain cowps the fields, and a feel of winter shivers in bones. Snow tomorrow, perhaps. It is the month of the coo-quake after all. Yet, the birds sing their songs of spring, the violets still blossom and the lengthening days bring their promise of better things.