Lines of the council mowers cut into the grass. A chilly day of cloud and rain lifted by my conversations later with the walkers from Douglas . I hear stories of pea and ham soup, of soldiers returning home from japan at the end of the war, and bridies and onions prompting everyone to say – ‘ananinginaneana’, that well known Dundonian saying which translates as ‘an onion one as well’. Benidorm palace and its variety acts of wonder. Tucking your skirt in your knickers for playing at the burn and going for a ride in a yellow submarine. Sucky sweets and getting laughed at for being the youngest – nae free bus pass ! Back for a cup of tea and a piece wi’ jam and a wee bit more chat…… A cracking afternoon.
Early September morning. Blinking in the morning sun. I sit in the car park of Sainsburys drawing the local KFC whilst shoppers wonder why ? Meet a retired architect who designed the swimming pool and flumes that once stood on the Tay, now demolished for the new V and A museum. He said he felt a touch sad at its going. Another woman who I think was very nervous laughed the whole while I chatted. Either that or….. ? A story of Robert Burns, cemeteries and bowling clubs and did I always want to be an artist ? Car doors slamming, engines idling , seagulls screeching, trolleys squeaking. Look out for the funny shaped building near Tescos, my swansong he said. I shall .
The incinerator, scrap yard and dog shit bin. Three ways of getting rid of waste. Met a man from the factory down the road sitting on a school chair directing the lorries in between reading his Tele. I sat behind him drawing, promising to leave him out of the picture. A driver had given him a peach which he handed to me as he didn’t like them. He enjoyed banter with the drivers, laughing and flicking the ‘Vs’. The wind picking up, a family stopped and we had a blether about the lack of benches. Fish jumping in the burn and grasshoppers singing.
A perfect day for getting wet as it happens. We went along to the back of the industrial estate behind Sainsburys with the hope of cutting up and pulling out a fallen willow tree that was blocking the burn. Jane, Catherine, Kevin and I put on waders and took to the water with bow saws. Had a great time, falling in, clearing the rubbish and sawing our way through the tree. I got to drive the minibus too which was a hoot and after much discussion on the way back the bus was nick named ‘Dick’ by Catherine. Much laughter, particularly from the women.
The Dighty flows under the dual carrigeway here. Meet Yvonne whose sons girlfriend is an artist living in Buckie. Tells me she has lived next to the burn for 30 years. Lycra sweaty runners pant heavily as they pass. The sun is hot today. Ragwort, butter burr and rowan trees heavy with berries. A man walks over to me.He introduces himself as Joe, an artist from across the way. A sculptor. He shows me how to hold a pencil and asks me lots of questions about my composition. His little dog rolls in the grass, has a poorly paw. Joe lived in Berlin for a while.The council grass cutting tractor mower is getting closer, think I should move…….I walk back to the car at Morrisons. I think I am in love with this car park. It is huge, and there is something about the optimism that planned this space that I like as I look out upon acres of white painted boxes meant for cars and their shopping. The heat of the car interior blasts me as I open the door.
A drawing morning with Gillian and David. Blue sky and hot sun. Beautiful. Butterflies, thistles, Himalayan balsam. Brown trout, and a buzzard. Hopscotch chalked onto the pavement, boys on their bikes on the BMX track, oh and during the morning a fridge freezer was dumped in the burn.
Group drawing of the burn. A great morning watching how others see this place I draw so much. Thankyou.