The burn was different last week. The night before had brought strong winds and the morning was little better. The water was high and the path strewn with branches. The wind hurried me along. I met a man with a wheelbarrrow. It was full of things he had collected, an archive of the paths we both trod. In some ways his collection and mine are similar, in that I collect words and pictures through walking, he, objects. I don’t know what he did with his things, he said he was very busy somewhere up the road. My foraging brings me back here to tell stories.
Twa’ shilpit eyes in a snorkel parka,
hurl January at me full in the face.
Tells me he’s off to a job,
points with a tilt of his fur lined hood
to a place away,
beyond where we are,
known to him and not me.
Well you better get along I said,
Aye, he winks,
inhaling on his no.6
The scent of stars on the prairie wind no longer an option –
toy horse found on the pavement by the no.73 bus.
A man on a space hopper was stopped by police on a dual carriageway in Dundee at Hogmanay.
Nee naw nee naw.
Wet tea bags thrown out of the window hoping to land on someones head.
Not to mention…
overflowing beer in the toilet,
Eric Sykesian story about buying a plank,
losing the nozzle on the WD40
aliens on the Dighty.
A very happy new year to everyone at Dighty and for all those stories yet to come…….
Bob tells me of
kingfishers in the burn
kites in the glen.
He looks at his hands and says golf.
The bird man.
I am starting a series of portraits, of hands. The way our hands tell our stories, of us, of our histories. It is another way of storytelling, and of expressing who we are. I am asking people to show me how they think their hands best say something about them.
Huge thanks to Lynne and Barbara for letting me draw them despite their reservations !
A view from the composition ‘Lull’ about the long hot days of summer.
Now it is winter.
I came back to watch the rise of the hill, the curve of the track.
A composition from our Christmas dinner at Sainsburys. A great lunch after a mornings work along the burn. I was asked to write something that contained the jokes from the crackers…….!!
Where do cows go on Saturday?
The works Christmas dinner
Sherlock Bones, she laughs.
You drop them a line,
a tour round the scheme,
Turkey and all the trimmings,
he’s always stuffed.
paper hats too small for our heads.
The shoppers eye us,
a mumble bee of trolleys.
As we clink Irn Bru.
Put some bread under the gorilla
and a chipolata too.
An unexploded bomb, a present left over from the war,
pull the cracker,
Merry Christmas !
This is a piece I wrote about my adventures this week with the Dighty group. I am recording peoples stories and memories about the burn and the following is a result of recent conversations. The comment about community service is a joke Stuart and I shared whilst litter picking along from Sainsburys, and all the other references came from stories I have been told including the one about a young squaddie in Hong Kong meeting a film star.
dead fingers wi’ cold.
Picking litter on the roadside
wi’ oor wee grabby sticks.
Community service we chuckle.
“Ah weel”, he says
“That’ll teach yous fae locking the bobby in his tardis,
an’ fae tying the doorknobs the ‘gether
cross the landing in the tenement
so they cannae get oot.
Ha ha yer dunderheid.”
ta’ the post office an’ ma giro,
an’ on ta the Hilton fae a beer
wi’ John Wayne.
I walk and the world unfolds. I think its as simple as that. Writing is stretching me and I am returning to painting. This painting is from the Dighty walk, a view to the Sidlaw hills from the railway track. Out one day I met a man who walked the hills every day. He said he did to escape himself.