Our wee extension’s starting soon and early signs say the plants are keen on change this summer too.
We’ve imposed new garden structure by getting rid of the decrepit shed, clearing the Krugeresque brambles and waving cheerio to 9m of mixed hedge which only ever managed to look tortured, despite optimistic pruning.
A winter project which leaked into spring was a new boundary fence. With this came unexpected clarity about divvying up remaining space. Digging awaits.
Clarity’s good in these mad Brexit times (as are friends with doors which make me smile).
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A friend took me to The Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh recently. As an art academic and fellow ardent avoider of bullshit, she’s a joy to exhibition with; nips off at speed, buzzing back intermittently with jewels of information about whatever’s caught my eye; non-plussed about my mistaking statues of all short-haired blokes holding scrolls for another Burns.
As well as my pal, my favourites on the day were Jessica Harrison’s Painted Ladies; the movement in those skirts whisked me back to making an ornament of my Granny’s dance on a windowsill.
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We chased the light yesterday, finding it first in Helena Emman’s incredible work from Skye in The Line Gallery at Linlithgow, then leaving it at the Forth.
We stood at Port Edgar, freezing, looking up and out at a world of massive Lego sets, listening to the ba-doom, ba-doom of traffic crossing the joints on the road through the sky above. We said occasional hellos to life-jacketed people from yachts and the distance between Scandinavia and Scotland felt tiny small, in those moments.
Autumn’s my favourite. Colours, light and air are incredible and fashion wise I pull on a sweater and exist in a micro-climate within it, basically becoming a talking, typing, ball of wool with heavily mascara’d eyes til May.
This year the garden’s giving the first proper feedback from getting more love. I peer out windows or wander out – just to see if anything’s grown or changed. It’s like meditation or gazing at your sleeping child – everything else fades away and only the tunnel visioned and detailed peaceful engagement is left.
I first knew it as the name of a free operating system on a PC my husband built to prove to himself that no matter how hard Apple and Microsoft tried, they couldn’t catch his maverick ass.
Ubuntu’s also something pre-dating computers and globalisation. It’s something more important. It’s an ancient African word describing a humanist belief: a philosophy that humans are connected by the bond of a shared story and the power in openness to one another, like in a marketplace.
You can find out more about Stockbridge Market and its traders here.
I’ve been trying out listening to classical music after enjoying the dancing fingers of piano playing guests this summer. I wondered out loud what it was about classical music that makes it so relaxing. ‘It’s the lack of beat’, answered my husband, ‘it’s arrhythmic’.
I think there’s a surrender and engagement with classical music when you’re hearing it for the first time; a bit like watching an unreviewed, intriguing performance.
Maybe when time’s unmarked by a beat I keep myself uncharacteristically still, so I can mentally lean in a little more.