52and40/28 Ties That Bind

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Months ago, husband and I scoured our west coast map for unseen places, zoning in on Glenelg.  We went last week, exhilarated by the drive over The Ratagan Pass which had us whooping, awe-filled and delighted about the backseat being uncharacteristically empty so nobody was chucking up.

It was a flying visit, but a great place for orientation with Skye as the Arnisdale shore’s just 600m across the water.  Glenelg’s history’s fascinating – and prescient.  We’ll be back in future to bag the ferry crossing and drive up to Elgol (and whoop more).

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52and40/27 Altered Images

I’ve been working on a new project called The Grantidote.  Last week it took me west, to where I come from.

The Grantidote’s centering women, pausing to understand how a woman’s wholeness is made up of fragments big and small, some chosen, others delivered by circumstance.

The Grantidote’s about acknowledging the marks women leave on our world.  I believe by fully registering women’s impact we begin to rectify an error that’s made how we organise, experience and understand humanity feel ill-fitting and wrong.

Toxic masculinity needn’t control the whole narrative, after all.

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52and40/20 Pigs Might Fly

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We took ourselves to Raasay in February.

A proper road trip – a long time in the car, sweets, music, stops for the dog to wee, chats about memories.  Maniacs in white vans, eye-spy and the name game.

Does it all sound perfect?

It wasn’t.  We fought, too.  There were hideous tensions as well as laughs and Kodak moments.  Families trying to keep growing together at the same time as letting kids grow up are like that, I reckon.  The wood of the construction makes different noises in different weather.

Roots and wings.

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52and40/12 Venus in Tweeds 

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When the bloke I fancied told me he lived on a west coast island and ‘commuted’ to Aberdeen for work, I pictured Father Ted’s Manse and grimaced.

‘How can you bear it?’, I’d asked.  ‘The flatness?  The wind?’

He looked like I’d spoken in Spaniel.  The following week I understood.

Sapphire sea in a white sand bay. The perfect cottage.

Mountains, seals, dolphins.

Sunsets, the Milky Way, mornings to make you feel reborn.

Him, in an Acid Croft T-shirt.

‘What about the commute though?’, I’d asked.

He put on Shooglenifity and drove.  52and40-1

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52and40/6 When They Go Low 

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Everyone’s a tourist, up Calton Hill. You can see in all directions and take in the various curiosities providing perfect photography props.

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You can grab coffee and cake then wander through art.

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I was reminded of Berlin, up Calton Hill. Different accents, space for everyone; no tension between worker bees and butterflies. The National Monument, our memorial to lives lost in the Napoleonic Wars, stands in its long since abandoned state of grace as people climb up it to smile and laugh for iconic photos and memories.

History & modernity at a peace.

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52and39/42 Are You Straight?

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A few weeks ago on the number 16 going down Leith Walk a tourist got on, cleared her throat, radiated deep blushes and asked the driver in a beautifully accented voice, ‘Are you straight?‘, while pointing down the big road through the front windows.  The driver replied with,  ‘yes, I’m going straight on’.

She paid, thanked him, smiled a lot and humphed on her huge rucksack and hand luggage.

This week in France I told a farmer I only speak a petit pois of French.

52and39Good enough is amusing.  And good enough.

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