What is Water?

What is Water?

The answer seems obvious. But it’s not so simple. In Scotland’s mild, damp climate we tend to take water for granted. But just now the loch beside our house is as low as I’ve ever seen it. The expanse of dried mud and stone all around its shore keeps on getting wider...
Do You Paddle Your Own Canoe?

Do You Paddle Your Own Canoe?

I made a canoe! Isn’t she fine? Have you ever had an ambition to do something but realised you needed help? Well, I had some help. Quite a lot actually, from the fine folk at Archipelago Folkschool on the Isle of Mull. I love their ethos of’...
Shimmeringness

Shimmeringness

There’s a very particular quality to the light here in Orkney, as anyone who has been here will know. Maybe it’s to do with the Northerly latitude, or the open landscape and big skies, or the presence of the sea and bright lochs all around us. Orcadian...
Silver leaf, moths and mending

Silver leaf, moths and mending

It’s been a slow spring here in Orkney, with the cold dragging its heels even as the light floods back and the evenings open up. But memories of the extraordinary blue-and-silver days of snow and hard frost we had back in February and March are coming back in...
How to Hold a Cloud

How to Hold a Cloud

“How to Hold a Cloud” is a new short piece of writing which, along with the accompanying drawing (shown below) is included in the new issue of Dark Mountain, Issue 19: Requiem. I’m delighted to be alongside writers such as Jay Griffiths. Kerri ni...
Time, boredom and that 4am feeling

Time, boredom and that 4am feeling

When I was a kid, stuck in the family caravan in the Trossachs on yet another rainy weekend I’d get fed up of reading or drawing or staring out the window, and complain to my parents of boredom. I can remember my mother answering briskly “If you’re bored it’s because...

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