Lunardi in Campsie

The revival of my eighteenth-century balloon-o-mania was inspired after some recent walks around Clachan of Camspie and Milton of Campsie (just north and east of where we live) during which I discovered that that balloonist, Vincent Lunardi, landed in Campsie Glen at the conclusion of his second flight from Glasgow in November 1785. After wowing…

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the pillar craig

I’ve been reading a lot of books while researching People Make Glasgow, and one of my favourite recent reads is Ian R Mitchell’s This City Now (reissued as Walking through Glasgow’s Industrial Past in 2015) which offers a brilliant walker’s guide to the city’s industrial history. The book mentions one of Mitchell’s peripatetic-literary Glasgow forbears…

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a picture of rain

It has been a very wet and cool July. As our Spring was unusually dry and warm, the garden has definitely appreciated the wet weather, and apart from having to wear the dreaded rain pants on my long daily walks, I’ve rather enjoyed it too. Certainly there is something rather jolly about hearing the rain…

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Birlinn Yarn love

Hello! Friday is project reveal day, and today I wanted to show you a new iteration of one of my favourite designs of 2019 – the Udal pullover, designed for and with Meg Rodger’s Birlinn Yarn Company. Inspired by one of my favourite Hebridean places, and using Meg’s own fabulously hardy and beautiful Hebridean wool…

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this oak is

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really struck by how colourful the oak trees I see on my morning walks are at this time of year, with their wild orangey-red foliage so different to the surrounding trees heavy green. So here’s a poem I wrote in my head about those oaks this morning. The…

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slowdown

Hello! how are you all doing? My migraines have been of the annoyingly recurrent / chronic kind of late, and I’ve been having to take things very easy – especially over the past week or so, during which my vision has been very skewy and I’ve had to limit my screen time. Not being glued…

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radius

hello! Sorry to disappear there: sometimes a migraine can really slay me, and that’s definitely been the case with this one. As well as feeling utterly exhausted, I’ve really needed to rest my eyes, so I have spent most of this past week away from the computer screen. It is funny how not sitting at…

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Carbeth: slavery in the landscape

Here, at Carbeth, we live in a landscape underwritten by many rich and complex human stories. Neolithic people lived and travelled through Carbeth many thousand of years ago and, since these early settlers, this landscape has many stories of passage to tell, from seventeenth-century cattle drovers, to nineteenth-century railway navvies, to the walkers on today‚Äôs…

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all dressed in grellow

Hello! After some welcome warm weather, there’s been an unusually cold snap over the past few days in Scotland. Though we’ve not seen much of the snow and hail flurries that have been bothering friends further north, the air has turned very cold, we’ve put off planting out our broccoli, and have had to protect…

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cuckoo watch

Though our landscape is full of the sound of cuckoos at this time of year, I’ve always found it quite difficult to actually see them. Their song carries a remarkably long way, and when I’ve followed the source of the sound and spotted one, it always seems to be sat up high on a far…

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April showers

Hello! Our internet is very wonky at the moment, because our broadband is being “upgraded”. As we live in a rural area where connectivity has never been that great, the prospect of speedy wifi is really quite exciting . . . the only downside is a few days of slow internet, and some difficulty transferring…

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Fabrication

Good morning! A poem today. Earlier this week saw the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth – a poet who has, for the past couple of centuries, often set the ideological terms of the writing of landscape and nature. I’ve been thinking about Wordsworth’s particular “Romantic” landscapes quite a lot in recent months,…

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