wax and water

Simply because of where we live, this year has, I think, not been tough as it has proved for so many other people. I feel enormously grateful to be able to just step outside and go for a walk in wonderful rural scenery directly from our front door. And for me personally, the importance of…

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a chat with Misa Hay

There is no getting away from the fact that, whatever business you are in, this year has been a very weird one. Having to change the nature and direction of what you are doing – often very rapidly – is never an easy thing, and this year there have been so many of those changes.…

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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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found feathers

I’ve been thinking about how I might incorporate local found materials into the pieces I’m making for my Crafting Futures collaboration with Pilar. So, for the past couple of months, I have been picking up the feathers I come across on my daily walks. I’ve not done anything special when gathering these feathers – I’ve…

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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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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’s…

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bluebells . . . and buttons

Good morning! Wow! I really enjoyed your myriad button views! It was fascinating to read through all your comments and I really appreciated hearing so many different perspectives! But it was especially intriguing to me that the blue buttons came out so far on top. I kind of agree with the majority view: the blue…

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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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Crafting Futures: at Braemar

This is the second in my series of posts about the Applied Arts Scotland / British Council residency I took part in last September, and the collaborative work I’m now developing as a result. After leaving Lewis, and returning to the mainland, our group met up with superlatively creative and enabling Lynne Hocking-Mennie, and with…

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a spring walk

Hello! As you may have gathered, our broadband definitely isn’t sorted out yet – in fact, Tom received a somewhat concerning text message from our provider reassuring us that our switchover was now scheduled to be completed “before June.” The currently patchy connection is certainly somewhat frustrating, but in the larger scheme of things, it…

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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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