Cullen Skink (Part 1)

I’m not sure why, all I know is that road trips heading north always seem more satisfying. From my part of the world the Scottish border is only an hour or so drive and the north coast a mere eleven. Over the years we have had many family holidays to Scotland. In recent times these trips have fallen by the wayside. Time for the status quo to be restored, early April therefore saw the better half and I set out once more on a Scottish adventure. Our goal was a village called Kinlochbervie in the far northwest of Scotland. We had decided to break the long journey and spend…

High In The Tower

The Peregrine watches over the city from the inner city cliff surveying the glass and and concrete peaks. A different perspective on our troubled world. No hunting pigeons today, hanging on to the stone face of the building and riding out the storm her priority. The wind howls around the building like screaming demons demanding entry. Sitting in the lobby far below I hear voices in my head maybe real who knows. This building is alive with noise thumps, thuds, creaks, cracks. These old walls don’t shake but air smashes into them like tremors from a far away earthquake. Built to…

Restoring Order

From the first to the last each generation passes in a single heartbeat. The earliest glimmer of life-like new-born stars that quickly reach their end. A million stories come and go in seconds. Now nothing except endless leaves drifting silently in the wind names, dates, achievements soon to be just echoes reaching far into the past.  Another night’s sleep ends abruptly. The room is still dark, a  grey half-light seeping from outside in. The distant moon weak, losing its battle with darkness. The darkness that fills our lives. A darkness so alien yet part of what we are. Tension lifts and…

The Air Raid

The building shook harder than before. This was the fourth night in a week that Germany’s bombs had been dropped on Leeds. Jenny was terrified, she couldn’t show it. As always she had her children to think of. The first explosion seemed to be a few streets away but the second was much closer. The whole house shook and plaster fell from the wall. She expected there little terraced house to collapse at any minute. Jenny was huddled in the hastily built shelter in the cellar of their small home with her three children held close to her. Some of the…

Restricted Zone

The fencing had gone up overnight a whole building surrounded by the high steel  that surrounds construction sites. It annoyed me only because it barred my usual path to work. I was late and making a detour around the perimeter was going to make me late. I enjoyed working at the university on a weekend. The campus was often quieter than normal and I could catch up on all the things I hadn’t done through the week. It looked like  they were relaying the lawns and pavement outside the physics laboratories. The  building was big lump of  cement. Seven storeys high made of…

The Dyodedra

An ancient lowland wood full of life, yet not. A pool hidden, with secrets! A silent, secret pool in the deepest part of the woodland. An ordinary stretch of forest in a lowland plain in the north of England. The Vale of York, a huge flat expanse of land nestled between hills and moors forty miles apart. The modern age is all around planes overhead, railways and roads dissect the land. Yet here in the heart of the forest is something  so bizarre, as old as time. In this pool there is nothing modern, nothing clean or fresh. As we are made of elements…

Outdoor Chess

There is a special time in the forest, a vague time. You might miss it, closing the gate as you leave the wood. Rushing to find your way home as darkness falls. You really need to stop, sit down. Relax and wait for the players to return.   In this place, it is chess in the forest. The game as always delayed till nightfall. In other places, there will be different forms of fun a swing, a stream a tree to climb. The players will return as they do each night. Unseen as they gather and play their ghostly game…

Some Thoughts On Trees – August

Wonderful August! If you see me in a wood standing, staring, skywards. Leave me be I’m in a happy leafy world, my joyous perfect place. Each tree unique, working hard to save the planet. Right the wrongs brought on by man. Improving our poisoned air leaf by leaf. This ancient woodland is a dreamlike place, silent. Well, a kind of natural noisy silence? I wander aimless looking skywards, leaves rustle, wind, a distant train, a passing truck. For the briefest time I am alone drifting quietly, at peace through my wooded paradise. Trance like, detached in that special place. Stop, stare, breath.…

Order Is Restored

Sitting at the enquiry desk I feel a presence. I know it’s there. The building is old, a hundred years maybe more, with large cavernous rooms and stairways, The oldest part of the towns university and where the entrance to its main library is situated. I suppose it’s always quiet in libraries, Sunday mornings though are quieter than most days. High above me is a tall rather grand clock tower. I can hear it chiming every fifteen minutes. That’s not the noise today I’m focussing on today. Thuds and bangs high above me. As if some massive creature were  gripping the tower. I…

Daz and His Dog

Daz sat motionless on the old park wall. Tired and cold he was wrapped up all of his layers on. It had been a cold night for early November. His old rucksack at his feet, not much in it. Just some plastic sheets, a sleeping bag and blanket. The dog standing near him gave a long tired stretch reaching forwards. Arching, aching, willing the cold to leave its body. “He’s not rushing I don’t think he can these days. Anyway why should he, he must be getting old. He’s been on the streets nearly as long as me. Ten years, is that…