Living and belonging where clouds go to die

observatory

Eskdalemuir is a seriously cloudy place. During one period, I swear we didn’t see the sun for 18 months, and last ‘summer’ was a stretch of cloud and temperatures of 10-12 Celsius. But as much as I dream of dryer, sunnier climes, Eskdalemuir is a surprisingly hard place to leave. [Read more...]

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Eaten by the Nothing

Fog in Glasgow

Glasgow sat in the same blanket of quiet I’d known from my childhood, but this fog didn’t feel the same. My heart didn’t feel the tug of sadness in the grey. This was a different kind of quiet. [Read more...]

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The land does not belong to us; we belong to the land.

snowyhills

When I connect to this land, I aim to connect not with a mythic, misty past made up of ‘the Celts’ or other such imaginary peoples, but with the real layers of life of which the land is made: the human lives which belonged to this land before me, in all their amazing diversity. [Read more...]

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The land is made of stories

"The Coming of Bride" by John Duncan (1917)

Even though the slog of January, February and March remains ahead, it feels like a final end to the previous year, and a beginning in earnest of the new. My body and soul will still struggle through winter, each in their own ways, but my senses will tell me that the days are getting longer, the light stronger, the earth warmer. Depending on the weather, the first snowdrops will be coming soon, along with the sound of the oyster-catchers, peep-peeping their way back to their usual haunts, to poke their beaks into the softening earth. But until then, the earth remains asleep – Bride is still kept in drudgery by the Cailleach, Queen of Winter. [Read more...]

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Saying goodbye to home

MidRaeburn

As we make our way through the last day of 2012, though, I find myself having to say goodbye to home in a way I’d never expected. [Read more...]

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Sacred Space

Stained Glass At Glasgow Cathedral

We stepped gently into the shimmering circle, and sat in the pews in front of the tomb of St. Mungo to listen to the silence and feel the presence of the sacred in that space. [Read more...]

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Feeding the Sidhe

A full-grown elder tree Photo licensed under creative commons from

Back in 1998, before I moved to Scotland, I was a baby Witch living in Bath. I was reading all the gentle introductory books on Witchcraft I could find, and starting to put their exercises into practice. One of those books, I can’t remember which, suggested beginning a relationship with the Sidhe – the beings most people refer to as ‘faeries’. But for all my curtsies and silver coins, I didn’t really believe in faeries until I moved to live in the country, and then it wasn’t so much me believing in them, as them rushing up to me and grabbing my attention… [Read more...]

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