I reckon about a month is a long enough gap, jings, who knew? The intervening period has seen the usual blend of life and all its pleasures, vicissitudes, ironies and fleeting glamours. Stand out items include: making your niece, nephew and sister in law walk along Aberdour beach in a howling gale, whilst happed up cosy and warm with your mother in law having a cheery blether; visceral and redemptive theatre in Charlie Sonata, a new play by Douglas Maxwell with peerless Sandy Greigson in the lead role; jaunts with my new ‘scope; Lily’s Christening. All amongst the challenges and changes of family life, best feet forward in one respect which is particularly pleasing. Like the poet John Bunyan we may have times in the Slough of Despond* but we pick ourselves up and carry on.
With that in mind, here is a beautiful poem from the latest by Liz Lochhead, the collection is entitled Fugitive Colours and this is In The MId-MIdwinter. It also appears in the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Poems of 2016, edited by Catherine Lockerbie, who besides being the person who set up the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and a long time arts correspondent for The Scotsman, was also in the year above us at school.
It includes the lines “I saw the new moon late yestreen, wi’ the old moon in her arms” which I do not have to tell you come from the Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens. Espousing the synchronicity with which BTW is slightly akin, that very ballad will have its musical debut next week. The tech rehearsal for this was marred by me having a throat like barbed wire, let’s hope that resolves itself.
Last words: it turns out that the word outwith is Scottish.
Loch Leven is experiencing a major cloud of non-biting midges. Dear knows there were enough last weekend, but now it seems to be an veritable explosion, helped, I wonder, by the six week drouth. Having ingested way more than the intended total of zero, we might give it a by today. But we did see a pair of ruffs and heard tell of a long-tailed duck. However, no view equals no write up in the journal.
Flying Scotsman goes through the Bay tomorrow evening, if I can work out the timing I’ll try for another photo. Oh, and this song is keeping me cheery on the walk home from work.
*spell check gave me the Slough of Desmond which puts a wholly different slant on it.