The DVD and vinyl stalls. Salisbury market. Stall man asks me what I’m looking for and I tell him Can, Faust, any kind of Krautrock. He shrugs, turns to a tap on his shoulder. Any wrestling DVDs? This guy in waterproof trousers, a red and white striped shirt open to the waist, big glasses and […] Read More →
A grand, respectable town house on a bourgeois boulevard. Smart and grey painted. Where the Arrow Cross fascists and the Stalinists once did their body and soul-mangling. People hang around outside, groups of high school students messing around, a shouty group of Italian tourists. No-one hung around back then. Imagine another beautiful blue morning, 60 […] Read More →
A large envelope in the post.   Unexpected. Like the start of a story. I open it, a letter from my aunt. She’s just finished reading the enclosed manuscript. Found in a box maybe, that’s what happens. An attic, dust through beams of skylight.   Did I put the box here and forget or did I never […] Read More →
Misty Track
The pull of the Himalayas, the Alps, high peaks of all the world, I get it. It’s the all-conquering stuff I don’t. Man against nature. A world for wannabe Bears. Grylls that is. What a weird conceit. Imagine telling Basho you’d ‘conquered’ a mountain. A roar of laughter, sake everywhere. Or John Muir. Biting his […] Read More →
Neil Gunn. James Robertson’s impressive Neil Gunn Memorial Lecture takes me back. To Highland River, The Atom of Delight, The Well at the World’s End… When I think of Gunn I always think of Zen. It came to meet him in the Highlands. An interconnected wholeness. No self. You’d expect it more atop a Japanese […] Read More →
She went there afterwards. Hours by plane and train and boat. At the quayside, a fat man waited to get on the ferry back to the mainland. A t-shirt that said ‘I Eat Lions’, reading a book called ‘The Stainless Steel Rat’. He was an outrage waiting to happen. Here in this village on the […] Read More →
Very pleased to read a warm review of The Stillman in NorthWords Now. A fantastic magazine, showcasing writers and artists from the north of Scotland. Well worth a look, check out the link. And it seems The Stillman has even made it to the USA, with the Midwest Book Review calling it a ‘literary masterpiece’. […] Read More →