Monthly Archives: January 2012

day of sun

day of sun, day of light

my fleeting soul, as Bertie sings. It all felt aerial, so ethereal and magical from dawn till now.  The Met Office application on my iPod had somehow whispered to make the best of our Sunday… Dazzled by blue from dawn till dusk, the island weighed its mass of gold. Fuelled by might of our Nordic light, I packed my heart with adventures found on the shore of the South End – its very tip made of white sand. 

West Voe was littered with uprooted kelp forests tides bring to rest on silver shores after each storm. Warmth on my skin, as I stepped out of the motor and began my first wandering. Whereas folk made it to the other side of arch, I followed the song of the waves and scrutinised the very edge of my own world. Life comes and feasts on rotting kelp,  
from wading friends to the tiniest!

What better spectacle but watch waders – turnstones and purple sandpipers – mingle with lace made by the surf. Each one looked so mechanical every time they got their feet wet! I soon sealed time in a bubble and let my eye play through the lens. 

And yet, behind me, the magic of our elusive jenny wren that too made the most of earth bonanza and played hide and seek in boulders. Magic moments. 

A drive around Spiggie led us to geese – greylag, white-fronted and bean – scattered around the loch and the lush fields in-between Spiggie and Bigton. 

Bigton, la voie royale to Arcania! So I went to salute my dear sandbridge for the first time since Yule and found new rocks on its shoreline… We shall never underestimate the power of water. Oceans and seas carry the world in their currents. We came to find shells of all kinds. And so we did… As spray flew high half-way though the tombolo and tide was high, we found happiness at its base. I marvelled at the game of light through marram grass… Like angel hair all around us. When the world sounds so loud, I always come back to the shore and listen for its earthly song. And love the island in such light. 

By mid-afternoon, I reconvened with my troupe in the town, as theatre needs rehearsals. Dusk draped Sunday without a word. This epilogue back inside night – somewhat distracted by a glow of Aurora in the evening – hovers like a silvery cloak of a day more than well spent. 

And I want to remember how it all began, 

here it is, immortalised, inside a triptych of haiku.

Vol de nuit –
des oies sauvages en escadrille
par delà tuiles dans bleu de l’aube.
Night flight –
wild geese in a squadron
beyond tiles in blue dawn.
#haiku fae 60N

Cri de l’aube –
des fers de la nuit,
merle noir se déchaine.
Cry Dawn –
from night’s shackles
blackbird unchains itself.
#haiku fae 60N

Chant du monde –
au dire du matin,
les étourneaux en rang par trois.
Earth song –
to what morning whispers,
starlings in rows of three.
#haiku fae 60N

With everlasting thanks to my other half for his precious shots of geese 🙂


Filed under 2012, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, celebration, colours, geopoetics, haiku, home, images, spirit, winter, world, writing

Stravaig is out!

Geopoetics in motion

Feel free to click. The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, led by Scottish poet & essayist Norman Bissell, released Stravaig online. Issue 1 has found freedom inside the cyberworld and its content is exciting! Friends, poets, writers, essayists, artists, photographers, designers and filmakers creatively mapped, chartered inside one world. It’s… Exciting! There is a place for everyone who practises the discipline of intellectual nomadism. 

I still remember a friend who once asked me, “what is Geopoetics?” My poetic heart & mind attempted to describe something like “the natural art of opening to a world, finding our place within it and celebrating our connection with this very world within the realms of every rock, mountain and shore… This natural, real world, in which every rock, shell, sandgrain, snowflake, birdsong, flower counts. Not somebody’s delusional mind – but the very cross-disciplinary movement to this world in which our human intelligence interacts. The widening of our knowledge to cross-cultural bonds, just like the crossing of continents via the ancient (now submerged) land bridges… Kenneth White speaks of walking away from those motorways of western civilisations in which too many generations of our ancestors met a dead-end by keeping their scope on one-way roads. Geopoetics offers freedom to wander whilst embracing a world intelligence, the human spirit and creative genius, irrespective of civilisation. This international movement has found many adepts over time, and The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics belongs to this Archipelago of current, practising intellectual nomads for our region (and beyond), which remains, White’s native homeground

Stravaig, this wonderful Scot word meaning stroll, wander, will cross your way, I hope. 

Place, culture, world,  in the words of Kenneth White.


Filed under 2012, 60N, celebration, geopoetics, home, images, kenneth, poets, project, spirit, verse, white, world, writing


from rocket sky 2 rocket cat

That sunset on the second day of the first month…

felt like a dream.

Rocket-red, winter blue or B&W. 
I loved the cloud movement that gradually clads our Nordic sky on a crisp day. It was awesome. For a moment, I thought this sole image would encapsulate a glorious end of holiday… 

Until the unexpected strikes!

He’s not a cat, but a pirate. I won’t forget my last two days of holiday. Peewit The Cat gave us a fright on the third day of January, as he retched, hid, and vocalised in a strange way. He even refused his favourite, cuddles & food. We did not wait  long to jump on the handset and called the Feline A&E. The Vet on call had a somewhat familiar accent, which I first thought South African. Errare humanum Est! We put our feline in his box and rocketed to the Westside in a bleak end of afternoon – Peewit mimicking a diva in every kerb, as tarmac took us close through gales and rain. I suspected he eventually developed a secret love for the veterinary surgery! Little did we know we took him on time. He was awaited by a young Veterinary Officer, who quickly diagnosed feline bladder as the main culprit. Not South African, but Flemish, with beautiful French! This time, Peewit would taste emergency surgery with full board till he would be fit to go home. The hut felt strange without him, even though our two other feline pirates, Babooshka and Tystie, amused us till his return. Peewit came home yesterday with a shaved butt and many more loving miaows. I was ever so grateful & thankful to the devoted staff at the surgery, especially to Cathy (the Vet) and Kaye (the Nurse), who took so much good care of our muggy. Our hearts felt so lighter. Oh, yes, that first week of January will not be forgotten! I never saw classroom re-start, as days vanished like stones projected by a catapult.

Now, with the weekend came thrills and smiles! If yesterday, Saturday, was devoted to retrieve our loving feline, Sunday would take a twist none would suspect. As Peewit re-gained his gargantuan appetite, tuna chunks concealed his daily antibiotic mini-nugget. I first found Babooshka on the kitchen worktop foraging for any crumbs, just like a food hoover – or now nicknamed as “Googlegrub” – as she still thinks her grand age would let get away with anything… Tystie remains the only reasonable one. All three were tended with love and care.

 By late morning, a series of Tweets alerted us of island fun in our inshore waters. Orcas, Killer whales, were spotted and, although I had to be in Lerwick for drama rehearsal in early afternoon, the chase began. Grutness, Levenwick, Hoswick, Broonies’ Taing, Sanick, Noness. Magic placenames that rhyme with breathtaking seascapes and opportunities to enjoy not only seabirds, but cetaceans when the conditions are united. 
A first attempt to Broonies’ Taing led us to the bay at Sanick, where dorsal fins were playing so close to the shore. Magic moment! Watching those wonderful beasts in the wild remains a formidable spectacle. Folk flocked to the roadside that leads to the headland of Noness, as the pod of orcas – one bull and two females, from what I could see – swam along. I felt like a child in a toyshop just before Yule! They were magnificent. Again I forgot time and sent a quick tweet to my Serpentine actors, for I knew I would be slightly late for the afternoon. I shan’t forget my weekend either. 

Life on the island is never dull! 

With renewed thanks to my other half for photography 🙂

AND grateful thanks to Helen Moncrieff & Magnie Shearer for keeping us on the right track! :-))


Filed under 2012, 60N, atlantic, colours, earth, geopoetics, images, island, life, shore, winter, writing

first sun

2012 awakening

I love to wake to Nordic sun. A cold wind blows across the island. Last night’s Réveillon at our friends began with a bang, as Andy lit that single rocket in black sky at the back of Midnight. We hung our last hour of 2011 on Monica’s coat rack and gathered by a warm hearth for Hogmanay. We wished Cameron “Happy Birthday”, smiled, kissed and toasted to a brand new year. Merriment de rigueur as we swung towards brand new dawn…

I love this isle from this point of elevation. Brand new year, the wanderer walks through heather and looks for now bathed in pale blue and brand new sun. Kate Bush once wrote & sang, “stepping out of the page, into the sensual world…” This simple phrase sticks through my mind, as I stood still and felt this crisp first day against my skin. At around noon, my northern realm was so dazzling. 

from blue to grey

But then light feels like trapped inside Pandora’s Box as clouds gathered as if to signal end of gold… Birds hasted wingbeats and prepared for roosting time. But first, feast wherever it is offered to them.  Inside willows and on feeders, before they switch to sleepy sky… 

The wind still bites after sunset. And from the comfort of my hut, I celebrate this brand new year graced by a generous first sun. 

inspiring world

first sun –
pioneer’s fire through new year,
January begins with pale blue.
#haiku fae 60N

happy new year fae 60N 🙂


Filed under 2012, 60N, Arcania, birds, colours, earth, fire, geopoetics, haiku, shore, spirit, wind, winter, writing