Back in March 2022 I was invited to talk with Helen Needham of BBC Radio Scotland about place, about time, and my approach to the landscape. We took a walk up an often over-looked hill in Aberdeenshire that has been the focus and the start-point of my writing about landscape and how it shapes us. In this episode you can join us as we explore the hill and its histories, and listen to the conversation that resulted.
I drove to Calanais in the rain, looking for the stones. I found them there, standing tall in the mist, like a distant dream I had once dreamt but long forgotten, a silent memory. Did they walk this way those thousands of years ago? What gods and spirits did they dream of; what lost stories did they tell? Where do they dream now, long buried in the ground? Across Loch Ròg to Kirkibost the sleeping woman lies, and the Shining One waits in the west. Too many stories wait here, commodified even now: unreal place, resting in its unknown truth.
It was so great to be a part of the launch event for Echtrai Edition One hosted by Helen Needham last night and to hear the wonderful writing of the other contributors. ‘My Father’s Hands’ by Jeff Young is a tender portrait of a father, a husband and an honest working man: a beautiful piece of writing with universal resonance. If you haven’t read Jeff’s book Ghost Townpublished by Little Toller yet, then you must.
Delighted to be taking part in the live launch event for Echtrai Edition 1, hosted by Helen Needham of BBC Radio Scotland on 09th February 2022 at 7 pm alongside some amazing company. Details for the event and tickets are available here through Eventbrite. I will be reading an extract from my piece ‘The Stones of Bourtie’.