Friday, June 18, 2010


Hearing a terrible commotion in our conservatory yesterday, a sort of demented clattering noise, we went in to find a huge insect trying to find a way out. With a little patience, we managed to usher it gently towards the open door - but I must admit it was alarming because it was just so big! As my son observed, it looked about the size of a bat when it was flying about. It was a dragonfly, and large even by dragonfly standards. Once outside, it rested for a while on the wall, obviously recovering from the trauma and I managed to take a picture. We've looked it up and think that it must be a 'golden ringed' dragonfly which is the biggest British species. I have seen these before, but usually up in the hills. I'm now wondering if the larva hatched in our pond, or if it came from elsewhere in the village. Dragonflies have short, beautiful lives, and are said to be very lucky. The Japanese believe that they are harbingers of new light, and joy, while in many cultures they are said to herald prosperity! Let's hope so!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Textures and textiles.

Part of the charm of the gardens at Castle Kennedy lies in the succession of viewpoints - like the one on the left. There really is nothing quite like the light in the West of Scotland, and perhaps this is especially true in spring-time and early summer. There's a stillness and clarity about the days that I've seen nowhere else (unless like today, of course, when it has been raining all day!) and that in turn seems to emphasise the rich textures and colours of this landscape. I often think there must be some kind of correspondence between my love of old textiles, my interest in the old gardens, and the colours and textures of the Scottish countryside - and my desire to write about all of these in some form or other. They DO come together quite often, mostly in my fiction, I suppose. I still don't write very much poetry these days, although I did return to it for a brief spell - but it isn't where I'm most comfortable. If I could choose what to do with my time, I think I would spend most of my days writing novels, and short stories, with the occasional play, just to keep me on my toes! But I know that textiles and textures will always inspire me, whatever I write, fiction or fact.