Landscapes of Home

‘I think the kind of landscape that you grew up in, it lives with you. I don’t think it’s true of people who’ve grown up in cities so much; you may love a building, but I don’t think that you can love it in the way that you love a tree or a river or the colour of the earth; it’s a different kind of love.’ – Arundhati Roy

One liner Wednesday


Scotch Mist

I’ve never understood the phrase ‘Whaddya think this is – Scotch mist?’ often said with more than a heavy hint of sarcasm when someone simply can’t see something that’s right in front of them, as if it’s suddenly become transparent, invisible. To me it’s always seemed such an odd use of both words?

For a start, ‘Scotch’ is whisky – it’s the word ‘Scottish’ that means something from Scotland. So in my younger days I used to have imaginative visions of people getting such a surprise at something while drinking a wee dram that they would spray a mouthful of whisky all over the place – now that to me would be Scotch mist!

And anyway, the kind of mist you get in Scotland is anything but invisible or insubstantial, it’s more like having a fine filmy gossamer rain spritzing your skin as you wander damply through a low-lying cloud. Although perhaps there is an other-worldly ephemeral nature to the experience rather than the reality of it, it does sometimes feel ghostly to be in and it certainly chills you to your bones?

Mind you, although the mist itself creates a cold wet blanket of grey, it does also mean a vapour cloak of invisibility descends silently over eveything else, causing it to disappear from view? Hmmm… So if anyone out there can possibly shed light on the etymology of this very odd phrase, I’d be more than happy to be enlightened – even trustly old Google hasn’t helped me find any clarity this time… sigh!

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Mist

Weekly Smile: Washing Drying on a Line

There’s something so satisfying about the fresh-air smell of washing dried outside on a washing line – it’s something I truly miss living as I do in London, in an upstairs flat with no garden or outside space for drying clothes. So while looking after my elderly parents in the North of Scotland recently I really enjoyed the sensation again, and it certainly made me smile.

And I was out really early in the day with this load, the winter sun is still quite low on the horizon so the hanging clothes were sillhouetted beautifully and I couldn’t resist capturing the contrast 🙂

Trent’s Weekly Smile: 25 Feb 2019

The View From the Kitchen Window

The kitchen window in my mum and dad’s house looks out over an everyday Scottish rural landscape of arable farm fields. It’s a view I rarely paid much attention to while growing up in the very same house, but over the last few weeks as I’ve stood there washing the dishes several times a day I’ve really learned to appreciate it’s subtle nuances…

Although in some ways it’s always very much the same rectangular framed view, I’ve found it also varies a lot depending on the time of day and the weather and of course the working needs of the farm… so here you can see variations of one Scottish farm field captured over three weeks in winter.

It just so happened that the field was ploughed while I was there, so I took the opportunity to record that event for posterity too – but I think that’s probably for another post all of its own…

By the way as ever it rained quite a lot too while I was there, but to be honest the dull, dark, grey version of the miserably wet landscape simply didn’t inspire me to record it! 🙂

A Sweet Sentimental Verse

Count your garden by the flowers
Never by the leaves that fall
Count your days by golden hours
Don't remember clouds at all
Count your nights by stars not shadows
Count your life with smiles not tears
And with joy through all your journeys
Count your age by friends not years ❤

I’ve been reading all sorts of different bits and pieces of random stuff at my parents’ house over the last few weeks. Apparently this little verse was remembered from an old calendar by one of the contributors to a little pamphlet titled ‘Evergreen Memories’ about elderly resident’s memories of living in the old fishing village of Ardersier on the North East coast of Scotland (where I brought my kids up). The sweet sentiment of the verse caught my attention and I copied it down to keep, so have decided to share it for Chris and Cee’s Pick Me Up for today 🙂

One Word Sunday: Movement

Travelling up from London to Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper at the end of last month I awoke to find myself in the very last carriage of the train, so although it was still quite early in the morning so not fully daylight I was nevertheless able to take a few shots out of the grubby back window in the closed-over door that normally sits open between the carriages.

I only had my phone camera with me, but I did my best! Although they look monochrome, they are actually full colour – but what I really love most is the way the speed of the train rattling through the wintery Scottish landscape has successfully captured the motion blur at the edges of each shot, perfect contenders for Debbie’s One Word Sunday today on the topic of Movement 🙂