Tuesday, 30 August 2011

One Leaf, One Link

I'm posting a link to this post from 2008 (can't believe I've been blogging so long!)

One Leaf, One Link

because earlier this year Jackie Proctor from PlusPerth, a local mental health charity, was in touch with me, saying that there was a plan to reprint One Leaf One Link an anthology to which I contributed my poem Walking on Water. For reasons to do with the way funding was given, it may not be possible for Plus to actually sell copies, so if you come across one, please make a donation to the work of this wonderful organisation.

And while I'm at it, I'd like to commend the Dundee-based organisation Art Angel, for the excellent work they do. Art isn't therapy if it's treated as a hobby or an afternoon out. But if the work and the artists are allowed their true value, it can be a voice and a lifeline. PlusPerth and Art Angel deserve all the support we can give them, and I'm away now to see how I can go about it.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Walking the Territory - end of summer

Although the day was sunny and warm, once the cloud burned off, we're on borrowed time. The spring wheat isn't quite ready for harvest - I know this because there were no clouds of finches in there gathering while they may - and there are still flash mobs of young swallows over the grass, although the swifts left weeks ago. But I heard the first autumn song from the robin, and the first geese were overhead last weekend.

The rowans are blazing ripe where the blackbirds haven't scoffed and scattered them and I picked the first blackberries for crumble. Hawthorns and rose-hips will be a week or two and the elderberries maybe a weeks after that. I'm pickling the smallest of the shallot harvest and getting ready for the plums and apples. Everyone in the village seems to have trees but us, so I am very grateful for the surpluses, which I repay in plum jam and mincemeat at Christmas.

Seeds are ripening on the verges and in my garden, and I'm saving seeds of poppy, marigold, astrantia, cornflower and chervil, and many more to share with members of Towards Transition Stirling, who are holding their next cycle tour of sustainable gardens next weekend.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Artist of the Week - Fiona Robertson

You get two for the price of one this week. I am a sucker for rich colours and natural forms so Fiona Robertson's web-site is always a joy. It has recently been updated by her husband, who just happens to be artist Douglas Robertson. His own beautiful web-site is here.

I haven't been looking after this blog as well as I would have liked this week, as the Edinburgh Festival is on, and, while I haven't been at anything in the actual festival, in and around the edges of this extravagance, poets have turned Edinburgh into an extended and glorious poetry party, with so much stuff going on I find myself bemused and punch-drunk.

Last week I was taking part in No Sleep in Bristo in the endangered and amazing creative space The Forest - thirty-six hours of non-stop poetry, with about a hundred poets participating. It finished up with an event called A Knife Fight in a Telephone Box, which sounds as if it was both fascinating and very funny. Unfortunately, having been sabotaged by some ravioli which turned out to contain undeclared cheese, I had to take the resulting migraine home to bed.

This Tuesday I was at three events - the Courtyard Reading hosted by Christine de Luca who read Nae Aesy Mizzer which is one of my favourite poems from her recent book North End of Eden, then Get me Out of Here, organised by the Grey Hen press - fierce and funny poems by women of 'a certain level of experience'. They included among others my friends AC Clarke, Eleanor Livingstone, and poets new to me, but names to look out for - Angela Kirby and Julia Deakin.

I hadn't the stamina to go along to Immortality Now by Andy Jackson, which was a shame as he read the title poem at the Courtyard, and it was excellent. But I did make it to the 6 Poets reading in the Fruitmarket. The six poets were Simon Barraclough, Helen Mort, Isobel Dixon, Helen Ivory, Andrew Philip and Rob Mackenzie - a diverse collection of poets all very different from me in styles and themes and preoccupations, but all the more interesting for that. And, as at all the best parties, I met friends and caught up with all the news and made plans for the next time---

This will be at the Callander Poetry Weekend where, if everything goes to plan, I'll be able to see the first copies of Wherever We Live Now. And that really will be some party.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Artist of the Week Vic MacRae

This weeks artist is 'outside artist' and animator Vic MacRae. Her work is vibrant, colourful and thought-provoking.

Also I noticed that someone was looking up the spirituality articles on the burnedthumb site and the links were broken. I've fixed them now, if you would like to check again.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

August in the Garden

A picture post, because the garden is calling:
Thinking about saving seed for next year

The harvest is in sight

If you have two loaves, sell one and buy a lily---

Friday, 5 August 2011

Please Note

There has been a glitch in the arrangements for our book launch, and it is going to be rescheduled. Pleae watch this space - I'll let everyone know as soon as we have the new date.

Also I'm registering the blog with Technorati (VKSKVKQB45VZ) to make it easier to find.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Can't Keep it Quiet

I'm really busy just now:
choosing poems to read at No Sleep at Bristo, the Poetry Marathon organised by Kevin Cadwallender, which will take http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifplace in the Forest Café over the 11th and 12th August. I'll be reading at 11 o'clock on Friday morning.

deciding which of the many poetry events I'll be at in Edinburgh on 16th August. There are at least five happening (you'd think there was a festival on or something), but all I know is that I'll be starting at Courtyard Readings which is hosted by Anne Connolly.

updating the Burnedthumb web-site and getting ready to check the proofs of my book. It's really all happening now, and Wherever We Live Now will be launched at Blackwells Bookshop in Edinburgh on September 13th. It should be a brilliant night, as books by Anne Connolly and Marion Montgomery are being launched at the same time. Pictures later, as soon as we are organised!