Saturday, 31 January 2009


A sample of the month's enjoyments;

found art at the weekly St James carboot sale

getting my greens (Wigan - Edinburgh jetlag is showing in my face)

tapas and cocktails, and Sophia turning 19

going out more times than is necessary or healthy

getting back into the student sleeping pattern

visits from two of the most beautiful girls in the world

...not to mention scintillating cinema, fateful bobble-hatted boys, exciting new purchases, finding a flat for next year, saying goodbye to Gunilla and the inauguration of the first black President of the USA.
It's a good start.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Blue Tuesday

27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day. I went to Auschwitz when I was 16 and it was the single most significant trip I have ever been on. There are many more people, books and films that could communicate the necessity of remembering the Holocaust much more fully than I can. All I can say is go. It will change the way you look at life. I have never felt the same again.

Monday, 26 January 2009


you are the nearest to my heart.

watch Bambi, get some Babycham down your neck and strap on a pair
(of antlers, that is)
p.s. Happy Chinese New Year! The year of the Ox; we all need a little extra strength.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Burning Alive

Happy 250th birthday, Rabbie!

Thee, Hamilton and Aiken dear,
A grateful, warm adieu!
I, with a much indebted tear,
Shall still remember you.
All hail then, the gail then,
Wafts me from thee, dear shore!
It rustles and whistles -
I'll never see thee more!
- taken from 'The Farewell' by Robert Burns

give the old boy some respect, and read some of his works - i recommend one of my favourites.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Fabrication, representation, mimicry, distraction, disguise.

My Archaeology lectures have moved on from the first civilisations on the plains of Mesopotamia to the emergence of Pharaonic Egypt. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an Egyptologist. Learning everything again, hearing little details I used to celebrate and hoarde - it feels like coming home. If ever there was a mask that was as familiar to me as my own face, it would be that last one.

P.S. i love themes

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A Prayer

I was with thee
Before the first dawn's silver fingers spread
Across the blue transparent sky.
Before the first sun's golden light
Heralded the coming of the first night,
Before the earth,
Before its emerald cover showed,
Before each bird, each flower and tree,
Before all,
I was with thee.

I am with thee
Through rosy dawns and starry nights,
Through autumn's rains and winter's snows,
Through raging storms and roaring fire,
Through primrose path and shaded bower,
Through troubled fountains of the sea,
Through all
In all
I am with thee.

- "Mr T." 1st December, 1946
"The Heart Speaks Plain: Letters of Life Experience"
edited by Jane Lee, as published in the Detroit News

give a gift, the easiest of offerings, a simple truth;
i am with you, i am here. don't be afraid, you are not alone.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

What Susie Saw

I have a tea towel illustrated by Will Broome, and he writes my name down staircases. My camera lead is in England but my photographs are here with me. I suppose they will have to wait a while.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Always Hopeful

The ancient people of this island I call home believed that dark preceded light, so their new year began on Samhain ("sowen") - 31st October, our Hallowe'en or the eve of All Saints Day. They celebrated eight esbats throughout the year, Samhain being the most important. It signified the death of their God and also the celebration of his sacrifice knowing he was to later be reborn. It is the day that led to the darkest part of the year. We now recognise 1st January as the new beginning, but I think it eerily fitting that our year begins so darkly.
With sales falling, businesses closing and thousands of jobs being cut, it's hard to feel hopeful about the coming year, particularly with the unending conflict in Gaza overshadowing any kind of feelings of fresh excitement 2009 might bring. It's agonising to think that there is so much happening that you have so little control over. I've got small plans for my return to university to try and make a difference in my own way, but I find my main tactic for dealing with all this uncertainty is simply trust.
You could call me ignorant, naïve or even stupid - but I can't help but feel that things will one day be alright. The trust I have been brought up to put in people, in faith and in love overrides any utter hopelessness I might find immobilising if I let it get the better of me. I don't want to live hopeless and fearful, and so I intend to jump into the dark, the leap of faith from 2008 to 2009, and trust - like so many Americans too, I suppose - that there's something this year to hope for.

(credit unknown)

Today I'm planting my mum some crocuses in a pretty fired clay pot. I like to think about them growing after I go back to Edinburgh tomorrow; a gentle reminder that I was here for a while, an example of new life bursting out of the blackness, evidence that dark must come before light. In the words of a good friend of my dad's, "it is of immense comfort that there are some lasting certainties in this world".

Monday, 5 January 2009


big change and little change, loss and gain, learning more about what is important and about my own strength and weakness. feeling empty and feeling full, finding much and losing the same, and appreciating more than ever all that i already have.
2008 has brought me so many amazing things and given me the most wonderful experiences that i feel almost loathe to lose it. but sunsets make sunrises, and the realisation dawns that i've gotten better at letting go. it doesn't mean forgetting, it means remembering now instead of living in yesterday, and celebrating all that is to come rather than dwelling on everything that will not come again. sometimes (if not all the time) a fresh start is the beginning of something even better.
happy new year, one and all.