Friday, June 26, 2015

Yesnaby, Oh Yes.

Yessnaby, Orkney.
So, Orkney was quite a ride. 

I loved walking up this cliff at 10pm at night (still light) with Michael Hough and Kate Tough. ( A bit of Huff and puff with Tough and Hough?) We lay on our backs, like teenagers, and looked at the sky. 

Lots of things reminded me of being young: the smell of the sea and farmland on the wind. The way the peaty ground has a small bounce under your feet. The squeal and squawk of sea birds. Those pinky clover flowers near the shore, beating the odds: wee bobbing balls of fluffy triumph.

The Writers' Course was good, even if I didn't get as much written as I had hoped for. Mea Culpa. Perhaps I am distilling it for later. 

Our course tutors, Pamela Beasant and Jen Hadfield were supportive poetry Maters, always packing a Writing Exercise and a well-targeted Sandwich Selection. 

We saw Damien Hirst's suspended sheep at the gorgeous Pier Arts Centre (apparently local farmers wholly disapproved and, yup, I get that...). 

We loved poet, Stewart Conn. What's not to love? Is it wrong to want to hug the man?

We watched the brilliant James Runcie give a spell-binding talk on Music, Poetry and Silence, elaborating on the power of all three to guide us through this random, turbulent miraculous thing called life. 

Job done, Orkney. Oh, Orkney of Standing Stones, Gore-tex and women who decide not to colour their hair any more (my people!?)

Stromness Hairdressers, Orcadia Cuts had photos of many's a lavish 'Up Do' in the window. Never mind the Bridal Hair, I just loved the phrase Orcadia Cuts (it for me).

I will look out for my fellow course mates in future years. I'm sure they'll have more to say.

PS I'd also like to thank Creative Scotland for their help with a travel grant, greatly appreciated.