stories and illustration

What’s Wrong with Violets?


When we lived in Liddesdale, on the edge of the Middle March on the Scottish-English Border, each year it would have been difficult to recognise anything that could be designated as Spring.  The cold weather segued into the season of May blossom, which to me seemed to herald the beginning of Summer – next stop the wild roses. Anyway, my small son and I would go for walks, and we would keep an eye out for the violets which grew on a bank not far down the road. And for us those almost invisible violets signified the end of Winter  So the violets were important to us.

My son was privy to a conversation in which the adults were abhorring the violence on television. He came into the room, a tad outraged:  “What’s wrong with violets?  I like violets!”

He had the same sense of things being amiss when he heard on the radio that armed guerrillas had crossed over a faraway country’s borders and were shooting at people.  He didn’t like the idea of gorillas with guns, as he quite liked gorillas too.

April 5, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

March Fields by River Tweed


brown fields

Tweed Landscape

There is still snow on the hills, or rather the sprinkling of snow has come back.  The fields are being ploughed, revealing the chestnut and chocolate  earth of Berwickshire and North Northumberland. The new machines turn the earth and render it to  fine grains and smooth it out, the newly-ploughed field is a thing of beauty and elegance. But if you walk along the edge of the fields across the river, there is little evidence of wildlife or even birds, apart from the crows and the ubiquitous wood pigeons. I remember many years ago living in the Liddel Valley, on the edge of the Middle Marches, looking at the fields after they had been drained and thinking how wonderful they looked.  But now that the fields over there have been left to roughen up again, become rushy and bumpy, or thick with flowery long grass, there is an abundance of wildlife. Saw a deer on the edge of the woods. And merlins up on the hillslope. Small flowers among the stones on the pathways. Nature taking over again, sharing with the hefted sheep.

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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