Wednesday, September 29, 2010

favorite things revisited: environment

Back in September I made a running list of likes and dislikes of Edinburgh. So, with a year now under my belt- here are my elaborations, adjustments, edits, re-assessments. I'll split them up into various posts.


the sky, the clouds, the horizon the light the speed of the weather, king arthur's seat, living in scotland, the color of the clouds, the color of the mountains

Yes - these things still ring very, very true, if anything, my appreciation for the natural environment of Scotland has grown stronger, deeper and better understood. Trips all over have encouraged my love for the righteous, brooding landscape. My practice as an artist has been deeply affected by this.

Within Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat was my place for time out, a minute to think, a dose of inspiration, fresh air, and a good work out. Further out, the Isles of Arran and Skye, the northwestern coastline, the Trossachs, small villages like Torridon and Fort Augustus, the Outer Hebrides and Isles of Lewis and Harris, Glen Coe, Loch Maree ... places with nearly indescribable beauty. Pictures do no justice, but alas-

Northwest coastal corner of Scotland - from a great trip my parents and I shared in July.

But on last year's list, you'll find this zinger: it's been sunny the whole month!

Don't know what country I arrived to last year. It couldn't have been Scotland. September 2009 was SO sunny. September 2010 is. So. Grey. All. The. Time. All. Year. Long.

Yes, this is why the landscape is so beautiful, lots of rain makes things very, very green. Yes, there is something cosy about staying in on a rainy day, with your pot of tea, soup on the stove, loaf of bread in the oven, projects laid out in front of you, and no desire to go take a jog or have a drink at an outdoor terrace, because, as they say, it's "pishing down". Yes, there is the coziness and the productivity that comes with a rainy day.

But I have to ask, how do you do it, Scots? What is your advice? How do you wake up year after year to so many cloudy mornings? It's beautiful, but there is grey everywhere!

I've been struck dumb by the beauty of a rapidly passing cloud swooping over the North Bridge, tucking behind a volcanic mountain facing out on to the sea that shimmers with the pinken-ing, purple-ing dusk light...

... as readily as I curse the harshness of that same cloud as it expands, turns a menacing shade of grey and opens up into rain that falls diagonally into my face as I'm walking home from the studio, and it's too late to catch a bus, I'm too proud to take a taxi, I'm carrying my laptop, my lunch bag, my coffee mug, and 4 library books, and I wore ballerina flats because they went with my outfit.

Oh, and my umbrella just flipped inside out, flipped back again, flipped inside out again, and came unhinged altogether, and there's still another mile to go.


Bottom line, I've come to see pros and cons of the Scottish natural environment. Like with most things, Joni Mitchell puts it best: "I've looked at clouds from both sides now."

1 comment:

  1. I think the Joni Mitchell line sums it up perfect. Nothing more to comment.


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