Monday, 30 July 2012

Ramblings with the Bearded One

As I walk round the corner I instantly spot the beard and the camera, and wave. I'm on a rare weekend away with my sister and close friend at a music festival just a few miles from Kim, of Ramblings of the Bearded One

Kim was the first 'real' person I connected with outside of our blogging worlds and personas. To be so nearby and not get in touch would have been daft, but taking the step of actually arranging to meet made me nervous. Here was someone who'd read my secrets and pain, and offered his kind words when things were falling to pieces around me.

I found Kim through Blogs of Note a couple of years ago and have been reading ever since. There was something very human and honest about his writing. He didn't seem to be trying to impress or seek glory or a place in history. I liked his writing, sometimes sad, often funny. He always gives me cause to reflect.

I wandered over and we sat down against the outside of the children's marquee where he's due to play his bouzouki. Nervously I have a cigarette, which I realise later was wholly inappropriate given the area of the site we're in. Anyway....skipping quickly over that misdemeanour....

Kim is easy company and I am fascinated by the man whose words I have read and responded to over what must be about three years. As two bloggers writing in Scotland it's easy to forget that, in fact, he is not a Scot. Gently spoken, Kim is good to talk with. I suppose, as a photographer, he's very used to putting slightly anxious people at their ease. We wander and rattle through blogging, and family stuff, living with fatigue, mental health, and the weirdness and wonderfulness of life.

This meeting for me is important. Blogging has helped me reconcile what goes on in my inner world with what goes on around me. It's helped me talk about the things that scare me or have made me sad. It's helped me to be vulnerable and honest. Meeting someone who found my blog early on, and probably knows more of my struggles over the past few years than some of my oldest friends, is a massive step in realising that I am finally opening up to the world. This meeting is something that couldn't, wouldn't have happened even a year ago.

A while ago I helped Kim with a press release for his Staring Back exhibition. It was an easy thing to do, that I'd completely forgotten about. Kim reminded me that he'd promised me a photo as a thank you if we ever met. Later that afternoon I found myself squinting in the sunshine, surrounded by thousands of people, having a camera pointed at me. Kim the photographer is suddenly present – joking and directing and trying to put me at my ease.

I am grateful for the kindness he's shown me through difficult times, and pleased to find a man who demonstrates the integrity, humour and thoughtfulness that his writing suggests. I am flattered that he introduces me to someone as 'an old friend', and I guess we were are despite never having met before. I am glad we did, and hope we do again soon. Next time, with instruments and tunes and time.

Thank you Kim for listening and for my picture.

PS Just in case you're wondering if Scruffy Buzzards are any good, I am happy to report that they were excellent!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


My sister and I took off our shoes and waded out into the unseasonably warm water. In my hands was the box whose weight surprised me. My father's ashes.

It is a year, less a day, since Dad died.

I held the box as my sister unravelled it's packaging. A lively wind around us as I bend and pour what was left of him into to the Moray Firth.

We four stood back and watched as the tide took him from us finally. These many years of grief at an end. Tears of sadness and release.

It a beautiful day of strong sun and warm breezes, and the last time we will ever be in the same place.

The evening is spent as a family, in conversation, good food and wine and celebrating what we have still in a place of happy childhood memories that bring a little of him back.

Slowly I will remember him. I will remember the kind and gentle man before years of illness stole him.

I loved him, and I miss him.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The bones of your face

I run my fingers from the dark patch on one collar bone along the line of smaller moles on the other. My palm is flat against your warm chest and I just want to know you.

As my head sinks down against you, I can only rest. Breathe you, feel you. And wonder how we got here.

Almost a year and a half have passed since we had the first of these moments. Moments of connection and need, real and so very simple. Moments that will not release their grip. There is no 'us', but we are not 'he' and 'she'.

I am disarmed by you.

You ask me why it must be all or nothing? It needn't be so.

The bones of your face and head are imprinted on my hands. I can feel your skin as I type. My thumbs can trace your brow.

You kneel in front of me imploring me to give you what we both want. I cannot: not here, in your world. I want to and I will, perhaps, one day soon.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bombarded by Junk - A question

My Blog's reading list has been plagued by spam recently and it's put me off being here quite so often.

It's very sad as the blog concerned was beautiful, thoughtful, clever: a recommendation from Kim Ayres over at Ramblings of the Bearded One. The blogger died. It was weirdly shocking, but those words were still there.

Recently it appeared back in the list of posts and, unsurprisingly curious, I clicked the link to it. Since then I have been bombarded. I tried to remove it from my reading list, reported it the Blogger etc. I've done all the recommended things I could find in the help section and still my reading list is bombarded with junk.

Any ideas anyone? I don't want to be irritated by this place that has become a fundamental part of my week. All suggestions would be very much appreciated.