Monday, December 31, 2012

Beam Me Up, Scotty

Stuck willingly at home, as I am almost always New Year's Eve, kiltless and snowless, tuned in to the ABC's broadcast of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, I can only offer up to you tonight a remembrance of Scotland, that place far up north and thus, symbolically for me, from here in our exhausting heat, a heaven of a longed for sort.
Seeming to live, as I do, in the past, or in an interpretation of a benign past, I have been reading this Scottish snippet by Katharine Stewart, her memoir of a move out of London to south-west of Inverness, published in 1960.
Husband, wife and child were brave enough not only to set out on a new enterprise in land unknown, but to tackle a new/old life long before hippies made it cool. "The last thing we wanted to do was to run away from life."
But I digress, or regress or progress. Above is a view from another book I've lately found, Western Highlands, by the photographer Arthur Gardner. Was it seen  by Katharine Stewart? More or less.
'Cloudscape from Strontian" blows up gently, full of light, as I hope the New Year will for all of us.
It is looking aged now, as I am myself. Published as long ago as 1947 as one of 'The Face of Britain Series' by B. T. Batsford Ltd., it was one of any number of new ventures designed to resuscitate a stained and battered culture.
You can see that it meant alot to someone, who meant alot to that someone.
We would all do well to be looking out on a view like this. Myself, I have a window open so the cigarette smoke can escape, as I hope all the nasty demons that afflicted this planet in 2012 will do.  
And then, maybe, there'll be somewhere for a snooze, somewhere to know we're' safe, where nothing untoward will intervene. 
'Loch Long,' just a photograph, but to me, a signal of home. I am forever swimming in the light flooding around me, as I hope I am forever swimming nearer towards my home.


  1. All the best to you for the New Year, Faisal.

    1. Thankyou Michael. It's already started, here. And it's good.

  2. This is so cool and soothing Gardener. I love old books with pictures and these are certainly beautiful ones.

    1. Thankyou lovely Linda. I was born in old books. I hope they and I have something new to say.

  3. My great-nephew and -niece are celebrating Hogmanay in Edinburgh as we 'speak'. Happy New Year!

  4. Hi Diana. Edinburgh, if not Scotland, seems to be the 'home' of New Year's celebrations. Have you been there yourself? God bless and Happy New Year to you too!