17 February 2007


Sleep is fitful at the moment. I'm trying to restart the book. I never realised there were so many different shades of writer's block. The most recent has been tenacious. The grip loosens though, and I remember bit-by-bit what needs to be done. And bit-by-bit, I do it. It's slow though, almost interminable. It's also deeply disheartening.

I've posted some of the pictures from my St Andrews jaunt last Wednesday. Enjoy. There are a couple that I'm pretty proud of - I love the sheep (even though it's not that great a picture).


The sun shone bright over the Forth. The careless and optimistic would think spring had come early. I've had too many winters in Scotland to succumb to such foolishness. I've also had too many winters in Scotland to waste such weather.

The bridge sat empty and Fifi's stereo blared boogie-worthy tunes. Further north the light on the bare trees turned the smallest, youngest, branches purple. When, just past Cupar, the painfully slow tractor took the turning to Kenback and Dairsie Castle, I followed it. It's a quiet road, a narrow road. Past the tractor and left after the narrow bridge came a knackered old land rover, hazards flashing, arm waving. I slowed. In the distance an army of sheep, chased by a dog and a quad bike. I stopped. They swarmed around Fifi, bleating and confused. I laughed and assembled camera and lens. Up the hill towards Strathkinness a falcon sat on a fencepost, pretending to be asleep. I didn't stop. The midday sun lit the bay and town below, the mouth of the Eden glowed.

Sometimes the road behind the tractor is the better road.

February is blurry so far.

The wine job is surreal. The routine resembles the memory of a dream weeks after you've woken up. The details fade into broad strokes and the boundaries blur. My shifts are brief and, if in the morning, I forget by the evening that I've worked at all.

I get paid for it. Not very much though.