International Women’s Day

Woman – human female, comes in different shapes, sizes and colours. 



Robert Burns

Today marks the birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, with many having a traditional meal with a haggis but not me. Many of us that grew up in Scotland will remember learning his works at school, I still stumble to understand and read them now. However, Burns was part of my childhood in a different way, as my beloved great uncle Lauderdale and I would always walk along the banks of the River Nith to the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries.

Although there was a play area outside I seldom played on it, instead we’d watch the majestic swans gliding on the river, the deer that lived on a near by hill but nobody could explain to me why they were trapped in a wire cage not free to roam and the changing colours of the leaves, like the world we live in, which was often a theme of our discussions. This was in stark contrast to the exhibitions at the centre, which would never seem change; we’d laugh when the statue inside of Burns had a paint job between visits, as the centre seemed lost in a time I did not know and my great uncle had seen and now gone.

Lauderdale helped me to see as it really is, the only time that matters is now, and life’s only constant is change, although some things may seem constant with no apparent change. Yes as an adult I would love to spend another hour in his company, and feel safe with my hand in his as he’d smoke his pipe and wear his deerstalker hat, which always made his long white beard smell. Even now if I smell it in the air, I swear at times it’s him keeping me company or checking I am okay. So Mr Burns, Happy Birthday, and once more I’ll walk along the Nith with my great uncle Lauderdale.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Robert Burns Centre

A new canine friend

Met a lovely West Highland Terrier outside Starbucks in Edinburgh today, full of hugs and sniffs, returned the hugs and gave tickles. Staff told me he and his owner are regulars, with the manager keeping dog biscuits for his visits. Perhaps this is something coffee or tea shops could consider, a dog for hugs on your visit!

© Fi S. J. Brown

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Scotland’s day under the lens

Today is probably the greatest (if not most important) day of my life, as Scotland decides whether it wishes to be independent from the rest of the United Kingdom. It is probably the most important votes since the referendum to have a Scottish parliament that I have and will vote in. I feel the eyes of the world watching, as the day of decision is here and I live in the capital city, filled with the lenses of the media from all around the world.

I am not saying aloud here, but as I have said previously those that know me well enough know the answer to that already and happy to share opinion privately. However, I am of both Scottish and English heritage (my parents one of each), I know what my trio of instinct, heart and head say, and remarkably they all are saying and singing the same thing! I only hope we do not end up with a nasty hangover wishing we had not woken up to that.

Enough of the debates, spin and lies, it is time to mark this day with a cross.

© Fi S. J. Brown

The big question(s)

As part of the Edinburgh art festival a couple of installations have sprung up in the Grassmarket area of the city asking several questions. Here are the questions with my answers to them, have a think how you would answer them, welcome to leave yours in the comments below.

We are all going on a journey but before you set out:
1. Where do you come from?
2. Where do you do you feel is home?
3. Where do you belong?
4. Where are your roots?
5. Do you know where you’re going?
6. How will you know when you have arrived?
7. What is it like there?

1. I grew up in this city but do not feel part of it, I have moved away and she called me back a few times, when I had no choice but to return to her, always with a heavy sigh and heart.
2. I have yet to find my true home as nowhere calls me other than when I am at one with nature listening to birdsong, watching trees dancing in the wind and streams laughing from tickles of the rocks below them. I feel like the dog in the television series “the littlest hobo” and maybe tomorrow I will want to settle down.
3. I belong nowhere I have yet lived in Scotland, England or Italy, but felt happiest when not in Scotland. I am a free spirit that belongs among the natural world or in a landscape painting of days gone by.
4. My roots are a mix of England and Scotland, so maybe I am British rather either as both are marked by a line on the map, the course of the River Tweed. I love this island’s nature and landscapes.
5. I have no idea where I am going in life, but part of what I love about life is living in the moment, as can change for better or worse in an instant and what happens tomorrow will happen, I cannot change that just as I cannot change the past.
6. I will know when my instincts tell me and feel at peace with myself, those I love, my surroundings and doing what I enjoy best in life.
7. Full of nature, music, art, laughter and endless love for all.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Autumn – the multisensory season

Listening to the rain falling on autumnal leaves,
Like tears trickling down a clown’s tired cheek.
One a pulsating beat to dance long into the night,
The other ghost notes with no discernible pitch.

Watching the leaves turn from greens to reds,
Like traffic lights but few stop and wait a while.
One a sight of natural beauty for all the senses,
The other to warn of man made jungle dangers.

Seeing the leaves are individual shapes and sizes,
Like all human beings are all over Planet Earth.
One a mixture that few recognise the differences,
The other many want to change to look the same.

Look as well as listen, watch and see this autumn,
Like a child experiencing its magic for the first time.
One will awaken your senses to the whole world,
The other will bring you happiness outside and in.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Autumn in Pitlochry