At Crombie Point

dscn5381-001

.

Ink etched blue silence. Cold harbour spires, sketched over cubist sails. Thorn pinned birds still tethered. Wings opening, sensing the sky

 

.

dscn5373

The ruined pier at Crombie Point. (January, 2017).

Jules Verne travelled to Scotland for the first time in 1859. He arrived at Crombie Point on 30th August, following a three-day exploration of Edinburgh.

Verne along with his traveling companion and old school friend, Aristide Hignard, had boarded the steamship The Prince of Wales at Granton Harbour earlier in the morning. The ship sailed up the Firth of Forth passing Aberdour, Queensferry, Rosyth, Blackness Castle and Charlestown with Verne recounting tales of historical events associated with the coastal landmarks. Approaching Crombie Point, the weather turned violently against them with high winds and waves proving too strong for the steamship to moor at the pier. Verne and Hignard managed to transfer into a smaller sail boat to reach the landing stage safely but very wet. They were met by the Reverend William Smith, from Oakley, who ushered them into the nearby Black Anchor Tavern to dry out and take a whisky.

dscn5371-001

What was once the Black Anchor Tavern, Crombie Point. Now a private house. (January, 2017).

dscn5356

Beyond the door-less door. An invitation to enter. What lies beyond the threshold, the scattering of leaves and crouched shadows?

On the ancient whispering walls, the faces start to appear. Language of the stones, silent tongues ….

dscn5368

And on this short stretch of coastal path, the receding tide and dying light coats Torry Bay in an emulsion of gun-metal grey. A vista of colour bleached beauty with a tangible undertow of concealed violence bleeding over the mudflats.

dscn5389

In the middle of Torry Bay you will see witches rock. This rock was used to tie-up and restrain anyone suspected of witchcraft. Here the witches were judged and simultaneously sentenced as the tide rose. If they drowned, they were absolved of being a witch, but if they survived they were deemed to be to be a witch and burned at the stake.

(adapted from heritage interpretation boards located on Torry Bay)

More on the dark history of this short stretch of Fife coastline emerged from the Tales for Travellers Project which we recently participated in:

On Torry Bay the sky appears to expand to a grey cloak as we experience a brief rain shower. It’s a suitable backdrop for Kate Walker to tell us of the dark history of witch hunting along this coast in the seventeenth century. Zealous, self-appointed witch-finders, usually being local clergymen searching for those who had ‘danced with the devil’. They used an armoury of pseudo-scientific techniques to prey on poor, elderly, and vulnerable women, with their use of witch pricking and searching for the devil’s mark. The familiar power structures embedded in organised religion and misogyny. Kate recounted the tragic story of local woman Lilias Adie, buried face down in the mud on the beach, between the high tide and low tide marks as it was outside consecrated ground. Buried neither on land or at sea, huge stone slabs were placed on top of her; a folk remedy for revenants who were suspected of returning from the grave to torment the living.

≈≈≈

Now playing: Ensemble of Irreproducible Outcomes – ‘Trio and Sine Waves (With Wind, Snow, And Birds)’ from Memory and Weather.

Reference:

Ian Thompson, Jules Verne’s Scotland: In Fact and Fiction, (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2011).

Posted in Ephemera - Encounters, Field Trip, Found Art, Happenstance, Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography, rag-pickings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Skein

geese-absent-002

.

Unseen

On the move overhead in the dark, a skein of geese trace elemental songlines. An arc of ancient language: shared, precise, yet never disclosed

.

unnamed-002

.

Untranslatable articulations. Dreamtime tracks. Already distant, almost gone. A fading away towards some idea of silence.

At around, 23.04 – 23.05, Saturday 18th February 2017.

Posted in Ephemera - Encounters, Happenstance, Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quiescent structures of the (in)visible

dscn3715-001

.

Quiescent structures of the (in)visible

.

dscn3709-002

Hi-rise tower blocks at Seaton Place, Falkirk, built 1965 – 1969.

Home of the estate factor of Callendar House, a listed building with stable court, stable blocks, dovecot and implement shed. Now derelict and on the buildings at risk register.

Just to the north of the hi-rise towers lies the route of the Antonine Wall which stretched across the Central Belt of Scotland between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Construction of the wall began in 142 AD, taking around twelve years to complete.

Now playing: Harold Budd – The Oak of the Golden Dreams.

Posted in Field Trip, Observation, Psychogeography, rag-pickings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost coordinates

dscn5504-001

dscn5509-001

dscn5489-001

dscn5517-001

Time adrift

Land, sea and sky under caul of ice fog

Lost coordinates.

 

Trace of an island? spectral ship?

Ah – foreshore shaman at the prow.

≈≈≈

Now playing: Kevin Drumm – Middle of Nothing (Part 1)

Posted in Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography, rag-pickings, Symbol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Settle / / Disperse

dscn5497

.

Settle

.

.

Settled /

.

/      /

.

/ Disperse

.

Dispersed

ice blue hue of early morning /     / settled setting of frozen music /     / arrowhead stave aimed at the stars /     / rhythms inked on starless starlight [ crack crack – cacophony crescendo ] winged chorus sounded in flight /     /

settle /     / settled /     / disperse /     / dispersed

still /     / stilled /     / stillness

At Capernaum Pier, Limekilns. Early morning 21st January 2017.

Now playing: David Cross & Robert Fripp – Starless Starlight

Posted in Field Trip, Happenstance, Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography, rag-pickings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spectral Dreams of the City Stones

 A dream in masonry and living rock

Robert Louis Stevenson

the habit of dreaming and the ability to dream are primordial

Fernando Pessoa

dscn5420-001

.

adrift

casting a line

to pull down

the stars

.

dscn5448

.

at the threshold

of hearing, sounds

of the city, stored

in the stones

.

dscn5447

.

thought bubble

of the white dove

 

fractured figments

of translation – PA?

.

dscn5444-001

.

dazzle me

with dreams

of a kinder

kind of blue

.

dscn5441-001

.

even electrons

get lost

in the forest

    (scratch)    —–>

this way

 

≈≈≈

From a walk through the New Town of Edinburgh on 14th January 2017.

(Edinburgh’s) buildings are dominated by locally quarried sandstone so that the stone-built heritage literally grows out of the bedrock foundations of the city. (McMillan and Hyslop, The City of Edinburgh: Landscape and Stone, 2008).

Now playing: Morton Feldman – Triadic Memories (Steffen Schleiermacher).

Posted in Ephemera - Signs and Signifiers, Field Trip, Found Art, Happenstance, Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography, rag-pickings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A short history of …

dscn5225-001

.

A short history of breathing

dscn5149-001

.

A short history of writing

(scratch wall)

layer1

.

A short history of building

stone

brick

mortar (concrete)

iron

glass

plastic

Now playing: Claire M Singer – Solas

Posted in Ephemera - Encounters, Happenstance, Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography, rag-pickings, Symbol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment