Opening tomorrow; The Collective…

The collective pop up shop dunoon

We are entering another chapter- not really sure where it will take us, but then I have never been great at that planning thing. Whilst I am back doing the salaried wage slaving for a while, Michaela has been hard at work inspiring and curating a new project in Dunoon involving a pop up shop selling art and crafts.

Along with about a dozen other makers and creators, they have more or less started a craft co-operative around this new space- the idea is that everyone clubs together the cost of the rent, insurance etc and takes turns on a rota to actually staff the shop.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? The reality has been lots of hard work. They set up a core team of people who would plan things, negotiated with the shop owner and the property agent, then spent days painting and preparing the shop and sorting out the systems required to make it run.

I have to say it looks really lovely.

So if you are local and want to find some gifts that have been locally lovingly crafted, check out The Collective!

You can give them a like on FB too- search for ‘The Collective pop up shop’.

Finally, we are starting the process of converting our ReCreate website into an on-line shop. There is quite a lot of Michaela’s pottery there already, and more will be added as time unfolds…

Here are a few photos I took in the shop yesterday…

Some local creativity…


This weekend we are participating in Cowal Open Studios (along with Pauline Beautyman and her lovely pottery.) Come along and have a look if you are local…

COS is a collection of artists/crafty people on the Cowal peninsular who have ‘open house’ this weekend, allowing people to come visit, talk about techniques, methods and even have a go (in the pottery in our case.)  Here is our dining room at the moment;


It is also a chance to sell some things. I could have sold this several times over it seems- messing about with some little ceramic fish and some battered old driftwood. Still, if you want one, I can always make more!driftwood clockIn terms of local arty stuff, I should also mention that next Thursday at 7.00 I am doing a poetry reading at our local bookshop, Bookpoint. Be lovely to see you there! I should post a poem in celebration really…

I do not really do celebratory poems but here is an old one anyway;


Life still flickers


I have heard it said that

Dead men walking

We are



Like veal

Blown by flies


But life still flickers

Faint but strong

Vibrating these hollow veins

And the voltage you make

Is a current

Wired to the nape

Of my neck


Because this thing we are

Is more than just

A bottle

For blood

So much more than just


Mixed from mud


Beautiful creature

Sing, spirit-



Save Dunoon Pier…

Dunoon pier, late autumn light

Dunoon has this lovely old wooden pier at it’s centre, jutting out into the Clyde Estuary – a relic from the golden age of Clyde Steamers, when half of Glasgow took their trips doon the watter. In fact, the pier is the last surviving one of it’s type.

We have been fortunate enough to use some of the old buildings on the pier for worship/art events in the past. Piers are lovely places- neither one thing nor the other and lend themselves well to art/worship/meditation. Check out this event for instance.

Out of the front door, Dunoon pier


A couple of years ago the pier lost it’s purpose as a working landing place for the ferries- partly because of a new linkspan, but also because there is not longer a car ferry link to the town centre. It needs a fortune spending on it, and we are watching it’s slow decline into the sea, despite it being a listed building of national importance.

You can help raise concern about this pier by signing the petition intended to put pressure on Argyll and Bute council to find the resources to actually do something with the pier- to bring it back to life again…


Yvonne Lyon- living room gig…


What are you doing with your Saturday night (tomorrow.) Nothing special?

If you live within striking distance of Dunoon, there are still a few tickets left to come and hear Yvonne Lyon sing in our house. A tenner each for a beautiful music in an intimate and relaxed setting.

If you have not come across Yvonne’s music before (why ever not?!) then you are in an increasing minority. This is what some others have to say about it;

‘just stunning music’

– Bob Harris, Radio 2

‘listening to Yvonne is a life affirming experience. She is the bees-knees!’

– Iain Anderson, BBC Radio Scotland

‘a fine voice…a fine album and one that is refreshingly positive’

– The Telegraph

‘this is an awesome level of talent that I cannot compare’

– Maverick Magazine – 5 stars

‘Yvonne Lyon’s continually developing songwriting sets her right at the top of the tree‘

– R2 Magazine

‘Yvonne Lyon is a wonderful talent, and name I urge you, no make that command you, to jot down in your diary. Be sure to check her out because here is a lady with class.  

– Americana UK

Yvonne is about to support Eddi Reader on her UK tour, so is used to big venues- however, hearing this intimate delicate and poetic music close up is something else- in Dunoon of all places.

Here is Yvonne and her husband David, as a taster, singing a song that has reduced me to tears;

Cowal Open Studios…


Despite all the uncertainties in relation to our house (which will go on the market in the next couple of weeks) we have committed ourselves to being part of the wonderful Cowal Open Studios event again in September this year. It feels ever more important to hold on to the vision of making life through simple creative means…

Our page on the website is here.

Taking photos of the things we make always proves something of a challenge. I ended up making another collage of a variety of things made by Michaela, myself and our friend Pauline Beautyman (with whom Michaela runs workshops.) I quite like the result.

Talking of workshops, Michaela and Pauline are running a ‘Hand Made Craft Fair’ in Dunoon on the 22nd of March. It will also be a chance to do some hands on things too- they will be running sessions of various crafts throughout the day. I will share some more details later…

Here is one of my Clyde Puffers, made from bits of driftwood and the odd bit of copper heating pipe;

driftwood puffer


Last ferry leaving…


Last ferry leaving


I used to laugh at the Holy Hooverers

Those for whom God is an

Escape pod

From this sinful slough we live in

Called Earth.


But why would you ever want to leave the light

Through spring leaves;

The translucent skin that barely contains

What babies will be;

The gentle rain falling,



But days like today will force a revelation;

I could do with a distant angel trump

If he will have me,

I am rapture-ready


I would wait

By some crystaled sea

For the last ferry