The art of whacking stones…

Yesterday was Sabbath.

For us that means that our little family are close together, resting (although Emily fitted in some sailing- she is in one of the boats in the shot above.)

It has been a rather difficult time of late- deaths, illnesses, conflict in our wider families. There is also so much to do, and I have this constant feeling of time passing- of an opportunity to do something that I can not miss.

But when all is said and done (or even when it is still to be said and prevarication holds sway) there is always the art of stone whacking.

This involves three things- a beach, a stick, and some stones.

It is an activity that can be done alone (but best find a very secluded spot or people will stare) but is best done in small groups.

Stand sideways on to the sea, toss stone in the air and whack it as far as you can out into the waves.

You will miss many, but some will fly.

Stolen time…

This weekend we had planned to travel down south to attend a baptism service at our old Church near Preston. The people getting baptised are young folk we have known all their lives, and sharing in this service would have been great. However, Michaela has not been well, so we had to call off last night. She is OK- an infection that is on the mend.

So I am sat at home thinking of my friends- missing them, but also feeling strangely grateful for the space, free from long car journeys and weekend busyness.

I love being at home, with no agenda- no pressure, no deadlines. It always feels like such an indulgence because of course there are many things that I could be doing- in fact many things that I should be doing.

But for now, they will wait…

Perhaps I am getting old- but if so, this is fine, at least for today.

Rehearsing old age


Today we rehearsed old age

And it was lovely


Our bones went soft

And our muscles ceased their strain


There is a storm on the old river

And kind grey light makes

Our faces take on

Graceful lines

And shadows

You on the sofa

And me in my chair


Today we rehearsed old age

And it was lovely


“Come to me” he said

“If the turning wheel has broken you”

So I staggered in his direction


“Sit with me” he said

“And we will sip tea

And soak a careful biscuit while

Occasionally raising a listening eyebrow

And enjoying that communal space

When words find rest

In silence.”


And perhaps our dreams will dance in the firelight

For a while this room will be the universe

And it will be possible to believe

In starflight


“Or perhaps it is enough,” he said

“Just to rest.”

For he was gentle

And humble

Of heart


Matthew 11:28-30




The wonderful gift of empty days…

Today is Saturday.

And we have nothing planned.

No visitors are coming to stay (although I love having visitors.)

We have no major tasks at hand (although there is great fulfillment in a job well done.)

I am not on duty (and work can just go hang for a while…)

I do not have to worry about planning church stuff for tomorrow- after years and years of weekend church business, I now can enjoy the occasional sabbath…

Sure there are many things that I could/should be doing- gardening, cleaning, decorating, sorting out, planning for the upcoming Aoradh event. But I feel no pressure to do any of these things.

I may just so nothing…

And days like this, they are like sonnets. And they turn me all poetic.

Slow Saturday

Saturday morning
You and me
Stacked like school chairs
Racked together like delicious dishes in the dishwasher
Quilted by the wonderful possibility
Of an empty day

Me holding you
You wearing me
Like a film star in a fur coat

You told me that I had fallen back to sleep
And that you liked the sound of my snoring
And I curled closer

And the chatter of a blackbird outside our bedroom window
And the sound of slow diesel engines out on the estuary
The creak of boards as Will heads for an appointment with a pokemon
All these sounds of the approaching day
Are beautiful

Like you

So open up day
Like an Alpine picture window

I’ll put on the coffee