And no, I don’t know who you are, distant person who “is now following” me. Your words appear on the screen, striving for love, to matter, to be heard.


It’s a big world, and it’s an almost infinite history. So many heart poets, each of us in our fragility, our insignificance, and seeking significant other.

I really only matter deeply to less than a handful of folk. That’s the simple truth. Perhaps it’s everyone’s truth – give or take a factor or two.

So, what? Live with it? Celebrate it? Cherish, really see, savour, each moment in the presence of the ones who care?

It would be so easy to look at this infinity of tweets – this enormous electronic nest of hungry young mouths, clamouring to be fed with attention and love – and to judge, to despise. But no – that’s life, that’s the manifestation of longing, that’s what each of us (perhaps?) honestly, basically, feels. It’s just a little hard to admit:


I can dress myself up in sophistication, and could despise or mock the others, and I could feel silently overwhelmed by the infinity of other souls who diminish me to a pointless dot with “You are here!” like in the Douglas Adams vision.

But no.

Let’s just accept it. Each tweet, each click, each screen swipe, each browser refresh – it’s just looking for love.


A stick scratching in the sand fashions your form – and from Melissa’s mind, you are born.

“We were only trying to drown her.”

Innocence and caprice. Like the sea.

As I watch Enya squeeze into her wetsuit, arm arched and over backwards to feel for the zip’s tail, pulling upwards as it shrink-wraps her lovely form, I’m happy to take my chances.

Body boards and bodies run down to the surf. The waves, high, three or four feet at least, crashing on Tiree’s Atlantic shore. The board jolts upward, like a cork bobbing from forced submersion, shooting to the top as the wave’s force hits. I swim beyond the breakers and wait, scanning the near horizon for the next “big one”.

The salt’s in my hair, my ears, my mouth. My nose. It stings my skin. I’m alive.

Later, as we shiver on the rocks, hypothermia sets in for Melissa – too long in the water in ill-fitting suit. Emergency towels and warming drinks bring her back from the shivering, shuddering brink. So frail, such alertness needed, just to survive each day and the next. So glad as they grow older and take on more of their own survival – yet so happy to remain involved and connected.

We fight great random battles with flopping sword of kelp. The brown fronds slap like flaccid translucent whips, as if some merpeople enact a farcical sadomasochistic rite. Progressively shortening as the duel takes its toll, the stalks diminish to little more than daggers. Close combat ensues.

What more is written, drawn in the sand? What will wash away in tonight’s tide, and what new imagination from passing stranger will illustrate the dawn?

Granddad shirt

Raspberry fool – the colour – and picked up in some Edinburgh hippy clothing store – collarless granddad shirt. It suits me so well, and in my teenage mirror vanity, I’m satisfied.

Lenora and Pete are visiting, and then, Lenora just on her own, as Pete’s back at Uni. The sun’s hot outside, the green world baking, and scents of golden river water, reeds, and newly-shorn lanolin sheep.

Like the sheep, I’m sweating – but in my case, with awakened desire.

Somehow – a word, a hand touched, she moves to me. It’s way beyond my own know-how or self-esteem, and yet in these hot days, it’s soon done.

We camp up North, north of Applecross – a shambolic bus journey of poorly packed gear – arriving in rain followed by a midge-storm.

In the morning, the confined tent smells of blood and sex, warming in sunrise light. Occasional cars dodge sheep on the road beyond the dyke.

Hand in hand, boot after boot, we climb the rocky, rugged mountain above, pausing by pools.