Thursday, 30 June 2016

What a grey day, grey week - or is it more.. Can't remember now when those weeks of hot sunshine were.
I suddenly thought of Scoraig this morning, I thought of going to live there. I've never visited.  Once long ago D and I thought of it, but didn't get around to it.
Of course I can't just up and go and live there really, it's a measure of my need for an escape, for a time of big skies, of putting those cobwebs in order, standing back for some perspective.
Last night on my way home at about 9.45 I was blinded by the golden sun low on the horizon, it was too early for sunset but I could see it would be a wonderful one in Newhaven, and again I thought of the almost flat in Starbank Road, and then of the hassle of buses late at night getting home from there if I was to go for a sunset from where I live now.
I also realised that not being able to see sunsets or sunrises where I live means that over time I can almost forget about them, being reminded is not always a good idea.
Of course the thing I am not mentioning is the recent referendum, putting us out of the EU. I have been reading, writing, thinking so much about it that I don't think I will do so here.
I am at the top of John Lewis in the cafe with a great view over the Forth to the hills, big sky here.
I'm not in the best of moods just now so I am not going to write much, but I feel a strong urge to make changes in my life.  They probably won't be very big changes in the end.  I can't go and live in Scoraig, what would I offer them and how would I pay etc... It's just an expression of where I'm at just now I think.

My brother died a year ago on 5th July and I am away to Norfolk soon to stay with my sister in law.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Duvet day and stardust

A duvet day today. Yesterday developed a very sore throat and determined to hit a pending cold on the head i stuffed myself with paracetamol and sore throat pastilles and sent myself off to bed early, where I stayed today.  Actually not ill, but I've slept a lot and noticed a total lack of concern or worry about anything that I reckon it's been a day not wasted.  Hurray.  I can have a duvet day and not climb the walls - I just dont do duvet days.

Photos posted at random, not strictly true - just wanted to put up a photo or two, scrolling through photos I came across these two doodlings from the studio and thought why not, see them in a different context.  Nothing special.

Ink, acrylic mono print

Ink wash

The other night I watched Wonders of the Universe - Stardust.. I found myself hooked very quickly, partly the images of the universe which are always fascinating, but mostly the story of our beginnings as told by Brian Cox.  Many years ago when I worked in the hotel on Iona, my boss then - owner of the hotel - was a geologist by profession, and as I was studying art and exploring my interest in landscape and geology she gave me quite a lot of insight.  I will always remember one thing she said to me which was 'we are all stardust'.  A statement you would expect to hear an old hippy (like me, once) say. But which she went on to explain briefly how it is true.  Anyway, so Brian Cox in this programme massively expanded on this - really I would recommend this (on iplayer) to everyone, you dont have to be interested in stars or anything. It was an overwhelming experience actually, to watch, an experience rather than just watching a programme, leaving me with such a feeling of our connectedness with everything and everyone.
And another thing that struck me was the realisation that there must have been 'nothing' before the universe suddenly came into being, and how impossible I found it to imagine that, i cant imagine it.  Then I wondered at humans very deep seated need to find meaning, and then a god, a system, a belief, all of these unprovable things because somehow no one can imagine the 'nothing' .....

I dont mean this to sound like I am denigrating people's beliefs, just because something has not yet been proved does not make it impossible, I am fairly open minded - just as long as no one is hurt then each to their own, obviously.

The programme before this one had been about what is happening to our weather, which was also very interesting as there was a lot of information about the Jet Stream, and many people who know me will know my 'thing' about the jet stream which I have been going on about for ages!  So, hurray, some more information on it, why it keeps moving so much and even - get this - how/where it was relative to the UK throughout the 90s - I've always said the 90s were So Hot on Iona - well - the west coast anyway, and when i went back to work in 2000 the summer just was not the same - rain and mixed weather and it never really went back to those amazing summers of the 90s.  So i didn't imagine it!
It transpires there are a couple of theories about what is happening, one of them closely related to climate change.  As the Arctic ice melts, the air is not as cold and so the difference in temperature each side of the jet stream is less, and that causes it's speed to slow down and it dips down to anywhere between beneath UK to down into Europe, and so we get these long phases of rain and the weather seems stuck.
This is massively sketchy - you need to watch the programme to really get fuller information.
There are other factors to the weather we have been experiencing over the last few winters - of course and scientists and meteorologists are working on it all, and finding new information.

Anyway, so another interesting possible contribution is that it has been found that the stratosphere possibly contributes to the changing flow of the jet stream.  There are apparently waves in the stratosphere which occasionally break as they do in the sea, and this causes a warming - i think it is called sudden stratospheric ..... something.  anyway, usually the air there flows west to east, but these sudden wave braking cause the air to flow in the opposite direction, and warm up and the air begins to spiral down towards the troposphere where it comes in contact with the jet stream and more or less stops it - slows it down - so that cold air from Siberia is blows in to the UK ... Obviously this so far does not seem to be connected to climate change (although nothing can be certain?) but it is very random, there is no pattern to follow, nothing to give anyone a clue to predict anything.
And then, of course, there are many other factors which contribute to our climate, but it seems apparently that what can be certain is that we are going to need to work out how to live with more rain, and unpredictability.
Once again, to get the whole picture watch the programme, it is fascinating, and again makes me realise how interconnected we all are around the world..