Category: the life of things

The other day I noticed that a particular corner of the kitchen was feeling a little dark. Upon investigation I realised that what was blocking out the light on the windowsill was a teetering tower of tins. These were not tins with any useful function, containing food or craft items. These were empty tins. My […]

Last weekend I had another successful bid at the Glasgow Auction (which is rapidly becoming my new obsession). The item that had caught my eye was this – a wonderful 1950s walnut sewing cabinet. I am very keen on these cabinets, and have been on the look-out for a nice mid-century one for a while. […]

I am sure that many of you may be familiar with the work of my good friend and woolly comrade Tom van Deijnen, also known as Tom of Holland. Tom is perhaps best known for his expertise in, and celebration of, darning, which he puts into practice in his classes and workshops, as well as […]

I have a terrible cold. When one is sniffling and snuffling and generally feeling lousy, there’s nothing more comforting than a nice handkerchief, of which, it occurred to me this morning, I possess quite a few. So I took some photographs of the ones that aren’t in use or in the wash. Some of them […]

I thought I’d show you my three new sweaters! First up is this lovely Fairisle yoke (bought for £16 on eBay). This is a garment of a kind that is still being made in Shetland, and that you can find in Lerwick today in shops like The Spider’s Web. I think its a lovely example. […]

Yesterday an ancient wooden trunk turned up at my house. This was what I found inside. Now, you may (or may not) remember that I turned forty a wee while ago. At the time I told my family and friends not to get me anything: I am not one for birthdays, plus at that time […]

After some exciting developments on the relocation front, Tom and I went to view a house just outside Balfron yesterday. As we drove about the outskirts, I began to notice a few pompoms hanging from the trees and bushes outside people’s houses….then I spotted a whole jolly array of them along a hedge by the […]

(Orkney and Shetland in Blaeu’s 1654 Atlas.) I am not a Shetlander. I love Shetland, and I feel a connection to those islands and their culture that is (for me) profound and meaningful, but I am not a Shetlander. I think it is important for me to remember that, particularly as I am currently working […]

I love camping: I suppose there is just something about taking the time to simply be in the outdoors that allows the world to insinuate itself upon you in the most pleasing way. And I find Islay a particularly inspiring landscape. I like to potter about just looking at stuff, and always come home with […]

We live in a typical, late-Victorian, Edinburgh tenement. It has high ceilings, and the rooms are reasonably sized, but there are not many of them. Most of the other flats in our building have an extra room which has been created by the division of the kitchen into two. But we kept the large kitchen, […]