150 feet above the rest of us

At the weekend, our daughter Rachel made a BLACK LIVES MATTER sign and put it up in our front window beside the RAINBOW that she had previously made with her mum:

In the centre of St Andrew’s Square there is a statue to Lord Melville, Henry Dundas.

Dundas looks over the city of Edinburgh on a pedestal that is 150 feet above the rest of us. Since this monument was first erected, nobody has ever been able to look him in the eye [his stone eyes]. However, the city pigeons and seagulls have continued to shit on his head.

I once wrote a poem about our collective need to learn from history. I chose to write it, as if Dundas in stone, was still living. I called my poem D U N I R A.

A number of years before writing this poem I visited the Lost Garden of Dunira. I made this film in the days after visiting a landscape that I felt was still healing [you will need to watch the film to understand the relevance – and why my poem on Dundas was called D U N I R A ]

The Scotsman, Tuesday 9 June 2020:

The Editor of the Scotsman gave this comment, which is shared here in full:

3 Replies to “150 feet above the rest of us”

  1. Thanks Peter. Informative and enjoyable post and film about Dunira, like being there in the gardens.
    I walk about the green spaces in Dundee, of which there are many, and appreciate the hedges of beech, the various majestic trees in parks like Dudhope and on the way to Trottick Ponds. As you know we are looking to move there, a transition from 30yrs in Fife.
    I hope that you and family are bearing up during lockdown.

    1. Dear Chrys,
      It is so nice to hear from you. I think of you often.

      Like you, I love gardens. At the moment I am trying to let a wild meadow grow at the foot of our garden.

      Big Ted is well. He is lovely. I have taken him on one or two local walks and he is the star of this film:

      Notes from Here and There:

      I hope that you get good news about a move to Dundee ASAP!

      aye Peter

  2. Thanks again Peter. I will watch your film with Big Ted. Your wild meadow sounds wonderful.

    I did get offered Dundee council accommodation in February but it was an “error”. Obviously not the right place and soon after it made sense as to why.
    I feel an affinity with Hilltown, the history, Barony of, with Dudhope, would like to live there, maybe write stories about it.

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