Shifting light, changing skies and sudden vistas

On the 11th June 2014 I received the above message from Alexander McCall Smith. You can perhaps imagine how this affected me.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland. One of my oldest patients helped in the embroidery of one of the panels:

 

I subsequently made this film about visiting the tapestry in Stirling castle with my family:

 

Alexander McCall Smith kindly invited me to meet with him and wrote this in my grandfather’s old invoice book for his orchard:

Alexander McCall Smith: what imagination he has alongside such a natural sense of fun. McCall Smith’s laughter is the only sort of “infection” that is healthy!  I met Augustus Basil. This was a day that I will not forget.

The following sentence comes from ‘Chance Developments’ by Alexander McCall Smith (from the signed copy that he kindly gave me):

[‘The future lies in the past’ might be one way of considering my films]

How silly it may be, but I sometimes imagine myself as the Antiquary and often stamp this (in water soluble ink) on places from the “past” that I have visited today. They are generally lost places:

I was born in Edinburgh in 1967. After studying Medicine in Aberdeen I studied Landscape Architecture with the University of Edinburgh gaining distinction in every subject and the Scottish Chapter prize.

Alexander McCall Smith describes Edinburgh in terms of the light. The very light that was shared and appreciated by James Clerk Maxwell:

“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.”

Alexander McCall Smith has brought light to me (quotes from Chance Developments):

Alexander McCall Smith has a most wonderful PA. Thank you Lesley for understanding my wide-eyed self. Edinburgh’s shifting light, changing skies and sudden vistas.

REPARATION (a prequel and sequel)

Filmed at Lynedoch, Perthshire, Thursday 15th June 2017.

Peter is reading the words of Hilary Mantel (from the Reith lecture 2017)

Music is composed and performed by James Ross – “Beyond the Strath”

Gardens of the Mind

I have put together this post in my appreciation for Geoffrey Jellicoe (1900 -1996).

Jellicoe was an architect, landscape architect, historian, traveller, lecturer and author. He has been a lasting inspiration for me.

When I studied landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh it was Jellicoe who was the guide for my mind’s eye. Without Jellicoe, I feel certain that I would not have gained distinction in all subjects along with the award of the Scottish Chapter prize. I was not a good draughtsman but I had ideas; uncultivated ideas. Six years of training in Medicine (at the University of Aberdeen) had rather stifled my creative and imaginative self and I was altogether rather too tight and rigid. In good part, I feel this a consequence of the unhelpful, and really too strict division between the so-called ‘two cultures’.

In what follows I have “borrowed words” of my betters, taking three quotes from a number of my favourite authors: marginalia and fragments that for me somehow seem to say something about Jellicoe and the ‘two cultures’. Interspersed are a few short clips of Geoffrey Jellicoe talking about draughtsmanship and gardens of the Mind.



 

Well, is there anyone who isn’t tangent?

I made this film after visiting the Temple of the Muses, by Dryburgh, on the last day of March 2017.

At the end of the corridor