Categories
Encounters Field Trip Observation Poetry Psychogeography

Three Colours

Blue

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Blackbird

Raga

Sky

Transmission

White

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The blind owl

sees no shadows

but feels the sun

Red

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Sounding

the sun-bleached

colour-field.

 

A chorus

of fire music.

Now playing: Alice Coltrane – Saved from the Fire: The Ashram Tapes of Alice Coltrane, Mix for RBMA Radio by Frosty

From a walk to Dunfermline via Pattiesmuir, under a baking sun, 18th June 2016.

Categories
Happenstance Observation Poetry rag-pickings

Ascend the Corbie Steps

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On a tilt of light

ascend the corbie steps.

 

Perch with the birds

of the shadow world.

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≈≈≈

A big thanks to Ms AM for the photograph. A serendipitous encounter with light, shadow, birds and time.

Now playing: Seth Cluett – ‘A Radiance Scored With Shadow’ from Objects of Memory.

Categories
Happenstance Observation Poetry Psychogeography rag-pickings

As For the Sea

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As for the sea. The sea is impossible to believe. Only by imagining it can you manage to see its reality

Clarice Lispector

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With one step, a stream is crossed

an eye on the upland hill.

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Nomadic waters falling

gathering, descending,

dreaming of the open sea.

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Imagine:

The sea as a source of comfort

The sea as a site of desire

The sea as a skin of violence

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We can imagine into being

red diamonds. Criss-crossing

but never containing

the sea

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Imagine if the sea was all we had

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As if crawling on surface tension

a skeletal remnant, ghost

of the Great War.

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Now, a living sanctuary – seabirds

come, seabirds go.

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Imagine a sea-skating insect – hatched

from a Miyazaki film.

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Imagine the sea rising to bleed into the sky.

What about us?

Where will we stand

When the ink smudged clouds

Fall into the sea?

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Flotsam & jetsam

Plastic shards

and dead wood.

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Between high tide

and low tide

A little more

short of breath.

.

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Photographs taken from Carlingnose Point, North Queensferry, Limekilns and Crombie on the Fife Coast.

Now playing: Sandy Denny/Fotheringay – The Sea

Categories
Encounters Folk-Lore Happenstance Observation Poetry Psychogeography rag-pickings

Three November Skies

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Two divining rods

dowsing the sky

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A fragment falling

pooling at my feet

Looking from Leith Walk, Edinburgh, on 25th November towards the vestiges of the Shrubhill tramway workshops and power station. The power station opened in 1898 and housed the haulage engines for cable-tramway operations. By 1922 the power station had closed with the tramway workshops continuing in use until 1956.

The site was also once known as the Gallow Lee where a gibbet stood for public executions. There are numerous accounts of murderers, Covenanters, warlocks and witches being executed and buried on the site between 1570 and 1752. 

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Waves of molten lava

breaking  –  on

the blue shore

An early morning sky over Limekilns, Fife on 25th November 2015. The sky as apocalyptic beach.

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sky

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View from the train – take that #BlackFriday

On the East Coast mainline. Taken and posted on Twitter on 27th November 2015.

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Now playing: David Torn – Only Sky

Categories
Observation rag-pickings Symbol

Alphabet Street Cipher

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Now playing: The Jesus And Mary Chain – Alphabet Street (Cover).

Categories
Happenstance Observation Poetry Psychogeography rag-pickings

At the highest point

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kaah………….k

aah..  k    a    a   h

..kaah   ..  .kaah

k    a    a    h

….kaah….k….kaah

≈≈≈

at the highest point,

a building? a parliament?

a clamour of rooks?

 

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Coryphaeus, chorus, and

huddled conversations

.

DSCN0872 DSCN0873

 

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Corvus chants

beak and feather

chatter, songs of

earth and sky

≈≈≈

“Out of all of them, it has been the corvids, the rook, magpie and crow, who have altered for ever my relationship to the rest of the world, altered my view of a hierarchy of form, intellect, ability; my concept of time”.

Esther Woolfson, Corvus: A Life with Birds

 

Now playing: Bert Jansch – Twa Corbies

Categories
Observation Psychogeography Some Questions of the Drift

Some Questions of the Drift

Weather vane, NSEW, blue sky, light
Kirk Wynd, Kirkcaldy

I ask you: 

– What is the weight of light?

– Clarice Lispector

≈ ≈ ≈

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Merchant's House, Kirkcaldy
Merchant’s House, Kirkcaldy

.

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 – What are the colours of time?

.

.

.

Merchant's House Kirkcaldy II
Merchant’s House Kirkcaldy II

.

.

 – What are the sounds of the stones?

.

.

..

.

.

.

 – When does the inside become the outside?

.

Rosyth Church - East Gable Inner - from West
Rosyth Church – East Gable Inner – from West

Gravestone, decay, erosion
St Cuthbert’s Churchyard, Edinburgh

.

.

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 – What is the material of memory?

.

.

.

.

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– What would the trees think?

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Scot's Pine - Devilla Forest, Fife
Devilla Forest, Fife

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Limekilns, Fife

.

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– What is the geography of a butterfly?

.

.

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Lochore Meadows, Fife

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– What is the shape of flight?

.

.

.

.

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– When does the local become  – the universal?

.

Burntisland from The Binn
Burntisland from The Binn

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≈ ≈

– Where does the sky begin?

.

Digbeth Derive
Digbeth, Birmingham

– What is the taste of place?

.

Cafe now Open – Digbeth Birmingham

 

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Custard Factory, Digbeth

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– Where are the energy flows?

.

.

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Abandoned factory, Digbeth

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.

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– What is the future of the past?

.

.

.

.

≈ ≈

Watching over Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

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.

.

– Who watches the watcher?

.

.

.

.

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George Square, Glasgow
George Square, Glasgow

.

.

.

 – Who controls this space?

.

.

.

 – Who determines the boundary?

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Hadrian’s Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall
Keep Out
Limekilns, Danger, Keep Out

≈ 

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Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
Sauchiehall Street Glasgow

.

.

–  Where is the coldness of the sun?

.

.

.

.

– What is the gravity of the moon?

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at Mogwai play Zidane, Broomielaw, Glasgow
at Mogwai play Zidane, Broomielaw, Glasgow
Rosyth Station, Car Park
Rosyth Station, Car Park

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.

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– Where is the boundary of night?

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Under Regent Bridge, Calton Road, Edinburgh (Callum Innes installation).
Under Regent Bridge, Calton Road, Edinburgh (Callum Innes installation).

≈ ≈

.

.

Where is the future of  freedom?

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Stirling Jail car park mural. Detail from Freedom Versions v.1
Stirling Jail car park mural. Detail from Freedom Versions v.1

– What is the distance of love?

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Berlin Wall, late 1980s. Looking towards the East
Berlin Wall, late 1980s. Looking towards the East

.

≈ ≈ ≈

Opening quote from Clarice Lispector’s The Hour of the Star.

The photos of the Berlin Wall are from an inter-railing trip in the late 1980s. It was a coincidence to rediscover them in an old shoebox on the day that it was announced Lou Reed had died.  I can still vividly recall a lurid, orange BASF cassette being pressed into my hand in the school playground. “Listen to this!”  It was a recording of Rock n Roll Animal. Things changed.

I can still remember a number of the cassettes that travelled in the rucksack on that inter-railing adventure. Berlin was certainly one of them.

Now playing: Lou Reed – Berlin. RIP LR.

Categories
Field Trip I Remember Psychogeography

Moby Dick, Laurie Anderson and The King’s Cellar, Limekilns.

The book is so modern, it’s insane. Melville uses all these voices — historian, naturalist, botanist, lawyer, dreamer, obsessive librarian. His jump-cut style is truly contemporary.

Laurie Anderson on Moby Dick 

November 1999

The métro pulls in to Bobigny Pablo-Picasso in the North Eastern suburbs of Paris. Walking out on to Boulevard Maurice Thorez and up Boulevard Lénine, it is apparent that this is a world apart from the Haussmanised elegance left behind around forty minutes ago. Breaking free of the tourist flocks on the Champs-Élysées, I had descended into the subterranean belly of Charles de Gaulle Etoile to meet the familiar smell of the chthonic underworld and the squeals, clangs and clatters of the metallic worms burrowing through the entrails of the city. Doors explode open at each métro stop to displace and gorge on the huddles and tentacles of drifting humans in transit.

i            t

n            i

t            s

r            n

a            a

n            r

s            t

i            n

t            i

Up and down, to and from, the everyday life possibilities occurring directly overhead: Ternes > Courcelles > Monceau > Villiers > Rome > Place de Clichy > Blanche > Pigalle > Anvers > Barbès–Rochechouart > La Chapelle > Stalingrad >…

A change at Jaurès to pick up line 5 and soon it’s an ascent, emerging blinking into bright daylight and this different world.  Here, the streets are named after artists and communist revolutionaries and the buildings remind me of the Scottish New Towns: stark, brutalist and functional.  Consulting my notebook from the time I can see a handwritten scrawl:

Glenrothes!

The town where I grew up appears to have relocated to the Paris suburbs.

Bobigny - Prefecture Building
Bobigny – Prefecture Building
Fife Council Offices - Glenrothes
Fife Council Headquarters – Glenrothes

I was in Bobigny for the Festival d’Automne and heading to the MC93 Cultural Centre to see Laurie Anderson performing her ‘multi-media’ theatrical work Songs and Stories From Moby-Dick. Not a wholly accurate title as the piece is more of a meditation on Melville and what that book means to her. It was a fabulous experience to witness. The familiar Anderson performance tropes of expansive and existential themes, constructed instruments, minimal gestures and laconic storytelling were all brought to the fore. It certainly convinced me that there was more to this book than Ahab and his crew chasing a big fish. (ok mammal).

Laurie Anderson

Then I read [Moby Dick] again. And it was a complete revelation. Encyclopedic in scope, the book moved through ideas about history, philosophy, science, religion, and the natural world towards Melville’s complex and dark conclusions about the meaning of life, fear, and obsession. Being a somewhat dark person myself, I fell in love with the idea that the mysterious thing you look for your whole life will eventually eat you alive… [1]

For Anderson, Americans of her century and Melville’s share certain unmistakable similarities: they are obsessive, technological, voluble and in search of the transcendental,” she writes in the show’s notes. It is this latter aspect — the meaning of life — which is the focus of “Songs and Stories,” as Anderson asks Americans today, as Melville did in his lifetime: “What do you do when you no longer believe in the things that have driven you? How do you go on?” [2]

Up until that day I had managed to avoid reading Moby Dick. Walking back to the metro, I decided to rectify that and subsequently did.  A copy now resides in the ‘hallowed’ section of the FPC library and is never too far from reach.  There was also the strange delight of discovering some references to Fife in the book and a recent encounter with a building in the West Fife village of Limekilns caused me to search these out once again.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

A Kirkcaldy Whaler

Unlike a merchant vessel going from

point A > >  > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >  to point B,

a whaling ship is prowling,

z   i   g   z

                                                                                    a

                                                                              g

                                                                         g

                                                                                 i

                                                                                       n

                                                                                              g

 looking for prey.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

Kings Cellar

May 2013

The King’s Cellar, as it is known today sits in the village of Limekilns just west of Rosyth. A more appropriate name would be “The Monk’s Cellar” as the original building is believed to have been built by and for the monks of Dunfermline Abbey. The earliest official record of the building dates back to 1362, although the monks owned the surrounding Gellet lands as early as 1089 and it is believed that they used the “Vout” or “Vault” for storing wine and as a clearing house for monastic supplies brought in by sea.  It is not clear when the building became known as the King’s Cellar but is likely to be following the dissolution of the monasteries when it was no doubt appropriated by the Crown. 

Today it almost appears as if the building is being sucked into the ground with the bottom windows almost at ground level.

Kings Cellar I

High up in the trees

to the rear of the cellar

a buzzard (?)

silent sentinel

bearing witness

observing our every move

as has always been done

Buzzard (?) Limekilns

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The stone above the door is misleading as it bears the arms of the Pitcairn family and the date, 1581. Pitcairn owned part of Limekilns and was the King’s private secretary and Commendator of Dunfermline. He lived in Limekilns and died in 1584, being buried in Dunfermline Abbey. The stone was transferred from his house.

Over the past 500 years the building has had parts of it rebuilt and adapted including the roof which was originally thatched. The building has been used as a wine cellar, storehouse, school, library, Episcopal Church in World War I, an air raid shelter in World War II. It is now used as a masonic lodge linked to the Bruce family of Robert the Bruce and the Elgin Marbles. A local belief exists that a secret underground tunnel connects the Cellar and the Palace at Dunfermline 4 miles away.

So what could be the connection of this building with Moby Dick?

 Porpoises, indeed, are to this day considered fine eating. The meat is made into balls about the size of billiard balls, and being well seasoned and spiced might be taken for turtle-balls or veal balls. The old monks of Dunfermline were very fond of them. They had a great porpoise grant from the crown.

From Chapter 65 of Moby Dick – The Whale as a Dish.

Is it too fanciful to imagine that this is the building where the porpoises would be landed for the old monks of Dunfermline?

Melville also quotes from Sibbald’s Fife and Kinross in the first few pages of Moby Dick:

“Several whales have come in upon this coast (Fife). Anno 1652, one eighty feet in length of the whale-bone kind came in, which (as I was informed), besides a vast quantity of oil, did afford 500 weight of baleen. The jaws of it stand for a gate in the garden of Pitfirren.”

From Moby Dick EXTRACTS (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian)

The reference to Pitfirren certainly refers to this locality and is now known as Pitfirrane, located just North West of Limekilns.  I decided to have a look at Sibbald’s original text which Melville used and discovered that the immediately preceding passage reads:

“There is a vast fond of small coal in the lands, which is carried to the port of Lyme Kills, belonging to Pitfirren […] it is well provided with coal-yards and cellars. Several whales have come in upon this coast…”

Had Melville used the longer quote from Sibbald, Limekilns (as spelt today) would be mentioned in the book with a reference to cellars, albeit not the King’s Cellar specifically.

There are a couple of other whaling references in Sibbald:

“The monks of Dunfermline had a grant from Malcolm IV of all the heads of a species of whale that should be caught in the Firth of Forth, (Scottwattre) but his Majesty reserved the most dainty bit to himself, viz. the tongue. It is curious to remark the revolutions of fashion in the article of eatables.”

(Sibbald p. 116)

“There are several whales which haunt the Firth of Forth, which have fins or horny plates in the upper jaw, and most of them have spouts in their head; some of these are above seventy foot long, and some less: one of these with horny plates was stranded near to Bruntisland, (sic) which had no spout, but two nostrils like these of a horse. These whales with horny plates differ in the form of their snout, and in the number and form of their fins”.

(Sibbald p. 117)

Two small paragraphs that offer a glimpse of a time passed, or has it? The privileges of royalty and the landed gentry arguably continue largely unabated and the non human species of the globe decline to the point of extinction at the hands of the human actor.

There are many voices of Melville present in Moby Dick but one of them is clearly alerting  humankind to pay attention and consider the consequences of potential ecological catastrophes arising from the lavish plunder of the natural world.

June 2013

Whilst out research is not conclusive by any means, we place a small photograph of Melville under the stones in front of the King’s Cellar to secure the linkage in our own mind. When we pass this building in future, if nothing else, we will be reminded of Melville, Moby Dick and the King with a taste for cetacean tongues.  And each time we see a copy of that encyclopedic text – Moby Dick – we will think of this small building in a West Fife village and of course Laurie Anderson who cast the line in our direction.

Now Playing: Laurie Anderson – Life on a String

[1] Horsley

[2] Grogan

References:

Norman Fotheringham, The Story of Limekilns (Charlestown: Charlestown Lime Heritage Trust, 1997).

Molly Grogan, ‘Laurie Anderson’s Songs and Stories’, Paris Voice, November 1999.

Carter B. Horsley, ‘Songs and Stories from Moby Dick’, The City Review, 5th October 1999.

Herman Melville, Moby Dick or The Whale (New York: Penguin Classics Edition, 1992).

Sir Robert Sibbald M. D., The History Ancient and Modern of the Sherrifdoms of Fife and Kinross (Cupar, Fife: R. Tullis, 1803).

Mike Zwerin, ‘Laurie Anderson Grapples with Melville’s Ghost’ The New York Times 2nd December 1999.

Categories
Field Trip Psychogeography Symbol

On the Coffin Road

Windylaw Path

We approach the village from the North by the coffin road known as Windylaw.  A sign indicates that this path was used for many centuries by people to carry their dead to Rosyth Church. Sometimes they would come from as far away as Dunfermline.

The ground is sodden underfoot and standing still you can feel the ticklish trickle of rivulets, running around your boots off the slight incline.  This is the first day of reasonable weather for weeks and it feels good to stand under the mottled blue canopy and listen to the murmur of the flowing field.

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Windylaw meanders up towards a small copse of trees. We are greeted by the guardian of the forest, a snuffling, wood-hedgehog type apparition which looks like it could have come straight out of Pogles Wood.

Hedgehog Guardian of the Wood

A woodpecker industriously loops its rrrrrat-a-tat-tat rhythm but remains unseen. We stand still and stare but there is no dart of kinetic red against gray bark. Instead, one particular tree  conjures up a Medusa like quality. The branches appear to move, twisting and writhing like a cauldron of snakes.

Medusa Tree

Winding through the trees

Windylaw meanders through the trees and we walk alongside all of the ghosts who have tramped this path over centuries.

How many stopped to make their mark such as Toad has done here?

Toad

Once over the ridge of hill, we start to descend towards the shoreline and the village of Limekilns which we can see off to the right.  We leave the path briefly to take in the vista over the Forth Estuary.

The Forth Estuary

In many ways a picturesque enough view. Over the farmers fields to the river Forth and beyond to West Lothian.  However, no view is ever as ‘innocent’ as it seems so let us tilt our heads a little bit further to the left and to the right. Let us ponder on what we can see…

Firstly off to the left, lies Rosyth Dockyard:

Looking East to The Dockyard & Bridges

The picture is not great but you can clearly see Goliath’s looming presence of whom we have written before:

“Goliath is the largest crane installed in the UK and part of the most expensive project in British naval history with two aircraft carriers presently being constructed at £3 billion a pop. We have already been told that once constructed, one will be mothballed immediately and the other will have no planes  to fly from it.  Try explaining this logic to a five year old. The carriers are to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.  The sheer folly, financial carnage and symbolism of this whole escapade is such that it almost fries our collective brain into meltdown.   However, very soon we are all whistling and singing Elvis Costello’s Shipbuilding – the Robert Wyatt version naturally – so we can hum the piano solo with our kazoos.  This has the desired effect, tames the beast and calm descends. As we walk further along the road, we can gain a better vantage point to look down Rosyth Dockyardover the dockyard and see the true scale of Goliath.  Our fear turns to pity as we realise  that all we are looking at is simply a dumb, beast of burden, a heavy lifter, on which has been foisted the indignity of jingoistic colours, the White Ensign flag and the reek of failed empire. Also lurking down there, somewhere in the bowels are seven decommissioned nuclear submarines, still radioactive and we are reminded of some possibly apocryphal tales of technicians metal-capped boots glowing green in the dark. Isn’t it amazing what can be buried in the edgelands.”

On the same day as our walk (31st March 2013), a number of articles appear in the press to indicate that Rosyth Dockyard has been chosen for a pilot project to break up some of the nuclear submarines, prompting fears it could become a dumping ground for radioactive waste.  (Ignoring the somewhat obvious fact that it already is). The one fairly fundamental snag in this proposal is that no site or facility has yet been identified to store radioactive material safely. (It is going to be there for a long, long time). I suspect that our inventory of Empire and hubristic bravado – HMS Dreadnought, HMS Churchill, HMS Resolution, HMS Repulse, HMS Renown, HMS Revenge and HMS Swiftsure may continue to sit and rust for many years to come, hopefully with the nuclear reactors remaining intact.

You can also just make out the Forth Bridges, beyond the dockyard, in the above photographs. The iconic red diamonds of the Victorian rail  bridge and the twin suspension towers of the not inelegant road bridge. Construction work is now well underway for a third bridge to join them. It would appear that the existing road bridge has literally become a piece of auto-destructive art. Road vehicle usage, far in excess of what was originally envisaged has reduced the life of the suspension cables and consequently the bridge. (although there is some debate about this).  The result will be a new road bridge with an increased capacity to continue to satiate our desire for car travel.   Build it and it and it will be filled is the usual outcome of transport policy so perhaps we stand as witnesses to the birth of yet another piece of auto destructive art.

As is becoming evident, the Forth is still very much a working river and from our viewpoint it would not be unusual to see a container ship – the new packhorse of global capitalism – chugging up the central channel to Grangemouth container port to drop off its wares. Alternatively, it could be a British warship off for some ‘munitions and maintenance support’ at Crombie Pier which is part of the sealed off Crombie Munitions Depot. 

.Crombie Pier - Zoom

This is very close to Crombie Point where Jules Verne and Aristide Hignard disembarked from an Edinburgh steamer in 1859 to continue their travels through Fife and Scotland. This journey inspired Verne’s novel The Green Ray.

'Le Rayon Vert'
‘Le Rayon Vert’

And beyond Crombie Pier lies the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, Scotland’s only oil refinery. An industrial city of chimneys and cooling towers, belching steam, and when darkness falls, shooting dramatic flares into the sky against a wash of sodium hue.

Grangemouth

Chances are that all the cars sitting nose to tail on the Forth Bridges will ultimately get their petrol from here. Just another nodal point in the network of global petrochem dollars.

Looking West towards Limekilns

OK surely that’s it. But no. Strain your eyes to the far right and another iconic sight can be zoomed into view. The chimney of the coal powered Longannet Power Station. I’m sure it keeps our lights on but is regularly towards the top of the charts in any survey of ‘most polluting power stations’ in the UK and Europe.

Longannet Power Station - Zoom
Longannet Power Station – Zoom

Anyway this digression is just an illustration of how a landscape view is never neutral. On one level, yes this is a beautiful landscape.  However, this is also a landscape inextricably linked into the ebb and flow of the global capitalist economy or on a more pessimistic note is there any more perfect spot to catalogue and observe the agents and consequences of what George Monbiot calls the Age of Entropy.  (Thanks to Liminal City for alerting us to this).  At the very least, the psychogeographer can reverse the panoptical gaze of the modern political machine.  Standing here we can use landscape as a mirror to reflect back. We can see the war machines, the entropic processors of fossil fuels, how the local is connected to the global.  On this spot we can be the watchers. We can see what you are up to and imagine and enact alternative possibilities. (Such as going for a walk!).

Windylaw Path II

We continue our descent down Windylaw which edges the perimeter of the newer built part of Limekilns. A desire path breaks off to the left and we soon find ourselves at the rear of the old ruined Rosyth Church. Rosyth Churchyard wallRecords indicate that the church dates back to the 12th century when it is mentioned in the charter sent to the monks of Inchcolm Abbey in 1123. The church ceased to be used as a place of worship sometime between 1630 and 1648. You can clearly appreciate why the coffin road evolved. Even today, the only access to this spot is by walking or possibly by boat. Whilst doing a bit of research, a curious entry in  the RCHMS archive records catches the eye.  In 1998 a “stray human mandible was found on a grassy area just south of Rosyth Old Kirk burial ground by Mr Walmsley of Inverkeithing. The very weathered and friable bone belonged to a child aged 6-9 years.”

there is none more lonely and eerie than Rosyth, at anyrate at the close of a winter day, when a rising wind is soughing through the bare branches, and the sea is beginning to moan and tramp to and fro over rock and shingle.

John Geddie, The Fringes of Fife, (1894)

Rosyth Churchyard

Unlike Geddie, we find the church reflecting sunlight on a bright, still morning with just the slightest intimation of Spring in the air. Little of the original structure remains. Only the East gable and part of the North wall. A mort house still stands, built at a later date, to no-doubt frustrate the profitable enterprise of  the resurrectionists (body snatchers) who are known to have prowled the coastal graveyards, often arriving by boat.

East Gable -Outer
East Gable -Outer
East Gable Inner - from West
East Gable Inner – from West

The churchyard, as in all churchyards, is full of stories. Manicured fragments of past lives lived. How much of a person can be captured when reduced to a few lines of inscription on a gravestone?  In many cases, the weather and the passage of time work to gradually efface even this small act of material remembrance.  Chiseled stone is returned to smoothness as the distant past becomes literally more difficult to read yielding up only broken fragments and guesses.

Fractured
Fractured
Fragments & Guesses
Fragments & Guesses
Robert Wood and Mary Harrison
Robert Wood and Mary Harrison
Tombs are Trifles
Tombs are Trifles
Lost at Sea
Lost at Sea

CIMG2327

This gravestone below is particularly rich in symbolism: the trumpet blowing Angel of the Resurrection; the memento mori skull as a representation of death and the hourglass denoting the passing of time.

Angel of Resurrection, skull & hourglass
Angel of Resurrection, skull & hourglass

This stone was erected in the year of the French Revolution:

1789
1789

We were really intrigued with this one. The reversed numeral “7” in particular.  Also the fact that four sets of initials are on the gravestone?

At the end of the coffin road. 31.03.13

Nowadays, the quiet graveyard appears to be a haven for bird life. During our visit, blackbirds scurried amongst the leaves whilst a robin dotted around the gravestones following us.

One last photo before we leave and its only later that  we notice the ghostly halo around the door frame. Saturated light I’m sure but who knows?

Some ghostly intervention here?

On leaving the the graveyard, we head right which leads to a pleasant shoreline walk along to Limekilns.  Looking over the water there is even a hint of Glastonbury Tor over in West Lothian. It’s the tower folly of The House of the Binns, Tam Dalyell’s family home. CIMG2340It’s a short walk to Limekilns and as we approach we are reminded of David Balfour and Alan Breck who visit the village in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped:

“about ten in the morning, mighty hungry and tired, came to the little clachan of Limekilns. This is a place that sits near in by the water-side, and looks across the Hope to the town of the Queensferry.”

(Kidnapped, Chapter XXVI, End of the Flight: We Pass the Forth).

We will write-up what we found in Limekilns and Charlestown another day.

Now Playing: Current 93 – Baalstorm, Sing Omega

References:

Alan Reid, Limekilns and Charlestown: A Historical Sketch and Descriptive Sketch of a Notable Fifeshire Neuk, (Dunfermline: A. Romanes, 1903).