Taking a Line

Taking a line… was an event organised by Susie Goodwin of the Dunbar Arts Trust.  A group of us gathered in Dunbar this morning, to visit some of East Lothian’s most interesting and beautiful spots. We had an archaeologist, a geologist (two if you count me), and the Countryside Ranger. The rest of us are artists and/or writers. We started off on the Dunglass Estate, taking the back track up to the 1548 English fort, constructed during the Rough Wooing to protect the English supply route during the siege of Haddington. Then we walked down Dunglass Burn to the beach, smelling the wild garlic, examining plant fossils (Stigmaria), saying hello to the nesting fulmars, and generally beachcombing.

Then we went off into the Lammermuirs, for a wonderful scenic drive, ending up at the White Castle hill fort, a former stronghold of the Votadini (=Gododdin), although in truth nobody knows what the place was used for – defensive farmstead? summer shelter? what? Anyway, the views from the top are fantastic, down to Traprain, North Berwick Law, the Bass Rock, and over the Forth to the hills of Fife and beyond.

A terrific day.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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7 Responses to Taking a Line

  1. Davide Trame says:

    Dear Colin, two things about your latest post:

    first, the fulmars, great sea-birds, I learned about them, together with the gannets, when I visisted the Orkneys in the nineties, a guide told me the fulmars have a special organ inside their beak to take the salt away from the sea and drink the water, marvellous! And he told me they are cousins to the albatross in a way…

    second, wild garlic, I am going to put a poem in my blog on it, this is the moment we are enveloped by its powerful smell in the countryside, mellowed by the locust tree blossoms.

  2. sunnydunny says:

    Hi Davide. I love the way fulmar couples constantly communicate with each other on the nests. It sounds like they are arguing, but I’m sure they’re not.

    And I love wild garlic soup!

  3. Barbara S says:

    Lammermoor – had me thinking for a second there: Madame Bovary, Flaubert, Walter Scott and tragic heroines and heroines that want to be tragic but are just plain cliched – anyone detecting a bit of a theme here, yet, never mind all the other reading I’ve been doing … this is why the blogosphere is great – joined up thinking for adults 🙂

  4. sunnydunny says:

    The setting of Scott’s Bride of Lammermuir was based on Fast Castle, just down the coast from here. It’s horrendously exposed, but a very romantic ruin now, with cliffs on three sides. There’s a ‘step of faith’ between a knife-edge causeway and the rock the castle’s built on, and nothing between you and the waves a hundred feet below. Ah, that’s fair put me in the mood to go back there.

  5. sunnydunny says:

    And Puccini’s opera – Lucia di Lammermoor – was based on Scott’s novel.

  6. I have to say, every time I come to sunnydunny.wordpress.com there is another interesting article up to read. A friend of mine was talking to me about this topic several weeks ago, so I think I’ll send them the link here and see what they say.

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