Fay Young

curiosity about the ways of the world

Rite of Spring

Here’s the Rite of Spring playing in front of me. Close up and breathtakingly personal. The Scottish Ballet’s raw reworking is not for casual viewing. How on earth did I think I could combine it with a spot of ironing? Continue reading

Putting HER story up in lights

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It’s time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Lamplighter

My daily walk was later than usual. After five o’clock in January the skies are dark and pavements less inviting.  This is Leerie Lamplighter time in Edinburgh and I was remembering…  Continue reading

That jiggery-pokery thing called life: poem for the new year

At first I find it hard to choose a poem from Judi Benson’s, Hole in the Wall.  She became Writer in Residence at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary just a year after the death of her husband, Ken Smith, and there are lines in this book which I find painful to read. Continue reading

Failing boys at school, failing society

The education system is failing white working class boys. It’s not news and it’s not peculiar to the UK – different studies across the wider world have been saying it in academic language for a long time. But Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, made new headlines with her clearly expressed views this week. Continue reading

Weaving a magic spell against Brexit borders

Weaving with dogwood feels like satin flowing through your fingers: soft, supple, satisfying. What’s more, concentrating on rhythm and shape leaves very little time for thinking about Brexit. Or mind-numbing border politics. Continue reading

In a state of ambiguity

‘Stormy where you’re from’. A smiling young border force officer greets me and I do a double take. Of course, he’s taking my new Irish passport at face value. I smile back, feeling something of a fraud.

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Turning leaves of the Poetry Tree

‘And so, let’s pause a moment here, draw strength –

and reclaim what is ours.’

Reclaiming St Andrew Square Ron Butlin

Green, gold, gone. Any day soon the leaves will turn and fall. And in a shady corner of Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square a young tree will reflect the colour of its relatives on distant mountains of Japan. Here’s a good news story for the telling. Continue reading

Shame the devil, tell the truth

How history twists and turns. The at times black comedy tour, first improvised by comedians Jamie MacDonald and Harry Gooch six years ago, acquires newly topical significance at the finale in St Andrew Square. (Disclaimer: I’m a director of Walking Heads but there are many true words among the jests so I’m reblogging the story here.) Continue reading

Silent greetings from Mars

Women may be from Venus but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the occasional trip to Mars. On a dreary, rain-smeared midsummer night, I land on a sociable planet light years away from Brexit Britain, and find the perfect holiday poem for my husband. Continue reading

SAY Award: so Paisley 2021

The Gender Neutral Toilets are warmly welcomed by ‘trans queer’ punk band Spook School though I tiptoe back out to the old school Ladies after encountering a row of urinals.

‘Hello World, welcome to Paisley,’ the smiling face of Paisley2021’s Jean Cameron beams a global greeting from the SAY award screen streamed live from Paisley Town Hall, ‘Enjoy the party. We’re delighted to have you with us’.

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