Fay Young

curiosity about the ways of the world

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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Summer of love revisited in the shadow of Brexit

Ah, the summer of love. From this long distance it seems an age of rosy innocence. Then the 1967 timeline recollects the startling reality. What a year it was! To a soundtrack of the Beatles, a newsfeed of race riots across the US, death dropped daily on Vietnam.

Somehow I just lost fifty years. Where did it go? One bank holiday Monday half a century ago – dear god half a century! – I slipped into a home-made kaftan and hopped onto the back of Glynn’s Lambretta. And off we roared (well, ok, scootered) into an echoing hall of fame. The rest is history, it seems. Continue reading

Seeding success: a new Paisley pattern

Tread softly on the way to Paisley Town Hall; it’s a journey threaded with names of the stuff that made a great civic centre. Here’s Gauze Street crossing the canal. Turn right at Abbey Place just before the road divides between Lawn Street and Cotton Street. And pause.

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The cost of dignity

It should be incredible but it’s only too believable in the dysfunctional state we are in. Headlines in the news stir a moment of dislocation. Where exactly are we? What year is this? Continue reading

Island on the Edge

It’s such a gloriously improbable tale. A young woman on the last day of her holiday on Skye spots an old croft house for sale in an estate agents window. What happens next is the stuff of dreams at the end of a hard working week. Continue reading

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