Sunday 17 December 2023

Christmas Tree

Here's this year's Christmas tree. 

It's in a pot and after the Christmas season is over it will go back to Crafty Green Boyfriend's mother's garden, where it will stay. It may come back next year, or we may get a different tree in a pot from the garden, or we may not have a tree at all! I've decorated it with a mix of handmade decorations, and odd earrings and old necklaces from 'bags of unsellable jewellery' that I've bought in second hand shops.

Saturday 16 December 2023

Portrait of a Carrion Crow

 It was very windy when we walked around Edinburgh's Arthur's Seat today. This Carrion Crow struggled to keep still for my photos!

On the way home, we saw this beautiful rose, still in bloom!

Thursday 14 December 2023

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”

I visited Hollis' blog "In the Company of Plants and Rocks" today and was struck with this quote from Khalil Gibran: “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” Khalil Gibran, It seems particularly apt at this time of year when we get to see the complex patterns of the winter bare branches. Especially on a clear day like today. So here are some of the trees I saw writing poems today: 

All the above trees are in the Dells alongside Edinburgh's Water of Leith. The holly tree below is in North Merchiston Cemetery:

Sunday 10 December 2023

Weekend Landscapes


I had a lovely lunchtime walk with a friend on Friday, walking round Harrison Park, which sits next to the Union Canal which passes through Edinburgh. The weather was mild, and the skeleton trees looked lovely. Several Redwings were running around on the grass and three Goosanders were floating in the canal.

Yesterday it was pouring for most of the day. Crafty Green Boyfriend and I braved the rain for a walk along the Water of Leith. We were rewarded with the lovely sight of a mother otter with her two cubs, running along the riverbank and swimming upstream. No photos or videos, but it was a wonderful thing to watch! 

I also went along with a friend to see the lovely Scottish Landscape Awards exhibition at the City Art Centre. It's a lovely exhibition of paintings, prints and other landscape inspired artworks. My favourite was the coral reef made from felt and beads and other assorted materials. The exhibition runs until March 2024. 

As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks which will take you to other websites where you can find out more

Thursday 7 December 2023

My Etsy shops

As many of you know, I've had two Etsy shops for many years now. I started out with the Crafty Green Poet shop, but after a few years decided to separate out the vintage and supplies area from the handmade and set up Crafty Green Magpie. This worked really well for several years, but over the past 18 months, sales have been well down in the Crafty Green Poet shop. Then, recently, Etsy introduced an extra layer of account security (which is obviously in many ways a good thing). However, having to 'choose the boxes with motorcycles' or similar up to twenty times to move between shops was just too annoying and time-consuming. 

So I have shut the Crafty Green Poet shop and will soon be adding a handmade section to the Crafty Green Magpie Shop. Etsy does allow for the possibility that I might one day reopen the original Crafty Green Poet shop, but for now, everything will be in the one place, at Crafty Green Magpie.

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Tree Following

This year for Tree Following, I've chosen the beautiful cooking apple tree in Crafty Green Boyfriend's mother's garden. You can read the post where I introduced the tree here

The tree is around fifty years old and produces a lot of apples (last year was a bumper year and I gave apples to colleagues, neighbours, students in my writing classes as well as friends!). The apples are excellent in apple crumble or just stewed and eaten with custard or added to porridge. 

The tree has now lost most of its leaves.

A few apples are still hanging on 

The tree hasn't produced as many apples as last year, but there's still been a fairly decent harvest and several apples left over for the Fieldfares and Redwings to enjoy. Last year, a Fieldfare became quite aggressive, defending 'his' apples from all the other birds in the garden! 


Talking of apple trees, the Neighbouring Orchard is a wonderful project in the east of Edinburgh (the other side of town from my chosen apple tree!) connecting people through apple trees planted in private gardens and public green spaces. The project is now moving into new areas of town. You can read more about the project here


I'm happy to say that Green Ink have just published my poem Raspberry Picking in the Forage edition of their online journal.