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"the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun."*

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

It is in days such as today I find myself. Quiet, simple days where not much happens on the surface. Time passes slowly. I am with people who I love.

We began the day with coffees and hot chocolate, sitting at the feet of Vulcan in the almost empty café at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 2 in Belford Road, Edinburgh.

If you are ever in the city, take the time to visit the galleries. There are two (across the road from one another). There is good art -- which is important for an art gallery. But there is also peace, tranquility, time and space to breath.

In Building 1, where the unravelling head by Dali hangs, there is a delightful walled garden outside the café. It has, I think, the finest carrot cake in all the world. And that too is important. Anywhere.

We met up with our friend Trevor who I have known for over forty years, through ups and downs. Like every other person on the planet we've had our share of both.

The last time we were together was 2016. Spike and I flew from Australia to see Trevor and other members of their semi-professional Belfast theatre group perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Trevor played Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He and his local group played the 'rude mechanicals' -- the comic relief -- in the RSC's Belfast stop on its national tour to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

I was as happy on the night I saw my friend take the stage of the Belfast Opera House as I have ever been. My mate. Doing Shakespeare with the RSC. Knocking it out the park.

Today, however, we had come to see the Barbara Hepworth exhibition. If you're ever looking for some "peace, tranquility, time and space to breath" I highly recommend some 20th Century English Modernist sculpture.

And when our morning had expired we took a taxi to Heather and Andrew's house in Trinity. Even in Scotland, I assure you, we know what to throw on the barbie.

They say -- whoever "they" are -- that home is where your heart is. That may be true. But for me the idea of home has less to do with place and almost everything to do with people. And I am never happier -- never more at home, never more myself -- than when I am with these people. They made me and saved me and I love them more than words can ever say.

So, this afternoon I sat in an Edinburgh back garden with some of the people I am fortunate to call my friends. We talked and laughed. We ate good food and -- this being Scotland -- drink was taken (but not as much as once upon a time).

I wanted to stay forever. We should all be so lucky.

And I cannot tell a lie.

It is a bonus to spend time with friends in a city where an art gallery gives you therapy advice for free.


(By Billy Collins)

There is the sudden silence of the crowd

above a player not moving on the field,

and the silence of the orchid.

The silence of the falling vase

before it strikes the floor,

the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

The stillness of the cup and the water in it,

the silence of the moon

and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

The silence when I hold you to my chest,

the silence of the window above us,

and the silence when you rise and turn away.

And there is the silence of this morning

which I have broken with my pen,

a silence that had piled up all night

like snow falling in the darkness of the house—

the silence before I wrote a word

and the poorer silence now.

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Trevor Gill
Trevor Gill
Jun 18, 2022

What a joy to reunite with you and Spike Dougie! The gallery was great - I'm halfway through the excellent book I bought there about Hepworth's life and work. The BBQ was a treat - such a great group of people, what a strong friendship network that is! This visit to Embra - a city I love - put me in the notion that Bright Umbrella should take a show there for next year's fringe... These blogs are great - hope the rest of the adventure goes well, keep writing! Tx


John Bruce Moxon
John Bruce Moxon
Jun 18, 2022

Thanks, Dougie. As someone else has said, please put these together and publish it.

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