Today D and I traveled around the Kingdom of Fife with his father and stepmother. If you don’t know it, it’s a corner of Scotland that is mostly flat, fertile, and jutting into the North Sea. It has been immortalised in song but mostly speaks for itself in calm, sturdy tones. I feel it worth bringing up here because right now the Kingdom, and specifically my favourite town of the kingdom, St Andrews, is hosting StAnza, the St Andrews Poetry Festival, which I try to go along to every year. Wonderful words are spoken, ideas bandied, lyricism and toasts float about like shuttlecocks. Tonight, we’ve made it back at midnight from a wonderful evening listening to Jackie Kay, who is seriously the best performer of poetry, a raconteur and all-round wonder-lady.
Yes I may be a bit of a fan girl but just go here, click on the red box on the left and listen to her read some of her poems. Now add way more jokes and a happy back-and-forth with the audience – including her son, who she read a poem for just as he was running off to fetch a spoon in the shape of her grandmother so she could use it as a prop in a later poem. It’s hard to sum up how wonderful she was, how heartfelt, rich, dancing and deep her poems are, just to say, her memoirs are out in the bookshop and D’s father and stepmother, who had never heard her or read any of her poems before tonight, are rushing to buy them before they leave.
Anyway, I was too busy enjoying myself to take pictures of the event, so I will just leave you with some of the fife countryside, the coastal fishing town Anstruther and St Andrews itself (which has appeared many times on this blog, seeing as it was where I went to university, where D and I met, where he proposed…it is a town we are very much indebted to, to say nothing of the poetry).
Lots more photos to process, but I will have to leave off for now, with the promise of a fuller post another day, of a boat full of daffodils and a terrifying cold-war era bunker, hidden under the pacific Fife countryside.