Tag Archives: Catalonia

The lure of damaged places

Down in Comely Bank, another part of Edinburgh, I added another couple of photos to my growing collection of shots of abandoned buildings.

I have been thinking now of how the eye is drawn to the wreck, the boarded up window, the collapsed roof, the weeds sprouting from the windowsill. ┬áSo, a post, drawing a few of them together in my mind. some you may recognise if you’ve been following this blog a while –

Romantic Shack, Catalonia.


Ruined store (?), Ocate, New Mexico


Dead Restaurant, Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico


A window in Golden, New Mexico


Abandoned house on private property, Espanola, New Mexico


Empty house, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh


Condemned clubhouse, Dunbar


Pub, Comely Bank


This last one, along with the building in Bruntsfield, is not lost entirely. There was a sign in the front saying work would be done. At some point.

But how long is time, in a building without people?



Filed under 2012, art, Edinburgh, New Mexico, Scotland

What remains and what is lost

Cherry Blossoms, Washington D.C.

A hillside shack, Catalonia

Dusk, from Arthur's Seat

Ideal Hosiery, Lower East Side, NYC

Lastly, one of both - Summer in the ruin, Poblet, Catalonia


Filed under art, New York, Scotland, The Now

The Model World

Boats, opposite Oslo harbour

Figurines, Central Park

A teeny canal in model Amsterdam

View from the hills in Catalonia

Wee Scottish parliament, Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags

I have been seeing the world in miniature, playing around with a new online tool to make everything macro and real seem micro and constructed by giant hands. I know this trick has been round for a while now, and was quite faddish a few years back – but I thought the technique behind it must be quite complex. It turns out that someone has built the software so that it’s just a matter of sliding a preset bar up and down the picture to determine the point of focus, and with a bit of work, I should improve quite quickly.


Anyway, I love the effect – the buildings and hills like a setting for a model railway, the┬ástrange fragility granted the human figures and the trees. It is like the creation of a short story – or flash fiction – out of the broader, coarser materials of life, a distilling of the elements. I think I miss writing shorter pieces, though I really hadn’t written many. I prefer the flash fiction or the prose (or otherwise) poem.


When the draft of the novel is finished, I can bring out the finer tools, the magnifying glass. The flashes will have to come later, when the bigger spread is at last done with: a vision of a chapbook I can balance on one finger, with a cover of tiny mountains and at their base, a city of tiny houses where the crumbs of narrative will live.


Filed under consolations of writing, Edinburgh, New York, Planning, The Now