Tuesday, 16th July 2013 Tiree Dear S, I listened to the recording and made notes - when you turned left I wrote left, right I wrote right, and when you described sounds or landmarks I made a note of them too. I woke up today feeling crowded. So this was good, to think of your route in another city in another country, somewhere I’ve never been, and to follow a set of instructions - surrender to them - to get lost here, somewhere so familiar, or actually not lost but to go a different way, against myself and notice different things. I thought I’d take a photo on my phone at every turning point and the photos could be my gesture to you. But then looking at the photos I thought I might describe them and send the words instead, or perhaps at the end I’ll give you both. one:
(through the gate in front of house) - pink buoy tied to blue and white rope, knotted onto grey rope, nestling in seaweed, a tangle of black on green grass. Left.
Right. I walk until I reach the sea edge.
Shallow waves, white bubbles over grey sand. Left.
Grey rocks, green tufty grass, a fence cutting me off from land on the other side. Sheep running along the fence line. In my photograph, one sheep leaping. Left.
Here you describe narrow streets, the sound of your feet tapping on cobbles. You walk over a bridge. I walk the line of the fence. At the gate a white plastic fish box with two smaller black boxes inside, holding someone else’s driftwood stash. Left.
Sand. A yellow fish box holding one big burnt log, pointing forwards like a giant phallic arrow. Left.
More rocks, more grass, little green pools, purple flowers. I can’t remember their name. Right.
To the left a rock. When A and J were small we called it the Lion King rock. Walking quickly (here you see a yellow lamp, a window where there used to be a flag). Right.
Grass. Blue string. Buttercup. More purple flowers whose name I don’t know. Left.
Machair. A new stretch of beach, Gott bay, and an outcrop of land that becomes an island at high tide. Right.
Here you see a wall with graffiti, letters in black and gold. In front of me is a massive rock, black, taller than me, its surface covered in yellow ochre lichen. Half closing my eyes it looks gold. Left.
I walk along the sand. Pink crab shell dead at my feet. Here you play me music. Then describe the sound of water. I listen to the lapping of the sea. Birds start shrieking. Right, then left.
Straight ahead. (you walk past some lions/ a statue maybe? over a bridge, a pet shop with a sleeping cat in its window to your left). You stop. I stop. I’ve reached the outcrop that becomes an island. Above me birds, Terns I think, are circling, swooping, diving at my head. The recording ends.
Along the way I picked up a tuft of sheep’s wool and six blue grey shells, each slightly smaller than the first so they fit inside one another like a russian doll. When I see you next I’ll give you these too. Love I