A journey through the seasons with two adopted whippets, a poet and a camera
The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.
September’s sun dapples through green and ochre leaves as the path meanders past a three-hundred-year-old sycamore, still standing strong. A few dog-less people make a fuss of Misty as she skips past them to the sunny side of the wood. A robin sings his heart out on a garden fence, where the path passes a few houses. We cross a small wooden bridge over the burn, one side of the water green with algae. Once we turn left, we see her.
Birnam Oak six hundred years old and more this autumn
One of the last living relics from a medieval forest that once grew here, her girth is around seven metres. The oak’s lower branches are so heavy they are supported by stilts and part of the trunk is hollow.
Shakespeare is said to have visited this area in 1589 when he was an actor and later immortalised the wood in his play Macbeth. This tree would have been mature when Shakespeare walked here. Touching the bark with my left hand, I feel a pulse that gets stronger and stronger the longer I leave it there, filling my palm with heat that travels down my arms and my spine, as if they are branches.
then and now a mild south-easterly tingles the leaves
We are delighted to make another donation of £150 to Children with Cancer UK with proceeds and royalties raised through Between Heather and Grass during the 2021-2022 tax year.
Between Heather and Grass is our second book of poems and images inspired by our beloved whippets Eivor (2010-2022) and Pearl (2011-2022), and was especially created in memory of our nephew Jamie.
Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children’s charity whose vision is a world where every child survives cancer. They work to develop safer, kinder and more effective childhood cancer therapies, with fewer toxic side effects.
They are there when families need help most. By funding welfare projects, delivering unforgettable events and fostering a loving environment, they strive to make the world a happier place for the children who are diagnosed with cancer.
It is with a warm heart and gratitude we are able to continue to make a donation to this amazing charity.
To find out more about their work or if you want to support the charity directly please visit their website here.
We are equally delighted to donate the same amount once more to Dogs Trust this year.
Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and has been caring for dogs in need for over 130 years. They take in dogs that have been abandoned or handed in by owners who could no longer care for them and find them new, loving forever homes.
They have twenty-one rehoming centres across the UK and provide Home from Home foster care for dogs who are not comfortable in kennels or when the kennels are full, and Freedom Project foster care, special foster homes for dogs from families fleeing domestic violence. In addition to these services they run educational programmes in schools, training programmes for owners and actively campaign on dog welfare-related issues.
To find out more about their work, adopting a dog, fostering, volunteering or to support Dogs Trust directly, please visit their website here.
This book is now also a tribute to Eivor and Pearl and the wonderful journey through life that we were blessed enough to share.
A very big thank you to all you fabulous people who have bought a copy of Between Heather and Grass, left a review and helped to spread the word.
If the book is new to you feel free to click on the icon below for a peek inside …
Wishing you all a blessed Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,