Read the latest CTC Lothians and Borders Ride Report by John Palmer our cycling blogger


Wind Resistance – Fala Moor, 30 May 2018

There is no blog from me today.  The story of Fala Moor and Soutra Aisle has been written and sung and performed much better than I could ever dream of. Karine Polwart’s ‘A Pocket of Wind Resistance’ has been a hit since its first performance at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016.  It has toured across Scotland and the UK and is on at the Leith Theatre on 16 August.  Folk Radio’s review says; “This is far more than an album, it’s a journey. Karine Polwart’s ‘A Pocket Of Wind Resistance’ is theatre for the ears”.

We didn’t suffer wind resistance today, more like cold from the haar, but you can listen to our journey by streaming or downloading the disc here;

If you want to listen to the tracks individually, pay particular attention to:

All on a Summer’s Evening

The Moor Speaks. “In the moor where the wind sings, I am earth and I am water, I am sedge and I am sky, I am old dead things, I am alive.”…”Do not hold your breath in your fist. Open your hands.”

Lark in the Clear Air, “And my soul it soars enchanted as I hear the sweet lark sing in the clear air of the day.”

Labouring and Resting

“In September the geese snaking across the Firth of Forth from their summer nests in Iceland and the coastal cliffs of Greenland, clattering and honking in their ever shifting skein.  My garden is a flight path, I watch, I listen.  The outstretched wing-tips of each migrating goose create an up-wash, a pocket of wind resistance, for the bird tucked in behind and below.  These nooks of ease, these aero-dynamic sanctuaries, cut the drag by up to 65%.

“It’s a wonder; it’s also a gale-bitten struggle to sustain co-operation.  Every goose takes a turn, stepping up, falling back, labouring and resting.  Like sky-born socialists, no lone bird bears the brunt… Stepping up, falling back, labouring and resting.”

A Place to Rest and Mend

“A priest works his magic on Soutra…The wintering geese settle in down below, in the cool lochan waters of Fala Flow, while here in this place to rest and mend the friars and midwives attend to the sick, the infirm and the aged, the pilgrims, the poor…Here on this wind-battered fell-side that flanks Fala Moor, the kindness of plants and the kindness of hands.”

Remember the Geese

“Miles and miles and miles and miles…I watch and wonder at the geese as they fly up the Salter’s Road to Fala Moor each autumn, stepping up, falling back, labouring and resting.  The skein is their refuge and so is the moor itself.”

Molly Sime’s Welcome to Salter’s Road
“She was waiting for a boy…
driving on a Clydesdale like her father once had done
from Mutton Hole to Preston Hall thro all the dells and ditches
and an avenue of burly beeches that reached towards the sun.
For miles and miles and miles she rode
down Salter’s Road to Fala Dam and all the way home,
for miles and miles and miles she rode.”

Explore, enjoy and let the songs and stories resonate.