Glimpses of Eden

27 March 2014 | by Jonathan Tulloch

AS THE distinguished Orcadian poet (and prolific contributor to The Tablet) George Mackay Brown once wrote, in time all human materials grow beautiful – except concrete. To many perhaps, the abandoned petrol station at the top of the village couldn’t be considered proof of the Orkney man’s words. Nature, however, doesn’t look with human eyes. For a start, there’s the metal lamp bollard. Once the light bulbs had been smashed, what use could such an eyesore have? Well, every year, tree sparrows nest in its protective hood. Then there’s the huge roof. A few good winters rusted out holes large enough for nesting starlings. Starlings also used the buckling eaves of the workshop. Once the CB radio was defunct, the reception mast still served a purpose; where

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