I am a writer and storyteller living on the Isle of Mull. One of the things I write about – often in poems – enjoy in storytelling, and relish in daily life  – is the interaction between people and the place where they live: the way people change the landscape, and it shapes their lives too – the way we grow through knowing that we are part of something bigger.

I’m new to blogging, though have two seasoned and inspiring bloggers in the family. But at a point when I’m moving between two landscapes, from the West of Scotland to the West Bank, I thought that keeping a blog would be a way of telling not just my story but some of the others I glimpse and hear and share. My model is the Guardian’s Country Diary, which I have read with delight since I was a student – so I’m working within the discipline of that word-count. I’ve called my blog after old country terms – ‘earthfasts’ or ‘riggs’ are the ridges and hollows in the ground created by centuries of ploughing… in the Middle East and other parts of the world the hillsides are marked instead by terraces.

For three months – from the beginning of January to the end of March – I’ll be living not in the village of Bunessan on Mull but in another village, Yanoun near Nablus, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I’m a volunteer with the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). I’ve served with this small organisation, which operates on a basis of principled impartiality, before. It offers protection though non-violent presence, monitors and reports viollations of human rights and international humanitarian law and supports Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. It feels worth leaving home to share in doing this: though a drop in the ocean.

And all this happens in places where people live their daily lives, in landscapes that are beautiful, challenging and have significance to them: both the mountains and the molehills. I’m mostly going to be writing about the molehills.

Please note:

I work for Quaker Peace and Social Witness as an Ecumenical Accompanier serving on the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). The views contained in this blog are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer (QPSW) or the WCC. If you would like to publish the information contained here (including posting it on a website), or distribute it further, please first contact me. Thank you.

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