Issue 12

Published by Pushing Out the Boat, 2013

Issue 12 of Pushing Out the Boat, North-East Scotland’s Magazine of New Writing, was launched on Sunday 1 September 2013 at the Phoenix Hall, Newton Dee, Aberdeen.

Click to read online

Cover: Made for Charity
image by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

FOREWORD by Frances Walker – click here for a pictorial version

At the back of the Music Hall…last day of May and I look out of my gullsplattered top flat window. The very individual colours of the new leaves on the different trees in our backies now melded to a thick-leaved uniform green; the rowans are covered with white flower curds, while in the grass dandelions and daisies have opened their faces to the sun under lines of drying-washing.

The leaves on the tree at my window are rusty-bronze, still coming out. Here high in the branches is the big-domed nest the magpies started to build at the end of January. Only a few days ago the nest was thrashing about violently in wind and rain; but it survived and the magpie pair continue to glide up and go in through their side-entrance, sometimes repairing or renovating their amazing structure, or seeing off the carrion crows with great success. The gulls just fly in a rowdy circle above their chimney-pot nests, the crows ignoring them during their reconnoitre of the backies.

Birdsongs all day now, from blackbirds, sparrows, blue tits and many other small birds. At times comes the cooing of cushie-doos, sitting together on the telephone wires or hidden in the trees; and the distinctive call of oystercatchers as they rise from their nesting sites on the flat roofs of nearby buildings. The peregrine seems to be nesting elsewhere, so we don’t hear its screech as it swoops from its roost on the cathedral spire. But since the days lengthened, the vixen with the limp who wandered up and down the street after dark also seems to have moved on. So perhaps our North-East summer is here at last… But even as I write these words, mid-afternoon this last day of May, the sky darkens, rain falls and the washing is getting wet.

Whatever the weather, wherever you are, make sure you are accompanied for your pleasure and entertainment by North-East Scotland’s very own Pushing Out the Boat. This enjoyable rich mix of prose, poetry and visual arts, in its elegant, very portable format, has so much more to recommend over electronic media – and no battery to run down! Take Pushing Out the Boat with you as you travel on train or ferry, absorb yourself in its pages during that long wait in the airport – then bring it home to read again and add to your collection. Or maybe gift it to a lucky new reader?

Frances Walker RSA, RSW, DLitt, Hon FECA, one of Scotland’s most treasured artists, taught at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and helped found Peacock Printmakers {now PVA]. Her works, held internationally in public and private collections, depict her life-long love of wild desolate places, her celebration of Scotland’s coastline and her continuing journeys to even more remote areas including the Arctic and Antarctic.

[We are honoured that Frances Walker is the very first artist to write the Foreword for Pushing Out the Boat – Ed]


– view list of contents

Sample Pieces:

(will open in a new tab or window)

‘Easter Morning’
poem by Andrew McCallum

‘Wish You Were Here’
poem by Eleanor Fordyce

‘Coda for a Desert Constellation’
poem by Jeffrey C Alfier

‘To the Mountains’
extract from story by Sarah Whiteside

‘The Possum Spider’
extract from story by Stephen Pacitti

The stories can be read in full in Issue 12



Art featured in this issue:

[Click on a thumbnail to start the slideshow]