Thanks for dropping in. This website functions as my (occasional) personal blog and online scrapbook, and an archive for the 40+ years I spent in the performing and visual arts. A 40 year career with many ups and downs, rags to riches to rags again, on and off stage, up a ladder, behind a desk, swinging a sword, and swinging on the stars. What a grand adventure it was, only topped by the one I’m having on the farm now.
Times change, and we must change with them. Which is a good thing.
The combination of Covid and Brexit forced me to face some harsh realites about my translation/writing work for the Dutch film industry: I can no longer accept small budget translation, writing, or consultant assignments from the EU, as the post-Brexit costs and accounting procedures are too much for my little business. And my responsibilities to the farm precludes any future work in the theatre, as well, in Scotland or abroad.
But as more than one teacher has impressed upon me: when one door closes…and all that.
To be honest, I LOVE my farm life, as much as I ever loved being on a stage or in a rehearsal room… and I’m happy to make it my focus – both in practice and in my writings. A friend tells me it’s because this new work is as creative and all-consuming as my past work, and that this life and I are made for each other. I agree. I guess you could say I’ve chosen to see the Covid/Brexit combo as a nasty-but-necessary kick in my backside, and an opportunity to reevaluate a few things…to throw away any doubts about this path I’m now on. I’m certainly not the only one doing this kind of soul searching since the pandemic broke out.
I’ll still use this site to share the occasional blogs which are too personal or political (or both!) to belong on our farm website. So follow me, if you’d like to read the (very) occasional, and sometimes pretty intense blog from this site. And if you have a UK-based project that you think will tie into my life on the farm, especially a rural or farm-themed writing project, please do get in touch.
But if you want to follow my stories about life on a Highland hill farm, the lessons I’m learning there, and the people and animals Big D and I are loving and caring for there, here’s the link that tells that story: https://thehirsel.com/ .
So, have a look around and enjoy your stay in my virtual artistic home. Enjoy the occasional rant. And then maybe, someday, I’ll meet you down (or up, actually!) on the farm.
XXX – donna
At the farm: firstname.lastname@example.org