March Update

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for my blog, but I assure you that I have been as busy as ever. Since the New Year I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and learning. I’ve been in lockdown at a small organic farm and it has been a lovely experience to be able to get out in the fresh air for walks and to see the animals and chat with the farm manager, Sharon. My mum and dad have been here too and it’s been good to have the company of family and friends.

There have been a number of major themes which have been uppermost on my mind lately. I have been going through a lot of personal reflection and it has been an important time of coming to terms with the past.


There are also exciting projects starting to take shape right now which are geared towards the Climate Change conference in Glasgow later this year. One of the projects has taught me a lot about Colombia, the indigenous people who live there and the struggles they are facing due to major developments which are threatening their lands, ecosystems and very existence. Environmental leaders are targeted for murder and the death rates are very high. This is a tragic reality however it has not stopped artists living in the area from working on projects to highlight the cultural importance of the indigenous people and their rights to self-expression and self-determination.

How is it that I got involved? Well, my interest and involvement with the Gaelic community in Scotland was the main reason. These artists want to make a bridge between Colombia and Scotland and especially the people who like them are from a culture struggling to survive in a larger society that can often have an openly hostile attitude.

I have found what I have learned from the online meetings we have had utterly amazing. Whereas before I had very little knowledge about Colombia, hardly even knowing where it is in South America, I now have an appreciation for its rich diversity of nature and culture. This was particularly influenced by its geographical location as a conduit between North America and South America which is also why it has a history of being considered such a strategically important place.


The other big theme that I have been learning about is to do with my computer. I recently completely upgraded my Desktop Ubuntu system and started from scratch with a new install and a much larger solid state drive. In the process I have learned how incredibly flexible the system is and how much software is available which is open source and free of charge. Out of gratitude I have made some monetary contributions to the organisations that provide the software but these are only really voluntary. I have become familiar with packages and dependencies which is the way the software fits together in a kind of modular way allowing for a huge amount of customisation. Most of it can also be found on websites such as GitHub where if you have the skills you can even modify the code yourself, create an offshoot (known as a fork) and get feedback from other enthusiasts.I’m not quite at that stage yet but again the resources are massive and there are plenty of opportunities for learning.

So there’s a quick update on a few of the things I’ve been doing, hence the website has been pretty quiet lately. It’s all happening though.

By DrewMcN

Drew McNaughton is a poet and musician with a passion for nature and languages.

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