Severed lower part of a body taking the hovering top half, just above the ground, for a walk on a dog lead.
The Scottish Word:


Haggert in hauf.
Yin the kyte n shanks leckin blude, yin the pow n shouders seemin wice.
Whit pairt airtens t’ither n tae whaur?
Whit pairt mishanters n whit clecks thouchts?
Twa th’gither yet alane, mirkit, thowless, mautent n disjaskit, ilk tae wizen.
Baith a dour cummerwarld, baith ettled tae be schroud aff in darkness.
Yirdfast in deith.
The bleedin wame  thinks an huvin thoucht leads the bouk.
Or ist’ither wey roond, nae-whaur.


hagger: cut clumsily. (This is one of several from my *dark doodles scribbled around 2014/15 when I was ill.)

Badly cut in half.
One the stomach and legs leaking blood, one the head and shoulders seeming wise.
What part leads the other and to where?
What part injures and what lays thoughts?
Two together yet alone, darkened, ineffectual, lethargic and despondent, like to wither.
Both a dull useless encumberance.
Both aiming to be shuffled off in darkness.
Embedded in death.
The bleeding belly thinks and having thought steers the carcass.
Or is it the other way round, nowhere.

The Scottish Word: hert with its definition and its meaning illustrated and captioned with the word used in context in the Scots language and in English.

Much later in the process, much less meaningless scribble, much more drawing.


The drawings I’m using on these pages were done while recovering from depression.

I lost the will to draw or make a weekly Scottish Word. From mid 2012 to 2016 really.

Habitual Doodler.

I habitually drew and doodled every day since childhood and it was a shock when one day I didn’t.

That shock made me go to the doctor.


I was ill. Seriously depressed and suicidal.

Those with depression know how flat and worthless you become. You want to die. I was given help.


2014 was when I knew recovery was beginning.

Drawings I used to endlessly make – after stopping for over a year – had re-appeared.

*Dark Doodles.

But unlike my usual drawings these scribbles were really angry – violent scoring out of bad marks, mad scratching, or just obliterating the page in general.

But drawing again meant I was getting better.


Now (2022) I’m able to retrofit these dark doodles back into what was once the empty archive of 2014 and use them for some Scots words. And reflect.

It took a long time and with the great care of the Scottish NHS I’ve now mostly got my depression under control.

If You’re Depressed.

Depression can feel permanent and overwhelming but that is impossible in this intemperate finite world. All things will change.

  1. Despite your feelings there are people out there ready to help.
  2. It really is an illness and not your fault.
  3. Try to talk about it – friends, relatives and professionals are out there, willing.
  4. Shit happens, things change, just observe the natural world. Invent or find any excuse to hang on in there. Keep going.
  5. You have a tiny small voice speaking of your worth and value trying to be heard in your emotional hurricane. Find it.
  6. Your feelings that you’re a burden, useless and a failure are hellish but is the surrounding world so pitiful that it can’t handle it? And it’s not true anyway. I’ve been there.
  7. Look up cognitive behavioural therapy – it’s being conscious of what you’re thinking in the moment, what triggers that thought and the emotions that thought brings. You’re trying to be aware of your mind’s workings and gain better control.
  8. Remind yourself often to be as kind and compassionate to yourself as you are to others. You want to be there for the long haul.
  9. Get out into the woods, that was my biggest life saver, that and the dog.

What others can do to help.

Depression can be hidden under cheerfulness; or I’m OK honest; which is fake.

  1. Be there to help, unconditionally, any time.
  2. Communicate that you know that it is an illness and not a fault.
  3. Show a desire, not a duty, to listen and be there for difficult tasks and the bad times.
  4. Show that any event, thought or emotion is never eternal, things change.
  5. Help to find the voice in the unseen internal hurricane of emotion, the very small voice that says ‘I have worth and value still’.
  6. Communicate repeatedly that there is no burden or failure felt or recognised by you and if there had been you’re big enough to handle it.
  7. Try to show thoughts can be chosen, changed, started and stopped, and consequently the emotions that go with them. The mind is ever the builder.
  8. Be as kind and compassionate to yourself as you are to others. You want to be in for the long haul.
  9. Go on trips to the woods every day.

If you get a poor response or none at all don’t feel rejected or think you’re failing.

What were you expecting anyway, a medal? Compassion is not a transaction.

Besides when one is dead inside it’s almost impossible to notice a spark being kindled.

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