Fantasy Island, The Tour.

Yesterday I had my tour around fantasy island as our friend refers to it.It is tongue in cheek, but also I think a place where many crave to live. They are drawn to this place of beauty, surrounded by nature, where flora and fauna abound. A sanctuary in the south. It is private gated and restricted access so I felt privileged to get a guided tour from one of the Islanders.

I have only visited once before. Last time I came away my imagination fired up and I decided that it would be the most wonderful place to be able to live. Idyllic and the new life I crave for us would fit in there beautifully. 

His home with its interesting garden making use of things he has found, recycled items all around utilised within his space and others for projects yet to be undertaken. I found it so inspiring there I designed furniture following my last visit it reminded me of some of my as yet unfulfilled ambitions which I would like to work towards once my health improves.

Arriving there again I am filled with peace, my heart was racing as I arrive anticipation growing for what I might see whilst there. 

We drive, or rather he does so that I may be able to enjoy the view. I am in a semi altered state. Lightheaded or as though I am in shock. It could be the antibiotics or the painkillers. Or it could be just what I see there. I look at the houses as we pass and the fields and hedgerows as we drive slowly by, observing the lowered speed limit. It is a nature foragers dream, the hedgerows brimming with wild fruit, plums, elderberries. Blackberries, sloes. He stops to pluck one from the hedge for me to try. They would make Lovely jam I said, he agreed that they do. Enveloped by countryside with no one around hares running up ahead of us along the road and birds walking across the roads in front of us. We stopped at the cockle beach where apparently you can fish for Bass. I love sea bass. There was none but the birds. Around the island three rivers meet. Further round where it meets another river, there is a slightly more recognisable seascape. I may have seen near there before but not from this side. There were some wonderful rocks in beautiful colours piled high as though dropped there by giants. I intended to take photos on this tour but my eyes are taking it all in instead. The camera on my phone does not take one shot for the duration. Which as I write this I am regretting somewhat. It is unusual for me. 

Some of the grand houses, the homes with character and the cottages tucked away are empty. My imagination kicking in again as I wonder what I could do with one of them as a space of my own.The two pubs have long closed down as has the church. No longer required here lack of use forced their closure. There is one shop and there are farms in the village, it is a sleepy place. I wonder how and when it comes alive or if it is always like this. The workers have left for the day, a mass exodus off as I was arriving. Much of it looks deserted.

Our friend shows me his sculpture garden. Have you seen it before he said? No I replied. It used to be his allotment but he changed it. He built this to enjoy. In a non public place it is a community garden. He has had parties there and there is a summer kitchen with a pizza oven he has made. A pergola which has grape vines growing up it they have grapes this year apparently for the first time. There are plinths of marble and stone around and many of them hold small statues. They are not your average garden statue. Many are of the muscular male form draped around females. Holding, cherishing. I could have stayed there for a while. It was a place I could happily sit, embrace the moment and meditate. A calm place.

In the centre of the garden there is a huge stone column, about ten feet high and as yet I carved. He told me that it would become a dancing couple. I did not know when he took me there what I would find, the significance only dawning on me now in the early hours as I write this.
I was struck by the beauty of the stone. I asked who made them, he replied “some old bloke from over the road, he likes carving stone” I admired them blown away by what I saw, as he explained he told me about some them. He started the garden when his wife was gone I did not ask if it was in tribute to her. But it is clear that this man loves female company and why shouldn’t he for he is witty and charming, flirtatious and engaging and can cook. He also has several female friends who gather at his house for a meal on a regular basis.

There are signs carved in slate and sandstone sculpture along with white almost alabaster, possibly marble. They are beautiful and written with his sense of humour. The sculptures were something else and just the sort I like and appreciate. I wanted to touch them, feeling drawn to them and photograph them but it felt strange to ask. I have not known him very long and I did not want to push my luck.

He said that the locals are not interested in the garden, I asked why not it’s a beautiful place. They should use it if it’s for them too. 

He said that some of the other visitors to the island had seen it. I loved it.

Upon waking in the early hours it occurred to me, I may be way off the mark here but I get the very strong feeling that the “old guy over the road” was at that moment standing by my side proudly showing me his own statues. That he not only created the garden, but the sculptures within it. That the dancing couple would be formed one day by his own hands.

Only time will tell. There are clues, he is creative and has a good eye. His mother is an artist. He is useful with his hands, builds things in wood and has a beautiful garden. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit today, I don’t know if I bored him to tears with the subject matter. I talk more when I am nervous and I am not used to having the floor. When my partner and I are out together the conversation is more evenly spaced. It can’t have been all bad. I was invited to go and visit again whenever I liked. 

I might just have to go and ask him about his garden.

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The New Me?

The new me…

If I can make it through a 12 hour day without crawling back to bed in pain. I am feeling lucky.

Where I haven’t fallen over, scalded myself, dropped something, hurt myself or stepped on the dog then it is an achievement.

Where when I wake up and look at my phone I can see clearly without the blurred vision and the floaters that cloud my eyes. The headaches which are becoming ever more frequent and lasting longer. Sitting around with a clenched jaw because most noise is too loud. The watch which is no longer worn because the ticking keeps me awake and gives me a headache. The hum of appliances as I walk past them make me feel queasy. A passing odour which can linger for hours, bring on a headache or turn the stomach. An onslaught to my heightened senses.

Where I’ve held a conversation which has made sense and all the words have arrived in their correct sequence to impart whatever I wanted so desperately to say. Without the tears of frustration escaping and emotions running high.

A day where I’ve been able to take a shower and get dressed, because I didn’t fall over in it. Or if I feel really good I don’t resort to using the shower seat and can co-ordinate my limbs without them hurting and shaking and having to sit down part way through.

I don’t wear make up very often, there seems little point I rarely go out at the moment. One essential shopping trip per week usually accompanied since I am often too ill to drive myself.

On a good day when I make food I don’t split the packets on the food I try to prepare sending the contents skidding across the worktop or worse the floor. I am able to make a cup of coffee without dropping the jar and I can even drink it without throwing it all over my clothes.

Sometimes I can manage the weight of the laundry awaiting try to hang it out on the line. Some days I can even walk the dog, who trots along patiently at this new slower pace, nuzzling me to reassure. I can put on shoes, with socks only for an hour because my feet feel as though I am walking over hot stones. My boots are without laces, because I am unable to tie them. They come off the minute I get home so that I can cool them down again, the slightest exertion and my hands are the same. Washing up water hurts and they throb for hours afterwards.

Other days I cannot do these things. I slink back to bed, try to sleep, willing the pain to go, the tremors to stop and my thoughts to make sense to me. I hope that the painkillers work, that things will change for the better. I hope that I don’t choke when my throat goes into spasm and wakes me coughing loudly anything around my neck feels tight, from the inside out.

I have a sense of humour, I guess watching from the outside it might be funny to see some of these things as they happen if this weren’t the new me.

It is not the me that I want to be, or thought that I would be. 

I am hoping that this is the temporary me, one that will improve soon to be replaced with a faster, streamlined and efficient model in the same skin, only skin that doesn’t itch and crawl.

A new me that is not cheated from the plans I have made for the future and the life I want to lead one who has the energy to go out and get it and be me.

One Year On

I can’t quite believe we’re one year on,

From the day you were suddenly gone.

Your soft fur gone from under my hand.

As I fought to understand.

Circumstances left me sad and shaken,

When from us you were instantly taken.

It happened so quick you gone in a flash

Heart and mind a nightmare crash.

They say that grief will take a year,

We wish we still had you near.

A robin reminder there each day,

Tells me that you haven’t gone away.

Are clear in my thoughts and in my mind,

Didn’t dare hope again that we could find

A beautiful boy, another one.

We’d take on as our furry son.

Not small a baby, but quite grown

Who should never be alone.

He needs us, we need him too.

Therapy for both me and you.

So as I think of the time now passed,

How thoughts of love will always last.

And how you’re both right by my side,

When all I want to do is hide.

A cuddle when I need it most 

So drink to you my dogs a toast.

You made life different from before,

Here’s to the ones that I adore.

Who change our lives from what we knew,

We’re blessed to have been one of the few.

Taught us things they have to show.

Help us flourish and help us grow.

As that year’s gone by time’s marched on.

Looked up to find that you had gone.

Will look out for dancing butterflies,

Again as I feel my spirits rise.

There for a moment, gone too soon

Lightheaded happiness makes me swoon.

Come visit again and sing your song.

Still can’t believe that you are gone.

Across the fields of grass you run.

Wind in your fur and face to the sun.

Charging ahead right up the track,

Wait for me, not coming back.

Years filled with irreplaceable time,

But glad for a while that you were mine.

Not forgetting you were his too,

So sit and enjoy your beautiful view.

As we try so hard not to be sad,

I’ll hold his hand and cuddle your Dad.

While you are in your favourite place on the hill,

In both our hearts and minds here still.

There looking out far across the sea,

Now my son you’re running free.