Merry Christmas

Home made Christmas Wreath

#Merry Christmas

To all the people who have made my life brighter this year with their writing, their images, their ideas and their inspiration.

Yes I mean you!

The readers, friends who cajole, inspire, support my ramblings and my thoughts however dark or bright they might be and who comment and share in the moments with me.

Recycled Slate MemoRecycled Slate Chalkboard

I have not written as much this year as I did last year. I am disappointed about that but my health has changed the way my life was going and I have had to learn to adapt to the way things have become. The new normal for me for the time being. I do not know what next year will bring. I only hope that it brings better health, less stress and more happiness for all of us. I hope that I will write more next year, both poems and happier posts, sharing good news with you all. This year has been a new kind of difficult, challenging in so many ways but I am hopeful for a brighter future.

Rosehip Syrup Herbal TeaPlum & Ginger Jam

As for Christmas in our home I figured out a few months ago that this Christmas was not going to be the usual what can we all buy each other that we don’t really need scenario. I have not had a proper job for two years so I informed family and friends that if I couldn’t make it, then I wouldn’t be doing it. Thankful that they accepted this I set about making their gifts and I have included here some of my snapshots of the things I’ve made.

Home made Decorations Truffles & GingerbreadSpiced Plum Sauce & Chocolate Truffles

So I embraced my creativity in other ways. Thanks to the people in a group or two that I joined on Facebook I have learned how to make things with foraged fruit and herbs, some of which will be given as gifts. I remembered that I enjoy cooking and making things so tried my hand at biscuits, truffles, gingerbread and cakes. I also made oils for cooking, jam, herbal massage oils and teas. I have made scented bath salts, Jewellery and Christmas decorations. I am also using recycled packaging wherever possible for these gifts. I also joined a group which showed me so many things that I had forgotten like ways to reuse and rethink and repair and recycle. I have so many wonderful ideas planned for next year that I want to try.

I have been cooking for weeks, trying things out and some have been gratefully received and others have driven my partner crazy. If I fancied making something new I set about finding a recipe to give it a try. He could not understand why I wanted to mess about with it all, but on limited means and I have made the most of the opportunity having learned new skills this year and revived older ones which I have forgotten. I spent a wonderful day recently with my sister where we made biscuits together, it’s something I don’t think we have ever done, we learned together and I loved the process.

Gingerbread Biscuits

When I have not been able to sleep, often In pain I have got up and made something. It hasn’t cost me much, only time and energy. Sometimes on my feet for hours, I have been exhausted but nevertheless for these simple things I have had a sense of accomplishment, which has been so important to me.

Plaited silks bracelet Vintage Crystal Beads BraceletShooting Star Biscuits

Homemade gifts are not everyone’s cup of tea. I have noticed a shift in the past few years where it has been more acceptable than it used to be, for that I am extremely grateful. I think it is lovely when someone has taken the time to make you something and it’s appreciated it is much more personal. I understand that not everyone has the opportunity or the skills to do that, but if you do then why not? It has brought back the real meaning of Christmas to me and I have made my gifts and are giving them to special people with love. So far they have been happily received and compliments abound. Especially with the foodstuffs.

This year we are at home in the South, much as we are missing our beloved Scotland I have dreams of a Christmas spent in our cottage of the future, especially when they play the reruns of the film The Holiday on television. I want to decorate our little place with things from the garden and the woods, home made decorations and lights on a tree a roaring fire in the house and the smell of woodsmoke and pines, while I cook the Christmas dinner, all snuggled up together with the family. I still have those dreams I’d like to fulfil.

So whatever you are doing for these holidays, however you choose to spend them. I hope that you are with people who mean a lot to you and you spread a little happiness.

As we look forward to a new and exciting year ahead, things can only get better.

With love and best wishes…

Merry Christmas everybody.

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Harvest Prayer


Lady Goddess of the night,

Fill my room bathed in light.

Heal my body and my mind,

What I seek, I shall find.

Whatever path shall carry me,

Give me clear eyes, that I may see.

To assist in journeys, wondrous place.

To feel light and happiness upon my face.

Goddess help me to be free 

To grow with flower, herb and tree.

Lead me onward to the sun,

Barefoot, grounded as I run.

Help me learn what it is to be, 

So I embrace this bright new me.

Love is stronger than to hate,

Don’t take it lightly or underestimate.

Beauty remains and to behold,

More to us than silver or gold.

Loved by my little family,

We’re stronger with the power of three.

For riches are beyond compare,

By my side my family there.

Blessed by what you’ve given me.

A gift of just being free.

Slowing the Pace 

DSC_009411/5/17

In the past week or so I have been thinking a lot. I’m told that my brain is fluffy since we arrived. I do feel a bit more fluffy since I have arrived, less stressed about most things and I have caught up on my sleep at last. It is good for the soul being here. I am probably letting things wash over me where previously I might have worried about them. I don’t know if it is a good or bad thing I have only been worried about him. Lately he has been doing the worrying about everything else which is really bad for him. He is getting about 4 hours sleep a night and his health and brain is suffering doing himself physical damage because he is run down. But he is like a man possessed trying to get things done, as though his time is running out. I hope it is not.

We do not have an endless time here and will have to go back South for many reasons but he does not have to do it all now. There is time and there is no schedule up here. The summer is coming, we will make preparations for our next visit before we leave.

I have been in a fuzz on the full blood pressure tablets lately but really struggled with breathlessness when I have cut back to half, despite becoming fitter due to the hill walking. So although there has been less of the usual stress clearly my body is still letting me know it still needs that different pace and medication is slowing it for me.

I am two cups of coffee into the day before I can function but am sleeping so much. Knowing that Endometriosis can wipe out your energy reserves at the drop of a hat. I am still in pain but trying to work through it on most days, not overdoing anything just trying to do something constructive each day. It doesn’t help that our time clocks are way out of sync. We are getting to bed as it gets light whilst he drops off to sleep on the chair after dinner. I have trouble waking him up to get him to bed and by the time we get there we are hearing the dawn chorus. So half the day is gone by the time I rise. He leaves me to sleep and then resents the time it takes for me to get off the ground.

We are trying to raise funds here by selling off some of our excess items but there are not that many up here since the break in and the hardships that followed. We will do the best that we can in order to stay here as long as possible. We do not wish to return to our lives down South at the moment, they have caused so much misery and heartache in the past 12 months that I would rather have hunger and a very basic life here feeling safe and healthier than I have been in months.

I was walking the dog at 3am this morning. It was a beautiful full moon last night and the Farm track was lit up, bathed in its light with twinkling lights along the coast. It was almost silent, but for the small animals in the hedgerows.  During that short walk, everything seemed totally right with the world. I felt true happiness in an instant. I could have happily walked across the hills for miles. No one around, alone with the dog and my thoughts. Silent from argument and cross words caused by pain and stress, the worries washed away in the moonlight. I loved the outlines of the tress around in the woods that surround us here. The bull in the field that we visit every day, slightly surprised to see us and snoring gently by his barn.

We were totally at peace there in the moment. Whilst I walked along hoping and praying for a small miracle to enable us to stay here and calm our souls some more. It struck me that here in the darkness, I felt totally safe as though it was the most normal thing in the world to wander the hills in the dark at that hour. It was truly invigorating. I noticed that for the first time in months, I do not feel depressed. For someone who has battled with this depression for a few years now, it seems as though being up here has lifted a huge weight from my mind for as long as I am here.  It makes me wonder if a more permanent move would be better for us all instead of the back and forth.

When the weather is warm and we have just enough to get by, then we are extremely happy up here. A little left over would be a godsend. I worry about lack of contingency funds. Since the truck has played both of us up in the past week and we are several miles from shops for supplies.

As he heads off out today, the truck has struggled again to start. There is muck in the fuel lines we think from when it ran out of fuel and it is causing us real problems. The tank is full and there is fuel cleaner in there but it is still threatening to conk out at any moment which is an extra concern we really don’t need. A return from the mechanic and it seems that it might be something more an auto electrical problem, here’s hoping they can get it fixed.

Happy Easter


As those who are following will know, I’ve been off the radar somewhat in the past few weeks. 

I was feeling very stressed and rather unwell I decided not to burden everyone with the details and have not been writing much. The situation in the South had become unbearable and both our health has taken a turn for the worse. The getaways have become a matter of urgency. I have now taken the family and we headed off back to our Sanctuary this past week and am already feeling a positive shift. It is where we needed to be and never fails to lift our spirits once we arrive. 

We have brought the new boy with us, the journey was eventful since he was not a willing accomplice in the car. He doesn’t like it at all, the calming biscuits had little effect and he got scared. Since he was safely secured in the back he couldn’t get to his Mama in the front for a cuddle. Poor thing he cried for a lot of the journey and was like a whining child with no sleep when we arrived. 

Thankfully he has settled in a bit now we have arrived and we have all caught up on our sleep. We are delighting in showing him the sights and sounds around here. He has not been into Forests before, or seen any other wild animals but Foxes & Rabbits. Being a bit of a Town Bear he has to learn not to bark at everything that is new or thunder through the woods into the unknown but he’s doing well. 

He has met Stag’s, Horses, Hares, Rabbits, Field Mice and the Cattle so far. The sheep have been moved so there is no sign of them. 

He is used to the open fire now and the wind in his fur, the sights and sounds of the tractors going up the lane and has found the exact same comfy spot, protected by bushes that Kato used to sit in to watch the world go by currently surrounded by daffodils, he is very happy. 

He is peaceful and as long as we don’t go near the car he is enjoying the long walks over the hills and sleeping at the foot of the bed. 

So however you are choosing to spend your Easter weekend, we hope that you have a great time with your loved ones. We will be cosy by the fire and enjoying the peace and serenity here. 

Broken Pieces

Broken pieces.

All these years and all this pain.
I wonder what there is to gain?
From time spent waiting for them to mend,
Broken pieces of my beloved friend.
Just fix him up the best you can
So life goes on for this lovely man
You see he has still things to do
Mountains and seascapes, enjoying the view.
A day with smiles and without pain,
Would give so much to see again.
And signs of way down deep inside,
Where Happy used to once reside.
The brightness of a sunny day,
Can often chase his clouds away,
But damp and cold within his night,
Will often give him stress he’ll fight.
So take up the challenge, make him well
I know that only time can tell.
If he’ll be who he once was again
But years go by it’s not a game.
Places to go, people to see
He’s coming there along with me.
He has so very much to give,
Give back his life to let him live.

 

Saab Monte Carlo Yellow

image010It was his favourite of all the cars that they had owned together. They had enjoyed many Saab’s over the years but this one remained in his memories and had a lace in his heart. Of all of them this one was his smile factor.

A bright yellow Saab 900 convertible. It was not the original shape vehicle, but the newer model on a 1998 registration. A 2.3 petrol engine with an Automatic gearbox and as it changed through it’s gears it flew with a whisper quiet engine. They loved it. It took them all over the country on many trips away, exploring together in the sunshine. Even in huge rainstorms you couldn’t help but smile. It made you feel like you were a small child that had found the biggest puddle in your favourite wellies. A car which made you feel totally safe. It’s big comfortable black leather interior always looked smart and turned heads approvingly down whichever street we drove.

They took it to Belgium and France on holiday, on day trips. Visited family and felt sure in the knowledge that they were perfectly safe exploring new things together. Those were happy times when they were younger and more carefree.

When he decided to get her new car some time later, he gave it up included into the deal. He regretted it, not for weeks but for years but did not say so for she would have wanted him to keep it.

Although they had many other Saab’s of the same model it was never quite the same. Later when the truth emerged that it was his favourite they looked for another to recapture the times gone by, to create new memories and to drive through France again exploring new things together. They haven’t managed to get another one yet, always somehow missing out when they see one, but she has not given up hope of fulfilling that particular wish just yet.

The Daily Post – Yellow

The End of an Affair

A Short Story

As the couple stood underneath the departures board at the station. People waiting all around to see which platform they needed her eyes were drawn to them. A well dressed man stood in front of her with a well dressed woman. He looked anxious as he was talking loudly to her. Almost shouting but unintentionally he just had one of those voices which carried. He was not speaking quietly but he looked concerned as he spoke.

It was Christmas week, as people were thinking about spending time together. Although she was looking up at the departure board, her eye was being drawn to the couple below it. It was clearly the time to end their affair. He was trying to work out why she was watching them, did she look familiar or perhaps know one of them. It was sad she felt for the woman whose face she could not see, it seemed so insensitive to do this in not only a public place but right under the departure board. The onlooker wondered why he would pick such a public place to end it, where there is no where in private to mask the inevitable emotions that follow a break up. He started to look uncomfortable but kept watching the onlooker over his lady’s shoulder, wondering if he had been recognised but still they did not move away. The onlooker willed her train platform to appear on the board but there was a full 20 minutes before it was due to leave. He stood talking, reasoning as the words drifted across to the ones who waited there. All the time she stood motionless. “You’re a lovely girl.” He placed a hand on each arm like you would to steady a child who was out of control, or as you would draw someone into an embrace. But he did neither, he just continued “But I am a Married Man and I don’t know what I can do” Her response was inaudible but she may have tried to reason with him, or had she known all along just be accepting. He told her not to cry so within a moment it was clear the outcome but she did not shake and appeared composed. He moved her to one side about 20 feet away and dropped his voice slightly, the noise of the busy station muffled the words, leaving the rest only to her imagination. The onlooker hoped that they would not be on the same train, not in the same carriage and hoped that the woman would be alright. At least she could start the New Year with a new start, not clinging to the old life for it would no longer serve her. She did not have such concern for the man who was dumping her. At that point he became insignificant. As the onlooker looked again above them at the departures, she hoped that this new year would bring good things for the people she loved and even herself, if that was allowed. She looked forward to the welcome she would get from her family as she stepped inside the door as she arrived home. The embraces and laughter. She thought of the wonderful gift of time spent with loved ones that she had been given and felt happy. As she smiled to herself she looked below and the couple had vanished, just as quickly as they had appeared.