Before the Storm

As she sat in the corner of the sofa, feet tucked in, cup of coffee in hand and the blue of the sky enveloping her mood, she contemplated what was to come. The inevitable storm that would follow on this wintry day, where the air was cold and she would fight to keep warm in it all.

She knew it was coming, but she could not foresee what it would bring, just knowing that there would be trouble.

The only way was to wrap herself up protected from the elements and hunker down until it would pass, after all there was nothing she could do to change it.

It made her feel so helpless. Powerless as the weather and emotions exploded around her bringing about a change in the way that she would view things. The world she had known and loved now immeasurably different than before. Would she still find comfort in those little things. Pleasures in the simplicity of the life she had known back then.

Would she still be at one with nature and the beauty of the things that surround her. Could she still love in the same way.

The clock ticked and as the time went by she thought about all that had happened. How the years had gone and how it made her feel. The hurt and the resentment which could have swallowed her whole if she had allowed it to. But the old familiar hidden strength saved her from herself then just as it would again. Resilience was a family trait, she would not be beaten and before she knew it the storm had passed. On its way to somewhere and someone new.

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Is it The End?

I’ve decided I will be writing a few short stories into the blog occasionally, just now and then. This one was borne out of one of the daily prompts.

via Daily Prompt: Final

She could not explain why it felt so final.

As she prepared to go on her journey, the moment that she booked the ticket, what he had said, he talked of if she didn’t come back to them.  Is that what he thought? Surely not.  Where on earth would she go, she did not wish to be anywhere else.  She did not even wish to go back in the first place.  To leave them at all.  What a funny thing to say, she thought to herself as she booked the ticket.  So off he went shopping alone, gathering foodstuffs for a single man.  There would be no meals cooked whilst she was gone, would he survive on sandwiches and pies, chocolate and biscuits. No chance of a staple diet, she worried about him.

They would be alright, he promised not to do anything silly in her absence, nothing that would cause him damage, he would rest, he said.  A friend was taking her to the station, they would not be there to bid her farewell, the kisses and hugs would have to be had before the short journey to the train.

It was only going to be a few days. So why was he speaking as though she would not be back? She did not understand, but hoped that the paranoia would not overtake sensible thought even for a moment.

But it sounded so final.

As she left for the return journey the conversation of the night before with someone else played on her mind. The words still rang in her head. “You must get there and not come back!” It seemed as though she belonged in neither place at the time. But she knew that she was right. This was no longer right for her. So much had changed in such a short time. Almost as though it was like she blinked and missed it, some altered state making her unaware of the when and how.

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.

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.

The Book is finally written… The Sentimental Journey – Poetic Stories Vol 1 by India Blue

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So, I finally have it.  The collection of Poems, some of which are here on the blog and others which are yet to be seen which are all neatly assembled into my book.

It will be called The Sentimental Journey – Poetic Stories Vol 1 by India Blue

Poetic Stories since that seems to be the form that I have found my poems often take. I am hoping to self publish it very soon that is after a few choice people have read it for me and given me their harshest feedback of course. With a bit of Luck, it will be available on Amazon Kindle, pending any more subsequent edits and I have re-scheduled my launch until November 2016.

Who knows, if I make the date without having to delay it due to the other things which have been going on lately and people actually read it and like it, then there may even be a Poetic Stories Volume 2, after all I have so many more poetic stories to share with you.

It feels as though progress has been slow, I finished it some time ago, but Life has got in the way somewhat since then and everyone seems to suffer with self-doubt and wondering if they are actually doing the right thing.

Now it’s time for me to get back on track and to write some more, watch this space…

Oh, and Wish Me Luck! 

The promise that my partner gets to read it first has been achieved, finally! He has taken the time on our trip to read it cover to cover and given me his opinions. Now that’s out of the way, a last tweak on the edit and I feel as though I can go ahead and get it out there at last.

 

From South to North Part Two – Our Journey continues…

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This is the second leg of our journey. Part 2 if you have time, please read Part One and I promise it will be a little clearer. From South to North – Part One Welcome to Scotland or Failte gu Alba

It was 3.30am when I awoke, I felt uneasy about something, I wanted to write this before I forgot it all, trying not to disturb I crept to the phone to type it up, but that lights up as soon as you touch it.

My stomach is growling, Hunger maybe or eating unsuitable food en-route.  I went into the bathroom, tried to turn on the light pull but instead pulled the emergency cord, sounding the alarm instead.  I have never done this before. It’s funny now and he is laughing about it, much to my annoyance, but at 4.45am when I woke him after 350 miles he wasn’t so happy and I got upset. I’d tried so hard not to disturb him and he is such a light sleeper. I was feeling rough, in the middle of a hot flush and needing the bathroom and I just wanted him to leave me alone and go back to sleep.

Make yourself Tea, he said and I had a biscuit. I wanted to write so badly. I gain peace from it but then the pen ran out.  I found another to continue with, why are the pages in the notebook so noisy to write on?

Is there something odd, about walking along a street with an axe slung over your shoulder?

Maybe, but not when you have just bought it and it’s still in the packaging, but I may have had some explaining to do. Apparently they’d rather that I didn’t walk back into McDonalds like that, it might be taken the wrong way said the man who was picking up the rubbish from the car park. My love buys me some odd gifts these days.  For Christmas it was a log splitter and a family holiday.  The log splitter remains in the South, neither he nor the caravan could have taken the weight of it, so he says that is what the axe is for.  I only hope that my shoulder is up to it.

So will our neighbour be wanting to “discuss the pruning” of my tree whilst I chop wood? Maybe not, so that’s a delicious thought and probably why he really bought it.

Finally as there was a full snore coming from next to me, he was in a deep sleep again. Undisturbed by my writing, with the light on he is not used to this, the early hours of writing.  He says he is looking forward to reading my book, we brought the printed version.  He is my Alpha reader, my biggest fan and second harshest critic. The one to whom it is dedicated and it is only right and fair that he is the first to read it. I warned him, I may write more whilst we are here.  “I hope you do” he said.

Be careful what you wish for darling!

Upon leaving the hotel we found that our caravan had been broken into overnight, miraculously nothing had been taken, but with a window out repairs had to be made.  It now looks in an even more sorry state, perhaps that was what had made me restless too.

Once we arrive at our home on the hill, we will scatter some of our Kato’s ashes. There will always be a little part of him in Scotland.  He couldn’t wait to get here I promised him that I would take him to see his Moo Cows and sit in his garden, watching the world go by. However difficult that turns out to be for us, his Mummy and his Dad we will do it. We will scatter them to the wind in his favourite spot in front of the house, surveying his view. The rest will stay with us.

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Hopefully the sun will shine, the birds will be singing and the cattle will bow in his presence.  I know that they will look out for him when he arrives. His Deer will wander the garden and they will look for him. Everybody loved him, many will miss him, his cheekiness and his love his warmth but most of all his family.

If this is his last trip to Scotland then lets make it a good one.

I don’t know how we feel about the place it is our home, Kato’s home. My spiritual place and for our health we may be about to give it up.  If someone loves it as much as I do and can see the magic and potential in the place then we’ll be in with a chance.

Could anyone love it as much as I do?

This special place holds meaning and memories for us.  Our dream was so very different from the reality. It has grown old and very tired, careworn and derelict. Without the influx of cash to make it homely or comfortable, we may not get to keep it much longer. That was never the plan for me, I had two sets of plans for it.

So are we faced with trying to rekindle interest in a cottage that I love so that someone else may do with it as they wish.  Sometimes I really wish that time was on our side and that we do as Louis Armstrong said “Have all the time in the World”

For now, as short as this particular trip may seem. I am going to try and enjoy the time that we have here on our holiday, in “our hoose” doing whatever we do.  We may have missed the harvest, just but that is not a bad thing, our farming friends may have time to spend with us before they head off on holidays in warmer climates to prepare them for winter.

There will be apples on the tree and blackberries and elderberries still to be picked. I may even make Jam as presents for Christmas, or just Apple and Blackberry crumble.

We will walk in the hills, eat takeaway on the beach watching the waves as the slightly fiercer weather breaks upon the shore. We will walk hand in hand. Young Lovers once again, cherish the time that we have together, snuggle by the open fires, read, listen to music and chop wood. Enjoy the night sky filled with stars on a blue black backdrop and hear the calls of nature whistling through the garden.  For as long as we are here together then this will be home.

We did not get the whole summer. It did not go as planned, but we are here now. There is some work to do we will light our Autumn Bonfire at last.  I will learn to use the chainsaw I now have gloves to protect me along with the rest of my kit.

We are not now living off the land as I once wished that we would. There are no animals here to sustain us or protect us.  No furry assistant by my side this time and my plans may become shorter term, but they are plans nevertheless.

The telescope came with us, we will set it up and I will watch the stars with it. The sketchpad came too, I will draw, I may even paint. I will take cuttings from the trees or seedlings back home. A little of our home back to the South to continue on its own journey. Seeds to send across the world as I wonder do Scots Pines or Beech Trees grow happily in Australia, then my friend must take seeds or I will post them to her.

I will learn which trees occupy our garden, I have my suspicions but I am pretty sure that there are 13 species which correspond to the various moons throughout the year.  I will learn from what remains of Georges’s garden.

I will dream of good things to come our way, of finding peace once again. We have arrived at our sanctuary, we have waited so long and we are ready for our time here.

We are looking forward to that now with hot coffee in our hands, steam rising from the cup, mist lifting and the horizon appearing through the fog. Welcoming a new day and good experiences for us, a warm jumper if needed and good sunlight upon our faces.  I am also Thankful for the feeling of pure, Scottish rain as it falls upon me, washing and cleansing the hurt and pain of the past few months and the warm fire in the evening before the quiet of an empty hillside calms the soul to sleep once more until I awake once more to face another day head on.

 

The Daily Post – Clumsy

From South to North – Part One Welcome to Scotland or Failte gu Alba

This post is one of two about our long awaited journey northward. I am writing it up posting when I have a connection.  There will be more to follow:

Having travelled late night and slept, we awoke to a beautiful sunny day in the North. Sunshine and Warmth, two of my favourite things. It was hard driving along the motorway, our first trip towards the hill without our little bear. I’d become very distressed at the thought of leaving him behind and we had decided to take him. His casket, safely wrapped in his bedtime blanket in a holdall in the back of the car. His rightful place as we travelled north. I just wasn’t ready to do this trip without him.

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I’d made him a promise you see, that we would all go to Scotland again together, to his house and say Hello to his Moo Cows. It was one of the last things that I said to him as he went off to sleep.

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So we all set off, packed the 30 year old caravan as a trailer and loaded it to the gunnels. There is always too much to take on this journey, having been burgled, I am loathe to leave things behind and I do not pack light.

We set off at 10pm and arrived in Yorkshire at 2am, sleeping from 3am till 11am. Then I woke up to a lovely cheerful message from my friend wishing us a safe journey.
As we set off again in the sunshine, we hit Wetherby in a heatwave. So sun warmth and a bit of brunch. The West Cornwall Pasty Co, is an essential part of my journey and is significant in marking the start of the holiday for me. I don’t know exactly why, but on the occasions we have arrived there and they have been closed, it is a kind of nonentity as though something is missing.
Their meal deal marks the holiday spirit for me, it is a treat that I only have on this journey. No-where else. Strange but true.image
I ate my lunch as my partner attempted to swap caravans with a Romanian man who was headed back to his home country with his one. Our journeys are never dull!
My partner was certainly sick and tired of ours by then, which didn’t bode well for the rest of the journey ahead. The vehicle struggled to pull the long caravan with it’s luggage uphill and was taking all his skills in the wind, to keep it steady.
At Wetherby we were just going to head off again, when a couple pulled in alongside us with a beautiful five month old Labrador puppy on board. We complimented them on their gorgeous pup and I asked if I could pet her. About half an hour later I still was and as the men talked I told the lady about our boy and that he used to wave at people and everybody loved him. We missed him so much. It was really hard.
The Puppy, called Bailey wiggled in for more kisses and cuddles and barked to tell me off when I stopped. She was lovely, the lady asked me if we would get another dog. Definitely and Soon, I said. We were just waiting for the right time and the right dog again. We climbed back in the car and headed off up the motorway in the sunshine.

Kato would have loved this journey, thoughts of “Are you OK Fluffy Ears?” rang through my head. I looked into the back of the car, our beloved boy replaced by luggage. It was too strange and brought tears to the eyes.
Dare I tell him that I had brought a lead, harness and collar with me, just in case?
Just in case there was a dog that was abandoned, roaming the streets and needing a loving home. Or a pup that caught the eye whilst we were away. How would he feel?
I also brought a spare blanket, but no toys or chews. I did not want to bring all the Kato things with us. It didn’t seem right, but would not leave without putting the blanket in the bag and telling him that “it was OK, he was coming too” as I packed. Kato always became sad until I said that, the arrival of travel bags disconcerted him and he needed to be reassured that we were all going together. Why he thought I could leave him, I don’t know. Since my partner returned to Scotland in an emergency when he was a pup, he’d always been nervous of the bags.

As we drove along, we talked as we always do. My partner decided to tell me that his doctor had warned him that of his health, further concerns and asked when? He told me when his mother had died. So that was 18 months ago and he regularly gets confused and forgetful, especially under stress. Timing is everything. But when you are the only one who can tow a 20 foot caravan on a 600 mile trip it can be alarming news! I am the navigator these days, he says he gets confused and doesn’t always see what he should or read the situation how he should. Was I worried, Yes and maybe that is what continues as I woke about 3.30am or maybe it’s some other reason. I’d better learn the stuff he can teach me, before it’s too late like learning to tow a caravan. Why do we take so much stuff on a trip, he asked. Well Darling, we don’t have a lock and leave, when we do we won’t have to take it and bring it all back.

I hope that he gets there, to the lock and leave one day. Is time running out? He seems to think so in some of his more thoughtful moments. So, even if we sold it all right now and moved to France would we cope?
Well, we’d have a pretty good try at it. We’d be learning new things together and without the back up of family or old friends I do not know how I’d cope with the challenges, but I guess we’d find out.

Meanwhile, this journey is very tiring for him. He is exhausted, mentally and physically drained and as we arrive for our second night at the hotel. It is one where they know us. We were last here as a family at New Year after a journey from hell back down from Aviemore in the Highlands. I was so proud of my beloved his driving skills got us through floods and horrendous situations, over mountain tracks and crumbling roads. It was a scary journey for us all and the dog had nightmares, he was frightened and so was I at times and yet we put our trust in him and he got us through it with our trailer making it to safety. It’s supposed to get easier not more difficult in time. We were so relieved to be safe that at New Year, we celebrated that we had made it, exhausted but safe with a tipple and that we were all alive and together, letting our friends and family know. It was all that mattered to us.

This time as we arrived, I told the night porter that we had lost our boy. She remembered him and had wondered where he was. I didn’t go into all the details, it was hard enough and I chose to tell her when my partner went to the car for something. He came back and tried to tell her and got upset.

Once in our room, he said to me, “This journey is so hard” Yes, I said “without him it feels strange”, Yes. I do not know what we will be like when we reach our house. The usual hotel room has something missing. He’s large and furry and usually bouncing around the room at this point, having had a huge drink, a big cuddle and is so pleased to be out of the car, delighting in the knowledge that tomorrow we will reach our destination. His House!
But this room is empty, the holdall is in the room with us, I could not leave it in the car another night. I could not sleep for worrying that someone might take him, it was one of the things that my partner had said to me when I said we had to bring him. So our boy is here with us. I did not get to kiss his casket, have our goodnights before we fell asleep. Yes I have things on my mind these early hours, it is worry that our belongings are safe in the caravan in the car park, but heartache and loss which keeps me awake tonight. My digestion is off track, I did not drink enough fluid on the trip, none of us do.

The Daily Post – BorderIMG_2565456989792