When Loved Ones Revisit. 

I don’t know if you believe that loved ones who have moved on to another life visit you to remind you from time to time. I am a firm believer in this. The Robin who appears every day singing its little heart out on the hill whenever we are there. Who first appeared when we scattered some of Kato’s ashes in his favourite spot. It always comes to see us in front of the house, singing loudly to announce its arrival. This year it showed us its new baby, just as we did. We showed it ours and it returned daily whilst we were there. 
Yesterday was the year anniversary of my last accident. When a wonderful surgeon spent three hours stitching my face back together after going off duty. For which I will be eternally grateful. She did a wonderful job. Quite often you can barely make out the scars, the skin has healed very well. I am still working on the emotional ones. It takes time.

Then one year ago today we lost our beloved Kato. It broke our hearts a day we will never forget when we had to say Goodbye. We have been grieving for a year. Yesterday we were talking about him. We often do because we talk about most things and it helps us both. 

As we spoke of him suddenly we were joined in the garden by the most enormous and beautiful dragonfly we have ever seen it was four inches long and just as wide, you couldn’t miss it as it flew over us.

Now dragonflies are known as reminders of loved ones who have passed away.

The dragonfly swooped around in front of us both and swirled around our heads. Roki stood up and barked, which is unusual for him and went over to where it stopped to take a look. It landed on the honeysuckle right where Kato saved the baby bird by letting me know it had fallen from its nest and was trapped in the branches and made sure that I rescued it and set it free.

The dragonfly sat there for about five minutes. It was larger than life and close up it looked black and white with silvery wings. Of course it was. It embodied everything that Kato was in that sentence.

It made me quite emotional to see it. Touched by this thing of beauty. I went inside to get my phone to see if I could get a photo of it, it took a while to see it sitting there camouflaged in the bush but look closely on the middle of the bush as I did to get this photo and you will see it. After I spoke to it, it flew skywards. I prayed that it would have a safe journey and return to me. 

I am sharing with you again today my poem Butterflies and Dragonflies written last year, a short while after he passed away.


Christmas, The Holidays How are you spending them?

This was going to be my “Happy Christmas” post when I began it last week.

We are still enjoying or enduring the Holiday period here in the U.K. As we head now towards New Year. I am grateful for the fact that I am enjoying it.

This Christmas I knew would be vastly different for us and I honestly did not know how it would go. After the year that we have had it couldn’t help but be. It is the first one where we have not had Kato physically with us, he was here only in spirit. He entered my thoughts daily and although I looked for signs I did not see any. However I still felt that he was part of the family here enjoying Christmas morning together.

The past week we have been getting ready for the occasion and I have never felt so unready before. I went for a job interview the week before and it went well. I came out with such a positive feeling about both the job and myself and hoped that I may be offered one of the two positions they had spoken about. That weekend, my partner told me to call my friend who was emigrating this week and book a ticket to visit her. It was a wonderful thing to do, I feared that she would be too busy but she jumped at the suggestion. So I had a fabulous time with her and her family before they went, I came back having felt such love, I was on cloud nine.

On coming home I tried to fit in getting the house “Christmassy” but had only just enough money to get food and a few small gifts for family, so had to buy gifts wisely. Whilst my partner and I sold a few items, the people came to collect. The truck went this week, I didn’t feel stressed about letting it go. The relief that we would have funds for the shortfall again this month outweighed that.

It also meant that Hope, my Beautiful blue car has been brought out of the garage and I  able to drive her again for the first time in months again thanks to the assistance of friends who made sure that she was safe for me. I played Santa and delivered gifts and cards on Christmas Eve and got to see and hug another friend I have not seen this year.

So being broke has been the new norm for this past year along with so many other emotions. But as we end the year I can’t help thinking we have lost a lot of people. Not just the ones who are old, but the ones who are taken far too soon. When faced with this situarion, you cannot help but rethink how you wish your life to be as the new year approaches.

I did not hear about the job, but that did not stop me from applying for many more this week. At some point, someone will offer me one, when the time is right so I must trust that the right one will come along too. It felt like I have turned a corner being invited for an interview can do that to you. Lift you up spirits and all and make you concentrate on the positives.

However recently my partner has been ill, he is feeling very stressed out about making ends meet but it has all come together just in time and he is wondering where the next bit will come from, looking for things he can turn around for a little profit to keep our heads above water until that elusive job comes along. But his heart is heavy and it’s making him tired and he is in pain with the various health issues he has and damage to his body over the years. He has been told to take it easy by the doctor, but the doctor knows that he doesn’t know how. Which can be a bit of a cycle for him, it also makes me worry about him.

This Christmas we did not get fancy gifts for each other. He bought me something lovely when we were in Scotland in the Autumn and I have kept it for Christmas. I bought him something he needed, a pair of boots to keep him comfortable whilst we walk the dog together and our present to each other was our beloved Roki. For Birthday, Christmas and my Birthday. No other gift is necessary as we have the love and happiness that he brings us. We collected our new baby seven weeks ago and he is the family we craved to have again.

We awoke on Christmas morning and all piled onto the bed for a big family hug. The day was mild and bright and we made plans to go out and see it. I did not spend the morning wrapping gifts for others as I had in previous years. I had managed to wrap the few that I had bought and most had already been given by then.  We sat talking, played music and had a lovely breakfast of smoked salmon omelette which is an all family favourite. I thought about the big Meal that I would make later and planned to speak to my friend to wish her a safe journey.  Our Christmas Day was non eventful to the outside world but just right for us. We sent and received messages of good cheer to family and friends but to see the face of your child as you give him presents on Christmas Day was just the perfect way to spend it.

Our boy had two fleece blankets which were donated by the emigrating friend and he was so thrilled with them. He had a rope toy which I had given him a couple of days earlier when I had returned from my trip and a woven cloth toy, which in our house is known as “A wonderful fling to be flung” which my mother had made for him. He also had some treats and was so ecstatic that he didn’t know what to play with first. So he just decided to pick up as many as he could at once, throw them all into the air and then roll on them. He is happy. I sent a message to his old family Thanking them for the most wonderful gift to us and received a touching response.

It was late evening by the time I had prepared and cooked our Christmas meal which meant we were up until very late and watching the films on the TV till the early hours. It didn’t matter so much. On Boxing Day I collected my brother and took him to our sister and her partner’s house for a feast. It was lovely, I haven’t seen any of them in months it was just nice to sit around and enjoy a meal, we also watched a funny film and laughed together.

They say it becomes different as you get older, but that is the true meaning of Christmas to us. We have love. We are not in Scotland for the first time in three years we have stayed at home. That in itself felt a little  bit odd but less stressful for me as I didn’t have to pack or travel Christmas week and it never quite feels like the holiday until you arrive at your destination.

My good intentions as to how we should spend Christmas did not come about, again we did not decorate the house for the occasion. My partner said it wasn’t important and we just ran out of time before the big day. This Christmas was about sharing Love and Time, after all who knows how much of it we have left, that was the most important thing and we achieved that.

So however you have spent yours and however you choose to spend the holiday time you have left, I hope that you enjoy it.

I want to Thank you for following my blog since I began in February, for the friendships that grow along the way and the support that you have shown me over the past few months.  I hope that we all continue on our journeys through the next year and find new inspiration, experiences to write about and I will enjoy hearing about yours.

The Daily Post – Festive

From South to North Part Two – Our Journey continues…


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.


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