I Breathe.

Cross legged on the floor deep in thought transported to another place. Outside in the open. Breathing in the damp air and scent of leaves, wood, moss, mist around me.

A feeling spreads throughout my being. I am safe. As I breathe.

A sense of calm floods over me and around me. The sounds of the woodland around me, the soft carpet of moss under me, trees for support and cover. Mottled sunlight through bright green leaves, the blue of the sky beyond it. Filters on another world. Birdsong, insects buzzing about their business in a far off place. Water rushing past on its way to somewhere, to quench a thirst and replenish.

And I breathe. I breathe it all in. Drinking in its beauty and simplicity. The ability to cause profound happiness just by reliving a moment in time. When all was right with the world. No call dragging me back to reality or something else that needed to be done.

Just time and space to sit and think.

A private spot.

Nothing else required of me just my presence.

And I breathe.

As it pulls me, lures me, lulls me.

Spreading joy and happiness into every pore, light from its source, peace to my soul and love in my heart.

And I breathe…

Daily Prompt Evoke

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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.

The Vivid Sky

As I gaze out on the vivid sky,

As storm Ophelia bustles by.

Here’s hoping that she does not wreak, 

Havoc here upon the weak.

I look at the grass upon the lawn,

Bright yellow coloured ‘fore the storm.

Not scary for those in the know,

The vibrant shades their glory show.

Colours brighter than bright can be, 

Natures brilliance there to see.

Bathed with this most unusual hue,

Changes what we know and view.

Clouds of dust and Saharan Sun,

Swirling high it has begun.

Confused flowers open at night,

Birds circling around still in flight.

Grey skies are circling overhead,

Wonder should we go to bed?

Batten the hatches and stay inside,

Or get out there don’t run and hide.

Lights on cars out on our walk,

Hurry on by they don’t stop to talk.

Go about your business on with the day,

Together we’ll chase the clouds away.

So sunlight and the sky will turn,

As onward to our home we return.

Thinking of the day that passed,

And memories of the light will last.

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.

Gratitude for the little things.

Gratitude for the little things.

I’ve been trying to look for the small things that make my day good and celebrate them. Like getting up and dressed. Don’t take it for granted as for some of us with a chronic illness on some days it just isn’t possible. It helps the day improve. We have to begin somewhere and since trying to treat the Lyme Disease which seems to have taken me over and whatever else might be going on. I might have to grab at straws from time to time.
Yesterday I had an appointment on “Fantasy Island” as our friend refers to it.
I have been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks and was trying to rest the day before so that it would not be ruined by my illness, so many things have to be rebooked or cancelled at short notice but I was determined I was going.

Things to be grateful for:

I had slept really well and got ready in plenty of time. Although I was a little nervous of the day and my stomach was letting me know it wasn’t happy. IBS always kicks in when I’m anxious or excited.

I go ready to go though and bizarrely what made me truly grateful is that I was able to put my usual moisturiser on for the first time in a fortnight without it feeling as though I had put acid on my face. I had a reaction to the medication which made me not just sensitive to sun but also normal daylight and I got caught in the sun 2 weeks ago. The result was burned face neck hands and feet which are still red and sore and peeled. I have had to coat myself in Aloe Vera several times per day use aqueous cream and using water on the skin has been very painful and makes it flare up. Bathing has been a joy (not) and my partner has been washing up since.
Most of the burned skin has now started to renew with all the help I’ve been giving it and I was just so grateful that it didn’t hurt when I got ready to go out yesterday.

I was well enough to drive myself and this was huge for me. Yay! Hope was ready and waiting and I haven’t been able to drive myself anywhere for almost three weeks I had missed my independence and it was a joy to get back out there and behind the wheel.

The sun was shining, it always makes things better. Despite the fact that I had the roof up was covered up and wearing factor 50 sunscreen.

I saw nice people both for a meeting and also afterwards when I met our friend with a coffee and cake.

It was another chance to view the wonderful scenery and wildlife in a beautiful location and I should never miss that.

My brain allowed me to function quite well. I was able to ask questions I wanted to know without rambling so the brain fog was not immediately apparent and I remembered the replies.

My heroes welcome from the dog because he’d missed me. I haven’t been out without him in almost a fortnight.

Although I came back exhausted I felt like I had achieved something for the first time in a while.
It’s the little things you know… they mean so much.

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.

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.

https://indiablue.co.uk/2016/09/03/butterflies-dragonflies/