Away to Anstruther

Away to Anstruther right by the Sea,

A walk in the wind along the quay.

Such wildness and wonder & sights to behold.

Of seascape and boats and stories of old.

A place to sit and enjoy the view.

Of harbour and gulls with me and you.

Chips, salt & vinegar there for our tea.

This is such bliss for you & for me.

Observing the world as it passes us by,

Hearing the gulls as they saw squawk and they cry.

Watching the darkness come over to night.

Clouds over yonder Red sky delight.

Unsuitable Shoes and Walking Barefoot


It never ceases to amaze me that the oddest things return to my memory. This afternoon I am thinking of unsuitable shoes. Or specifically unsuitable shoes for the office scenario, now it could have been an article about the office and the delights of working from home which I read earlier.
Which I thought was great, but something crept back into my subconscious and reminded me of a job I undertook a couple of years ago as a Lettings agent. I had turned my foot and did not know at the time that I had fractured one of the bones in it.

All that I knew was that I was limping, in pain and shoes were uncomfortable. It was part of the new job that I was required to be on my feet a lot and walking around the locality showing people houses. It was also the middle of summer a heatwave and having just been in the job a few days, had to rely upon my existing wardrobe capabilities.
That was when my boss mentioned it, that I should “rethink my footwear for work and find something a bit more business like for the office”. Funnily enough I didn’t think that plain black open toed sandals with a low heel would be an issue. But he obviously did, they weren’t dressy enough. I made the mistake of wearing high heels for my interview, which I fell off of getting out of the car and was in agony when I walked the short distance to the office. But having been offered the job at the time I did not want to walk to my car, drive it half a mile to an appointment then drive it back, by the time I had returned not only would the car be driving appallingly, but it would take twice as long for each appointment. Also some of the properties which I had to attend, I was not happy to leave my car anywhere near. The area was not exactly salubrious.

But, I did think that it was a strange thing to mention. Now if I had turned up in a T-shirt and jeans where I was required to wear a suit, I could have understood it. Perhaps it was that the guys in the office had to wear suits and shoes for work, but my shoes were no more offensive than the other girls, although the heels were not as high.
I did explain that I may have broken my foot and normal service would be resumed once it had healed.

But today this got me thinking again, that actually I do have an odd assortment of shoes, in bright colours. I have always had a creative colour scheme when it comes to footwear, but obviously toned it down for the office environment where you are expected to wear business attire. I was rather spoiled for this where I worked previously with a load of creatives and there was no dress code, other than smart casual, so anything went really, except that when I wore read shoes someone complained, he didn’t like the colour. It wasn’t just limited to clothing and footwear though and he was rather out of luck since my car was also red at the time. I may as well have just said, don’t look in my direction then. Oh those were the days…
So here I am reminiscing about such a time and grateful for the moment that my writing from home means that I can wear exactly what I want, when I want. Oh it’s going to be tough when I have to return to a workplace in so many ways. Meanwhile, I will wear blue suede shoes, pink nubuck, red leather, jade trainers, denim mules or my favourite old flip flops or suede fur lined boots on cold days and thoroughly enjoy the freedom that I currently have, on the days when I don’t have to dress for an occasion of course.

Or I shall even continue to be barefoot as I have throughout most of the summer months? I find that there is somehow less strain on the feet, less leg cramp in the night and I am calmer when barefoot around the house and garden.  A bit more grounded and comfortable in my surroundings, even when stressed out. I have not extended this to walking out in public, no further than the garden like this although I know there are many people who are able to do so, but I found this great graphic which reminded me of many of the benefits of being barefoot, it’s a short-lived Summer fancy though, since in the winter it is one of the first of my body parts to feel the cold.


Photograph Credit – Facebook David Avocado Wolfe

Living the Wild

It seems that we have the getaways again. Oh dear, Scotland is calling us loud and clear. To be fair to it, we should have been there again by now, it is waiting for us. We had plans, but due to illness we are waiting until our health has improved, since it can be pretty bleak up on the hill. So at the moment, we try to satisfy our cravings for the scenery and beauty, with any hope of a Scottish view or voice via the television. Yes, we are most definitely homesick until we arrive there for this years piece of the puzzle. It has been four months since we last visited, but seems like forever. That almost felt like “It has been four months since my last confession”, but I am not of the Catholic faith and so it has been a lot longer than that…

The other evening we watched it again, Ben Fogle’s series New Lives in the Wild UK, we had seen this particular episode last year, but I had no hesitation in watching it again to drink in the scenery. It documented the life on Fair Isle, Scotland of Tommy Hyndman, who moved there from the USA around ten years or so ago. You simply have to admire Tommy for getting stuck in there and making it work. We have learned that it is not always easy to integrate into a new community but he seems to have got the mix just right there. Having taken on a guest house, named The Auld Haa, he seems to be running it with some success and I wish him much more. It was not only a crofter’s cottage, but is also his home and he chooses to share it with travellers worldwide, thus enriching his life with experiences and also earning him a living. It appears from this program, that the welcoming home and atmosphere of his surroundings, would rest the heart of any weary traveller who set foot there. Fair Isle is a birdwatchers haven, as well as being known for it’s wonderful sweaters but for anyone looking for a get away from it all and back to nature vacation, away from the hustle and bustle, it looks like the ideal spot.

We were naturally in awe of Tommy’s Studio, he get’s to rent the lighthouse and that alone would have us flocking there, but I think there is probably already a long queue should he ever decide to vacate it.
I personally cannot think of a more inspirational workspace in which to write, but I’m pretty sure that given the chance, I would find huge inspiration there.

My partner used to skipper a weekend fishing boat and has always been a seafaring Bear and I know that he misses being out on the water. Me, well I would live on a diet of fish if he‘d let me. The size of the Lobsters that he and Ben caught on camera, had me positively drooling at the thought.

At the end of it all, I hope that Tommy finds love with a strong woman who can cope with the demands of Island Life and who will throw herself into it headlong with him and make him truly happy. It seems as though it is the only thing he lacks in his life.

Following the program, my partner asked me to look up property for sale on the Island, he had missed the bit where it was owned by the National Trust of Scotland but, there must be other beautiful Scottish islands right? I should explain myself. I love looking at property, I have always wanted to find and own a property portfolio all over the place, but have not yet been able to raise the finance for this particular dream. I also think that I would be hesitant to let any of it go, so would be constantly moving from one place to another. But I regularly look to see what is out there. A quick search brings up a place called Sanday, It was beautiful and for offers around £120,000 I found a 2 bed farm with 30 acres leading down to the sea for sale. Imagination fired once again, what sort of life could we live in a place like that! However the reality of a Scottish Island for two people with arthritis, would be far different of course, I think the climate would make us miserable especially in the winter months, but the beauty of such a place never fails to tug at the heart and fire the imagination. There’s always a holiday though…
Living the Wild,

Watching a great series on television,
On how some people have made it their mission
On how to let their dreams run wild,
They celebrate their inner child.
Look at Tommy, he’s been blessed
Found a place where sea birds nest.
In the lighthouse, held aloft
Views to sea, or over his croft.
Wild winds, emotional Scottish weather,
Howl and tease amongst the heather.
But when the day is clear and calm,
Can’t fail to notice, it has it’s charm.
A place that’s known as Fair Isle
Where special sweaters are made with style.
Family businesses weaving the yarn,
Made to measure in house and barn
Tommy has lived there making his way,
Day in and day out come what may.
Could walk for miles without a trace,
But never alone in this wonderful place.
A workshop where he will create,
Livestock will roam, so close the gate.
Community living, you’d earn your keep,
When you’re out on the moor tending the sheep.
The guesthouse he runs is called the Auld Haa,
Impossible to travel there just by car.
Stopping to spot an unusual bird,
Trek the fields, with the herd.
Walking and painting that’s the trick,
Plenty to see for the romantic.
Nooks and crannies in which to play,
While children while away their day.
The Craggy cliff face can be sheer,
But hold on tight nothing to fear.
Shoes off, to get your toes in the sand.
Off by plane back to the mainland.
Out to sea by boat to get fish,
More time spent here is your wish.
As Tommy cooks a fabulous dinner.
This has to be your holiday winner.
Open your arms in your dreams you’re hurled
With it all to see, you’re on top of the world.