Tuesday, 30 April 2019

New arrival

Andy and I have just returned from Canada where we were part of the welcoming committee for Rosie Evelyn Auld, born on the 10th April weighing in at 7lbs 2 ozs and every inch a joy...

Lianne and Rosie

















Sleeping Beauty

We were privileged to be around to see Murphy delight over his baby sister and to share in many of Murphy's activities such as gymnastics, swimming, climbing ... boy does Murphy love climbing.
 I guess it won't be long before he is sharing these activities with Rosie and then the fun will be doubled ...

Getting introduced

Brotherly Love














What a happy family.

Forgive me the mega photo indulgence. There are so many happy snaps to choose from and the blog is my way of remembering from month to month what amazing moments we have experienced ... as if I will ever forget!

One surreal memory is from our Whistler apartment. We enjoyed viewing people layered up for ski-ing/snowboarding down the mountain while others sunbathed in bikinis by the pool!
View from our lounge

Now back to some photos of our truly unforgettable moments, spending time with the grandchildren:

Grandpa duties involve reading with Murphy ...












 and gazing in awe at Rosie...


















Nonna's duties involved hands on:
They are mine! I am keeping them...
and gazing in awe at Rosie:
Looking forward to all the family adventures ahead ... I bet they will be awesome!








Monday, 18 March 2019

Choices

It is such a privilege to have choice in our lives ... as many people do not.

For instance, choosing from a restaurant menu is a privilege, often forgetting for a moment that many people don't even have access to basic nutrition.

It is also a privilege to make use of our opportunities when others are confined by borders and influences beyond their control.

Children are particularly vulnerable and are deserving of everything we can offer. The recent Comic Relief event (still time to donate) reminded me of the difficulties some children have to face.

Murphy has the open spaces of Canada and the loving support of his parents to guide him through life and we as grandparents are grateful every day, for his presence in our lives ... but that doesn't take away our responsibility towards any other children "on our watch".

Naila was one such child who overcame difficult circumstances and turned her life around to help others. Check out her website https://nailadarr.com/dance and pay particular attention to the origin of the HISS story. It moved me when she told me about it. So much so, that I feel it is a story that has to be shared.


Sometimes we get so caught up over what is beyond our control that we forget the areas where we can exert the gift of choice.

Such as the simple pleasure of spending time with a friend. Dolina and I go swimming together weekly. We could choose not to. We swim 20 lengths. Again we could choose not to. Then we go for a coffee and scone. Yep you got it. We could choose not to. However it is all part of enjoying each other's company ...


I recently enjoyed meeting up with "school" friends over a lunch. Mhairi, Veronica and myself had attended Oban High School many, many years ago and had reconnected over a lunch or two ...

This recent lunch was at Loch Fyne Oyster Restaurant where I could eat everything on the menu, but chose my usual, scallops. However Veronica's choice was curtailed by her allergy to shellfish and Mhairi's choice was expanded by her wanting to try something different.

Eileen's choice











Veronica's
Mhari's

As I said at the beginning, it is a privilege to have a restaurant menu to choose from. Just as life's menu can also be a privilege. Sometimes we go down the habitual route, or find we are curtailed by circumstances beyond our control or we decide to be adventurous and see what can happen when we take the road less travelled.

And on the subject of roads less travelled. Continuing to walk when the driving hail comes on is a choice. If I am alone, I ask myself "Do I return home or plod on?"

If walking with another, we decide together and it is usually "just a little bit farther" ... and then "enough is enough!" Enough is enough is often a deciding factor when making a choice.

Whatever we choose, mundane choices can make every day an extraordinary one. They can create a life where we will not ignore the circumstances of others but can enjoy what is on offer in one's own life ...  and share abundantly, whatever that may mean.

Could be your time, support, resources ...

Could be a smile, laughter, stories ...

Or spreading the infectious feeling of being loved, wanted, respected ...


Experiencing joy is another infectious feeling and is often open to choice. Below is a Murphy photo to experience second hand what his choice is...
Up in the air





Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Travelling


This last month has been one of travelling. Travelling by car, by plane, by train, by bus and of course walking miles. The only transport I didn't use was a boat. I will leave that for another time.

No, I wasn't travelling incognito, although it does look like that from the photo below. I was in Canada for an impromptu visit, finding out about Murphy's weekly schedule before Andy and I visit Whistler for the month of April. The temperature was -17 that day, so thermals and total cover were required.
There was much to enjoy with the activities of swimming and gymnastics and the quieter options of reading books and completing jigsaws, not forgetting playing with Thomas, the tank engine and his friends, to keep Murphy and his Nonna amused.

We also took advantage of the snowy conditions. Sledging was a high priority and of course after sledging getting a treat ... like a hot chocolate to warm us up. 

Blatant advertising
Watching Murphy at play reminded me that children on the whole love to learn new things and are excited when a new skill is accomplished. They don't give up at a first attempt. They even enjoy what we would consider failure. They laugh when they fall in the snow or delight when they roll over on the trampoline  
     and as for swinging on a rope... no word of complaint that their arms ache!
 Murphy particularly enjoyed the activity below ... again and again.
Cheeky monkey








The driving conditions in British Columbia could be challenging. It could be snow and blizzards one day and then the next day - blue skies. A daily reminder of the passing clouds of life, as no-one knows what each day will bring. No matter how much we think we know the road ahead, it is still uncharted territory.

And like the Canadians, I am all for winter tyres to keep me safe on the road. Metaphorically speaking, those would be the guidelines and adages of people who have travelled the road before... 

However it is also worth remembering to get out and about to enjoy life's conditions when the sun comes out ... whatever your preference turns out to be.

Blue skies
I was told that the weather was just perfect for snow-boarding. Murphy, Lianne and myself preferred sledging. Although I am sure that the ski slopes will be welcoming Murphy soon.

On my return from Canada, I had a Caroline Myss workshop on "Spell Casting" in London to attend. This was after a 17 hour 4 mins sleep in my own bed - my fit bit told me so!

No, I  am not a witch, contrary to some people's opinion, but I am "enthralled" by the many spells that I am/was under. 

These spells are the unwritten rules that I live ... sorry lived by, believe me, they make the driving conditions in Canada a delight compared to navigating life with the blinkers on. 

Thank you Caroline for an insightful day. It was a pivotal moment for my travelling onwards ... and upwards as I didn't know what rules I was enforcing for myself ... and on others!  Spell casting 101!

Phew ... just like the children, I am enjoying learning new things. Good job I invested in some more insight/winter tyres!

I met many a delightful travelling companion on my various flights. A physio from Vancouver, a grandmother from Manchester, a bar manager from Whistler, a student from Quebec, a family from Toronto and a lovely lady from Calgary who was returning home after a four month tour of Africa!  I was honoured to travel with them and learn about their adventures.

One travelling companion who I was honoured to share the Spell Casting journey with, was Naila, an inspirational woman whose commitment to helping others is truly awesome. This lady's story was as pivotal a moment as Caroline's teachings were. Thank you Naila, I look forward to keeping in touch and hearing all about your projects.

Now isn't that what travelling is all about ... the people you meet, the lessons you learn and the inspiration that moves you forward in a direction that you hadn't previously considered.
Buon viaggio i miei amici...

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Crash, bang, wallop!

Helloooo again...

I have had some more enforced leisure, but not of the physical kind. In fact I have now joined a gym and have committed to swimming twice a week. So all good on the exercise front and yes still walking my daily miles and plugging into my trusty groundology.

This time it was the lack of a functioning computer that interrupted my normal schedule. My laptop just decided to stop working and we still don't know why. It has now been overhauled but still in need of TLC. Something we all need.

The laptop and I parted company for a month and for the first 2 weeks I was busy with the Christmas festivities, New Year celebrations and even some general January spring cleaning. I really didn't miss the constant/daily need to go online and connect through the ether. I phoned and whatsapped friends and caught up in real time over a coffee or two and filled my days with the joy of physical movement.

Now ... I need to return to my daily writing as over the past week or so there has been a constant niggle. I have had a mind full of stories just waiting to be told.

So  the update is: Yesterday the laptop returned home. Woohoo!
                             Today I am writing. 'tis heaven...
                             Tomorrow. who knows?
And I have no doubt, that next week/month/year will surprise us all.

Have a superb 2019 everyone. Leaving you with an image of Murphy on his Christmas pressies! He takes everything in his stride ... including skis!

What do you mean  "snows a problem"?


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Being the best ...



Growing up,  I remember wanting to be the best. But being the best was then about being better than anyone else, better than the others in the class.

Moving on to career and motherhood, I still had a desire to excel.

It has taken many years, however I now recognise that I have always been the best ... the best at being me.

Not competing against my fellow man or woman has changed my perspective and yes I consider that 2018 was the best of years, taking time to ponder while my body became the best it could be.

I have three books to be grateful for and three authors whose words change my perspective.

2016:  First came Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping, when I saw the world as a drama of my own creation. I explored how I was the author of my own crises and active player in my tragedies and took myself to London to a workshop led by Colin, exploring the who Eileen could really be if she was at her best. Thank you Colin.

2017:Then I came across Michael Neill's books and his approach to the 3 Principles (of living ) and more and more I entered the power of thought especially recognising what consequences my own thinking had produced in my life and the ramifications of  the knock-on effect on others. Another workshop in London beckoned, this time with Michael and I was transported by the presence of the man whose presentation skills showed me how simple life could be. Grazie mille Michael.


2018: Lynne McTaggart's Power of Eight book entered my sphere and my realisation expanded into the responsibility of sharing what I have learned and putting the knowledge into practical form. And guess what ... yet another workshop in London was entered into the diary. I will be forever grateful, Lynne.

That was last weekend ... and I am still buzzing. It was a wonderful, practical exploration of how powerful a gathering of like-minded people can be.

So to this week, I am considering how to take it forward ...

Also I have already booked my workshop in London 2019. Well, that seems to be the way it is going. Caroline Myss will be the speaker and no doubt will shake my world ... again.

ciao tutti, baci e un abbraccio,
la tua amica, Eileen

p.s. my best bit was not the workshop which was fab. Nor was it meeting up with friends over dinner which was such fun. It was running across Glasgow Central station to catch the train home to Largs. The London train was late and I had 3 mins to catch the Largs train or wait another hour.

I ran folks, yes ran! The knees gave me no problems and I wasn't even out of breath as I found myself a seat.

Then I realised that I had found myself once more, being the best I could be  ...







Thursday, 22 November 2018

Journey and/or Destination


I have been fortunate over the years to have had great teachers. At school, I had English teachers, maths teachers, science teachers; enthusiasts who loved their subjects and passed on that enthusiasm and love to me.

Also, I have had amazing teachers in the form of experiences. Some have been painful, some have been joyful but all have been educational. It is often referred to as the school of life!

Recently there have been teachers again in "human form" ... reassuringly human, who have used their experiences to enhance mine. People, you want to hang out with. Authors, you want to read again and again. Colleagues, who spend time with you, understanding the gift of just being present .


How much more can you ask of any kind of journey but to spend time with guides who are described in the picture above. Fellow travellers who direct your gaze towards what is possible and let you choose the rest.

 Michael Neill is one such guide. Please check out his books, his workshops, his YouTube videos and get some insight to where your journey is heading.

Michael's blog is entitled "Caffeine for the Soul  - where humanity and divinity collide". For me, the title describes my perfect journey and ...  destination.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Murphy Moments


 
How quickly time passes when the family come to stay ... Their first day in Largs brought the sun out and the family got to have an explore ... walking along the shore, playing in the park, visiting the ice cream shop and ...

getting to ride on Thomas.
Thomas became a theme ... as Murphy read about his favourite train, watched his favourite train on the TV, played with his favourite train and even saw many "real " trains coming and going from Largs.    
chillin'


Sometimes he just had to have some chillin' time from the excitement of it all ...

and included in the excitement was a visit to Edinburgh zoo where the March of the Penguins was the highlight.


Tent/Castle
Mostly, Murphy loved to visit soft play areas to play in the ball pit and climb high and slide down the chute or have a splish splash in the swimming pools. His favourite pool had slides, where he could made a big splish splash when entering the water.

His auntie Natalie had presented him with his own Paw Patrol (another favourite) ball pit. This, he used as a tent/castle, a chute, as well as the original use of a ball pit, whatever that may be.

Who knew what versatility was available with an inflatable car! You just need the imagination to change what you see into what you want it to be ... lessons to be learned there, eh!




More Thomas moments ...
Smiley
Serious
Elephants on parade
There were lots of precious family times with everyone entering Murphy's world.

Whether it was trumpeting like elephants, or watching the film Minions on the TV, singing all the music from the film Moana, roaring like a dinosaur or cheering hip, hip hoorah at every conceivable moment ... life was a ball. At least it was for his doting grandparents.

Then it was time for the Canadians to return to Canada ... but first a visit to the relatives in Stratford , Ontario where Murphy once again found Thomas ... in a very precious book that had been in the family for many years.


 
There were magic moments visiting the ducks and many new places to explore ... and many new family members to entrance.

Their stop over coincided with Hallowe'en and family pumpkin party time, so it was Trick or Treat anyone?
Minions





















We certainly were treated to three weeks of family fun and laughter, can't wait 'til we schedule in our next Murphy moments.

They are, I can assure you, momentous ...