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 lead 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.    

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.

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 ...
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?

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 ...

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

This month is all about ...

... Murphy.

We are enjoying his chat, his smile, his chuckles. So there is not a lot of time for writing.
What a smile

Will get back to writing all about our best bits next month ...
See ya' then.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Plain Sailing

Porto Santo Stefano, Monte Argentario

I mentioned in August's blog that our balcony windows/doors were going to be installed ... at long last. A theme is developing in my life methinks.

The windows had been part of the plan since we moved, however we needed to wait for planning permission ... got that. Then there was a delay in the arrival of the building warrant due to other alterations needing to be considered i.e. a sprinkler system, as we intend to convert the loft. Further delay as we shopped around and once we decided, then came a hiatus while the company found a date in their diary!

So all things considered it was nearly 2 years from the first thought of new windows to their actual installation.

It makes you think, doesn't it!

How many of us still expect the instant manifestation of our dreams or plain sailing in the sea of life? It would appear I still do ... even when I discover that the waiting game was for the best as in my knee saga.  Or that life's storms brought their own blessings ... too many of them to mention.

So here is the window saga in picture form. And yes they are well worth the wait.

How they were

First stage
In the midst

We have an even brighter ... and warmer living area and  although it took nearly two years of thought and planning,  it was completed in just one day of installation. 

The doors swing to one side, opening our room out ready for next year's summer sunshine. Now that is what I call being well prepared...
We are now getting prepared for the imminent arrival of Murphy and his parents from Canada. You can be sure that next month's blog will be featuring Murphy's adventures in Scotland. Here is a record of what he gets up to in Canada ...
Meeting new friends

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Many Happy Returns

The beginning
It was so good to be back in Italy. For many years Andy and I have celebrated my birthday by exploring different areas of Italy. Last year the birthday trip to Italy was not a priority as a visit to Canada/Murphy in August was much more important!

This year however, with the Canadians coming to us in October, an impromptu week in Tuscany could be booked to our favourite area; Castagneta Carducci. This time we were going to experience the delights of Agriturismo. This translates as living on a vineyard, not I hasten to add, as a couple of extra hands bringing in the harvest! Although I did offer Andy's services...

Our arrival was late at night and it took us a few wrong turns to find it. Imagine our delight the next day when we saw the avenue leading to our temporary home ...

Not only was the situation perfect but we discovered that we had enjoyed an impromptu wine tasting at this very vineyard, two years previously. This no plan/impromptu living is working out really well.

The venue was called Agriturismo tra gli Ulivi, owned by the Chiappini family. To be recommended to everyone who wants a taste of an idyllic lifestyle. We were only there a week but it was a wonderful interlude.

Now we are thinking how to spend a month there next year!

Yes, it was that good...

View of Tuscan hills from room
Our room was comfortable with touches of luxury, but it was the view outside that was inspiring. We could look one way to the rolling Tuscan hills or turn our gaze to the right and see the inviting saltwater swimming pool.

I say inviting, as the weather was sunny and very hot. Temperatures in the high 20 degrees so it was refreshing to take a late afternoon swim after walking over 5 miles every day.

Yes, I kept up with the walking ... and walking. Although we had hired a car, every town we visited required much walking and nothing was on the flat. They don't describe the area as having rolling hills for nothing, you know.

Every day took us to different areas. Some days, it was the nearby towns of Bolgheri, Donoratico, Marina di Castagneta, Bibbona, Casale Marittimo and of course our favourite, Castagneta Carducci.

Further north were the coastal towns of Cecina, Vada and Castiglioncello to explore.
We even went south for a day to Orbetello and onwards over the causeway to Porto Santo Stefano on the rocky isle of Monte Argentario. Returning north, via a sunset dinner at Castiglione della Pescaia, another favourite destination.

I have a story to tell about one of my previous visits to Castiglione della Pescaia, but only over a cup of coffee or even a glass of wine!

Prosecco at Marina di Castagneta
Now for the birthday celebrations ... prosecco, a must ... followed by some superb fish dishes and a very contented Eileen chillin'
Birthday girl

An Ending
Watching the sunset on my birthday celebrations was one of the "best bits" of the holiday. "Best Bits" is a reflection on what has occurred to help you remember the whole ... be it a day, a week, a year or even a sunset. The gratitude attitude is a helpful habit and "sets" (pardon the pun) many a picture into the memory store of the mind ... and yes taking a photograph helps too but I can remember this day without searching my mobile phone!

The Finished Article!
Some last words, to sum up my "Many Happy Returns"... and I don't just mean my birthday. Seven years ago, while hosting a yoga week at Campiglia Marittima ...  to celebrate my 60th birthday, no less ... I drove up a steep Tuscan hillside and discovered the world of Castagneta Carducci and its environs. It has been calling to me ever since and I am very happy to keep on returning ... 

I am also happy to say that this is something Andy and I agree on. Above is photographic evidence of Andy enjoying a glass of wine from the very vineyard we stayed at.
 A birthday is a celebratory occasion marking the passage of time and as such I am looking forward to "Many Happy Returns".

ciao amici

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Diminishing returns...


Possibly, there is not a lot to see as far as difference in size but believe me I have travelled a huge distance in how I feel and in what I can do...

The grass returned/healed after the dry spell and I continue to extend my mileage, walking further, more often and over difficult terrain.

I hardly recognise myself in the mirror as I watch the pounds coming off and discover more and more of me as my weight becomes less and less.

"The plan to have no plan" was discovered on a T-shirt in Canada last September. What a year it has been as I embraced whole heartedly an empty diary/calendar to be filled with "whatever" and whoever turned up! And if you have been keeping up to date with the blog, a whole lot of magic was the result.

As I celebrate my 67th birthday this month, the phrase "Many Happy Returns" has a whole new meaning for me...