Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Family fun times.

Looking forward to a return to fun family times ...

Family fun
As you can see the Canukes are managing to enjoy some outdoor family fun. They have been experiencing a little more freedom on the west coast of Canada as their restrictions are being lifted before ours.

Happiness is ...
Here on the west coast of Scotland, I attempted a walk in the gale force wind only to be blown off my feet! Scampered home quickly to indulge in a little rebounding ...

 Andy and I have been using our lounge as a gym with exercising on the rebounder and gymball!

as well as our usual daily walk and yoga class.


take me seriously!
Yep there are all sorts of ways to enjoy a little bit of family fun!

However even with all this regular exercise the pounds are still piling on as food has been exercising our minds!

We have been occupied by thinking about it, buying, it, cooking it and then eating it ...

Here are a few of our favourites:

seafood tagliatelle - cin cin
lasagne - just out the oven
fruit salad - always a favourite

 ... and family fun before lockdown, a Mexican evening at Natalie and Kenneth's!

Memories ...
I am sooooo looking forward to the releasing of lockdown restrictions. Nicola Sturgeon, our first minister has promised that next week will see a lifting of some of the "rules" and playing golf and tennis are going to be top of the list. Guess who is a happy chappie in our house?

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Unprecedented times ...

In these unprecedented times, today is Wednesday and it is my day for the weekly shop ... and as it turns out, it is also the day to write my monthly blog.

There are so many changes happening around our present circumstances, that it is hard, not to be sad or anxious when we are informed of the many people affected by this global pandemic.

However, it is also easy, to notice when we are surrounded by blessings. Whether it is the ability to take a walk, have a talk with friends and family on facebook, whatsapp, messenger and zoom or just the ability to breathe easily ...

Andy's and my personal routine while social distancing, is very similar to many others with the daily walk and weekly shop. Andy and I usually walk to the Largs "Pencil" landmark and over the past 3 weeks of lockdown, we have noticed that less and less people are walking the well trodden path to the local monument ... for whatever reason the town is getting quieter and quieter as we acclimitise to what is asked of us.

A normal morning always included a coffee with puzzles on the balcony when the sun shone.


Likewise, home made soups for lunch when there was a chill in the air was a regular feature in our weekly routine.

However experimenting with what's available in the fridge and freezer is totally new to us! As our cupboards empty, we are getting more and more inventive as the nearer to Wednesday's shopping day looms ...


Some of the other activities that are new to us, are the family zoom parties including Rosie's first birthday ... experienced as a virtual party!




 

It was good to see her enjoying her special day albeit virtually...

Virtual party

Birthday girl.


Our visit to Canada had been cancelled so connecting through the ether has been a godsend. Rosie is such a happy child and Murphy has been a very supportive big brother including helping her open her pressies.

Notice the suspicious hand in the photo!

Party frock.






Another difference in our daily routine is a return to teaching a yoga class.
Namaste

 Andy and I have been exploring yoga postures and various relaxation methods in order to keep our bodies healthy and our minds relaxed.

Regularly at 4 pm, through an iphone video call to other members of the family, we stretch, bend and breathe in all sorts of ways.

I must say that it has been a unique moment of connection across the airwaves.

We all need to stay connected at this time. If someone comes into our thoughts, let's not let it be a transient moment in time but hold that person close and contact them anyway we can. Whatever we can do ... this is the time to do it.


Ready for the stairs?

However there are also times when there is nothing we can do!  As you can see from the photos, understandably, our plans, like everyone else's have gone on hold.

The attic conversion is waiting for the return of tradesmen ...
  the joiner even left his overalls!

Where is the en-suite bathroom?




 The loft is empty, however the rest of the house now has everything else that was once stored here. Lockdown has given us a chance to clear out much of our unecessary accumulated "stuff", but like everything else at this time, it has nowhere to go!
Porto Azzurro
 One of my favourite places to go is Porto Azzurro, on the island of Elba. I was intending to enrol again this summer for a course at the ABC Italian school. This is just another one of our cancelled visits. Our thoughts are with all those Italian friends who have faced this pandemic a few weeks ahead of us, here in the UK.

To all those around the world who are dealing with adversity, illness and bereavement, let's include a daily moment of our time to focus our loving thoughts flowing out into the ether ...

               Unprecedented times require us all to connect in any which way we can.




Saturday, 21 March 2020

Social distancing - a world apart

What strange times we are living through.

It has become my routine to write a monthly blog ... mainly to keep a memory of what my living circumstances are, as a rolling calendar or diary of events. There is no doubt in my mind that what has occurred over the past month in the UK and in previous months to other countries will not be easily forgotten!

But what does social distancing really mean and what will be the long term results of self-isolation? Not sure there is a definite answer but what I do know is that we need to keep connected in any which way we can.

Who knew that Facebook would be hero in times like these? Just avoid fake news!!
Facebook's close relative, "whatsapp",  is keeping us as a family in contact. Both here in Scotland and far away in Canada. Although isolation is a common issue with us all, whatsapp groups are bringing many of us together as humourous messages are flying back and forth across the airwaves.

Enforced leisure is challenging to us and "filling" our time can create stress as our choices become more and more limited.

 I am choosing to keep writing in any way I can. Texts and whatsapps, emails, blogs and newsletters and as recommended by my publisher to all her hopeful writers "just get on with finishing your book!"

Let's keep some virtual contact going all around the world. Social distancing doesn't have to mean a world apart.  It could be the catalyst/final straw we need to bring the world together ...

Monday, 24 February 2020

Down memory lane ...

Clearing out an attic brings up lots of memories.

Whether it is the photos that remind you of happy times, wonderful holidays or the photos that remind you of who you once were, decade by decade.

There are the books read just once ... or the others that are read over and over again until you are word perfect but you still have to hold on to, just in case you want to visit them again.

The dressing up box that needs to go! but what if someone needs that feather boa, devil ears, angel wings? Although perhaps not all at once ...
Then, there are the paintings that are just gathering dust,  the clothes - no longer the right size, the right colour or even yours! and the ornaments that you no longer wish to put on display not to mention the mega mountain of towels that may come in handy someday.
Or is that just my attic?

Clearing out can be cathartic.
It can be healing as you let go of unnecessary "stuff".
It can be beneficial as you recycle your treasures.
For me it has been all of the above.
Clearing out the attic has been a wonderful trip down memory lane.

Now, it's time to enjoy the present moment, knowing that it will eventually join all those other memories ...

The following is one of the treasures I found in the attic that I would like to share with you.

Om shanti,
Eileen

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Whatever the weather - dress for the occasion.

Here I am all dressed up for two very different occasions.

First one is - the return
Just back from walking in the rain ... 
and the wind ... and the hail. 
However I am, as you will notice, still smiling! Just ...


I was dripping, but all the better for my walk. Honest...
As Billy Connelly has been oft quoted "There is no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothes!" My raincoat was an all weather coat, perfect for the ever changing Scottish weather conditions.

In the background is our new courtyard. Only a year after we started the process. Must remember that fact when thinking about any proposed 2020 plans.

... and of course I am still working with the plan  - to have no plan. That is probably why I kept putting off submitting two chapters of my book to a publishing contact.

Emailed them off today ...
and rewarded myself with a walk,
and then the gods rained on me ...




The second occasion is - the departure

Is it the same wummin? I hear you ask. Oh yes it is!
This time I am all dressed up, ready to set off for a family adventure to the Panto. Oh yes I am! 

and it was a perfect evening of Scottish humour wrapped up in the glow of Snow White's fairy tale.

Worth remembering that whatever the occasion and whether you are coming or going, it is good to dress the part. Whatever you consider your part to be.


So in keeping with the pantomime theme, 2019 is behind you...
and 2020 could well be the year of your very own fairy tale.
Which role have you been rehearsing for:
Sleeping Beauty? Fairy godmother or the "Godfather"? Or being part of an ideal couple like Fiona and Shrek?

Whatever part you have to play in 2020, I wish you happiness in your starring role with the best supporting cast you could ask for...