Monday, 10 May 2021

Fitness checkers

 Fitness checker - May 2021

  • Returned to swimming - check 😀
  • Two vaccines received - check 😌
  • Eyesight tested - check 😍
  • MOT for car - check 😊

So, yes a busy week last week. Even the car got in on the act... 

Made me wonder though, how often do we check our overall fitness level? I was certainly shocked at how much my initial return to swimming challenged me, as unfortunately my ability to walk increased distances hadn't been sufficient to maintain my swimming endurance levels. 

However it doesn't take long with regular visits to the pool to feel the improvement.

On the upside, I discovered that I smile more when I swim, than when I walk. Who knew? Obviously not me!  As a result of 30 minutes of constant smiling, endorphin levels greatly improve...

Now thinking that I must add 30 mins of compulsary smiling - daily! to my fitness checker, with or without the swimming ...


 



Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Pass it on...

Easter came and went quietly in this household. 

No Easter egg hunt this year... well, to be fair, we are not big fans of Easter eggs and neither of us are church goers so our ponderings had a more secular emphasis. Spirituality and Easter have become so disconnected in many of our lives that Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs have taken over from the Easter bonnet parade of my youth. It's amazing what we learn to pass on to our young...

Ever since I can remember, I have been aware of my dreams. I was told that it was a common trait in our family, something to do with being of Highland stock! My Gran had vivid dreams and said that the blessing or curse had been passed on to me.

Sometimes the dreams would disturb my sleep and I would wake up distressed. So much so that as a young child I had a night light in my bedroom for reassurance.

Other times the dreams were funny, strange and even sometimes prophetic! Yeah, weird eh... I just accepted that it was, what it was, and if the dream was particularly "interesting", I would write it down and sometimes even share it with the rest of the family. Although I quickly found out that what I found interesting wasn't the same as everyone else!

Once I became involved in learning about the practise of yoga, I was recommended to keep a dream diary and notice what themes were emerging from my non-conscious. It sounded like fun, combining two of my interests... dreaming and writing!

So, many years later and many books later, my dreams and I have learned to communicate quite well. But imagine my surprise when last night's forage into dream land became a epic regarding the important messages we pass on...

It even came with its own poem. Yep, you guessed it, entitled: Pass it on...

 

In the light of day, I watch the tides, the sea's ebb and flow.

It comforts me to know, that change is ever present, it whispers to me. Pass it on...

In the dark of the night, I see the candle light glow.

It reassures me that all is well, it whispers to me. Pass it on... 

In the darkest of nights, I hear the wind blow.

It awakens my fears but I now know, to light my inner candle, which whispers to me.

Pass it on...

In the darkest of days, I feel the love-light grow.

I hear it whisper to me... pass it on.

 



Friday, 12 March 2021

Yoga-ing

 Namaste, 

here are Andy and I at our zoom yoga class...


I wanted to post a record of our zoom yoga class before my lockdown hair became too wild. Yep it can get wilder folks! Like so many others, I am looking forward to hairdressers returning to work...

Our yoga class resumed during the latest lockdown for a 30 minute zoom session at 5.30pm Monday to Friday, every week. You can see from the photo above that I am delighted to be back teaching a yoga class, although using the new format of working through the virtual medium of the laptop, took a little adjusting...

It is many years since I taught yoga in a class situation. The classes evolved into weekend workshops and then into the extended experiences of spending a week in Italy, enjoying learning how to apply the principles of yoga to everyday life. 

The practice of yoga has always been about more than the asanas, the physical postures. It is an all encompassing guide to living well. These guidelines include techniques that are helpful in maintaining mental health. A subject that has been much talked about recently, although looking after our mental health has always been relevant.

Breathing techniques, relaxation processes and meditation have been practised by yogis for thousands of years. It is comforting to know that these approaches have been tested by time!

No idea what the future holds "yogically" speaking or in any other way, I am just grateful for being able to have access to so many health improving, health maintaining skills.

Om Shanti

The following screen shot will make you smile. As, while I prepare to start the class, Andy is in a familiar laid back, get on with it yogic pose!

p.s. Andy and I are wearing our Chiappini T shirts. Chiappini is the name of the fabulous vineyard we love. Staying in Tuscany, in the middle of a vineyard is Andy's favourite way of practising his laid back style of yoga...

Love and light

Eileen


Monday, 15 February 2021

Going Green

Namaste,

Many of you who have visited my home in the past, would have noticed how green my kitchen is. I am not talking about plant life although there is a preponderance of herbs on one wall, I am talking appliances! 

Kettle, toaster and even a matching dishwasher! 

 

So what better gift could Andy give me this Valentine's, but a green coffee pot. The handle had broken on our previous one so we had a coffee pot emergency! I am sure you can't imagine what I would be like without my coffee, then again maybe you can!

Do you think my OCD is showing or is it just the fact that I fell in love with a green coffee pot. Well I did say it was a Valentine's gift. No red roses for me thanks, green coffee pot will do it every time. It might be my imagination but I think the coffee tastes even better...

All joking aside, going green is, as you know, not about buying green kitchen appliances or even buying green foodstuffs such as broccoli, courgettes, cabbage and my favourite, asparagus. It takes the whole environment into consideration and all of us working together to go green.

So no matter how grateful I am for my Valentine, it seems the arrival of the vaccine injection programme last week was a timely Valentine's gift to the Largs populace. Andy and I got our jabs in a well organised set-up with some very grateful aging punters like ourselves queueing patiently. A perfect example of us all working together when our health is at risk from a global pandemic.

Socially, I even got to catch-up with a couple of ex-neighbours and chat to quite a few friends, who I hadn't seen over the past year, all while spending time in a queue. So much for the Government guidelines of seeing one member of a household at any given time. The whole set up of mass vaccination was a communication "fest" with my fellow man and woman.

One gift that the past year has given us, which we should cherish as much as any loving Valentine, is our planet earth being given the "green light". We have been compelled to go green globally, whether we liked it or not.

We have been driving less, walking more. We have been needing less and sharing more.  And most importantly we have seen more and more that the inter-relationships across the globe, through travel and politics, have far reaching effects on us all.

Just like the organised vaccine day that I recently "enjoyed" - let's have a communication "GreenFest" and find out just how green we can grow...

Om Shanti...

Friday, 22 January 2021

Passages of Time

Leading the way...

 This week's change in the White House's residency has made me consider who it is we consider to be leading the way forward and how the passage of time, as in 4 year intervals, can have such a profound effect on us all...

Usually I write this blog to relate the activities in our personal family saga however as we don't exist in a bubble... apart from what our governments recommend, of course... it is important to reflect on all the worldwide ramifications of the wind of change! 

So firstly to America, every 4 years there is the Presidential election. A moment, or as seen more recently, many months to choose what the next 4 years will bring. If only it was that simple. None of us, including psychics, could possibly have envisioned what the past 4 years could have held for the US... or the rest of us.

It is 4 years since Andy and I started renovating our new home and it is still a work in progress.

...  and talking about a work in progress, the UK Brexit negotiations seemed to have taken forever. Not just a four year interval. Who knows where the next four years will take us.

4 years as a unit of time seems quite an arbitary amount and yet it features regularly in sport with the Olympics and various sporting World Cups using the same time measurement. Well usually they do, the past year has put paid to this scheduling for some time to come.

How, I ask myself is our grandson, Murphy now 4 years old!  OK, he is 4years and 5 months but his 4+ years have sped by. He is now approaching the watershed of "schooling". Not yet, but soon, as in Canada they register their children for school long before they enter the halls of education. A place where they learn to divide time into classes, weeks and semesters... and learning becomes what you do at school rather than what you do every day.

Rosie will be 2 in April and is learning words and their meanings, having already learned to walk and talk... and importantly how to have fun! This miracle of human progress and endeavour is something we should never take for granted. People of all ages evolve as life's experiences alter their world. No matter what circumstances we find ourslves in, we must teach our children the art of enjoyment.

What fun!

 

 

Fun could be:

  •  taking pleasure in nature
  •  enjoying physical exercise
  •  escaping into a book or an imaginary world
  •  experiencing the exhilarating sound of laughter 
  • and above all  connecting with others in play... 

Which one would be your favourite, I wonder? 

 

... and of course you are never too young to enjoy making and eating pizza!

Last January, before we learned the practical meaning behind social distancing and self isolation, to many of us, the world each of us lived in was a personal expression of our wants and desires. Freedom meant doing anything we wanted and whenever we wanted. Curtailing that kind of freedom has led to the freeing of time to be filled with very different priorities. Many of them relating to family and friends.

Last January, Andy enjoyed his 69th birthday with friends and next week, when he reaches the age of the big 70,  we will be celebrating with family through the regularly used medium of internet connection, albeit with a glass of bubbly in our hands! Each birthday is an important landmark when considering our personal passage through time. We can never take any birthday for granted and like many others wonder what the next year or four... holds in store. 

One thing I do know, is that the lessons being learned today by our children and grand-children hold the key to a brighter tomorrow.

They have a different view of life to us... a better one.

A fun day at the farm


Monday, 14 December 2020

Something just a little different...

up or down?

Sometimes in the midst of all the doom and gloom, there comes a ray of sunshine. Something that makes you smile. Something just a little different...

When I went to a friend's house this morning to drop off a something on her doorstep, I was treated to the gift of Santa in climbing mode.

He didn't just make me smile... he made me giggle!  It was an instant feeling of goodwill to all men (and women of course). A missing emotion if you watch the news on TV or read the various offerings in the newspapers.

This Christmas we are all needing that "something" just a little different that makes people smile. Let's keep looking for the goodwill and when we find it... and we will... let's share it in the true spirit of Christmas.

Buon Natale a tutti.

Monday, 9 November 2020

November memories

"Remember, remember the 5th of November". This was an oft quoted chant from my childhood.

I learned later, much later... that it was to do with a historic gunpowder plot that went awry. Historic, in that it was a failed assassination attempt in 1605, nearly 400 years ago! And historic, as far as I was concerned, as it seems to have nothing to do with our celebration of an annual fireworks display. 

There can't be many children who know or understand the significance of what they are celebrating on the 5th November. Or many adults either, come to that! 

We also celebrate the coming of November, or rather the end of October, with fancy dress! I have many happy memories of dressing up and parading round to the neighbours, to perform my party piece and get a handful of monkeynuts, some sweets and if very lucky, a "thruppenny bit"!

 I even subjected my own children to the experience...  

 And Gordon is carrying on that tradition...

Rosie as Elmo
Guess who is the skeleton?
 

However this event is even older than the Gunpowder plot. 

It is an ancient Celtic tradition when, on this night, magic was said to be about. Hallowe'en, was a night to stay at home, as it was believed that ghosts and ghouls prowled abroad, due a weakening between this world and that of the "spooky".

Alternatively dressing up in strange clothes, to disguise yourself, meant that you could venture out and not be recognised by the roaming spirits. This is a far cry from the "Trick or Treat" experienced by youngsters nowadays. Although this year their trick and treating was curtailed by the covid restrictions. Covid, an unseen force, reminiscent of what kept our fearful, pagan forefathers at home.

 So many of the festivals we celebrate now have nothing to do with the original event. Easter seems to be about chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies and Christmas is more about presents and turkey stuffing. Not decrying these traditions just flagging up that they are not part of the Christian story, as I remember it from my Sunday School days. 

 Even the turkey is relatively new, traditionally speaking, from when we imported it from across the pond, as we did the tricking and treating! However we haven't imported America's Thanksgiving Day from across the pond. How could we when it is celebrating their freedom from our oppression. 

It is held on the fourth Thursday in November and the traditional meal is... you guessed it... turkey. 

 We do however have a Harvest Thanksgiving tradition when we celebrate the abundance of what our annual crop has brought and share our surplus with the less fortunate. 

I remember this fondly and vividly from attending church as a child when the usual, pristine altar was covered in food, and the aroma of the church was one of fruit and veg. The display is still one I treasure, as was the activity that followed the church service. This was when the Sunday school children were given boxes of groceries to deliver to various, housebound members of the church. It always took all day as everyone we visited, invited us in, wanting us to stay a while...

 I also remember wearing mittens, that were tied together with elastic, threaded through my jacket sleeves so that I wouldn't lose them. Seemingly losing mittens was a habit of mine! 

Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday and this Wednesday, the 11th of November, is Armistice Day. These days are inexticably linked to remembering past times. Not as celebratory occasions that have changed their meaning over the years, but to hold on to the necessary memory of loss and sacrifice. This year, more than any other, we need to be grateful for what we have, for what others have done for us and to never allow that memory to fade or to be altered by the passage of time. 

Teaching our children the real meaning of what we hold dear is perhaps the greatest gift we can give them. Whether it is as America welcomes a new era, with a different President or whether it is as we honour a past time, with different values.  


 November is the month of remembering to be grateful.