Tuesday 8 December 2015

The Road Ahead

Who knows what lies on the road ahead. Certainly not us, when Andy and I decided to visit Cornwall in November... just because we had never been there before!

The countryside was impressive ... if a little damp. However it was great meeting up with Trevor and Linda who we had met on last year's cruise on the Danube. Good to reminisce and great to view the south coast of Britain from where they live on the edge of Cornwall.

A week full of visiting all the famous landmarks were on the agenda. We can recommend the Eden project as a must. If you can't visit a rain forest for real then at least see what it would be like if you could. Although I have to say there was quite a lot of rain in the many Cornwall forests that we visited. It even rained on the plains... that's moors when in Cornwall.

On the way home we detoured via Cleckheaton... as you do... and got caught up an almighty traffic jam on the M6 that added an extra two and a half hours onto our journey. It got me thinking: "How far is far enough?" when you are on a journey... and of course the answer is ..."as long as it takes"!

Worth remembering on any journey...

Saturday 31 October 2015


Many of you will know that I started writing when at school ... and some of you will have heard that my cathartic writing began after a protracted illness over 25 years ago ... and a few of you will know that now I have embarked on writing a novel! A testimonial, a history, a fictional account of people's lives. Story lines that may well have been true. Who knows ...  not me and I am writing it!

 I feel that I have embarked on a new endeavour. Not quite Captain Cook but certainly to lands previously unknown. The word endeavour has always meant a lot to me... and that was even before I knew it was Morse's first name. It carries so much more gravitas that work. It implies that there is a worthwhile journey. One that has a goal... an aspiration... a designed plan.

 An endeavour changes lives. It changes as the journey's landscape changes but it never changes its focus on the end result...

I would love to hear from you and your endeavours... and I will keep you posted on mine .

Wednesday 30 September 2015


Returning home from a two centre holiday in Italy to 500 emails and a ton of letters makes me question the wisdom of my every day activities at home. I don't question the wisdom of taking time out ... far from it. It is a necessity for the soul. However I do question the wisdom of what it is that have filled my days when I am at home.

Writing is what I want to do... and yes writing a blog is satisfying. Writing a poem is exciting and writing books is... well what can I say... how about... fulfilling! So as writing emails isn't what I want to concentrate on, I am going to set aside time to write... books. Not just one or two but a whole stack full. The muse is on me... her name is Sophia, the goddess of wisdom!
Villa...Lake Como

"Filling a day" is not the same as a fulfilling day. Here are some photographic memories of fulfilling days spent on Lake Como, Sorrento and Capri... and a few words expressing the joy and the pleasure of lemon scented days in the sun...

Rant over... apart from a few words.

"In the nutritious lava soil... oranges and grapefruits grow,
lemons and limes share the air
with the fragrances of pettigrain, neroli and citronella.
And wherever we go, we breathe deeply...
Our senses were delighted, our tastes buds were excited
The bright yellow sunshine warmed our hearts, as well as our bodies
The reflected light in the lemons charged our cells
And the astounding scents thrilled our souls 
View of Sorrento from Balcony
We breathed with a zest for living
We walked with a spring in our step
We lived with a peace within...
Staying briefly, within this garden... we also grow
Namaste Sorrento"
Champagne welcome on Balcony
View from Anacapri
   So as the title of this blog is Wisdom ... I am putting into  practice here on the west coast of Scotland, what I experienced on the west coast of Italy. I am setting aside time every day to ponder, writing every day, learning Italian everyday and remembering everyday the wonderful sight, sounds and aromas of the Almalfi coast...
I Faraglioni Rock Formation, Capri

Saturday 22 August 2015

Bowling along...

Recently while holidaying on the island of Arran, I experienced some highs and lows. Now this isn't unusual as life is full of highs and lows, in fact that is the nature of vibration, the essence of life expressed in the movement of energy. There needs to be peaks and troughs and we need to experience them both.

The highs came in the form of a fabulous room at the Auchrannie Hotel, Brodick; wonderful sunsets, enjoyable family time with the extended Auld family, experiencing various dining experiences such as BBQs, Italian nights and eating out at many, many restaurants across the island. We also played board games and card games, played golf and even bowls. Yes bowls...

Eileen's final shot!

Now I am at the stage of playing golf once a year and thoroughly enjoying it and even playing well on occasions. However bowls, now that's a whole different ball game. Even when the bowl does what it is meant to do, some other bowler comes and changes the whole field!

So imagine my surprise when I got the final throw and the final bowl ended up as you can see in the picture on the left... and no it isn't photo shot!

So unbelievable Joy was experienced by me, a totally, inexperienced bowler. You would have thought that I had won an Olympic medal.

 The phrase pride comes before a fall was in my case a quite literal event. As the next day saw me falling my length and sustaining some painful injuries to the right side of my body.

There are no photos of that event I am pleased to say!

As I write this blog, I am still feeling the after effects of the fall, but I am working at focusing on how I felt in the picture above. One of the phrases I use and recommend is that it is better to dwell on the enjoyable aspects of life and not dwell in the lows... so here I am having to practise what I preach!

Confession time... this focusing lark is still a work in progress!

Saturday 1 August 2015

Living It - Dreams

Our dreams are our future, the promise of the day ahead

Forming from the best in us to shape our world.

Our doubts are the storms that prevent us taking the journey

Shaking our bright shiny confidence and blurring our starry eyed gaze.

Our dreams are draped in rainbow colours

Bridging the gap between hope and happening.

Our tears are the raindrops of feelings of failure

Shedding hurts, disappointments and even despair.

Our dreams are who we are in our true selves

Shining as a beacon to help others find themselves.

Ours fears are the clouds that obscure the view

Hiding and masking our true potential

Ours dreams are the world’s dreams, they are needed by the world

I invite you to step up...

and follow me into your dreams…

                                                Eileen Auld

Saturday 25 July 2015

... in the pink!

 Just a short ponder this month on the use of colour in our vocabulary. Andy and I have been busy travelling recently. Attending Wimbledon again this year was an unexpected treat, due to us thinking that last year was a once-off. Not quite the bucket list but we certainly didn't plan Wimbledon as being a regular event on the calendar... but then we got to thinking... why not.

So that got me thinking ... yes more thinking... about why is Wimbledon so special. I realised that I felt "in the pink" when watching the players and spectators. Not just drinking the champagne but feeling that everything at Wimbledon is just that little bit special... and of course it is.

Everything about the event for us, is up in the 5* bracket. The customers service, the tennis service, the smiles, the umbrellas, the Pimms, the strawberries and cream... the atmosphere of utter enjoyment. The event is vibrant even on the greyest of days.

Is it about blue sky thinking? No clouds and everything being perfect. Now, not sure if you noticed, but that isn't a common occurrance at Wimbledon... and I am not just talking about the weather!

Then I got round to more thinking about how we use colour in our language to evoke specific feelings. Green with envy - in the red/black - purple patch - or even that now "old" slogan "The future's bright - the future's Orange". No-one knew what that meant originally but the power of advertising changed our perception of the colour orange.

So when you are feeling a little "off colour" and wondering what to do about it. I suggest changing just a shade and make "being in the pink " your catch phrase.
I have a feeling that regular use of this colourful language could change... everything!

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Travels and travails...

Well hello there... Alex of "Madagascar" fame and all his chums were on the cruise with Andy, myself and our chums, Billy and Catherine... as we sailed the Western Mediterranean Sea at the beginning of June. We have gone on a cruise with our chums before when we explored the Adriatic. However this time it was sailing from Barcelona to call in at Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Civitavecchia and Naples and as you know my love of Italy would be satisfied by visiting the three major seaports on the west coast of Italy with their associated tourist attractions, such as Pompeii.

What we didn't know was that the cruise ship we were going to be on was the largest cruise ship in the world ... or so we were told. If that fact isn't true, I would hate to be on an even bigger ship than the Allure of the Seas. It was plenty big for us... 6000 passengers and 2000 crew!

Allure of the Seas
The main attraction for me was going to be visiting Cinque Terre when we docked in La Spezia. This has been an area that I have long wanted to visit. You can only travel along this coastline by train or boat and it was the area that Shelley and Byron loved in bygone years. It is a cluster of five villages that are sheltered from the storms and are far removed from the bustle of city life.

La Spezia

 Andy and I were signed up for a 9 hour "trip" visiting three of the five villages. This trip involved a bus journey along the top of the hillside, from where we could see the most southerly village, Riomaggiore.
This was just enough of a peek to realise how secluded these five villages are from the usual motorway frenzy.

The bus parked above the second village, Manarola, from where we enjoyed a long walk down the hillside into its' quaint rolling street to catch a boat trip to Vernazza and then another boat trip to Monterosso. From the boat we were able to see the village of Corniglia perched on an outcrop of rock, well fortified from the pirates of long ago who terrorised this stretch of land and its' inhabitants.

However we weren't terrified. We were enchanted, as many before us had been, by the  steep mountain terrain behind the sleepy villages.

The land had been worked over centuries in terraces, to grow crops including the famous wine of the region and yes we did a fair amount of wine tasting that day! We had the most amazing two hour lunch at Monterosso before getting the train back to the bus for the return journey to La Spezia. The train of course was 40 minutes late... the doors wouldn't open and the 250 of us that were on the trip found it exceedingly difficult to get a seat. This can be a typical Italian local service train journey. I have "enjoyed " many such experiences in Italy when travelling by train. Italy's trains can turn a travel into a travail at the drop of a hat.

I always ask people "what was your best bit?" from any experience. It consolidates the whole experience and means that appreciation is always foremost in your thoughts. You would think from my love of all things Italian, it would be the visit to Cinque Terre or the inspiring tour of Pompeii. However it was actually a visit to a hideaway setting in Marseilles. This once hospital/hospice was so peaceful and healing that it could calm the most anxious of souls. It was just like an oasis in the desert... a place to stop and rest before continuing on your journey.

 It is what I consider to be the best architecture for a healing environment, with its' balconies and its' windows, wide open to the world outside and yet the whole building is hidden away from the city itself. It is no longer a hospital but is still a place of healing, as just sitting in its' shady cloisters and walking around the sundrenched olive trees, gave us chums, a most welcome pause...

This pause, this interlude of peace, showed me that when on any trip, any journey... whether travelling by boat, bus, car or plane... the best moments in life are savoured in the hidden away treasures of time shared with pals and the unexpected gifts that appear when you are open to receive...

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Down Memory Lane

Liz and Eileen
I recently became re-acquainted with a school friend from Primary School, Elizabeth McKellar. I received a Facebook message from a Liz Lang asking if I had been Eileen Burbidge in a past life. With the answer being yes to being Eileen Burbidge, I enquired as to how she knew me! Imagine my surprise when a blast from the past came roaring into view... and with that connection lots of other names and faces began surfacing.

Liz and I managed to meet up... and catch up about what had happened to us in the intervening 52 years! It's amazing that when one connects, so many other connections come together... and the brain synapses start going into overload. Liz and I are delighted to have found each other after all these years and will keep the connections flowing. I am also delighted that Facebook can bring something good into our lives but then it is up to us to post responsibly... more of that another time!

It seems as though this connection has opened the flood gates for many of my "past lives" to be revisited. Having had quite a nomadic educational life, attending two primary schools and two secondary schools on the west coast of Scotland, due to the family moving from place to place...  there are quite a few people along the way that were great friends to me as I settled into yet another "home".

My memories of friends past and present are a joy to me and are very much part of the phrase "life's a journey - enjoy" that was part and parcel of my business endeavour ... and central to my personal life now.

College Dance circa 1972

Friends do come and go, this we know. However perhaps friends also come and go... and then as seen below, come again once more.
Well Connected Gang circa 2015

Looking forward to becoming re-acquainted with many more "past life" friends.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Giving It!

Recently I have been enjoying many charity events... from supporting my friend Waiyin Hatton's Ayrshire Sportsability to our own Forever in-house Pamper and Prosecco day in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It came to me when enjoying these events in the company of wonderful friends that a very important aspect of Living It... is understanding the power of "Giving It"!

It could be our time... not necessarily our money. Certainly our compassion and for many of us, it is sharing our skills and/or our talents.

Thinking about what it is that we can give to others today...
Could it be as simple as a smile.
Or an invitation to dinner...
if not dinner... perhaps a lunch out?

Could be an email or even a text.
They all can been seen as gifts. So let's reach out to others this month and give ourselves the gift of "Giving It"...

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Peace... just a thought

It comes to mind
It forms from space
It changes fast, and doesn't last
unless... I make it hold a place.

It flies around
It forms a void
It seems alive, and wants to thrive
unless... I make it feel annoyed.

It changes shape
It forms a word
It follows feeling, senses reeling
unless... I make it strike a chord

It brings a face
It works with love
It connects the dots, inspiring thoughts
it's not unless... it's more... like a dove.

It settles down
It claims its' place
It travels wide, no need to hide
it spreads its' wings... it's Peace, it's Grace.

It works like magic
It feels my need
Don't think it's nought, as in just a thought
Peace can grow from the smallest seed.

                                                                             Om Shanti, Eileen

Thursday 5 March 2015

Gourmet Reads.

Gone AgainIt's always wonderful to meet up with friends especially over a sumptuous dinner. Last week not only did I have the pleasure of meeting friends but I met a writer, namely Doug Johnstone at an event called Gourmet Reads.

Doug lives and writes in Edinburgh and his books breathe... you know the ones you can't put down, not even for a moment. I can heartily recommend his books especially Gone Again. It was great getting to meet the author and find out why he writes, not just what he writes. Only through the experience of Gourmet Reads, hosted by Edinburgh Libraries can you experience this amazing opportunity. I was even able to dine and chat with Ian Rankin in November last year and look forward to visiting Edinburgh and dining yet again with an inspiring author in April, this year.

I love the term Gourmet Reads as it implies a fantastic dining experience... but also signifies that the writers and their books are also those worth taking time to savour and enjoy... just as you would with an exquisite meal.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Time away...

View from the lodge of snow in the distant hills
What a view we had while "whiling the time" away at the end of January. Off we went as a family and with friends to celebrate my husband, Andy's birthday. His birthday is the day after Rabbie's so we were able to have a Burns supper on Saturday and then a celebratory dinner on the Sunday... and a birthday tea on the Monday. No January detox for us, saving that experience for Feb.

We had booked a lodge in Perthshire and enjoyed some wonderful scenery and some amazing socialising. Although the social media that Andy and young Kenneth (elder son) were enjoying was not as popular with me as Natalies's (Kenneth's girlfriend) take on being sociable.

Andy and Kenneth

Communication seems to be heading into using more and more IT tools, however I am still a big fan of direct contact as in... eye contact... massages... meeting over a coffee or like Natalie, a glass of wine... and chatting on the phone. No this doesn't mean no facebook or twitter for me, it just means that I am more interested in inviting you round for dinner and catching up with a group of friends round the table...

so if this is of interest to you, drop me a line ...
by email is fine
or even better
send me a letter!

Ciao amici,

Last day of holiday... snow arrived just as we were leaving!

Thursday 8 January 2015

2015 Wisdom and/or the Merry-go-round!

Welcome to 2015.  Is this year going to be the year of wisdom or are you going to be on the same Merry-go-round? Andy and I ended our 2014 with a party... a HootenAndy and Eileen. We spent some convivial hours with wonderful friends and family and are now ready to spend 2015 in the company of same.

Brian and Joan
However we also met some new friends towards the end of last year whilst on our Anniversary cruise down the Danube.  Let me introduce you to Brian and Joan who were also celebrating their  40th anniversary... same as us. They were married on the same day as us, had 5 days in London as their honeymoon... same as us, spent their 25th anniversary in Toronto... same as us... and Joan was a Physio and retired 3 years ago... same as me. Talk about parallel lives. We are wondering where we will go for our combined anniversary this year... oh and did I mention they are Scottish... same as us!

Clive, Linda, Joan, Brian, andy and Eileen
It was a wonderful cruise, seeing castles and Christmas markets galore, visiting a monastery like no other, learning about the history of the Danube and its various people over the centuries. All made even better by spending time in the company of Brian and Joan and Clive and Linda, another couple who were also celebrating 40 years married. Clive and Linda live in Cornwell but that won't let them escape from the Auld's very "well connecting" ethos. Looking forward to visiting Cornwell this year... we always promised we would visit the south of England and now we will.

Thank you Brian, Joan, Clive and Linda for your marvellous company helping making the "romantic" cruise an amazing experience, full of fun and laughter... not to mention a glass or two of wine and the occasional Drambuie and ice...

Eileen unwrapped
The weather ranged from wet and cold, to dry and cold, to warm and sunny. Fortunately we were able to enjoy whatever the weather threw at us and the scenery was quite splendid. The sunny pic is taken in Budapest, one of my favourite cities. I visited Budapest three years ago with a girlfriend and promised that I would come back with Andy as it is an intriguing city to spend time in... and a promise is a promise. More of that later.

Eileen wrapped up
The wrapped up one is me taking in the air on the top decking of the boat. I was determined to stay out as long as I could as we sailed down the Danube, through the amazing Walchau pass. Although it does look as if I am pretending to be a spy!

We started at Nuremburg and finished at Budapest visiting Regensburg, Passau and Vienna in between. I can wholeheartedly recommend Viking Cruises... in fact we will be booking another one soon...
Andy and Eileen in Buda
Now to applying wisdom in 2015. No-one should make a promise lightly. I promised myself that this year would be about getting my book, The Return of the Goddess, published and I am embarking on fulfilling that promise with the help of some friends. I will keep you posted with a progress report... in the meantime here I am below making a new friend, named Clyde. Are we birds of a feather do you think? Clyde is looked after by Lorraine Johnston, another good friend, and although Clyde had a recent exciting adventure, taking flight from his coop, he is now safely esconced back at home. Wisdom, methinks, is combining adventuring far and wide and then returning home safely to one's nest... or maybe, just maybe, it is getting on a completely different Merry-go-round to the one you were on last year.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2015...

Eileen with Clyde