Wednesday 6 October 2021

Windows and metaphors

 More and more I realise that there are metaphors for life, if you know where to look. Such as windows...

We have been residents of this flat for five years now and our proposed extended window has been long awaited. The original window was a single pane with a crack and the wood was rotten and when we intended to replace it last year Covid restrictions changed the plans. No biggy considering how other people’s plans had been put on hold, cancelled or been hijacked by disastrous circumstances.

Now for the metaphor - we had a restricted view prior to the pandemic. We didn’t know that our vision was limited or that there was no way of knowing what was about to surface in our lives. No-one could see the pandemic coming and neither Andy nor I could see what our intention of enlarging a window was going to unearth.

However I am getting ahead of myself.

Once restrictions lifted, we booked the work. We were told August, then it was cancelled to September. The 16th in fact! "Great" said Andy, "it can be my birthday pressy to you!"

Then Andy got a phone call to say that the window installation had to be delayed again. Now it was being rescheduled for October. When the situation is one of constant change, emotions can get frayed or alternatively dulled as one hiccup after another encourages stress or distress... in my case, initially it was frustration.

Room ready for workmen...

and now...

Not so much a feature wall as a talking point, and yet no point in talking about it. When tackling the job, the builders started with the inside wall and thank goodness for that, as they found that we have steel wires running perpendicular to the steel beams and no way can they demolish the wall!

So now we are left with a bare wall, the contractor is left with a window we don't want and at present, both the builders and ourselves are out of pocket and none of us know how to resolve the situation at present. 

Architect has been phoned. "Unusual situation" - is his response. Structural engineer's office has been contacted. "He will get back to you"- was his secretary's response... and my response seems to be an unusual calm. I know, not like me. Frustration is gone as believe it or not, I am grateful.

I am grateful that the builders didn't start outside as there could have have been a disaster in the making. Not one of our own choosing but a consequence of our own actions nevertheless.

Now back to windows and metaphors. No-one can ever see what's ahead and no-one can ever know what is hidden from view. All we can ask is that we can see the situation as clearly as we can. Deal with what is immediately in front of us, appropriately, calmly and without demolishing any support structures (relationships) and together seek the best solution.

Putting things into perspective is important and our building "hiccup" is just that, a blip in the anticipated order of things.  Lesson learned - anticipation does not ensure reality.

The only thing we can be sure of at this moment in time is that we are definitely not going to get a picture window!

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Another birthday...

 Starting the blog with a photo of my faithful companion of 68 years, my much loved Teddy.

Eileen (aged 2) and Teddy

We are both delighted to be celebrating another birthday. As you can see he is wearing well for his years, meanwhile I have reached the grand old age of 70!  and whether I am wearing well or not is irrelevant, as I feel no different to when I was 69... when Andy and I enjoyed a family dinner with Natalie and Kenneth.

 However the recent changing circumstances have allowed us to have a larger family gathering this year. So we celebrated the occasion with nine of us dining out at a local restaurant. There I am sitting betwixt my two sisters in law, Chrissie and Alison, smiling at the Vesuvius of candles. Obviously 70 candles couldn't fit on the muffin!


Previously, when asked what I wanted for my birthday, I responded with "scallops" and scallops is what I got...


The G and T went down a treat too. Just in case you thought I was drinking water!                                               

Friends of ours sent a birthday card, with photos of me over the years, What is noticeable are my changing hair lengths as in the past I experimented with different styles before settling on the one I have now...

cin cin

No birthday is complete without a glass of pink Prosecco. Well, if I can't get to Italy for my birthday ... the least I can do is bring a taste of Italy to Largs...

Tuesday 31 August 2021


This month's news has flagged up the extreme paradoxical situation of our global society. As some of us are being released from life saving restrictions, others in Afghanistan are finding life threatening restrictions being imposed.

There are no words to express the horror of what is unfolding in an area of the world, known in ancient times as a hub for diverse cultures. Once a land of plenty it is now a piece meal, war zone.

The 13th century mystic poet Rumi, was born in the area we now call, Afghanistan. His poetry focuses on love and friendship and he encouraged music and dancing as a means of understanding the spiritual aspects of life. Togetherness was a common theme in his works.

                        " Together is my favourite place to be" - Rumi

Togetherness is a rare emotion in today's society but when we glimpse it, we know its' worth, and when we share it, we know its joy...

Murphy and Rosie - together.

Wednesday 28 July 2021


 I had a visit from my friend, Diane, last week. It was the first time we had caught up inside the house... although strictly speaking we were outside on the balcony, but you know what I mean.

Diane had brought me roses and I just adore roses. She also brought a cake and I am quite fond of them too!

However it started me thinking about how important friendship has been in my life. Especially like-minded friends who like what you like... or alternatively don't like what you like but seem to like you anyway!

Being an only child I looked for companionship outside the family situation and have been blessed with many good friends throughout the years.

Grazie amici, 

wherever you are...

Thursday 24 June 2021


 This cactus doesn't know what time of year it is...

  • It started off as a gift of a Christmas cactus, many, many years ago, when we lived in a previous home.
  • Then it entered a quiet phase when we moved house to Buchanan Street and emerged as an Easter cactus, flowering when spring came.
  •  Now it has decided to flower in the summer. Unusual for this type of plant but its flowering season has obviously reflected the changes in the light variation of our past three homes.

So for 5 years it flowered in December/January. Then for 15 years shared its growth in March/April... and now it is flourishing in the month of June. 

Could it be confused?

Perhaps... or  perhaps it is an inspirational plant, in its' ability to change a flowering season depending on where it finds itself. Or where I put it...

Yep... it seems I have a philosophical plant... even sharing a life lesson with me.  

It didn't change its nature, it can't, is still a cactus! However it still flowers no matter where it is. Circumstances change the timing, not the purpose!

Now I wonder what my money plant is telling me?

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



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


Monday 15 February 2021

Going Green


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