Monday 21 February 2022

After the storm


Irvine beach
We had a visit from Dudley, Eunice and then Franklin. Every one of them left a mark. But then that is what storms do...

Enjoying the convenience of our car, recently returned from the mechanic's ministrations, Andy and I decided to go for a drive and visit Irvine beach.

Once there, we decided to go for a blustery walk, as the wind was still strong, although gratefully not the gale force wind of the weekend. 

We were well wrapped up and delighted to be out and about after the weekend's inclement weather, when no sane person would have ventured out!

 There was certainly much debris around. Evidence of the effect of the stormy weather of gales, squalls, high tides and torrential rain that started last week and lasted through until this week....

... but for all of us who ventured out today, you can see by the photo, that the fabulous beach was well worth the visit.


 Today's sunshine may well be just a hiatus, but it was so good to blow the cobwebs away and get to appreciate the calm after the storm.

There are many different ways of lifting spirits. From a bracing walk to the yoga pratice of meditation and the many mental health offerings, in between.

So many philosophers have inspired me and their wisdom has always helped my mental health. They  are the best way for me to blow away any persistant, negative mental cobwebs!

Philosophers like Lao Tzu and the Tao way of living, Snoopy and the Peanuts gangs with their unique look on life and a firm favourite, actress, Maggie Smith whose words of wisdom always make me smile. Who would not relate to her comment: " My dear, I don't give advice, I only have opinions!"

Isn't that true of us all!

Another philosopher I return to often, is Marcus Aurelius. A Roman Emperor who nearly two thousand years ago coped with stress beyond our understanding, and that is even taking the modern pandemic into consideration. 

For Marcus, there were plots, feuds, insurrections and threats of invasion as well as great triumphs, plans for public works...  while meeting the mighty challenges of defending the Roman Empire. 

In the midst of all of this he managed to write his famous "Meditations", a treatise on living well.

It is a wonderful gift to us on how to weather whatever current storm we are facing... but also how to best appreciate the good times in between the storms!

Leaving you with a quote that shows that Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Dame Maggie Smith are definitely on the same page...

Monday 14 February 2022

February's fun

  You never know what is round the corner,  fortunately for me, my corner featured family and friends

 Not the best picture of my car's breakdown on the Haylie Brae but it should convey my safe, hiding place away from the overtaking traffic... 

 The darkening clouds were promising rain, however it soon turned into snow as the temperature plummeted.

It was Sunday the 6th February. I had just set off to drive with a pal to Glasgow, when the car refused to change gears on the Brae and the clutch pedal failed completely. 

Scary times, however we did manage to make it to a straight part of the road, just 1 mile from home and we were very grateful not to have to abandon the car on the Brae's bends.

 If you are familiar with this road you will realise how lucky we were.

... and that is exactly how I spent the first 30 minutes after the car slewed to a stop, realising how lucky I was.


I had forgotten my mobile... duh, really! I hear you say. 

 My pal had her's, so I was able to phone home.

Kenneth, our son and his partner, Natalie had been staying with us to watch the rugby on Saturday and were fortunately still in Largs. Kenneth brought me my mobile, collected my pal and took her back to Largs. 

Meanwhile Andy had phoned Green Flag and they were going to come and rescue me. Although not for 2 hours, so I had time to reflect!

Sheltering from the wind and rain, I counted a list of 10 blessings, as it could have been so much worse than the inconvenience of a car breaking down. I was most definitely not going to join the car by breaking down myself and going down worst case scenario!

Kenneth, brought Andy, well wrapped in his Canadian thermals, to relieve me. He waited for the Green Flag driver while I went home to defrost...

Monday the 7th Feb, car delivered to garage and unfortunately, for us, they are busy and not able to look at the car until...

Friday the 11th Feb, came the call with the news of much needed repairs and an estimation of an escalating bill...

Today is Monday the 14th Feb, and Andy and I have filled our past week with lots of walking and even a bus journey or two but still no sign of a returning car...

However, no matter how many corners there are ahead of us, it is always worth counting one's blessings. 

Here are my 10 from that fateful, February day.

  1. Wasn't alone, was with a friend.
  2.  Friend had phone
  3. Green Flag recovery
  4. Not far from home
  5. Had on my downie coat.
  6. ...  and warm winter hat.
  7.  New insoles in shoes.
  8.  Son available with car
  9. Husband available to stand and wait
  10. only snow ... not a blizzard!                                         ..........................................................................................................

 14 days of Feb gone, halfway mark! I am now wondering what the next 14 days will hold...