New Directions – 1

I wrote this just before I was helicoptered off to Edinburgh with a serious infection & complications. I’m OK and back home with a blog I prepared in hospital, so watch this space…

“BACK TO BLOGGING AND BUTTERFLIES”

Daisies1I’m blogging again. My hemoglobin got the better of me in the past few days for which the only remedy was sleep and a blood transfusion, but as usual during this break I’ve come back refreshed, finding that my creative life has taken a new direction while I was asleep and there are new experiences and contacts which I hadn’t thought of previously. It’s exciting when you can see a timeline progressing under its own steam. For me a new timeline started on Groundhog Day – February 2, no particular significance except for the new direction.

My book “Practical Weaving” has now gone to the publisher and will be released at the end of the year by Bloomsbury. In the finishing off, I contacted Fiona Doubleday who I’ve known for years to get permission to use a photo of her daughter Molly taken some 10 years ago when she was learning to weave.

Fiona and I had collaborated before when she lived on Arran and ran the Arran Trading Post. She sold my natural dyed rainbow wool and Weavelets as we christened my small works woven on willow hoops provided by Basket Maker Julie Gurr. Julie now looks after my container garden with just the right understanding of how I want to look. We’re plotting and planning for this year  to add some new herbs and flowers. Last years plants and shrubs are thriving.

Julie studies meditation as does Fiona, but they didn’t know this until I was thinking out loud on my phone call to Fiona and realised that she and Julie have at least two interests in common. Then along came Liz McCulloch who I’ve known for a few years when we met at a course at the hospital on managing long-term illness. Fiona was planning her first workshop in flower arranging and the week before, I was having lunch with Liz and she confided that she had signed up for a flower arranging course (with Fiona) and she was feeling a bit nervous because she didn’t know Fiona and she wasn’t sure she’d be good enough. I was able to reassure her on both counts and her stunning flower arrangement was a much sought after raffle prize at yesterday’s Butterfly Tea.

Which brings us nicely back to the timeline, represented here by the daisy chain which I use on my website to show how single incidents loop together to form a recognisable chain. Another bit of synchronicity occurred when Fiona and I, quite independently watched “Mary and Martha” with Pam Ferris and Hilary Swank which was shown on Comic Relief. I won’t spoil the story because the film is out on DVD, but both Fiona and I had the  knee jerk reaction “No more deaths from malaria.” Fiona contacted the Butterfly Project which raises money for nets for children in Zambia and the Arran Project was born.

So from one routine phone call, one  friendship was revived, three new local liaisons became possible, one anti-malaria project was started, a new studio was opened, and a Butterfly Tea and Cakes Afternoon brought 31 people together to raise £200 – enough to buy 40 nets.

One local young woman is filming the whole of the Project which runs to October and 2 very talented young Doubleday bakers baked 78 cupcakes which were appreciated by all.

We don’t know yet where the Butterfly journey will take us, but if it multiplies at the rate we experienced yesterday, we can encourage others to get involved and decrease the death rate of children from that pesky disease.

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Fiona’s Blog: Scottish Island Mum

Butterfly Tree Project

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New Directions – 1

Daisies1

“BACK TO BLOGGING AND BUTTERFLIES”

Daisies1I’m blogging again. My hemoglobin got the better of me in the past few days for which the only remedy was sleep and a blood transfusion, but as usual during this break I’ve come back refreshed, finding that my creative life has taken a new direction while I was asleep and there are new experiences and contacts which I hadn’t thought of previously. It’s exciting when you can see a timeline progressing under its own steam. For me a new timeline started on Groundhog Day – February 2, no particular significance except for the new direction.

My book “Practical Weaving” has now gone to the publisher and will be released at the end of the year by Bloomsbury. In the finishing off, I contacted Fiona Doubleday who I’ve known for years to get permission to use a photo of her daughter Molly taken some 10 years ago when she was learning to weave.

Fiona and I had collaborated before when she lived on Arran and ran the Arran Trading Post. She sold my natural dyed rainbow wool and Weavelets as we christened my small works woven on willow hoops provided by Basket Maker Julie Gurr. Julie now looks after my container garden with just the right understanding of how I want to look. We’re plotting and planning for this year  to add some new herbs and flowers. Last years plants and shrubs are thriving.

Julie studies meditation as does Fiona, but they didn’t know this until I was thinking out loud on my phone call to Fiona and realised that she and Julie have at least two interests in common. Then along came Liz McCulloch who I’ve known for a few years when we met at a course at the hospital on managing long-term illness. Fiona was planning her first workshop in flower arranging and the week before, I was having lunch with Liz and she confided that she had signed up for a flower arranging course (with Fiona) and she was feeling a bit nervous because she didn’t know Fiona and she wasn’t sure she’d be good enough. I was able to reassure her on both counts and her stunning flower arrangement was a much sought after raffle prize at yesterday’s Butterfly Tea.

Which brings us nicely back to the timeline, represented here by the daisy chain which I use on my website to show how single incidents loop together to form a recognisable chain. Another bit of synchronicity occurred when Fiona and I, quite independently watched “Mary and Martha” with Pam Ferris and Hilary Swank which was shown on Comic Relief. I won’t spoil the story because the film is out on DVD, but both Fiona and I had the  knee jerk reaction “No more deaths from malaria.” Fiona contacted the Butterfly Project which raises money for nets for children in Zambia and the Arran Project was born.

So from one routine phone call, one  friendship was revived, three new local liaisons became possible, one anti-malaria project was started, a new studio was opened, and a Butterfly Tea and Cakes Afternoon brought 31 people together to raise £200 – enough to buy 40 nets.

One local young woman is filming the whole of the Project which runs to October and 2 very talented young Doubleday bakers baked 78 cupcakes which were appreciated by all.

We don’t know yet where the Butterfly journey will take us, but if it multiplies at the rate we experienced yesterday, we can encourage others to get involved and decrease the death rate of children from that pesky disease.

************

Fiona’s Blog: Scottish Island Mum

Butterfly Tree Project

Weaver’s Tale – 21

Ross Road1Holy Isle from the Ross Road

Yesterday in my blog I told the story about cycling across the Ross Road which cuts across the South end of the island. Today by chance i had an opportunity to drive around the South End with a friend and back to Brodick by that self-same road who’s name has no connection with mine. As we drove we reflected on what it has meant to us to live on Arran – we came here about the same time, me to pursue my weaving and my friend to develop her career as a painter while she kept the wolf from the door by teaching art.

At the time we came, there had been a huge drop in population dating back to the Clearances when many Arranites lost their crofting tenancies and were forced to emigrate to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. Job opportunities were practically non-existent in the farming industry and tourism beyond bed & breakfast was a little known concept.

My friend and I were part of a new mini-wave of young people who wanted to live on the land and develop craft and artistic skills. We coexisted with the local population, sent our kids to local school and worked hard with the Arran Heritage Project helping to collect information about the families that had lived on the island. The weaving below was part of a skills project that we worked together on with 3rd and 4th year pupils.

As we drove around in the late afternoon sunshine today the view was spectacular and there were primroses everywhere. We talked about the influence that Arran had on both our lives and the role that living on the island played in developing our adventurous, caring children. At times people could be very critical and quite outspoken about what they defined as “hippies” and sometimes it seemed that we had to be constantly on guard not to be hurt by judgmental attitudes. All of which contributed to become a much more tolerant person. There was no point in holding a grudge.

Today as we drove across the moors which show no signs of the spectacular mountains so nearby we took great contentment in the beauty of the place. We were able to laugh at the idea that someone would be considered an “incomer” after 36 years. I certainly don’t feel like one.

AHTapestry1

the Arran Heritage Tapestry

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For more information about my art & textile work:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Websites I love:

Scottish Island Mum (especially Day 40)

Miracle Design (especially 2009)

Angela Elliott-Walker

Weaver’s Tale – 20

“ON CYCLING AND RECYCLING”

Beach Finds 21

beach finds on blue glass plate

I was intrigued by Chris Hoy’s appearance on the news the other night to announce that he was not continuing to compete as a cyclist. He recognises his own limitations and knows when to stop. I liked the fact that he wouldn’t continue just for the applause and the track suit and cycling would become part of the rest and relaxation of his life, rather than pushing over the limit.

This was relevant for me today. I pressed the “Send” button for the final draft of my PRACTICAL WEAVING book to go off to the publishers. I began writing the book in 2009 and finished the first draft before I fell ill. As I gradually recovered, the manuscript was there waiting for me. That helped me to focus on “something else”. And now it’s finished and I can’t wait to see it and feel its weight in my hands summarising 30 years of weaving and teaching experience. there are practical projects to introduce weaving and explore the craft for yourself.

Because it’s taken so long to reach this point – 30 years, really – I look forward to the empty space now that it’s gone. This gives me an opportunity to recycle and  sort through more “stuff” and make that empty space physical as well as mental, before I go off on the next adventure. I’ve packed my background notes and photos away for someone else to pick up later and build their own experience. Meantime I will rest on my achievements and not keep going” just for the popularity and the tracksuit”, to quote Sir Chris.

Thinking of cycling in my life brings to mind a trip round the South end of Arran in the summer before I came to live here in 1975. I didn’t realise at that point that I was slowly making the decision to move and was falling in love with this beautiful place. I set off with a Swedish friend from Lamlash and we cycled round to the Ross Road. We didn’t realise that you could buy food in a pub so by the time we got round to the Ross, we were very hungry and looking forward to getting back to Lamlash.

As luck would have it we ended up behind the lorry that was spreading loose chippings on the tarmac of the narrow single lane road. They thought it was funny to keep us walking behind the lorry for a few hundred yards and wouldn’t let us by. They finally relented and we carried on cycling to Glen Scorrodale where we discovered the farm cafe that was run by the McConnell family. Never has food tasted so good.

The rest of the journey was all downhill and worth the ups and downs to get there. I can still feel that wind in my hair as Holy Isle came into view and another magical Arran day convinced me that I wanted to come and live here. So I did.

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To find out more about my art and textile work:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

To find websites I love:

Scottish Island Mum, especially Day 40

Miracle Design, especially 2009

Angela Elliott-Walker

Weaver’s Tale – 19

Lavender 2

“A WEE REMINDER FROM FIONA DOUBLEDAY, AKA SCOTTISH ISLAND MUM”

You are all invited to my new studio opening tea party on Saturday 27th April from 2.00pm. All proceeds from the day will go to The Butterfly Tree Charity
The lovely Lynn Ross will be cutting the ribbon around 2.15pm and there will a fabulous raffle, local crafts for sale and so much tea and cake. Please spread the word and I hope to see you there. Fxx

8022185178_9db1dea40a_z

“LIFE, DEATH AND IN THE MEANTIME”

World events brought their usual toll of deaths this week in areas like Syria and the earthquake zone in Iran. Closer to home and to my heart was the tragic death of the 8-year old boy who was watching his father achieve his goal at the Boston Marathon. His death reminded me of the saying “Bad things happen to good people”, especially since his mother and sister were seriously injured and their family devastated. Boston is close to my heart because I spent a wonderful few months there in the sixties. My first granddaughter was born there and my son Chris met his wife Louisa there when he was visiting his sister and began  his new life in the U.S.

All I can think to do is to pray for the families who were affected by the blasts and give thanks that my family is safe for the moment.

My own life was about living this week. I spent two days in hospital receiving treatment for my liver condition. I owe thanks to Dr. Guthrie for her sewing skills and to the nurses, who keep things upbeat and present me with the giggle challenge when I’m supposed to stay still…that I can receive this treatment at our local hospital is even better, though word does get round that I was seen in hospital as though I’d been “spotted” in an exclusive resort. Anyway I don’t have to think about the treatment for another month and perhaps my liver-lottery number will come up meantime.

A very timely email from the publisher of PRACTICAL WEAVING was waiting for me when I got home, with hopefully the last set of adjustments and rewrites. That will keep me occupied in the immediate and let me focus on something I really enjoy.

And of course I should mention the T word. I did watch the funeral service which was very dignified and formal as only the British can be. I felt sad at the form the opposition took. At the end of the day such negative thoughts and vindictive actions can only bounce back on the people who hold them and It’s hard to move on carrying such a grudge.

I’m not saying I liked her. I didn’t. I didn’t like her policies in my life or her “We in Scotland….” hypocrisy when she was busy dismantling the country and its economy. I know from experience being a woman in charge, trying to promote other women surrounded by men so I can forgive her for not putting her emphasis there.

I could write much more about the effects she had on my life, she did change the country as far as I’m concerned but not in a positive way.

I just can’t get my head round the fact that her funeral cost millions, which the nation can ill afford. This money could have been invested in a more lasting legacy to remember her by and to kick start the economy where it is most needed.

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To find out more about my art and textile work see:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Websites Which Mention Me:

Scottish Island Mum Day 40

Miracle Designs 2009

Other websites I love:

Angela Elliott-Walker

Weaver’s tale – 18

Cullen Skink1

“A DAY FOR CULLEN SKINK AND IGNORING THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY”

It’s been a windy day, rain spattering occasionally on the window and although it was warm enough to open the windows in the morning, the sun never really defeated the cloud cover.

I decided to curl up, read my library books and spend some time preparing a cockle-warming Cullen Skink, or smoked fish soup.

The soup is originally from the town of Cullen in Morayshire, on the north-east coast of Scotland. Skink, or knuckle of beef was the term used for soup meat. The word is used to define the fish soup, even though there are no bones. Recipes vary from area to area, so I’m sharing mine which I’ve developed over the years of tasting it every time I could when I was out for lunch.

I am so lucky here to have a van delivery every Saturday of meat, local eggs, vegetables and fish from The Arran Butcher.Their products are local wherever possible, far superior to packaged goods. They have all the ingredients for Cullen Skink

Smoked Haddock, Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Celery if you like it.

Chop the vegetables into fairly large (1 inch) chunks. Put some light olive oil in a heavy skillet or soup pan. ( I use my beloved Le Creuset shallow casserole.) Add the onions and cook gently on low heat until they are golden, then add the carrots, potatoes, celery and smoked haddock. Stir gently to sweat the vegetables and fish and then cover with boiling water and a vegetable stock cube. Stir once more and let the mixture simmer on a low heat for 2 hours, adding more water if it begins to boil away.

When the vegetables are soft and the fish is cooked you can add cream or milk to taste and heat gently for a few minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley if you have it and serve with garlic bread.

To me Cullen Skink is soul food, especially when the ingredients are local. If you don’t feel like making it The Brodick Bar  does a mean version, especially welcome after a walk in the hills.

Since I can’t walk far at the moment, I’ve been looking through photos taken in the past few years of the Arran landscape and the variety of plants that appear at different times of year. The picture below is from Glen Rosa, showing wild flowers just about this time of year, peeping out from underneath a sea of bracken stalks.

There are primroses, mini-violets, wood anemones (known in our house as “vitsippor” – the Swedish name) and the bright yellow stars of celandine. I will be thinking about incorporating them into my mini-garden if I can, taking the unusual step of ignoring advice from the Royal Horticultural Society that suggests that celandine be removed from the garden as it is a weed. One organisation’s weed is another woman’s starry yellow flower.

 Glen Rosa Flowers1

To find out more about my art and textile work see:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

For websites that I love see:

Scottish Island Mum

Miracle Design

 

Weaver’s Tale – 17

“I’D RATHER BE ALONE THAN WISH I WERE”

Basalt1

I wrote yesterday about flax and linen and mentioned the process which is known in fairy tales of turning straw into gold. It’s a miracle that the most utilitarian looking plants can be transformed into the softest of fibre and fabric with a jewel-like sheen. The process is a lengthy one from planting the seeds, to harvesting and rotting and drying the plant stalks so that they can be broken down and combed to fine fibre.

Today the story is about a bag of seed heads and an enterprising mouse. The received wisdom after the seed heads are removed from the stalks is to store them in plastic boxes, in a dry place so the seeds can be used the following spring. We followed the procedures, weighed the yield of seed heads and put the box on a shelf in the workshop thinking it would be safe and our plants would be twice as many the following year.

What we didn’t know was that a mouse managed to find its way up behind the shelf, chew a hole in the part of the box we couldn’t see and helped him/herself invisibly to a great winter feast, eating the seeds and leaving us the seed heads intact, thank you very much. Just shows that you think you have something and then find out it’s disappeared when you weren’t looking.

When I started to write this blog at the beginning of February, I decided to write from the heart and not spend too much time editing, going over things and rewriting, but rather  let the blog write itself with me as a channel. It’s worked amazingly well and I would recommend it as a tool to anyone for clearing thoughts and bringing ideas together that are whirling all over the place. It’s been a great tool for recovery helping me to see what is essential in my life and what can be discarded once and for all. This may mean from your point of view as reader that I repeat myself sometimes and express the same things now and again, so I hope you will forgive this lack of perfection and read as much between the lines as you do on the surface.

Today my theme is loneliness, inspired by the end of last week’s family visit, a talk I had with the wonderful occupational therapist Fiona who has supported me through this past year of readjustment and a programme on Radio 4, Solos on Loneliness. You can still listen to this half hour on iPlayer. Appropriate too to the box of seeds which disappeared when I wasn’t looking.

Statistics have been collated showing that 25% of the population are lonely. This is attributed among other things to marriage break-ups, retirement, children moving away, losing a partner or living with a partner who has Alzheimer’s or needs other kinds of care.

For me several things happened in close sequence which contributed to feeling lonely, and I am convinced that this was a cumulative, contributing factor in my sudden illness.

Turned on its head, recognising these feelings are an important part of healing. I’ve learned to surround myself with supportive, caring people, to say NO and spend my time doing things I want to do as much as I can, spending quality time by myself when I can. The main message from the radio programme is to ask for help when feelings of loneliness seem overwhelming. One of the contributors was the presenter Andy Kershaw who talked openly about his situation when his marriage broke up. People assumed that because he was semi-famous and surrounded by people he could cope with whatever and didn’t always recognise that this was not the case.

We know that feelings of loneliness can be most acute sometimes when we are surrounded by other people. I LOVE the expression …”I’d rather be alone than wish I were.” I hope it will be useful some time for you as well.

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To read more about my art and textile work see the following websites:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Websites that I love:

Scottish Island Mum – Day 40 – Come and Meet the Lovely Lynn

Miracle Design

Weaver’s Tale – 16

“THE BUMBLE BEE AND THE FLAX SHARE A DANCE”

I’ve taken a couple of days just to let this blog sift through my mind picking up bits and pieces in the time since the family all left and one by one reported back how they’ve all settled in at home, all agreeing that it was a wonderful visit!

One question that came up for me was “What would I be doing now if I hadn’t got ill?”  I’m sixty seven years old (this won’t be a surprise to any of my Bella Vista HS friends who keep in touch), I’ve had a challenging career, raised a family and most recently written a book. It’s called Practical Weaving (in case you’d forgotten) and is available to pre-order on Amazon. It’s a bonus to all the years of teaching weaving and spinning, a resource I had been accumulating over the years and now it’s under one cover.

The editor at A.C. Black mentioned that as part of the publicity for they book they would be asking how it was I became a weaver and through this blog I’ve had time to articulate that.

In the past year, I’ve moved house, sorted through a lifetime of “things”, spent a lot of hours resting and recuperating, reading for pleasure and for thought, spent time with friends  and planned the new container garden. So what next?

The answer – some empty space, getting rid of  more “stuff” after talking to the family about what they would like and planning the garden, realising that I won’t be able to do the physical work, but I can still dream and visualise!

So if you don’t hear from me on a daily basis for a while you’ll know that in spite of the frustrations I am where I should be and everything is moving even as I stand still.

One thing that I will be doing is opening Fiona Doubleday’s studio on Saturday 27 April. Tea, cupcakes and lots of co-operative sunshine will be the order of the day, plus a chance to see what Fiona is up to at Hazelbank. Production is underway of butterflies in a range of fibres and fabrics to see in aid of the Butterfly Tree Project in Zambia which I’ve mentioned before.

I will be donating a basket of yarns from my stash of natural-dyed wool and alpaca, Finnish and Swedish linen and other beautiful yarns from shops like Tricoter in Seattle. Visitors to Fiona’s studio can take away yarn and a pattern to make crocheted butterflies to add to the range of work which will also be for sale in local shops.

In the early eighties at Silverbirch, my spinning and weaving workshop in Whiting Bay, we cultivated some small plots of flax and processed them by hand into linen thread. That is a chapter in itself which I will write at a later date. One story is appropriate for my situation just now and I’m sure you’ve experienced it for yourself.

In one of the plots the flax had grown to 5 feet tall with blue flowers. This meant that the yield from the stalk would be long and easy to process. What was significant though was the strength of the fibre. I was meditating one day, just looking at the flowers waving in the wind, looking forward to processing them. All of a sudden a huge bumblebee landed on the tallest stalk. It’s weight pulled the stalk right over to the ground bending it but not breaking it.

The bee gathered the pollen from the flower and then flew away. The linen stalk began to stretch very slowly back up to it’s full height again with no drama or jerkiness whatsoever. Watching the stalk was one of the most profound things I’d ever seen. At the moment my being feels like that linen flower, pulled by a heavy weight all the way down. Now it’s stretching back of it’s own accord to it’s full height.

Flax1

“straw into gold – preparing flax for spinning”

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To read more about my art and textile work see:

Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Websites I like:

Scottish Island Mum – Day 40 – Come and Meet the Lovely Lynn

Miracle Design

Weaver’s Tale – 15

Glen Estate1

“ALL QUIET AT GLEN ESTATE”

After the buzz of family coming and going, Glen Estate seems very quiet. But that may be because I’m not seeking company, just enjoying the sunshine, finding time to write and plan the container garden that is taking shape outside my window. The smell of newly mown grass fills the air after the lawn was given its first cut of the season.

I love the garden here, the mixture of shrubs and flowering plants left behind by others, the silverbirch trees outside my window and now the containers which we planted at the end of last summer showing signs of growth. Unbelievably the soil in the containers felt warm to the touch. Amazing after the snow of just a few days ago.

Glen Estate 311

I’m so proud of my family. ( I may have mentioned that before!) It was very difficult for them when I was really ill two years ago, but I think that has pulled us closer together, especially for me when I hear their care and their faith that the future will be OK no matter what.

My twelve-year old granddaughter in Ireland got word when she went home that she has been chosen to attend a Saturday Youth Academy at the University of Galway. There were thousands of applicants. She will study physics and is really looking forward to expanding her horizons in this way. Full marks to her parents in encouraging her.

Yesterday I wrote  a piece about a situation that occurred in my life  40 years ago. I will publish it, but not yet.

It was like making a quilt. Laying small pieces of memory and knowledge together and adding photographs meant that I was able to describe the whole picture one piece at a time, something I’ve never taken time to do before. Being with the family reminded me that we live from day to day when we raise children, responding to the events which occur in the present.

We don’t often get a chance to stand back and look at the pattern that is forming which we will see at a later date, as I have just done this week.

By piecing together incidents from the past, it becomes possible to lay them aside and trust that any insights will appear when they appear and we don’t HAVE to understand everything as it happens.

That’s a gift. It means that we can let go the past and the present, look at them from time to time as an observer and trust that the process is as it should be. There’s a lot of peace in letting go and well worth the effort we put into learning how to do it gratefully and gracefully.

Glen Estate 3111

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To find out more about my art and textile work see:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Scottish Island Mum – Day 40 – Come and Meet the Lovely Lynn

Miracle Designs

Weaver’s Tale – 14

Jill's Farewell

“Farewell Arran in glorious weather, see you next time –  Jill

Chris left today for Manchester to catch his plane tomorrow to fly back home to Philadelphia and his gorgeous wife Louisa. The girls are back in Galway catching up with their friends and we are all experiencing the afterglow of such a sunny sparkling visit as we prepare for the next phase in our lives.

Chris said it better than I could when he expressed the fact that they were all very grateful to have a place to go back to where they feel at home, despite any changes. Now the grandgirls are building their own memory banks with photos and anecdotes and talk of the next trip. Much as I love Arran I have the same feelings when I go to Stockholm – home but different.

My friend responded to yesterday’s blog by writing the following comment. She has hit the nail exactly on the head.

“I can feel with you, Lynn, saying good bye is never easy. But I try comforting myself by thinking that if they did not go away I would never have the joy of seeing them coming to visit me. Many people live parallel lives while living together – one can easily see: that is not happening in your family! Welcomes and good-byes show us so much more just how we love each other as a family.”

Today then has been a day of rest and contemplation and trying not to plan what my attitude is going to be to the next phase of my life. I know that my nearest and dearest are content and all is peacefu todayl in our geographically extended space. Arran is here for the next visit and I am lucky to be the one who lives here. My immediate future is going to be the dance between illness and health, adapting illness as part of my being, but understanding that healing is possible and available just for the asking.

My thoughts are turning inevitably to the garden and working out a comfortable corner where I can be outside with all the flowers I love, and some tentative efforts to grow vegetables on a smaller and much more manageable scale than I did when the garden supported our economy and fresh pea pods never reached the house, but served as snacks for hungry, busy children.

I’m also going to look at the “things” I’ve been hoarding, “just in case the children want them”. It was agreed that the only thing that we all wanted from the toy box was the Lego, the rattle of which I have mentioned previously.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to send “things” anymore, but rather be aware what would be helpful in their lives at the moment and what could provide new experiences.

I have to say I came close to changing my policy when I opened the silver filigree earrings that Chris and Louisa had chosen for me – so maybe occasional “things” and the second hand book my thoughtful daughter had found for me – more on that anon.

Tonight I feel a bit sad, but mostly energised and ready to face the next few steps in my physical recovery and enjoy each day as it comes.

As well defined by Pooh and Piglet in their discussion in the cartoon in my timeline today.

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For more on my art and textile work and to look up websites I like:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Scottish Island Mum – Day 40 – Come and Meet the Lovely Lynn

Miracle Design

Fern’s Book – Diary of a Hamster by Ramsay Steward

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