Pearls and Oysters 28/9/2013

Boletus 21Boletus 231

“SEPTEMBER SUNSHINE AND THE WEEK THAT WAS”

We’re blessed with a golden September day, like a brief return of summer. There’s  a rogue sunflower forming a bloom on my garden bench, having planted itself earlier among the rosemary.  Time to go out for an explore and try to get a photo  of the abundance of Boletus mushrooms which are a great source of clear yellow dye.

I’ve decided for now to blog once a week and celebrate the “Week That Was”. I’m doing a lot of writing for my Meditation through Writing course and some other pieces for my friend Fiona’s new creative website One Soul Many Hearts. 

You may want to look and see if there’s a creative opportunity for you there. Fiona would be pleased to hear from you.

This week formed a pattern of  social events, creative writing and reading, dotted with visits from the District Nurse and a trip to Ayr Hospital to discuss having some teeth out on an overnight stay, just in case there are are any unanticipated problems. I repacked my hospital “be ready for anything” suitcase. Once that was done, I tucked it back in the cupboard and continued my policy of living one day at a time.

Tuesday was gentle exercise class which is surprisingly invigorating. It is held in our lounge here so it didn’t matter that it was a disgusting day outside and it was nice to meet my neighbours afterwards for coffee and Jaffa Cakes, although we do all try to choose the healthier biscuit options. This was followed up by my regular manicure and hand care, part of staying well. “Very Cherry” was the colour of choice, a deep magenta – something to delight the nurses when I next go in for my drain.

My friend Angie arrived with my granddaughter’s birthday present which I will put up for you once the surprise is over. Angie makes gorgeous household accessories, shown on her website “Sugar and Spice” and last night I bid successfully for a red and white spotty pillow on her Facebook auction. Nice to have someone so talented nearby.

The beginning of the week was about following the Americas Cup races which had many of my favourite features, stunning state of the art catamarans, San Franciso Bay as the venue, amazing sailing (Poor New Zealand – they really worked hard and a couple of crews which fit the description used by Judge Len Dawson after the first dance in the new “Strictly” series. He called it “Chicken Soup for the Eyes!” which is very apt for the sailing crews. In my next life I’ll come back as a Transatlantic sailor with a fab catamaran. The crew is open to negotiation!

Yesterday was a very satisfying and social day – not so usual for me these days. At our morning coffee in the house we raised £70 for the MacMillan Cancer Big Coffee Morning. We were served coffee In the “posh” coffee pot and cups and cakes and shortbread to replace the normal biccies.

In the afternoon I went through to Whiting Bay where Bev who runs Bay News held a coffee afternoon in their new holiday flat extension with views of the sea and Holy Isle. The baking was done by George, Fiona’s son, who coincidentally turns 16 today. So along with birthday greetings comes a plea to keep those lemon cakes coming! The afternoon raised £500 for Macmillan and it was great for me to meet people from Whiting Bay that I hadn’t seen since I got ill.

Yesterday the weather was at it’s softest and smirriest with low clouds hiding the mountains. Today is exactly the opposite. I hope you have a joyful day whatever your weather. Now for those mushroom photos……

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To read about my textile and artistic work see:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Blogs I love:

Scottish Island Mum

(Details on Scottish Island Mum website about Meditation through Writing)

Miracle Design

Angela Elliott-Walker

Nordic House

Simple Abundance

Illustrated Journaling

Useful Website:

Headspace

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Pearls and Oysters 24/9/2013

Autumn 20131

“AUTUMN GATHERINGS”

I know, I know, I haven’t written a blog since the beginning of the month and I very much appreciate your notes wondering if I am OK. So much has been “happening” in September and I found I had a sort of blogger’s block when it came to putting it down on paper (well, on screen).  I’ve been very aware of my “journey to wellness” this month and I can feel my strength coming back very slowly, enough that I am going to the gentle exercise class once a week with my neighbours and managed to swim gently for half an hour with a friend last week.

I’ve read an amazing number of books this month, both what I call library books which are out on loan and the books I treat myself for my own shelf. The image of a sponge comes instantly to mind, and it has been necessary to process what I read in the context of my wider quest for understanding and well-being. This takes some time to progress into meaningful writing. Hence this self-imposed retreat.

I’m on tenterhooks waiting for my weaving book to be released by Bloomsbury any time now. I anticipate a sense of freedom when that comes out – much like saying goodbye to one of your children when they take off for pastures new and you are left sorting and fixing and wondering what you will do next. The joy of it being that they (and my book) will still be around, though my input in the development will take a back seat.  I can only send it out with my blessing and hope for the best.

One or two events this month have set me thinking about “belonging” and as yet I have not drawn any conclusions. My high school class in California held their 50th reunion last weekend and I received lots of lovely photos of people I knew and still recognise. We were the first class to graduate from the new school, Bella Vista and the years I spent there have helped to make me who I am today. I would have liked to have gone for the party, though I’m not sure I would have made the trip even if I had been physically able.

There’s a time when we let go of a place and move on and while we don’t actually belong there any more it is always in our heart. The bonus in this case are the friends I still keep in touch with and see when I can.

Apart from reading the novels by Phillipa Gregory which form the basis of the stunning TV series “The White Queen”, I can recommend the “Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher, one of her stories based in Cornwall. I love her portrayals of her characters and the descriptions of the Cornish countryside. Great as a change from thinking about deeper subjects and spending time ‘not thinking’. I have had two books recommended to me E-squared by Pam Grout (I don’t know where the “to the power of” symbol is on my machine!) and “All is Well” by Louise Hay and Monica Schultz. So the reading continues, as will the blogs, though I will go with the flow as to frequency.

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To read about my textile and artistic work see:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Blogs I love:

Scottish Island Mum

(Details on Scottish Island Mum website about Meditation through Writing)

Miracle Design

Angela Elliott-Walker

Nordic House

Simple Abundance

Illustrated Journaling

Useful Website:

Headspace

Pearls and Oysters 2/9/2013

“THE DAILY MAIL AND OTHER ASSORTED SYNCHRONICITIES”

For many years Leslie Kenton has been a great source of reference for me regarding health and diet. I used her book “Raw Energy” when the kids were growing up and I know that our diet had a lot to do with boosting their health, keeping them cold free in winter and keeping acne to a minimum. She has gone on to do many years of research into the effects of diet and health and I know that following her advice kept my diabetes under control without medication for quite a few years. Her book “Ageless Aging” is a gem for going through THAT certain change of life.

As part of my healing process now, I looked her up on the Internet and discovered that she has a website Leslie Kenton. I subscribed to her free newsletter which you can also read online where she covers a number of topical issues. Imagine my surprise when I received her latest email “What the Daily Mail didn’t Publish”.

Leslie has four grown up children by four different relationships and the paper wanted to know how she felt about this and what her relationship to her children and their fathers was like. She wrote an open and honest account of her experiences, praised each of her children and took full responsibility for either deciding that they should be conceived or being taken by surprise.

The paper refused to publish the article saying that it wouldn’t be of interest to their readers. Incredible when you think of the number of “blended” families there are from second marriages and the number of single parents who choose to raise their children alone.

The resonance for me was overwhelming. Leslie referred to herself humorously as a 4 x 4 parent. I sent her an email as a 3 x 2 parent (4 x 3 if you count my miscarriage) and thanked her for articulating an issue so clearly that I had struggled with for so long, in turn feeling guilty and “unconventional” for letting my better judgement show me the way. I said in my email that I was so pleased because my kids love each other “ferociously” and she wrote back that she believes that love should be “ferocious”, although ever-changing.

Along these lines my friend Anne Bruce dropped in for a catch up and gave me a book that she has translated from Norwegian which has had a lot of attention in the US – Days in the History of Silence by Merethe Lindstrom. It is the story of a long term marriage and what happens when the husband suddenly stops speaking and goes silent. It turns out that both of them have a secret which they never really shared and it is fascinating to read how awareness catches up with them.

Meanwhile, I’m looking out my dangliest earrings and floweriest tops to meet the challenge of a group of fb friends who’ve decided to introduce a spot of Bohemianism into their daily lives. I know I’ve been there before and chances are you knew me in one of my Bohemian phases. Watch this space……….

Boho2

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To read about my textile and artistic work see:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

Blogs I love:

Scottish Island Mum

(Details on Scottish Island Mum website about Meditation through Writing)

Miracle Design

Angela Elliott-Walker

Nordic House

Simple Abundance

Illustrated Journaling

Useful Website:

Headspace

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