Monday, 31 December 2007

2007

2007...
was interesting.
i managed to spend six months in one place and six months in another ...a fair plan for a nomadic heart.
finance wise, neither excellent, nor a total disaster.
job wise... i worked some, not enough to make me rich or unhappy, so all in all, a salubrious outcome.
haircuts...i had a few, none of them so bad as to warrant suicide or a sojourn in a convent.
family...i am, as always, blessed by the richness and diversity of my beloved family.
old friends...as loyal and as loved as ever.
new friends... keep living and you keep making, a fruitful year.
health...i continue healthy and energized, if perhaps, a soupscon over the desired weight limit for my height and bone structure.

i read many good books, listened and heard the wise words of many. i ate with relish and gratitude. i slept well when i was not awake. music and lyrics soothed my soul and electrified my mind. i watched a lot of rubbish tv, with, as always...the occasional gem thrown in as a curved ball. the odd bottle of red found space in my cellar and brought joy to my taste buds. wine wise i have discovered and enjoyed france, california, australia and italy. my previously stubborn south african palate learns the ways of the world.

namaste 2007

Sunday, 30 December 2007

lost in the clouds





we are lost in the clouds today and the silence is even more silent.

michelle is making toad-in-the-hole with her spectacular home made onion gravy. the warmth and aroma of good home cooking meanders through the house.

i love scotland, i find myself most fortunate to have ended up here, in this wild and winsome place.
life has taken me many places and taught me many things...
i think perhaps scotland will hold my heart.
my wanderlust, my nomadic leanings, grow still. the land speaks to me of permanence and gentle satisfaction.

i will always love my homeland, mother africa...bright and harsh, beautiful and unforgiving. i carry her in my heart, she flows as the blood in my veins.
it is a constant sadness to me that my people seem to have lost the gentle realization of 'love your neighbour'. that ego and the eternal i, appears to rule the hearts and minds of south africa. i don't believe it will be forever, at our core, we are a people of great generosity and talent.we have been damaged through the iniquity of apartheid and we need time to heal. time to forget the past and remember the blessing of being born...
under the african sun.

south africa, for myself... a place, once called home...
where many of those who share my life and fill my heart, still live. a place to visit and glory in the warmth of the familiar, the harsh accents, the bright colours...
the differences which keep her young, vital and intriguing.

scotland, so different, now owns this nomad heart.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

the stuff of nightmares




last night, i dreamed a dream.

a band, a very famous band, (sorry, their name was lost in my waking up process) were to have a reunion concert. a once off, last ever reunion concert.
manfred was to play with them. at the last minute their lead guitarist fell ill and they desperately needed a replacement. my mann suggested me, they listened to me play (must admit, i was brilliant ;-)) and decided i would do. i felt honoured but kind of nervous and admitted i would love to play but unfortunately...i had no guitar.
the very famous lead singer...whose name i can't remember...maybe freddie mercury...as i was totally in awe!...
brought out his very expensive, very wonderful orange guitar and said...
"not to worry, you can use mine."

the day of the concert arrives and i am pissing around, wasting time...as one does in dreams...trying to decide what to wear etc etc. eventually we arrive at the stadium ten minutes before the band is due to start their performance.
and guess what... i have left the effin' famous, precious, very valuable guitar behind at home!
so...i have to tell this very famous leader of this very famous band... not too worried, they will doubtless have a spare guitar somewhere.
but no, they don't! i must set off in search of a worthy instrument to play.

i meet a guy who is totally impressed that i am to play this concert.he tells me his mother owns a guitar shop in a nearbye mall...he calls her and repeats the whole sorry saga. not a problem she will open the shop for me.
we arrive at the shop and she has the guitar ready for me...obviously the 'piece de resistance' of her stock.
omg! what an ugly instrument, it had these long, thin, brass extensions, which grew out of the body of the guitar. but... beggars can't be choosers...so i said
"ok that will be fine...i'll be sure to mention your kindness and the name of your business to the crowd."

business owner says...
"that will be 25000 pounds."

i say...
"huh! thought you were going to lend it to me"

unfortunately i do not have 25000 pounds, not even to save the last ever concert of this ever so famous band!

i leave the shop and start to make my way back to the stadium, it is already ten minutes past our starting time. i hear music and the crowd screaming. the band are playing, they have found a replacement guitarist, with a guitar. the last ever concert continues without me...
i have lost my chance at immortality!

i awake...heart racing, dripping from a night sweat.
analyze that!

by the by...whilst i excel at 'air guitar"...
my guitar playing abilities, well...
i can play the first few notes of 'peter gunn'...
i mean...who can't...

Thursday, 27 December 2007

back to reality




yoiks! back to reality!

this morning, i happened to come to rest on top of the bathroom scale...
not good, not good at all.
said scale whispered to me of overly zealous celebration, the need for an immediate return to the land of lettuce without salad dressing.

i have tipped my private stash of chocolates into the general consumption container. i firmly intend to ignore the bucket of ginger biscuits (well...half a bucket now ;-) )...made to my late mom's original recipe by my wonderful daughter nikki.
such sacrifices are sometimes wise...nay, let's admit the truth... necessary.

hmmm...perhaps one last biscuit with my morning coffee...

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

boxing day blog

boxing day blog

the day after christmas. well fed...hmmm, to be perfectly honest...over fed. chocolates and new reading materials heaped high...

one book by my favourite medium, colin fry...
i watch his tv show 'sixth sense', this bloke is uncanny! one by another great british medium, tony stockwell...tony sometimes guests on the 'sixth sense'.
i have always been interested in near death experiences, past life and between life. i only felt the need to find a talented medium after manfred bowed out of the life physical.
manfred and i were great pals and equally inquisitive about what is, what was and what may be...
we spent a good part of our years together in deep conversation and debate about... well, just about anything that took our fancy.
quite naturally, when i developed cancer, we discussed life and death and how to make the most of our given time between birth and death.
when we received the devastating news that manfred had prostate cancer and that it had mestasized in his spine...no operation, no cure, just holding treatments to extend his life. at first we were so shocked, so afraid, we almost lost our ability to communicate. the human race are so adaptable, given enough time we will learn to accept almost anything.

we had many reasons to be glad, the mann had retired early and we had moved to a lovely cottage on the natal south coast.we received the gift of time and we learned to use it well.
we asked how long...we were told..."not easy to know, could be three months, could be ten years".
we were granted four years. four mostly good years, the last year more difficult. the medications stopped working, the cancer spread, the pain became difficult to control. my mann was a fighter, stubborn and brave.

for five days after his physical death, he was still around, i could feel his presence although i could neither see nor touch him. the sixth day ... he was gone, the house empty....
oh god how i howled that day.

in all probability, i moved to the uk because i could not bear home and the familiar without him. i really don't know, i thought i was functioning normally. i have now come to realize that i may have been walking and talking...
but for at least three years... i, me, myself, was in some manner absent. lost in an unfamiliar world, forced to survive without my soul mate.

during that lost time, i developed my interest in the world of the medium, the hope of contact with my lost beloved.
i visited three different mediums before i lost interest, they were in no way able to connect me with him. they told me interesting and very useful insights into me, my life, my talents and what i should be doing, where my path would lead. amazingly insightful and accurate... not at all what i was searching for.

my mind knew manfred so well, if i ask, he is still able to help me figure things out. sometimes i hear his voice so clearly...
i feel him, i dream him... i have no proof that he continues to be.

then i found the 'sixth sense' and colin fry, medium extraordinary. i believe that if manfred wished to contact me, colin would be the man to translate for us.
perhaps, one day, i will find the courage to test my theory, to look for the proof of life after death. or perhaps i will stay safe in the realm of my dreams, where my love waits for me on the other side.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Happy Christmas



once a year a celebration, a reminder of...

The joy of giving...
The grace of receiving...
Our love for our neighbour...
The importance of family...
The desire for peace...

why so parsimonious ... we should celebrate more often!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

tonight my lover




tonight is not all darkness
the moon approaches fullness
clouds line the sky and yet
light caresses the dark landscape
the night reigns majestic
the wind gives voice tonight
amidst the whip and whine
i hear whispers of the past
the breathy hopes of tomorrow
she touches me and tugs
hair grown long and shaggy
with playful voracity
my breath catches at her touch
the wind, tonight my lover


All materials Copyright © 2004-2007 by Eryll Oellermann

Saturday, 22 December 2007

who the dickens are digg?



they banned lesbiatopia

they banned just a girl in short shorts

they banned cap'n dyke...

who are these digg people?

do they practice homophobia?

this is just not cricket....

down with digg ... stand up and be counted!

Friday, 21 December 2007

casper







pj phoned last night, he and gereth are on holiday in capetown. he was calling on his cell phone and the line was bad.
he had sad news for me ...my much loved cat casper had died.
he died on the couch in their tv lounge, probably in his sleep. blaise, a dear friend who lives in a cottage in the grounds, took his little cat body into the vet to be cremated, the vet said....probably a heart attack.

casper was special, black with a white chest and face and the cutest black mustache and beard. he was born on the verandah of nikki and ian's town house, mummy cat took up residence there and delivered herself of five very cute kittens. casper was the runt and to save him, nikki hand fed him. i fell in love with him the very first time i saw him, when the time came for him to leave his mommy and venture out into the wider world...

only one problem, my mann did not really care for cats. we already had one, nikki had kind of negotiated him into allowing her to have sammi.it has always been kind of difficult to say no to nikki! plus, we had two dogs, one bull mastiff, luke, and tessa, a bull terrier.

eventually casper came home...
and manfred, disliker of cats...met his soul mate. they became inseparable. casper could do no wrong and he was the first and only cat ever allowed to sleep on our bed!

casper grew into a real character, every night before bed we would take luke and tessa out to do a late evening patrol and leg lifting exercise. casper would hide in the deep shadows, wait for tess, the bullie to wander past, and then leap out,jump onto her and sink his claws into her buttocks.he always hid in a different place and she always nearly had a heart attack. luckily bull terriers seem to lack sensitivity when it comes to pain and it was the surprise factor that got to her!

when manfred died, casper was my comfort, it felt as if there was still a connection with him through that small black and white cat.
when the time came for me to move to the uk, pj and gereth were happy to adopt him...no way would we have allowed our casper to endure six months in quarantine.

i have been home once since i left south africa. casper was pleased to see me in his rather offhand cat manner! i was in seventh heaven and felt honoured when he came to sleep in my room. I was hoping to take a trip home sometime next year...time with my son, my family, my friends and my beloved casper.

goodbye my furry little friend, i'm glad you went easy with little pain and suffering. say hi to the mann for me, in time, i will see you both on the other side.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

not nice ice




in the end i guess my nicotine habit will kill me... perhaps...
in a previously unimagined manner!

so last night...there i was, smoking my last cigarette of the day. the night was pitch black and freezing cold. but...i am a considerate smoker, i always smoke outside, sharing the pollution of my dreadful habit only with mother nature.

i knew about the ice!
between the cottage and the retaining stone wall there is a large concrete slab...stops the mud from actually taking over the house. all winter long water seeps from the hillside behind the house, through the stone wall and then dribbles out over the concrete.
sometimes it freezes. last night...guess i lost concentration. my legs started to slide apart, as if i was doing the splits. i have never been able to do the splits ... there is always a first time...
the pain, omg... then a dreadful cracking sound from both my knees and then i was on my (fortunately fairly rotund) arse. i screamed...nobody heard, the kids were already asleep and stone houses are amazingly soundproof.
my first thought was...

"omg you idiot $%&^* what the $%^&* have you done now!"

i'm not really that good in emergencies, if you have one...you should probably call someone else.

i managed to scrabble up into an ape like, semi crouching position. hmmm...everything seemed to be working, i straightened up, not too bad, i could walk...aaahhh...adrenaline!

two hours later...my knees were sharing with me how it would feel to be one hundred years old. i swallowed an ibuprofen, arranged myself very carefully in the bed and off to the land of nod, to dream....or not, as the case maybe.

I awoke this morning with sincere regrets that i still inhabited the mortal plain. my knees were now allowing me to experience two hundred year old joints.
i am able to walk, only just and very carefully. any sideways movement tends to lead to a horrible howling sound emerging from deep in my throat.

managed to eat and swallow some more ibuprofen. now the question is, should i look for a lift down to the village surgery or should i just lie here and hope for a miracle!

oh yeah... and happy christmas to you too ;-)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

surf's up






introducing my son adam and his wife michelle...learning to surf...somewhere in aus!



my kids are home! safe and sound and beautifully brown after three weeks in the australian sunshine.

seems they had a wonderful time, are not (as yet anyway!) tempted to move to australia. yep...afraid the nomadic thing seems to run in the blood.

what's more, they came bearing gifts...duty free camels! smoking in the uk is a very expensive business. i am more than happy to exchange board and lodging for a couple of cartons of duty free. ;-)

we in south ayrshire are enjoying our third day in a row of....
drum roll...clear skies and sunshine. this morning the hills are white with frost, the sheep appear unaffected by their new frozen food...they continue to munch relentlessly.

I am happy and at peace ...once more breaking into tuneless song and executing snazzy dance steps all by myself!
my heart celebrates the return of my muse.

Of course we still have enormous problems, we are still separated by the atlantic and our diverse cultures. The circumstances of our past experiences leaving herself and myself with vastly different life expectations.
for now, it is enough to hear the beloved voice and share the day to day events of our lives.

Monday, 17 December 2007

the witch is back

ding dong ding dong

the witch is back

my five foot nothing, italian/jewish....

princess is back!

weaving her spells, making my knees weak.

yep! and all this from 4000 miles away ;-)

i am so effin' pleased... yihaaaaaa!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

tick tock

tick tock
tick tock
i need a new battery
for my heart clock

"today is the first day of the rest of my life"

'kay...looking for attitude ...

wake up...coffee...freeze my arse off endulging my nicotine addiction.

big lightbulb moment! no need to crawl back under the covers...there are other ways of keeping warm.

been so long since i stretched a muscle with intent, so long since i played dance music...really loud. time to stop avoiding and start doing.

forget lazy, loaf about, lie in...remember endorphins...mama nature's little happy makers!


stiff, is for tomorrow... no free lunches.
man, i feel so good... love my body, love myself.

good morning world...

Saturday, 15 December 2007

what can i say ...

Please note, The Rising Blogger award to the right! Man, I am majorly chuffed...thank you to all concerned :-)

Thursday was celebration day, the top floor of BRICC house is mine from the 1st January 2008. What a feeling! This nomad has a most settled feeling settling in her nomadic bones....

I miss my muse.

I miss sharing the miracles and small triumphs of my life with her.

I miss her voice on the far end of a trans Atlantic cable.

I worry about her... is she well, is she safe...

Love ...

What can I say...

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

meet the family










meet the family

I have three wonderful, exceptional, highly talented and extremely intelligent children. Damn! sounds good to say that out loud.

Nikki, my first born, Adam, my second born and PJ....

PJ (the artist) is the youngest of my three children. ..
I will introduce the artist first as he was gifted a photo shoot with Merwelene van der Merwe, a highly respected South African photographer. Result...yesterday my boy emailed me a couple of photos of his extremely hunky self. Proud mommy that I am...I need to share.

PJ was a surprise... in more ways than one! I experienced an enormous amount of difficulty falling pregnant with Nikki (took seven years). After her birth my gynae, who considered her conception to be some what of a miracle, advised that we try for a second baby asap. Adam made his entrance roughly twenty two months later.
And...that was that. until four years later when the artist decided to grace planet earth with his most interesting self.
He was not an easy baby! I endured three years of sleepless nights and hovered on the brink of mental collapse. The baby artist experienced 'night terrors'. Now you all may well have heard of such like...they took me by surprise. Your youngster wakes screaming, you rush through to comfort him as mom's do, is he comforted...hell no, he is terrified and screams even louder. obviously having a horrible nightmare, wake him up, end of story...only one problem, our PJ seemed trapped in his world of sleep. I am not at my best when woken from sleep, in the small wee hours! I eventually learned to deal with the situation by lifting my wailing son, carrying him through to the bathroom and splashing water on his face. It sounds cruel...but it worked.

The artist has an IQ in the top two percentile, school bored him, life interested him. PJ is a talented painter, he has his own very unique style, he has his own design company...FOG, he cooks like a dream and throws parties to write home about. Like his father, PJ can accomplish any thing he sets his mind to.

PJ lives with his partner G in Johannesburg, South Africa. They share their home with two Great Danes...Porkchop and Mash and two feline friends, Veggie and Casper.

Is my baby not a most beautiful boy?

Monday, 10 December 2007

the sky was blue




today the sky was blue, there was no rain and the wind was gentle.
i had an appointment to view a cottage, just south of ballantrae. so no lolling around under the covers this morning...no, no...up and at 'em!
lovely place, great view across the valley towards the sea. the previous tenants had removed the fire place, hmmm, people do strange things. the estate agent assured me that they would replace the fire place, she also mentioned that they quite often had breaks in the electricity supply.

me..."no problem, the central heating works with oil doesn't it?"

estate agent..."well yes, but, the oil heating needs electricity to work."

me..."oh!"

I had to supply them with two references...always a bit of a problem for me. the people in this old world who really know me and would be prepared to vouch for me, all live in the good old RSA. Luckily I have a previous successful rental to my name, managed to pay my rent and keep my nose clean whilst i was resident. I also decided to give them the name of my office manager from the time when i was actually employed in ballantrae, she knew me fairly well...

on my way home i stopped in at the office to let her know that i had been using her name in vain! unfortunately she was not in, but....
an almost magical sequence of events proceeded to unfold.
BRICC (my old firm) had built a new office block next to the original house they had been using... the top floor of the house was now empty and was being converted into a flat (apartment). they were looking for a tenant, was i interested.
was i interested...blimey!

funny how life works out...this flat is right in the middle of the village, wonderful views of ailsa craig, the mull of kintyre, the ocean. huge arched windows, light pouring in to every room, beautifully decorated, new double glazing and best of all...really cheap!

there will be a meeting of the directors and then...hopefully, i will have my lease. whilst i was at the office, i was also offered some work in the new year.

all in all, a good day and the sky was blue...

Saturday, 8 December 2007

less than peachy




How could I have forgotten? I have never actually spent a whole winter in Scotland! Past two winters I spent quite a few months with herself in/on (can one be in Long Island or should one be on...hmmm...would the EP know) Long Island.
The winter months are not warm in her part of the world but, the sun does occasionally shine. Scotland now is a whole other story! Take today, must be day fifteen of wet, cold,grey dampness. Yesterday, the sun did pop out, a small reminder that life continues elsewhere in the world. So...we had sunshine followed shortly by rain and then very small hail.

Well maybe in the UK this size of hail may not be considered small, but let us never forget, I hail from Africa, wild country, wild weather. In South Africa when the sky grows ominously dark and the clouds take on a greenish hue, expect hail. Glorious hail, the size of golf balls, on the rare occasion tennis balls, hard, jagged, scary hail which tears the leaves from the branches, brings profit to window repair companies and would render one slightly unconscious were one to venture out in it.

I must admit, yesterday was not exactly...well, peachy. Today however we have attained a whole new definition of the phrase foul weather. I think we may be experiencing sleet. I have no previous personal experience of this phenomena but I have heard others describe the slanting, icy rain...peppered with what looks like snowflakes, mostly rain, a few snow flakes! The cold is bitter, the central heating is attempting to maintain a comfortable temperature... without much success.

The sheep, bless 'em have moved down to our side of the hill, there must be less of a gale blowing this side! At least I have company while I smoke, outside, in the sleet! Set me to thinking...
'I wonder what it feels like to be a sheep, a very wet, actually sodden sheep. Does the wet penetrate right through that thick woolly coat, how heavy is a lambswool coat when it is holding gallons of rain water. Does a wet coat still keep you warm?'
They... the wet and woolly ones, appear unperturbed, they continue to munch their way through life and the green hills of Ayrshire. Now, if only I was a sheep whisperer we could all have a little chat, about the variety of grass available, the weather and how they feel about it. We might discuss the tendency of Scottish mud to seep between the walls of their hoof, where it hardens and causes pain and limping.They might even reveal whether they prefer their summer grass with a little slug added or if they prefer the clean, slug free grass of winter.

Unfortunately, I am not much of a sheep whisperer, so I stand, scrunched against the abysmal misery of this December day, wondering..."how much of a need to communicate do sheep have, they never stop chewing, communicating would probably interfere with their digestive process.'

This old world of ours is a grand place, never a day in my life goes by without a new question, a new answer, a new sense of wonder.

Then there is the constant burning question..."when are you going to give up smoking you yogurt top?"
Yep, that is always a question for another cold, wet day. I've tried answering that one before and I have come to a firm decision...some questions are best left unanswered.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

thought for the day




if natural selection is so smart...
if us humans are so, supposedly superior?...
how come, we lost most of our body hair?

i smoke, i always smoke outside, it is often cold, cold and wet, cold and wet and dark.
i have socks, shoes, jeans, shirt, sweater and jacket (waterproof).
do they help...well barely!

the sheep stand around...munching, worried by the weather...no way. why? the little blighter's have wool, as in their own natural grown protective covering.
the cows...don't enjoy the rain in their faces, tend to turn their backs to the weather. do they appear to feel the cold, nope, nice thick hides, covered in hair. dogs, cats, the apes..none of them require clothing to keep them alive, all these critters can run around bare foot or bare hoofed...
what the devil happened to us?

there was our opposing thumb, our reportedly better brain, we clawed our way up the food chain until we were masters of all we surveyed. yeah..sure..but why lose our fur/hide/pelt..what advantage was to be found in the mutation towards hairlessness?

talking better brains, latest rumour has it that chimps have a far superior memory to us peeps. they did give the chimps a small advantage by pitting them against university students ;-)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

beware the calorific count of a broken heart





Is there actually a physical reason why I find it necessary to gorge my physical body in an attempt to sooth my aching heart?

Damn! All I know is that if I don't rein myself in pretty soon...well...I will end up feeling like a Porshe (yeah...ok...classic Porshe) and looking like a campervan.

Yesterday was an excellent example. Young LS had an appointment with his paediatric neurologist at the York Hill Childrens Hospital in Glasgow. So Supernan was summoned to Saltcoats for child supervision duties.

Now, I did have a bit of shopping that needed doing...
I needed, uh... well, stuff. So in all innocence I popped into the local Tesco (Saltcoats local)...here in the hills of home it is rather more of a ...trekking down to...wherever!

Of course, the day was grey and cold....the supermarket was warm and inviting and full of exciting supermarket bakery smells. Now Supernan would never dream of visiting the Superkids without a little something edible. Any grandmother will know, the way to your grandchild's heart is most definitely paved with the three C's...cake cookies and candy ( which in English would read cake, biscuits and sweets... nope, does not have the same ring!)

Hmmm...what to buy... nice chocolate swiss roll for the kids, yummy walnut cream slab for the adults. almost reached the check out in safety...last minute...

oooh...fresh Christmas mince pies made with flaky, puff pastry, still warm from the oven and... two packs for the price of one! Now if there is one thing this girl can not resist, it is a bargain, especially a two for the price of one bargain. Those marketing dudes really knew what they were about when they came up with that strategy.

This morning, the bathroom scale is not my friend!

Friday, 30 November 2007

not pink, not purple nor even lilac

What color is your soul painted?

Red

Your soul is painted the color red, which embodies the characteristics of love, strength, physical energy, sex, passion, courage, protection, excitement, speed, leadership, power, danger, and respect. Red is the color of the element Fire, and is associated with blood, life and death, birth, volcanoes, and intense emotions.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

quiz
Quizzes and Personality Tests

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

another human

today i felt a definite urge to see another human, one of those two legged, upright walking, opposing thumb endowed, garbage producing critters. last saturday, i took a ride into girvan to do a bit of shopping and that was the last time i had come across another of my own kind. of course the postman braves the farm road every day except sundays, thing is, he moves with the speed of summer lightning... even in winter. the mail usually lands on the mat long before my wakey wakey time..

this afternoon, late, i made the big decision... a drive into the village. my chocolate hankerings were growing, not smart to ignore those for too long, chocolate lust... once out of control is an awesome, ugly occurrence.

plus i had two letters which needed posting. the north ayrshire council keeps sending me forms to fill in, i had advised them i was moving house at least a month in advance of my move. it does appear though that they will not really be satisfied until i have filled out all their forms in triplicate.
scottish gas had actually sent me a reimbursement cheque for just over a hundred pounds...yay. trouble was they had made it out to Mr E Ailermann...hmmmm. Strangely enough the letter had my correct name, as did the envelope...there was even an attached note stating that i should contact them if the name on the cheque was incorrect. makes you wonder, what about that wonderful new invention...the uh..telephone. bloody hell!

so...i had plenty of reasons to venture into the village and experience....other people.the A77, whilst not being the widest road in the world, is always in tip top condition as it is the road which carries the ferry traffic from stranraer. the ferries arrive from belfast,northern ireland and disgorge passenger cars and huge road ferries.they nearly all travel north, heading towards glasgow. so, i crest the hill and wind my way down towards the village, the view is spectacular, the sea, grey and angry and the coastline looks dangerous and desolate in the rain dark. as i hit the flats on the approach to ballantrae, i meet up with the ferry traffic...which is always fun...
today...it was even more fun, every time one of the big haulage trucks drew level with me, whoosh...what felt like tons of water would be displaced and come cascading down over me and my car! just for a moment, everything goes grey, the windscreen wipers are not able to cope and the outside world disappears from view. luckily, the road is flat and straight, had i had curves and bends to deal with...

anyway, i arrived safely in the village, posted my letters, bought the new tv magazine, a pack of three incredibly gooey, wonderfully chocolaty cakes and a quality street big green triangle to feed my chocolate need. i interacted with the two girls who run the local shop and crossed paths with one vaguely familiar woman and two total strangers. it was enough...i was ready to return home, back to the sheep, the owl, the fox, the rabbits, the deer, the hares and the robin...no really, they are all there somewhere... not that i see them that often, the sheep are pretty obvious of course and the robin is fairly easy to spot this time of the year. the wild ones though, they tend to keep themselves to themselves, occasionally, the force is with me, the magic works and i glimpse them, going about their lives. those are the moments of wonder, when i am honoured to be privy to their secret lives.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

how warm is my water

what is it with humanity and hot water?

standing in the shower this morning, deliciously hot water streaming over my shoulders....and i wondered....

back home when it was really hot and the pool water temperature rose above 30 degrees ...
well, yeah, i might be tempted in for a bit of a dip. but generally, i am not excited by the thought of submerging my body into water that is less than really warm.

a nice long soak in a hot tub, very comforting, very relaxing. a body could spend quite a while in a bath of nice hot water.given enough uninterrupted bath time, a body could possibly come up with the question...which would lead to an answer...

a quick shower with those hot needles of water pounding on my back. tempting to tarry ... why, what is the fascination with warm water. do we remember in some small, sub conscious corner of our brain....
do we recall our womb time, surrounded by warm waters, nourished, happy and totally secure?

no wonder humanity was less than interested in personal hygiene, way back when...
very little pleasure to be found wallowing in a cold and muddy pond. i mean, what if neanderthal man had enjoyed access to warm water...

we might well be looking at a completely different scenario, a weird and wonderful world where sweet smelling neanderthals still run the show.

Friday, 23 November 2007

normality


normality
a place i have no wish to visit
i love the seesaw of my psyche
for every low i must endure
i am granted in return
a time of ecstasy
when the world is crisp, defined
i see what others miss
and nothing is impossible

for every tear i shed
for every long dark night
for the times my heart grows cold
and my mind
exists in some gray limbo
in equal part i gain
emotions ripe and full
explosive in their joyfulness
and passion beyond asking

All materials Copyright © 2004-2007 by Eryll Oellermann

sinister intentions

writing, or perhaps my way of writing is rather slapdash! i possess none of the discipline, the dedication, required to write consistently.

something, someone ...grabs my attention, my mind creaks into gear and i merely follow my thought pattern. if i am not near my computer and i find my thoughts interesting enough, i will jot them down. well, if i can find pen and paper to jot them down with.these pieces of paper, notebooks, envelopes are then forgotten. the next time i pack my nomadic tent to move on ... there they are, all over the place, in winter coat pockets, the side pouch of a suitcase or tucked away in a drawer ... many drawers actually, i tend to operate my life without a filing system. of course, i value my thoughts and i pack these oddments away safely, to be found the next time i move on.

the poems, come with their own agenda. they start in my head and they grow. they run up and down and round and round. there is no ignoring them, they are louder than i am...
to rid myself of them and to keep a certain level of sanity, i have to write them down and they seldom leave me in peace until such time as i have them safe and sound, typed into my computer and filed according to .... whatever. i then hop over to my soundfooting website and record them there as well.

poetry wise i have had a fairly peaceful time the past six months...

since my cancer episode, the chemo and the hormonal treatment, which hurled me...rather unkindly into menopause, i have endured some tiresome depressions.luckily for me, the greyness is caused by a chemical imbalance and i respond ... gleefully...to a chemical correction. however, occasionally, due perhaps to ... "who the hell knows"... i fall off the happy wagon and require an increased chemical dose to keep me functioning

now there must be a certain truth in the old saying that a poet thrives on misery. increase my dose of happy pills enough and the poetic words grind to a halt. my mind grows calm and restful, the rhythm of the words fades and i lose the frantic need to write, to share, to communicate. (omg! i am obviously as crazy as a large portion of humanity).
these past six months, i have been prescribed an increased dose and my poetic brain has been hibernating. now however...i am back to my normal dose and my normal miserable self... the word music is once more tapping in my brain.
truth to tell, i miss the word craziness when it is absent. i am grown used to the thrust and parry of my poetic thoughts. there is a certain loneliness, a missing, in the chemically induced silence.

so.... where was i going with this anyway...oh yeah, today's title "sinister intentions".
last night, having enjoyed a savannah (incredible south african cider, now available, on the rare occasion in the uk..."it is dry but you can drink it")..or two, i was struck by a brilliant idea for a blog. unfortunately, the hour was late and i was weary...
i would leave myself a reminder for the morrow. i opened a new page and typed in 'sinister'. what the dickens does that mean? absolutely nothing to me i'm afraid.
the only word which comes to mind is intentions and 'sinister intentions'...
my memory comes up with a great big zero, zilch...
i'm sure freud would have made sense of it...probably some sinister clue to my deep, dark inner intentions in there.

so i have the title but the blog is gone. instead we have a bit of an incongruous ramble through my thought process. there is nothing new in all the world...

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Thanksgiving






Thanksgiving ... a holiday, a celebration i respect enough to use a capital letter!

i can't say i was ignorant about thanksgiving, we (the rest of the world) grow up on american movies and television programmes. i just never gave the whole concept much thought, until i met herself and began to learn and admire "the american way".

back home and here in the uk, john and jane public seem to have embraced the idea of halloween. ghosts and ghoulies, pumpkins and costumes, trick or treating. as yet i see little evidence of decorating the home for the festivities but ... it will come.

so... how come we don't adopt Thanksgiving, a much more family oriented celebration. we already know how to do turkey, perhaps we should remember how to be thankful. personally, i think it is a great idea for the family to gather, to share their gratitude for the good things life has offered. a day off work is excellent and eating too much is always a pleasure..

there are so many times we feel gratitude, so many folk whose presence in our lives is an undeniable blessing. so much beauty, so much humour... even our tears are evidence of the blessed ability to love.

today, Thanksgiving day, i allow my mind to wander down the path of memory. i remember the good and beautiful times of my life, the wonderful loving human beings who have enriched my existence and i give thanks. i am so thankful for the variety and versatility of my life, for my strong body and good health. my bountiful appreciation for the family i was born into, my mom and dad, my sisters and brother...
for the family manfred and i grew... our beloved children, their loving partners and my incredible, most excellent, bodacious grand children

thank you america for this day of Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

village life





village life is ...
such a pleasure ...

yesterday i needed to make an appointment with the village doctors in order to renew my prescription. phoned at approximately 9.30 ...

receptionist, inquiring politely "would 3.10 suit you?"

me, "yeah great, what date?" long suffering...

receptionist, surprised "this afternoon!"

can't beat country living, obviously all the country folk in these parts are so healthy, relaxed and stress free that they seldom require the services of the local gp's.
i might also add ... by the time i was through with my doctor/patient chat ... my new prescription was made up and waiting for me at the pharmacy window. the village is not big enough to support a separate pharmacy and meds are dispensed by the medical centre.
Scottish NHS... bloody fantastic!

popped in at the village store for milk, bumped into a girl i once worked with. overjoyed to see me, they are short staffed and desperate, how would i like to work twelve hours a week. been back two weeks and had two job offers! unfortunately, both in "care", and i was determined i would never work in care again.
i just fall in love with all my old folks, too much empathy, too much heart ache. they are really in need by the time we are called and they tend to pop off with alarming regularity. so i swore to myself, no more, definitely no care work.two job offers in two weeks...

methinks perhaps the universe is whispering in my ear ...

twelve hours a week would not be so bad, still plenty of time to set up my reflexology practice ...

Saturday, 17 November 2007

black slugs and mud

two things about the effects of winter on my small patch of the planet.

1# the black slugs disappear.

2# most everything turns to mud.

truth to tell...i can survive without the black slug. i have some vague interest as to exactly where said slugs disappear. nothing too deep mind, nowhere near enough interest/concern for me to open a book or google "black slugs ayrshire". i accept their absence as a serendipitous gift from the universe.

the mud, now that is a whole different story. we have 'the farm" we have 'the road" and come wintertime we have 'the mud".
the farm is beautiful, the road is not, it was obviously engineered to keep people out! when the weather is good, the road is rocky ... in more ways than one. it has hairpin bends, steep inclines, cattle grids and potholes...plenty of potholes.
when there is rain there is mud, in the slightly warmer season this would be, lesser summer mud. not the greater winter mud, deep,glutinous, the end product of the rain ridden winter months. the cattle churn the road up, the tractors bringing winter feed, churn the road up. and then... we needed a fuel delivery







This is a picture of a mud churning, road ripping...destroyer of an oil delivery truck!
see the blue sky...ah i remember that...photo lifted from the son's web site...photo obviously taken at a more clement time of the year.

fact...
fuel truck is too big and too heavy for small farm road. never the less, when fuel is ordered...the truck arrives. in summer the damage to the road is minimal, in winter we have a whole different story.
oil delivery on thursday.
friday i have to make the journey from farm to A77...twice. interesting...
the mud is the reason i have my 4x4, we sometimes need to leave, sometimes we feel called to return. so... i drive slowly and carefully, in a low gear, just keep going...very important, don't stop. How come nobody entrusted the sheep with this small nugget of wisdom? the local sheep, love the middle of the road. an approaching car means panic! run from one side of the road to the other, try never to leave the road until the over excited human and their transporter have had to come to a dead stop. he he ba ba see the vehicle slip and slide. i always thought sheep were kinda dumb, i am now beginning to wonder...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

a matter of memory

the creeping cold is triumphant, warmth withdraws, abashed ...unable to withstand the onslaught of shortened days and arctic winds.
my african blood questions...
my mind turns to thoughts of once upon a time...
of home, the beating sun, the smell of dust and raindrops big as pound coins.

single story houses with wide flung windows encouraging the air to dance throughout. midday curtains drawn to keep the questing sun at bay. the thwop, thwop of slowly turning ceiling fans.
the evenings when the dark draws in, embracing the heat of the day. music of the night, the evensong of the cicada and ever present hum of mosquitoes on their blood quest...

the mozzies...hell's teeth i had almost forgotten the mozzies! avaricious, blood sucking little bastards.

man i love scotland... will someone please turn up the central heating...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

the shooting

ok...i seem to have lost the urge to write about love and passion and pain, so where does that leave me...
a poet without anxt...

perhaps i could tell you about the brace of pheasant ... except a brace means two and there were actually five. five pheasants hanging from the plant holder hook by the back door. dead birds, very dead birds.

the neighbour had left them there, a gift, a sharing of the bountiful harvest of the shooting season. we are expected to eat these birds?

i may have been born, many, many long years ago on a dusty farm on top of a mountain in southern africa... but that was it ... i grew up in the towns and cities of the province formerly known as natal, now known by the much more romantic name... the kingdom of kwazulu or if one is trying really hard to be diplomatic kwazulu natal.

one buys meat from a butcher, it comes cleaned and sliced and diced... no way does it have a head and feathers. man, i purely lost my appetite.

the daughter-in-law is made of sterner stuff, she comes from a family of game rangers and hunters. "if you eat meat, you should be prepared to kill it and clean it!" yeah right... i dunno, suddenly vegetarianism is looking like an option for me.
daughter in law wrapped up warm, picked up the pheasants and headed off to the byre... where she plucked, cleaned and jointed said birds, producing...well...it looks just like bird from a butcher.

ah farm life, we now have a pile of highly prized scots pheasant in our freezer. will i partake of this delicacy? hell..i don't know, i saw those pheasants with their feathers on, they looked just like the kamikaze pheasants which so delight in leaping in front of my rav on missions suicidal.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

remembrance sunday

remembrance sunday, poppy day, a red poppy on every jacket to remember those fallen in battle. never to glorify war but to remind us that there can be no winners when lives are lost and families weep.

i do not often attend church, somewhere along my path, organized religion lost it's enchantment for me. i grew weary of hearing why 'we' were right and all others wrong and in need of salvation.

so ... sunday morning, i sleep in, or i read, if the weather is pleasant i enjoy the great outdoors. i find plenty to praise and much to be grateful for. my middle child, my eldest son,however, is a youth worker, a singer in the choir, a guitar player in the church band, a preacher whenever the powers that be call on him.

"ma" he said, "it's poppy sunday, why don't you come along with us. i always remember grampa on remembrance sunday ... he didn't fall in battle but he was there, taken at tobruk..."
yeah well...manipulation tends to run in our genes.

so off we went, down the bumpy farm road, slipping slightly through the muddy patches, turn left onto the a77 and follow your nose into the village. heart already rejoicing because of the sheer beauty of the day.

the church was warm, always a plus. in south africa in the winter some of our churches are so cold...well, talk about the frozen chosen. the scouts were there, flags aloft, also representatives of the coast guard in their uniforms. the service was short and sweet, plenty of hymn singing...we even got to sing the first verse of "god save the queen" towards the end of the service. coming from a republic... i do so enjoy having a queen and all the pomp and ceremony that comes with the monarchy. one elderly lady, sitting up on the balcony ... fainted. luckily the village doctor and nurse were both at the service and rushed to her aid.

now comes the fun part, we congregate in front of the church, police cars draw up and close off the a77! four pipers take their places and lead the marching scouts forward, followed by the rest of us, on foot, to the local war memorial. och aye, the skirling of the pipes, a body needs only a wee drap of scots blood to thrill to their wail!

the sun was shining, the wind was damn cold, i could have done with a warm coat. the sheer delight of following those kilted fellows... more than made up for freezing my arse off. we reached the memorial, we stood below while the minister and the wreath bearers climbed the hill to the monument. prayers were said, the poppy wreaths laid, the lead piper played the lament and then we all marched back to the church in the wake of the wonderful wail of the bagpipes.

man...what a fun way to spend my sunday morning, i think perhaps i will enjoy life in this small village, where everyone knows everyone....

Saturday, 10 November 2007

time to share

10th november ...the mann would have turned 66 today. manfred died just over a month before his 61st birthday. during the last months of his life our local hospice were assisting us and when the mann started to lose the use of his legs (very frustrating for action mann)they suggested he keep a memory/thought book.
i found the note book after he died, he wrote what he wrote in the month before his death.these words are one of my most precious gifts, his thoughts, his final message of love to the people in his life.
the mann was a modern day hero, he never gave up. he endured terrible pain and remained unfailingly cheerful. always a smile, a joke, a thumbs up! he never...not once...whined or bitched or said "why me?".
manfred died at home, holding tight to my hand ... just the way he wanted ...


thought/memory box

Manfred Walter Oellermann


Thursday 12/09/02
South Africa needs an enema.

Monday 16/09/02
I don't like branded religion. Why must I subscribe to any one particular slant/view that happened to suit someone at some stage in history. I would rather look out for/listen and find the relevant/meaningful stuff of life through experience with those close to me and my own devices.

Friday 20/09/02
Listen to the messages of life, they are all around us. Sometimes at high volume. The answers are there - we must just open ourselves up to them.

Saturday 21/09/02
Remember everything happens for a purpose, often this is not clear to us. Could it be that we cannot always see the whole picture? The size picture that we see is probably proportionate to our relevant size in the greater scheme of things - smaller than a speck of dust.

Sunday 22/09/02
Moenie paniek - alles sal rectum! (again and again and again!) Re-channel your panic into something useful that will give you the solution you seek. To do this you have to first relax so that you can recognize the object of your panic - then deal with it in a logical way. You have to practice this - sometimes the panic was actually a waste of time and should not have existed. The trick is to actually have a look behind your back and elsewhere before anyone realizes it was there in the first place and get rid of it.

Tuesday 24/09/02
Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed.This is why so often we can become perplexed by "why is there a problem". Take Ireland and all the people that have died there in the name (apparently) of religion. Why? - same God! If he is the God of love then why are we allowing this to happen. But this is not new - go back as far as you like in almost any direction - the inquisition - horrific torture and death in the name of religion, Christianity etc, etc.
Racism - nothing new here. this will be here forever. Are we not going about this the wrong way? This is how we are - we are all racists. Rather than try to change what is a basic part of each and every person and to deny what we are - we should embrace our differences and deal with how we can love and live together in harmony, despite the differences. Accept it as part of life and not sweep it under the carpet, thereby denying a part of ourselves that will always be there.
Deal with the differences, Focus on what we have in common, treat no one group differently to the next. Tall order! - but a road we need to travel. Concentrate on issues that promote nationhood - NOT the changing of street and place names - what does this achieve - except some selfish urges of vested interest groups. Achieving only more hate, animosity etc, etc.

Wednesday 25/09/02
A gift much greater than life.
This is the gift of a soul mate. The understanding that exists between two souls, unwritten, unexplained, yet so deep and often uncannily unexplainable and accurate, it can leave you breathless. Love that is automatically there and can be counted and relied upon, unconditionally, day after day.
The love for my soul mate is without question - sometimes, most times words are not necessary. We know each others' thoughts, likes and dislikes - when something is appropriate or not.
It is a truly magical thing.

25/09/02
What is love?
My perception of what love is has changed dramatically over a long period of time.
From a sort of selfish "give me some and I'll give you some" variety, or a "what's in it for me" type to the other real kind. Of course there is romantic love, love for family, earning "brownie points" love etc etc. Then there is the kind that's different. Hard to put your finger on - like that for a soul mate - it's there before you know it exists - no questions asked, unconditional, compassionate, giving not expecting anything back. At the end of the day love is what it is all about - because after all - what is here for us on this planet? Nothing but dusty stuff. Take love away - what is left? I can do without it, so can you. No soul mate, no family, no love - who needs stuff? Cars, houses, things - meaningless.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

oh really! who would have imagined...

thanks to cap'n dyke lesbian pirate queen for the lead to this interesting questionnaire. important question is... is all revealed or not?

moi! manipulative???
yeah right, like a melting marshmallow...
trend setter, hmmm, quite fancy that one...wonder what kind of trends we're talking here.
bit ambiguous in my communications..well... i dunno...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

check this out!

i was so relieved to find this service
i am sure most everyone will need their services at some stage...so...check them out!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

heaven's gate

how fortunate i am
to live at heaven's gate
where ayrshire's green hills
tumble from their lofty heights
cascading downwards to the sea
each cove a new delight
the shore front pebbled with random colours
the small stones washed smooth
by time and water
grey and black volcanic rock
rises from the sea,pointing skywards,
jagged, sharp as razors
age old sentinels
the coastal guardians
when tide allows their access
sea birds will perch there
wings outspread, drying in the breeze
how fortunate i am
to live at heaven's gate
a sea protected, calm
waves gentle lapping
where ducks and swans swim
the ocean their own pond
the flat green fields
between the hills and sea
decorated with great rocks
fallen from the hills
now moss covered with time
here graze the ayrshire cattle
white sheep with black faces
great white bulls
with huge shoulders, bodies well muscled
the dairy herds, with young calfs
still nudging hungry
the gentle bullocks,great soft eyes
and endless curiosity
how fortunate i am
to live at heaven's gate
where the setting sun
turns the sea to liquid fire
blinding with light, dazzling the eye
the craig looms, surrounded
by a fiery, burning ocean
as the sun falls away beyond the horizon
darkness takes the place of light
soon illuminated with a thousand stars
the moon hangs low and golden bright
lighting the world of darkness
white bob tailed rabbits emerge
from gorse hidden burrows
long eared hares box in play
always listening, ever ready to run
the lone red fox moves silent
low against the ground, ready for the hunt
i hear the whisper of great wings in the silence
the white faced owl sweeps past
great eyes searching the dark countryside
how fortunate am i


All materials Copyright © 2004-2007 by Eryll Oellermann

Monday, 5 November 2007

it is done

it is done....

i am once more ensconced in the room under the eaves in the stone built farm cottage.

saturday the day of 'the move' dawned clear and dry and stayed that way. what can i say ... the weather gods love a nomad!
my earthly possessions are on a tarp and under a tarp, taking up one small corner of the very large (and in the winter months), damp byre. a byre being a more romantic word for a barn for cows! remind me to write about the byre one day...the place has a life of it's own.

i will eventually be moving into my very own mobile home, just not quite yet.
whilst my beloved children were attempting to reposition said van with a 4x4 ...said van journeyed off the hard standing upon which said van sits. said van now sits mired in the mud (this is scotland!) where she awaits the arrival of a tractor to haul her back to... from whence she came. then there are the small yet kind of important details... a water connection, an electricity connection and a septic tank connection."all things come to those who wait"
myself, i am in no particular hurry, winter waits impatient and the house is warm.

our water supply is drawn from our very own, almost famous well, prepare to be amazed and impressed and visit here...

the water is...hmmm...interesting, it changes colour depending on the season. we only drink it boiled or filtered. it is sweet tasting and uncontaminated by man and his chemical cavorting.

farm life, village life... an abundance of the everyday to encounter and experience.

Friday, 2 November 2007

a bacon butty?

yesterday i took a special trip to tesco, to buy newspapers. i was after the really thick ones, not to read but to wrap around ... stuff. yeah well, what can i say, moving costs.

the herald, obviously news for the more intellectual ... not one of those easily held efforts. nope, none of that, an old fashioned, impossible to read on the train type newspaper. perfect for the wrapping of larger items....

so...i was wrapping, not reading ... the nomad is focused ... an article happened to catch my eye. even when focused i am always up for a spot of procrastination and this was cancer related. since my battle with the big C (see 'surviving breast cancer' - 2nd july 2007) i am always on the look out for new and fun ways to defeat the dastardly disease.
the following were the page 4 headlines ... i did mention it was a really big newspaper....

"Diet Warning"

"The new cancer dangers in your fridge"

Processed meat banned...and questions raised over fruit and vegetables"

"It is clear you should eat fruit and vegetables"

"The risk factors" "Watchlist"

"Experts examine 7000 separate studies"

so...don't eat this, do eat that (well maybe, perhaps, just a little, results still pending).
exercise is good for you...well 'they' always have agreed on that one.
quite frankly the list of ..."don't let this pass your lips" is so long...i actually began to worry as to how my poor body would survive ... a girl's gotta eat ...right?

fortunately 'they' have the answer to that, 'they' want us thin and i'm talking really thin here, not just "not fat". recommendation...lower end of healthy body mass scale. hmmm...
last time i weighed in anywhere near that figure...
damn, difficulty remembering that far back.

alcohol...no, not really...good for your heart but a risk as far as cancer is concerned.

we live in an era of information saturation...aren't we lucky...

anyone for a bacon butty?

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

the end of avoidance

yoiks! only three packing days till moving day....

time to stop planning and procrastinating and get physical.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

a common road

i was traveling the long road
still a little short of breath
and weary from the steep incline
of the hill of heartache
when i met a companion
a fellow walker to share my days
my shoulders straightened
i looked up from the road
i saw blue sky and sunshine
i found a future i could believe in
with a light step and a song in my heart
i once more delighted in my journey
after many happy days together
enjoying the richness of the long road
striding together towards our destiny
we reached a place of twists and turns
where the road grew stony and difficult
the way ahead was hidden from sight
we came across a huge boulder in the road
we climbed that rock together
with determination and courage
the view from atop was beautiful and clear
we could almost see tomorrow
we decided to rest to catch our breath
and consider the road ahead
in the far distance we noticed a fork
a split in the road a decision to make
our destination was clear to me
we must take the fork to the right
on that road lay happiness and contentment
my companion was surprised
no no the fork to the left is our road
the one we must travel together
that way lies the realization of our goals
although we enjoyed walking together
we discovered our destinations differed
we thought of taking our separate ways
of once more traveling the road alone
we grew afraid and our heart's ached
we clung to one another and decided
the division in the road was still quite a way
we would climb down from the boulder
and walk together in hope of a third road
a future destination we might share
we scrambled down from our lofty perch
picking up bruises and bloodied knees
from the ground the road ahead looked clear
the fork in our path was out of sight
we traveled forward together
pretending to ourselves
pretending that we would always walk together
we were good companions we slowed our pace
and journeyed forward towards tomorrow
eventually no matter how we idled on our way
the fork in the road grew nearer
we found no other road no easy way
until one day we were finally there
we embraced and agreed to part
for each person has their own way to follow
how many times did we set off
each in our own direction our own road
we would grow sad alone on the road
we would remember the good times
the wonder of a companion of your heart
again and again we turned our backs on destiny
we hurried back to the fork and togetherness
let the future wait we are not happy apart
alas we may not tarry forever at a fork
we neglect our future and our duty
we grow exhausted by discussion and indecision
we begin to lose the sheer joy of together
eventually we must learn
that if we do not share a common road
if we each remain wedded to our original destination
we must once more learn to walk alone

All materials Copyright © 2004-2007 by Eryll Oellermann

Friday, 26 October 2007

sneezing and wheezing

an adult in their homeland
where they were born and bred
will seldom come down with a cold
and need to stay in bed

we grow up in our country
experiencing her germs
by the time we reach our twenties
our body's come to terms

i know this cold, i've had it
my system is immune
you viruses will need to learn
to play a different tune

but if we move our body
from country a to b
then we are once more vulnerable
new viruses...you see

my grandkids are exceptional
just like a virus vat
at least one cold is brewing
and that is simply that

now every time i visit
i feel some trepidation
which child is brewing viruses
hell bent upon invasion

so when i wake up wheezing
with red and aching eyes
i know just where i caught this one
and i am not surprised

All materials Copyright © 2004-2007 by Eryll Oellermann

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

day three of me and bt

my phone still out of commission, no contact from bt... what do you do?
deep breathing, meditation ...
visit nikki and beg the use of her phone for a couple of hours ...
after spending an hour on hold, listening to the endless empty ringing, an occasional interruption ... the dulcet tones of a voice over artist, apologizing and assuring me that despite the fact that they were really, really busy...my call WOULD be answered.
how long is an hour, an hour is a long time ... believe me. savannah (almost five) spent ten minutes sharing the boredom with me, she found the constant assurances that my call would be answered...hilarious, and was quite shocked when a real live person eventually spoke.
i repeated the whole sorry saga of my disconnected phone to shaun who sounded irish, he tried to be helpful. he left me on hold while he conferred with "someone" higher up the chain of command, this time i had some rather cheerful music playing to stave off the boredom. damn...even writing about this is boring...
to cut a long story short, shaun assured me that i would probably be reconnected some time on friday and i would probably not be charged for the reconnection. well ... we'll see won't we!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

disconnection

hell's teeth! what a friggin' day!

day 1# late yesterday afternoon my home phone line ceased to function.
day 2# it is now once more late afternoon and my phone is still not functioning ...

i have spent the intervening hours (except for some sleeping time) attempting to rectify the situation. after all i am about to move ... i have calls to make, people to contact.

british telecommunications plc really don't seem to care!

instead of a proper blog i thought you all might enjoy sharing my latest letter of complaint to BT ...

rant (gentle british style) follows ...

my BT line has been out of order since yesterday, late afternoon (23.10.07). i phoned customer services who said i should phone faults, which i did. faults told me that my line had been discontinued at my request and that if i wanted it reconnected i should speak to customer services, they would connect me to customer services. the phone rang a couple of times and then the line went dead. when i tried to phone customer services myself i found that they were unavailable as it was past 8.00pm!
the actual situation is as follows:-
i requested my line (012 etc etc) to be discontinued on the 09/11/07. i have an email from yourselves confirming this! i am moving to a farm near lendalfoot and i have ordered/requested a new bt line to be installed there, the bt engineer has an appointment with me on the 26,10,07.

this morning i decided to sent an email, i received an automated reply (ref. 13867089).still no line,
decided to phone customer services on my mobile phone, spent a very expensive 30 minutes waiting on hold before my mobile ran out of funds!
about 1.30pm i went to use my daughters phone. spent 45 minutes on hold before the call was answered by a real human... her name was stephanie! stephanie told me that as my line had been cancelled ... the only way i could reinstate it would be to apply for a new line and i would have to sign a years contract with BT! As you might imagine, i was by now becoming a little stressed and i explained to stephanie that BT had made a mistake and BT should reconnect me post haste! stephanie then disappeared for a while, came back and apologized but informed me they were unable to correct the problem as they were off line. she took my mobile number and assured me "someone will phone you and sort out the problem...once we are back on line."
it is now nearly 4.00pm, i have received no calls from BT on my mobile, i have received no emails vis a viz the line problem. whenever i dial a very sweet automated voice insists on informing me that she is unable to recognize the number i have dialed!
please, please could a real live human please throw a switch and give me back my line before i have a nervous breakdown ;-)



aaarrrggghhhh!

never mind, i have just seen a beautiful robin sitting on my front fence...feel better already...
down with the cold heart of technology...
yay! for mother nature...

Sunday, 21 October 2007

a great weekend

what a great weekend! yesterday evening, we, as in the springbok rugby team (south africa)won the rugby world cup 2007.
i would love to say "we kicked arse" but that would be a distortion of the truth. in fact england conducted themselves in an exemplary manner, they pushed, they shoved, fists flew, deliberate fouls abounded. it was not a magnificent game of running rugby and flying tries, uh uh... we beat them with penalty goals. do i care, no way... after all, the point is winning, not how we play the game ;-)

princes william and harry were at the stadium cheering on the english. i began to feel a little guilty as the south african score started to rise and william started to bite his nails and look really quite perturbed. really though, you might take the girl out of africa but you will no way take africa out of the girl ... vrystaat!!

today i loaded up my lady rav with my books and a few other precious items and drove down to the farm. man, how i love the first sight of ailsa craig as i crest the hill just before turnberry. always turns my heart over, fills me with gratitude and reminds me that there is much more to our beloved planet than our never ending human dramas.

halfway to the farm, the temperature dropped ... whoops, it really is autumn, the trees are adorned in browns, reds, golds and russets. the bracken is browning and the irish sea churns, glumly grey. at the farm the first of the season's wind tugged at my jacket and i could almost hear the whining whisper of her winter lament.

man, i love scotland ... i am a poet who becomes far more productive when enmeshed in misery ... too much sunshine and sweetness and my brain seizes. a winter on the farm with howling gales and sleet is just what the doctor ordered!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

roots

i'm moving in two weeks! i should be packing, well actually i have been. my lounge floor is littered with strong tesco bags full of books... those i will transport myself. when one enjoys the nomadic lifestyle one must prioritize.

back home (south africa) moving was a doddle, i would just give a couple of removal companies a call, compare their quotes and choose the cheapest. at least four, sometimes six strong men and a big removal van would arrive on the appointed day and ... voila! it was done. left me feeling rather efficient and very independent.

moving in the uk is another story all together. on this small island anything involving people power ... costs. i have had to forget the independence issue and concentrate on my "i'm just a little old lady, alone in the world skills".

so, how do i maintain my nomadic right to move whilst refraining from bankrupting myself? first, choose a moving day which suits all young, strong family members ... plead, bribe and bully above mentioned family members into volunteering...
next, hire a white van, large. prepare with rest and meditation to face moving day and the uncomfortable situation of being deeply indebted to my son and son-in-law!
on moving day make sure i have a plentiful supply of food and drink to keep the lads strong and motivated. mention (often) how they can skip the gym for a week...

have to admit, i am beginning to understand why the nomadic peoples lived in tents and scorned worldly processions. a tent, high on a hill on the west coast of scotland? i don't think so! perhaps it is at long last, time to allow my roots to grow and settle. yeah right ... my mind always works this way two weeks before a move!

Friday, 19 October 2007

to link or not to link

today i am well pleased with myself. i am not technically minded, nope, definitely not, i admit it ...not one of my talents ...sigh. as far as i am concerned, computers are the first (second??) great alien invasion and they scare the stuffing out of me. press the wrong button and stuff disappears! others seem to have conquered the digital divide, they take photos with cell phones AND put them up on websites ... man, totally impressive! either they are of genius mentality or they have read the instruction book ... i am able to read but i do not take instruction easily. i am closely related to a conquistador of the computer nation, he only has to enter a room for the feisty little blighters to throw in the towel. this is great but, what the dickens do i do when he is otherwise occupied. i have been keen to add links to other blogs which i read, enjoy and admire but had decided this action might be slightly too technical for me. until today, today mycursor accidentally touched a small image at the top of my blog screen. omg! it said ... "insert link", was this a trick for the innocent, the unwary? would i destroy ten percent of civilization by clicking on "it". i may not be all that computer literate, but, i am a warrior, an adventurer, a fearless treader of where angels would not dare....
today i am a link inserter ...
the power, the pleasure, i may not have won the war against the alien invaders but "damn it" i have fought a skirmish and the sky has not fallen...

i have not been part of the big world of blog for long. already i have discovered writers whose words delight my days and entertain my evenings. i would love to let them know how much i appreciate their words, i would love to expose others to their particular talents. today, through the simple philosophy of "insert link"... i have the ability to do so!
follow the links, read and enjoy ...


the wishful writer



hahn at home


lesbian bandit

the starr ann chronicles

ps don't ask me why there is a bigger gap between wishful writer and the rest ... the links work and i ain't touching another thing!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

castles

yesterday my muse took wing and returned to the land of the free ... not to mention the illegal alien....

the weather has cooperated for her visit, scotland produced days of sunshine and a little sunshine on the grey days. the rain fell soft and mercifully warm.

now, i am by nature an idle nomad. deeply attached to my home of the moment, i am content to sigh over the beauty of my local surroundings. i have a small garden, with birds and bees and slugs and snails ... i have a wonderful view of arran and the firth of clyde...

forget it ... new york needs to see castles! big castles, small castles, ruined castles. new york likes to keep busy, out in the car, driving to new old places, steeping herself in the historic, the ancient and the interesting ...
welcome to scotland!

all good things must come to an end eventually. so ... here i am once again, me myself, settled in the singular. happily exhausted by two weeks in the wonderful company of my muse.i will miss her companionship, our laughter and verbal sparring
how will i occupy myself ... perhaps i will find time to write!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

on suicidal pheasants

the hunting season must be close
small dead feathered bodies
litter the country roads and lanes
as i travel north to south
and south to north homeward bound
what skill is required to shoot a bird
which mostly walks and hardly flies
a pretty fowl a pleasure to the eye
though strangely lacking in road sense
especially as the shooting time draws near
the fat plumpness of a well fed summer
seems drawn to thoughts of reckless suicide
waiting still at country road side
to hurl a feathered self beneath the wheels
of thoughtless speeding metal machines
those with guns wait for the day
restrictions lifted from their pheasant prey
to trundle through the fields autumn wet
intent to shoot the rising bird
a feathered harvest gathered hung and plucked
eaten

who would eat this scrawny game bird
grown wild more bones than flesh
an autumn bounty owed to the country dweller
who still loves to tease a trout
and hook a salmon for his supper
the countryman who looking sky ward
will see wild geese or ducks
upon the wing and shoot them
dead

we once ate blackbird lark and swan
with relish as was our custom
these savage times now passed
viewed as ancestral absurdities
soon perhaps we will leave the pheasant harvest
for the fox to hunt and kill
and steel machines careless and fast moving
whose siren call is heard
by suicidal birds of very little brain


All materials Copyright © 2004-2007 by Eryll Oellermann

Monday, 1 October 2007

1st october 1966

happy anniversary manfred, today would have been 41 years!
thank you darling for the 36 wonderful years we spent together.

you always were a really grown up soul. i will be the first to admit that since you departed this world, i have made an excellent job of elevating you to near sainthood ...
"what's that you say darl?"
oh yeah of course, "'bout bloody time too!"

thank you manfred, for sharing with me ...
your abiding love, your care, your wit, your wisdom, your kindness. thank you for the romance, the passion and your faithful heart.

Manfred Walter Oellermann

10/11/1941 - 06/10/2002

a beautiful man ... to be continued ...

Sunday, 30 September 2007

a moment in blog

i have a reader!...

a quick moment to apologize to all those friends,family and loved ones who through love, loyalty or perhaps even because of my oft repeated question ... "have you read my blog today?" tend to read every word i write. thank you all, i love you all, i appreciate you all!

but hey man! i am talking a stranger here and not just any old stranger. a fellow blogger, a wicked writer, a tenacious talent! 'nuff said... i am well pleased!

today nikki and i were discussing magical thinking whilst enjoying a double, double chocolate muffin of extraordinary size. nikki, who has a real brain and "knows stuff" mentioned that psychologically speaking ... magical thinking is, omg wait for it, delusional thinking! of course even though she has a brain and "knows stuff" nikki is still my daughter and a master in the art of magical thinking. with my mouth still half full of chocolaty muffin, i replied "hmmm, yep, i suppose one could say that blog writing is a kind of magical thinking, in that i blog away under the illusion that "people" are reading me"

dear world ...the magic works, people read us and enjoy us, we read them and enjoy them. i was never a poet who expected to be published, i write for my own pleasure. today i am a blogger and i am read!

nomad on the move

nomad on the move

home from the farm, home again, in less than sunny saltcoats.always a lovely feeling to open my own front door and be surrounded by the familiar. not for long though ... i have given notice of my intention to vacate the premises on the 9th november.
sometimes, a little reality must enter ... even into the life of a magical thinker!

fact - i have had zero success in finding a job.

fact - money is needed to pay rent, electricity, gas and council tax...not to mention phone bills, tv licence, bank fees, sky and broadband!

fact- i have absolutely no driving need to work. if i lived in the real world i might feel slightly embarrassed to admit this. luckily for me...i am me and i live in my world.

fact-i need to be available to help nikki when she needs me.helping to take care of the other kids when young liam has to spend time in hospital.

so, i had a small problem, fortunately for me, adam and michelle had recently purchased a mobile home/ static van which they intended to use as offices. sensing their mom's somewhat unenviable position, they offered me the use of said home/van!

must admit i am excited, my new place has the most beautiful views, it is tucked behind the barn and byre offering privacy and some protection from the howling winds of winter! once "connected" my van will have electricity, gas heating, running water and flushing toilets!a right civilized wee house ... bodacious ;-)

my mom (aka moving minnie) must be so proud of me! my continued pursuit of the nomadic life ... a tribute to her love of the wandering lifestyle. is there a "keep moving" gene?

Monday, 24 September 2007

earth connection

this week i am baby sitting the farm. yep ... sounds pretty grand i know. to be honest north ballaird is, i suppose, more of a smallholding. thirty three acres of of beautiful ayrshire countryside. our neighbour wm of south ballaird leases thirty acres which he uses to graze his cows and sheep.

so you might ask, what or who, am i babysitting. elijah, staffordshire terrier of excellent breeding! used to the good life, enjoys sleeping on a bed and resting on leather couches ...always willing to rough it in the local kennels but prefers the comforts of home....
cleo (oriental) and josiah (siamese), have the look of poncy city cats, used to be poncy city cats, but now.... oh no....
in actual fact, killing machines, hell bent in ridding the farm of every living creature.

the view from the farm is spectacular, we look out over the firth of clyde, views of ireland, the mull of kintyre and my personal favourite ailsa craig ...an island/volcanic plug, once mined for her granite which was used to manufacture curling stones. now she has no human inhabitants and is a protected sanctuary for wild birds. all in all, a fairly delicious place to be baby sitting.
a most excellent retreat, far from the madding crown.

of course, for a master communicator such as myself ... the lack of fellow homo sapiens with whom to interact is a slight drawback. after a while i tend to indulge in deeply meaningful conversations with the local cows.

i am here for a week, a quiet time, to think, to breath and to remember my earth connection.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

scudding

"clouds scudding by", wonder who invented the word scudding and why. what were they doing at the time? were they standing on a hill or a beach or a plain....
was an autumn wind blowing, whispering of winter...
did they look up at the sky and see the clouds moving swiftly on their monumental way and think...
look at those clouds scudding by!

answers.com tells me the word possibly originates from scut, middle english, meaning rabbit's tail. now, the word starts to make sense, white, fluffy and fast moving. now here, now gone. perhaps he/she was out and about, hunting rabbits..
glanced up at the sky, the clouds brought to mind the fast disappearing white, fluffy tail of his/her prey.

the noun scut has one meaning, "a short erect tail as that of a hare, rabbit, deer".

scut n. informal means "routine or tedious work often viewed as menial" short for scutwork. look up scutwork and lo and behold scut means worthless person, perhaps from scout...

enough already, a person could be at this all day. following the trail from one word to another. the history of language...fascinating.

http://www.answers.com/topic/scud?cat=technology

http://www.answers.com/scudding

http://www.answers.com/topic/scut

thoughts

where do thoughts go
when they disappear
escape through the nose?
crawl out of the ear?

one minute you have them
and then they are gone
best catch them quick
they don't stay for long

a thought is a flash
a spark in the brain
brought on by emotions
by questions and pain

i know what i know
i need what i think
yet sometimes it's gone
in a flash or a blink

like a rabbit it's there
such a beautiful sight
then it's off down a hole
like a bunny in flight

should i follow, like alice
or just let it go
was it good was it great
and will i ever know

a thought can be good
and oft times quite bad
sometimes it is brilliant
which makes us so glad

but, grab it, embrace it
while it is still there
for thoughts are elusive
and great ones are rare

All materials Copyright © 2004-2007 by Eryll Oellermann

Friday, 21 September 2007

the tale of a toe

it was the 28th of july. the day before i was due to leave new york, dunkin' donuts, japanese buffet,two cats, giant oak trees and herself. i was on the internet acquiring an aisle seat on my british airways flight.

the room and the computer belong to my muse (she who was safely tucked away at work at that moment in time). it is an interesting room ... a desk piled high with books and papers, sweet wrappers and the odd vitamin capsule. the walls are lined with books reflecting her work, her research, her catholic interests. a scratch pole for the cats, next to the window, enabling them to gaze out onto the street below and lust after the birds and squirrels which inhabit the tree in front of the house. to the side of the house a great oak tree leans one of it's branches against the roof of the room. on windy new york days it groans and squeals, an interesting cacophony of sound, designed to strike horror into the mind of one who believes houses should be built of brick. has no one in the states heard the story of the three little pigs and the wicked wolf?

the room also contains two ironing boards, the original ironing board, which now serves as a resting place for papers, cameras, coat hangers and cats and the new ironing board... intended for use in an ironing sense. anyway, it was the original ironing board which caused the problem! the smallest toe of my left foot connected with the leg of said ironing board. uhuh! and as we say back home eina!! (a word usually shouted with intense feeling, meaning ...ouch...only more so).

the day before i was due to fly home to scotland, i broke my little toe...again. seems to me that particular toe has a deep need for space, periods of separation from the sibling toes, perhaps some deep primal need to be something more ....
whilst in dreadful pain and agony, i was not fazed... i have broken a fair number of toes in my life and i know how to handle them. it is only a matter of taping the offending digit to the next whole and unbroken toe. then you wait until the body performs her magic and knits the broken bones together. this process may take quite a while and one is bound to experience a number of ouch moments before the healing process is complete.

ok ... so this is old news, why am i regaling you with this particular story right now? there is always a reason....
two nights ago, i was standing in my little kitchen, dishing up huge platefuls of food for my beloved grandchildren (little brother is in hospital for a week of tests and mom is staying with him). i was happy and content, feeding my loved ones is always a bonus.the next minute, with absolutely no warning, the front piece of the units drawer, separated from the unit and crashed down onto... you guessed it ... my newly healed small toe. of course it crushed the two toes next in line as well, but for some reason the pain in the little one was ... hmmm, much worse!

now, there are a couple of fairly obvious rules when it comes to dealing with the offspring of one's children. show no fear and try not to curse. so when, in response to the crash in the kitchen...four rather worried young faces appeared...
my mind was screaming "omg! now all of my toes are broken" while my body continued to dish up their dinner, somewhat in the way of super nanna!

as it turns out, there were no broken toes, merely bruised and blue, turning to purple. the poor little... previously broken...small toe...
is indeed severely traumatized. swollen and stiff, but whole.
i live in a rented house...the important question is ... should i sue?