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 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 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


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 ;-)


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


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


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

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

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 ...