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
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!
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...
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!
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!
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 ...
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!
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
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.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"There are too many people, and too few human beings." Robert Zend
"Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of those pieces."