Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Happy Holidays!


to you and yours from me and mine ...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


i arrived home on saturday, slightly jet lagged and smelling of damp clothes and coffee. breakfasting on an international flight when my inner clock tells me it it really one thirty in the morning ...
not a good idea, the breakfast was light and i am always happy to eat, however ...
it would appear that i slipped back into sleep whilst clutching a paper cup of boiling hot black coffee.
my body parts perform this interesting jerk as i fall asleep. used to be just a leg, nowadays it can be any friggin' limb. guess it was my arm this time around!
ouch ... i rejoined the conscious world with really hot coffee seeping into my lap...
kind of hard to leap up in exquisite pain when one is strapped into a plane seat! luckily i had the row of seats all to myself and the jeans i was wearing were black. black is great ... covers a multitude of messes and embarrassing wet patches left by spilled coffee!
fortunately the degree of burns i suffered was not life threatening.
maybe i should start putting milk in my coffee?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

a glass of red

Red wine glass Pictures, Images and Photos

“I rather like bad wine . . . one gets so bored with good wine.”
Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield 1804 - 1881
Sybil; or, The Two Nations [1845], bk. I, ch. 1

“As to wine, I was born in the land of plenty”
Eryll Oellermann 1948-

Herself had purchased two large bottles of vino in preparation for my visit. I need to smoke, I enjoy a glass of wine.
Naturally, as the month is almost past, that wine is history!
I should have known better! After all, cvs is a pharmacy … is it not? But there they were, bottles of red wine for only $5.99. now I may be resident in a far and misty land, but, I know a bargain when I see one. Yes … indeed!
Chateau Diana, California, Merlot.

Red wine, along with garlic and drizzles of olive oil … is, as we all know, that which keeps the Mediterranean folks heart healthy.
Red wine, in moderation is good for you.
Merlot would be my personal favourite.
$5.99 …
Last night I uncorked my bottle of red. Yep … a merlot which cost only $5.99 came corked. Sure it was only one of those new fangled plastic corks …
But it was a cork.
A little wine into each elegant wine glass…. “cheers!” … mmmm …. What the %&#$!
My bargain basement merlot tastes like an alcho pop!
I grab the bottle, there it is “merlot” … uh oh, right beneath ‘merlot” are the words …
Whoever heard of such a thing … man! What is the world of wine coming to?
I roll the bottle in my hands until the back label is visible to my disbelieving eyes.
Wine is made from grapes, since when does it have ingredients … whoops …. Forgot I was handling a “wine product”.
Ingredients …California table wine, water, sugar, concentrated juice, natural fruit flavours, citric acid and carbon dioxide … heh!
“Chateau Diana Merlot boasts of deep dark fruit and possesses aspects of cherry and cocoa. The warm oak components continue on to a long, smooth, velvety finish.”

Imagine that!
Never mind …
My Merlot (wine product) contains 6% alcohol by volume and there appears to be 5cents refundable on the real glass bottle.

Wine is bottled poetry.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Poetry is devil's wine.
St. Augustine

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

they are they


would I trade my life
exchange my journey with another
erase certain memories
to live without the pain of recall
is reality reason enough
to pursue the sands of time

for I have consumed my life
breathed it deep and felt content
the pain of loss has seared my soul
and burrowed deep within my mind
yet still I treasure
each and every step through time

at times my way winds slow and easy
gentle as a sleeping babe’s breath
then the swift rushing wind of change
new fear and new experience
pressure heavy at my back
time to learn a new tomorrow

through all of time and journey
love rides apace
my fated soul companions
hearts and minds aligned in friendship
from near and far, from now and then
my searching eyes seek

and I find such gentle comfort
in eyes that care and arms which hold
hearts and minds who love for no reason
except that they are they and I am me
experiencing life together, through laughter and tears
in these sweet souls I see the face of god

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

lori says ...

put it out there!

when hahn says "do" ... i do indeed do!

whatever is possible ...

let the words ring out ...
let the world hear ...

we will no longer be silent ...
we are who we are ...
we are good and bad ...
we are saint and sinner ...
we live, we love ...
we are not ashamed ...

judge not ...
love one another ...

in my home country we commited a crime against humanity ... we passed laws which created inequality based on skin colour and race!

apartheid was created, many of us grew up within the system, blind to the inequality!

we live with the guilt of our ignorance!

open your eyes and know the truth ...
love is a spiritual gift ...
no matter if you love your own or the opposite sex ...

in california, marriage for same sex partners = equal rights.

please ... do not create/support a 'new' apartheid.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

i am smoke


A long, long time ago …
Back in the day …
When I was sixteen years old …
I started work at a very respectable banking institution.
My first job was addressing the envelopes into which bank statements were placed and then posted out to our very respectable customers.

Some were less respectable than others. Some had two accounts, one for their respectable life and another for their more interesting life.
In my youthful innocence, I sent an interesting statement to a respectable address.
Whoops! Was I in trouble? You might say so! I am firmly convinced that my psychological problems when it comes to earning a living out in the world …
All started with this traumatic experience… sigh …

Sixteen years old and responsible for mayhem and divorce! Addressing envelopes was obviously not going to be my forte.
The accountant moved me to the switchboard.
The switchboard was fairly challenging. Twenty four lines, twenty four chords and plugs.


The switchboard required mental alertness and manual dexterity. I enjoyed working the switchboard, I soon learned that if I accidently pulled the wrong cord from the wrong plug … disconnection occurred. I became a master of saying in a sweetly reasonable voice …
“I am so sorry mr bank manager, the other party’s switchboard seems to have disconnected you.”


I was trained in switchboard skills by erika, a girl who became my very good friend. She also taught me to smoke. It was difficult but I persevered. I sucked peppermints in order to be able to take the foul tasting smoke into my mouth. I avoided my mother until such time as I had brushed my teeth. My mother was a fearsome woman! She laughed herself silly when I eventually confessed to my nicotine habit … she had, of course, known from the very first day!

Yep! Taking up smoking was not easy. However … it was very cool! I was convinced that I looked at least thirty years old and as sophisticated as any film star. Damn … those were the days!

So this historical saga took place forty six years ago, I have smoked ever since. Except for three years in my early thirties, when I gave it up, three miserable years, I can’t bare to think of them. That is a whole other story.

to be continued ...

Monday, 10 November 2008

happy birthday manfred!


Happy birthday baby!

Damn … you would have turned sixty seven today! That’s mighty nigh on seventy sweetheart.

Been thinking … (yeah, yeah … that’s the smell of wood burning! Lol! Of course you never knew what lol meant.)
So anyway, I’ve been thinking about you and me and how life would have been in your 67th year. Guess you would have looked pretty much the same, I mean you had already lost all the hair you were going to lose and the remaining was already snow white.

You would still have been the world’s best “fixer”. I really miss that, you could fix anything! Remember when we were first married and I tried to make you a toweling dressing gown? Hah! What a friggin’ disaster ;-). No problem for the mann, you just sat down figured it out and finished it yourself!

Every place we lived back home holds something you built or fixed. Kitchen units, carports, verandah extensions … you name it, you could do it. You once told me that if you sit and look at a problem for long enough… you can always figure out how to fix it.

That was you though, the most stable person I have ever met, filled with boundless optimism and the most ‘can do’ attitude ever.

How I hated it when you were always right! How come was that anyway? Cause you were so damn smart I guess … heh! You are still the only person in the world who has made me so frustrated and so mad that I threw something at you … grin. Bad boy! My beautiful iron was never quite the same again.!

Love is forever. Happy birthday baby!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

high flier

first of all ... allow me to apologize for any and all errant capitilization of this blog. i am using the computer of my beloved, a computer which ... i may add, has the infernal cheek to insert capitals and attempt to correct my grammar ...

All in all … not a bad trip.

Glasgow airport has a new security system, much more efficient. I managed to find my way through without having to remove either my shoes or my belt. Of course I also missed out on being body searched by the attractive security guard. But hey … we don’t always get everything we want in life…

First time coming in through Newark … yep … much faster than jfk, quite a pleasant experience actually. My flight arrived an hour early as well!
None of the above meant much as I managed to wait in the wrong place for herself.

In the freezing cold …

hah, Scotland is a warm and hospitable country in comparison to Newark airport.
So … I waited where I was, she waited where she was and eventually I thought … “best I phone the woman, as she is obviously lost somewhere between where she was coming from and where she is going to.”

Unfortunately, my mobile phone does not have international roaming. I cast my eyes around for folks with working type mobiles in their hands. I sashay over to the nearest mark, trying to look as harmless as I actually am.

“er… excuse me … are you local? Any chance you would be so kind as to make a call for me, my lift seems to have forgotten me.”

Pregnant pause …

I flash my best ‘I’m an alien and helpless in your big sophisticated country ‘smile. I fumble for my wallet … “perhaps I could reimburse you?”

Damn! I love Americans!
Back home in the good old republic I would probably have been maced. Over here, people love to help!
I gave herself’s number to my saviour, which she very kindly dialed for me and then handed over the phone.
I get the answer message … aarrgghh!
I leave a polite message, trying really hard not to sound too whiney, forgotten or neglected.

“I’m here, waiting outside international arrivals at passenger pick up number three …”

My phone lady and I continue to wait, her taxi arrives and she departs.

I begin to worry. Perhaps herself is not lost, perhaps she has been involved in an accident. I look around for a new mobile phone owner. I find a woman walking a cute little dog … she has no mobile phone! she expects me to believe that … Hah!

I scan the rapidly thinning crowd for potential call donators.

There she is … flouncing towards me … doing her new York eye roll! Shaking her head and waving her arms, intimating …


It would appear that when I called, I neglected to call her mobile. I phoned the home phone.
Fortunately being a woman of innate intelligence and with an almost psychic understanding of my modus operandi …

… herself deduced that I might well have called the home phone. A simple call to check her messages and she came to understand that I had not been arrested by immigration officials and that I was indeed waiting just outside the building …

Instead of just inside …

Where she, herself, was eagerly awaiting my arrival.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

time enough

what is it with this time changing? yeah, yeah ... i grok it had something to do with the war. but, hell's teeth man the war was a really long time ago!

i have resided in the uk for nigh on five years now and i still don't 'get it'. back home we don't mess around with time!

sunday i changed all my clocks. i am the proud owner (thank you a and m) of a wall clock which receives signals from the atomic clock. this saves me the ultimate stress of having to work out whether we are going forwards or backwards in time.

did i say i changed all my clocks? whoops ... missed one! the clock on my mobile ...
that would be the one i use as an alarm on the rare occasion of an occasion which requires me to be up and at 'em at a prearranged time.

like today!

i wanted to wake up at five in order to sort myself out and pack the last few items for my trip. the daughter in law is fetching me at nine to take me through to saltcoats.

'nough said ...
so i woke at four this morning. no big deal ... hah!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

california's prop 8 matters... vote no to inequality

see hahnathome

why does it matter
why do they care
what dark fear haunts the minds
of those who would vote 'yes'
on proposition eight
do they fear our love
our desire to be united
in the presence of man
love is a gift of the spirit
it wages no harm
if man loves man
and woman loves woman
we are as blessed with this love
as are you who love
across the gender divide
why deny us the right of citizens
to pledge our troth
to live, to love
to grow old together
equal under the law

who votes to deny equality?
who dares to judge love?

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

one week and one day

one week and one day.
i arrive at newark, not jfk this time around. means ... longer drive for herself to fetch me,but ... i fly straight from glasgow to newark. no hanging around at heathrow or schipohl for hours on end. direct flights ... damn, what an invention.

i am also flying on a thursday, not my usual saturday out flight. which means ... complications! my village is two and a half hours drive from glasgow airport, my flight leaves at eight, which means i had better be at the airport, present and accounted for by six in the morning. so ... would it really be possible to talk anyone into driving me to the airport if we had to leave at three thirty on a winter's morn. nope! a plan was required, i needed to leave on the thursday flight in order to be with herself on our 4th anniversary! but ... for the kid's ( my much appreciated lift to airport givers) thursday is a working/school day. difficult, so ... michelle will take me to saltcoats on the wednesday, i will sleep over with nikki, ian and co, once more ousting my sweet savannah from her bed. thursday morning, really early, before the clarion call for school and work rings out ... somebody will deliver me to the airport. not quite sure yet as to who the chosen one will be, but somebody will rise at an ungodly hour and deliver myself to where i need to be. fortunately saltcoats is only a half hours drive from the airport, but still ... i am going to owe someone ... big time!

Monday, 20 October 2008

not just another foot fetish

aahhh ... feet ...

my recently found, local reflexologist is a marvel!

not a gentle therapist, oh no ... but ...
when isobel works your reflex points ...

every therapist is different, they follow their own healing path. after my first hour and a half in her zero gravity chair, i realized, ms iz does not fool around. she follows the pain path and exterminates it!

so ...
no gentle hour of sweet massage and relaxation for me. she is gonna work my feet and i am gonna know it.
ms iz even has a small crystal wand (hey you all ... move your minds up a level, think holistic healing!) which she uses to pursue recalcitrant reflexes.

today was my second treatment, i have already felt the benefit of the first. i enjoyed today as i knew what to expect, my body understands her touch on my feet.
memories stir, emotions untwist.
relax, learn to trust and allow the past to unravel... let the healing begin.

Friday, 17 October 2008

no pain, no gain

life and how it happens.

i was born in a small town, nestling at the feet of the mighty drakensberg mountains. i grew up (well mostly) in a university town in the natal midlands.

the years of my time as wife and mother ...
durban ... on the indian ocean,hot, humid, palm trees, mosquitos and hot, spicy durban curry

pietermaritzburg ... sleepy hollow, a great place to live, a wonderful place to bring up your children. avocado trees, guava trees and orange trees.

johannesburg ... dry heat, harsh on your skin. big, big, blue, blue skies and electric storms so beautiful they would make your throat tight with emotion. for the mann ... career peak, success, making it in the big naartjie. for my children, the teenage years, for myself ... breast cancer, chemo, cricket and growing up.

there is more, maybe another day?

today ... a village in south ayrshire, scotland!

i stop and look back .

i wonder ...

how the dickens did i end up here?

thursday ... time to learn scottish dancing ... seven thirty in the village hall.
michelle (the daughter in law) and myself have decided to attempt to conquer the intricacies of scottish dance. inspired by the ceilidh back in july, we too wish to dance the sets of reel and jig!

we wander up to the hall. the main hall is full of men! men playing carpet bowls! we obviously have the wrong time/ evening ... or something. damn! who knew there was so much going on in the village of an evening. michelle finds a side door ... voila!

there are eight of us plus a rather fearsome teacher. what can i say ... i have an authority figure complex! i spend the next hour learning to pas de basque, travelling steps, skip change, slip step and 'cast off' ... or was it 'cast out', dang, and i thought that was summat to do with knitting? scottish dancing is complicated and exhausting. the somewhat fearsome teacher spends a good deal of her time addressing me, as in ...
"wrong hand, wrong foot, wrong shoulder, wrong way, faster... you are supposed to keep up with the music!"

eight thirty, coffee ...thank barnabas that is over! i relax with a strong black coffee, i allow myself a chocolate biscuit. i am bushed and glad to be going home.
that was a halfway break :-(
we will dance for another hour!

will i be back next week? well ... can't use age as an excuse, the fearsome teacher is for sure older than me and most of the girls were no longer in the first fine flush of youth. can't use pain as an excuse, these girls take a pain pill for the arthritis before they start to dance. what can i say ... the scots are a hardy race!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

razor reflections

today i shaved my legs ...

now, the truth is ... i seldom shave my legs.

i shave my legs for special occasions.

for instance, if i think i might have broken/sprained/torn a ligament in my leg/foot/ankle. no way is any medic about to handle my legs in their natural state of porcupinal prickliness. a woman has her pride!

there are other odd occasions ... i have been known to shave my legs before a romantic assignation.
i have indeed ...
nothing inspires me to partake in a little razor work more than the hope of 'getting lucky'.

so why today?

last thursday, there was a knock on my door. well ... actually, somebody rang the damn bell, which let me tell you is loud enough to wake the dead!
i glided down the staircase, taking care not to trip and break something. i opened the door and there was ...
a stranger, to be more precise a strange woman. the shock must have registered on my face, the woman hastily stuck out her hand and introduced herself ...

"hello, i'm isobel"

afraid my face must have retained it's pallor of non recognition.

"i'm a reflexologist, i live on the other side of the village."

ahah! vague stirrings of memory ... i had heard rumours that another reflexologist had moved into the village. i had immediately dismissed the ridiculous possibility of two reflexologists in one village of six hundred people as preposterous.
wrong again ... there she was, in the flesh, in my doorway.

my heart leaped, hope swirled through my being ...
the words rang loud and clear in my mind ...
a possibility, a chance, a hope for...
reciprocal reflexology!

when i lived down south, i had my college mates, those who qualified along side me. eager to offer reciprocal reflexology.
i had my reflexology college in oxford, where there was often the chance of volunteering as a guinea pig for the students.
in other words, my feet and their needs were pretty well taken care of.

and then i moved to scotland!
'nuff said ...
my feet and i have suffered almost two and a half years of reflexological neglect.

today, at eleven, i have an appointment. an appointment to relax for an hour, in the heaven which is reflexology!

come to think of it ...
two reflexologists is a perfect number for a village of six hundred people.

Monday, 6 October 2008

soft grey

home, along the way
minishant, through and on
i topped the hill before turnberry
a place where great golfers play
and rich people stay and do whatever
and where she should have been
she was not, gone missing
rode her giant turtles and left

ms ailsa how i stretched my eyes
in search of one quick glimpse
but no, the craig is awol
and you, sweet goddess of the rock
absorbed within the distant sea mist
so ,sunk my leaden heart a little more
this dreary soft grey day
of tear washed eyes

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

Friday, 3 October 2008

north wind and another rhyme

north wind

oh dear
i do believe it's started
the last of summer
has departed

the wind is blowing
from the north
and heading south
not back and forth

the bed and breakfast sign
next door
is lying broken
on the floor

hooked on the fence
a blue ground sheet
buffets wildly
scaring sheep

the grey clouds racing
up on high
and not one patch
of clear blue sky

it's cold!
and that is worth repeating
it's cold!
i need my central heating

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

christmas in the summertime

so now my thoughts
will turn to home
the place to which
the birds have flown

they know a thing or two
i say
when winter comes
they fly away

to places
where the weather's nice
where water flows
instead of ice

where blue skies rule
the sun shines bright
and there is warmth
both day and night

but no ...i'm here
i've come to stay
and damn it's fun
on christmas day

i tell you
turkey never should
have been a southern
christmas food

back home
we did our best you see
to keep things
as they used to be

before we climbed aboard
and sailed
on boats to which a mast
was nailed

and landed up
in far flung places
which were so hot
they tanned our faces

no more
a pale and pasty white
our skins grew brown
to our delight

yet still
when christmas came around
we missed the snow
upon the ground

we longed to feast
like long ago
when we were living
in the snow

and so we cook
we bake and sweat
plum pudding, turkey, spuds
and yet

if the whole truth
were truly told
we should forget
those days of old

and settle for
a feast outside
with pap and sous
and meat all braaied

and chuck a melon
in the pool
and let the water
keep it cool

cause christmas in
the summertime
is sticky hot
and less sublime

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

happy anniversary darling ..

today 42 years ago...
three o'clock in the afternoon, oppressive october heat, storm clouds building.

me ... just turned 18, full of self belief, sure i was as grown up as i was ever going to be.

dad at my side, handsome as ever, escorting his fifth and youngest daughter down that long, long aisle.

the church was full, so many people . come to share our happy day.

and then...
i saw you waiting and my world grew still and there was only you and me.
you and me sweetheart and that is how it ever was.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

it's only natural

this is the house where i live, i am very fortunate to occupy the whole top floor.
the window on the front left of the picture is my lounge window.

from this window i look across the a77, the road which carries the traffic from belfast to glasgow and vice versa, on the other side of the road is a single row of houses. beyond those lies a flat field which then rises away into a hill which is partially covered with gorse bushes and beyond and above the gorse is another grazing field.

now, i'm sure you all are totally fascinated by the information overload i am offering you! patience people... i am setting a scene ...

from my window i look across to the field beyond and watch the seasons change. well, so far i have watched the end of a winter, the spring, the summer and presently ... the turning.

if i look to the far hill i am often able to see the farmer on his four wheel bike, accompanied by his dog,rounding up the sheep. on the flat field just across the road they seem to rotate their cattle. a few weeks ago the field was full of black cows with their cream coloured calves, sometimes the grass in the field is left to grow and then harvested for winter feed. at present the field is full of sheep.

now if you know as much about sheep as i do ...
not as much as you might imagine considering the erudite writing i produce on the subject of mammals of the genus Ovis in the family Bovidae!

sheep follow their mouths, they graze, as in, it seems like they never stop. of course, they must, at times ...
in order to ruminate ... heh!
so ... they graze, then one sheep decides to move (random choice or master plan?), then all the other sheep will follow this leader. off they go, often in a long line, trotting off into the sunset or wherever. until one of them stops and they go back to their endless munching.

the lambs are different! well, for at least the first six months of their lives. they frolic, they gambol, they spring into the air for no reason at all, they race each other around and around, they head butt ... then they grow up and turn into sheep (see previous paragraph).

well ... that was my experience anyway, until yesterday. yesterday whilst i was gazing out of the window, contemplating all the chores awaiting me, something changed.
oh aye indeed, something changed!
i noticed one sheep, wandering around, alone and in a rather haphazard manner. this sheep was not grazing and no other sheep were taking a blind bit of notice of said sheep as it wandered around.
interesting ...
then i noticed that said sheep was wearing a harness (similar to that which you might use for a dog, instead of a collar).
why on earth would a sheep be wandering around with a harness on and behaving in a most unsheeply manner?
yeah ... you guessed it! the mystery explained itself when the haltered one started getting up close and personal with his calmly munching companions.
actually, there are at least three rams in that particular field, doing their duty by the ladies. the ladies in question are not particularly bothered ... they carry right on munching at the green, green grass.

now i would have thought that in this modern world of ours, it would have been all efficiency and artificial insemination.
what a delightful surprise to discover that in this beautiful part of the ayrshire coast ... lambs are being conceived in the old fashioned way.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

all good

i opened my eyes and saw a new day.

"time" i said to myself
"time to shape up, time to take control, time to get with the plan."

2008 has not been a great year (exercise wise) for me.

i started the new year with "the knees", then i moved on to "the elbow" and finally there was "the foot".
and of course let us not forget "the drug" repurcussions and "the drug" withdrawal symptoms...

damn, it's a miracle i am not recovering in an asylum!

today, i begin again!
i changed into my somewhat raggedy exercise clothes and began. stretching and limbering up ...
i run on a sports trampoline, it spares my aging joints from too much impact damage.

when i am fit i am able to run pretty much as long as i please.

fit i ain't! so i started with a gentle run ... all good.

"the foot" endured the exercise and i jumped off the trampoline with no more problems than when i jumped on.

my body loved being encouraged to work. my ear and mind were delighted ... i always supply them with a blast of rhythmic noise when i run. my brain was grateful for the gift of endorphins my body produced.

and me ... hot, sweaty and happy.
and hopefully ... a little way down the line, a little leaner!

Friday, 19 September 2008

the mysterious case of ...

sigh... friday 17.30, time to sit back and relax with jack d and company. oops ...this 'not smoking in the house' rule of mine is a bit of a nuisance. excuse me while i nip downstairs for a quick smoke!

aahh ... that's better. warning! never put one of those lethal little white tubes anywhere near your mouth. hey man, turns out nicotine is addictive. in my case ... big time addictive. also expensive, smelly and really ... like bad for your health.

too late for me ... i purely love the little f---ers!

interesting day today, adam and michelle had to drive up to somewhere in the highlands. where ... damned if i know, i never listen properly. why ... think it had summat to do with the theology degree adam is taking. so this afternoon i had doggy lunch duty, the puppy is only four months old and she has never been left for a whole day before. so ... i took myself off up to the farm, climbing into the mist. we have had quite a bit of rain (well it ain't africa thats for sure), "the potholes so deep, they might drown a grown sheep", so i was driving real slow and careful, suddenly a hawk appeared out of the mist, diving and flew right in front of my rav and off into the pine wood to the right. one of those magical country moments!

i was keeping a sharp eye out for the beefy boys, they always appear so sweet and peaceful but ...
last night on the telly i was watching one of those helicopter rescue programmes and ...
darned if they didn't show this couple who were just taking a wee walk through a field. they were attacked and trampled by the whole darn herd. oy! imagine that! the fella, not a young man, was really badly hurt.

hmmmm ... don't trust the coos! must admit, i have wondered, sometimes, when they have parked themselves on the road. well, they seem somewhat reluctant to leave. they just stand there looking all peaceful and stubborn like. always have to allow an extra ten minutes drive time just in case yon coos decide to be difficult!

so anyway, the dogs were delighted to see me! much joyful jumping and adoring looks from the young one, obviously pleased that she had not been deserted entirely. elijah gave me his 'i'm really pleased to see you, but darned if i am gonna fawn over you' look!
lunch and toilet run done, dogs settled, my lady rav and i ventured back along the puddly, muddied farm road. i turned right across the a77, heading for girvan.there was a bit of shopping i needed to do, our small local shop is a marvel but, they just can't stock everything.
although the mist was writhing all over the hills, the road was a pretty clear and easy ride. i love that drive along the ayrshire coast, if you are ever in scotland, make sure you drive the a77 coastal route, a prettier sight would be difficult to find.

my shopping done i headed back to the village, decided to pop in at jo's as she had managed to get me a pair of pink crocs for only £1.99, some place in ayr. ayr is our BIG town, you have to pay for parking, there is a system of one way streets. i love the place but avoid it like the plague if i have to drive in myself.

arrived at jo's house and noticed that shona's car was parked outside her house (shona's house not jo's, they live kinda next door to one another.) well now, shona has been working so hard the past week, i have hardly seen her, let alone had time to drink coffee or get drunk! so you might say i was suffering from shona deprivation! so methinks ... ah well i'll just pop into my mate for a cuppa before i collect my new crocs.

shona puts on her (new!) kettle and turns to me...

"eryll! what's happened to your eye?" shock written all over her face!

me ... "nothing, why?"

shona ... "you have a black eye!"

hmmmm ... now i know that when i left home, for sure... i did not have a black eye. i'm not a terribly vain person, but ... i do glance in the mirror before i go out into the public realm. dinna wanna scare th' locals!
so shona is obviously hallucinating.

shona notices my disbelief and grabs a mirror, she shoves it in my direction...

"look fer yerself, ye've got a f'king black eye!"

my goodness! i did indeed have a huge black eye. must have burst a blood vessel or summat and it all seeped into the skin beneath my left eye. man, it looked impressive.

we drank our cuppa, put the world to rights and i had a smoke ...
have i mentioned how i love that girl! she doesn't mind if i smoke in her non smokers house. the woman is an angel for sure!
turned out jo was not at home so i decided to just pop in to the medical centre and have someone look at my most impressive black eye. no luck, our local medical heroes had left for the day, of course, i could have driven half an hour to the nearest A & E, but the black eye is not that impressive!

cheers ... here's to country living, fabulous friends and a rather mysterious black eye.
oooh... i do love me a little jack daniel's on a friday night.

come september

at times
i think i am forgetting
then a soft clinging cape of guilt
molds itself to my body
how could i forget you
my love my life
my forever man
those occasions fade now
eased with the forgiveness
of passing time

come september
beware the sadness
the deep abiding sense of loss
rushes in like the spring tide
catching me unaware
sweeping me from my feet
threatening to drown me
with memories of you
fear clutches at my gut
forgotten pain stings my eyes

i struggle through
the passing months of memories
of anniversary, births and death
missing and remembering
feeling once more the empty ache
of torment and despairing loss
until a year new born
brings hope and healing
and i may breathe again
without you my forever man

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

last of the summer ...

yesterday... my boy, the artist, flew home to south africa and the beginning of their summer.the house feels empty with his energy gone!

our summer, here in ayrshire, is but a short and pleasant memory. no sooner come than gone.

which leads me to ponder on the sweet strangeness, the insanity of this time we spend on planet earth. an interlude we call life.

we are born, we grow and mature according to our circumstances. some find themselves born into circumstances so awful, they would be hard to imagine. others are born into loving and supportive families.

some of us are able to skip through childhood and adolescence whilst others endure the pain of disconnection, derision and disrespect.

some grow strong in difficult circumstances, some grow sad or angry.

the easy path also has pitfalls, a cared for and carefree childhood does not guarantee strength and a stirling character.

we grow and we change, we age and we change, we mature and we change. everything about us changes, or is, at the very, least capable of change.
that which was sweet on the tongue yesterday, may seem bland tomorrow. today's excitement, tomorrow's boredom. we have very little control over our emotions, they rise and ebb like the tides. we tend to believe that we control our minds, our thoughts ... i think not. hormonal surges influence how we think and view the world around us. an injury to the head. a blow, too hard and in the wrong place ..
we are no longer, who we were before!
even our memories change over time until the truth belongs to no one.the actual truth fades and sometimes even disappears.

who are we then?

are we the human butterfly, adept at... shedding the old and accepting the new. so changeable that we hardly notice ourselves changing.

later ...
darn ... all that contemplating gave me a muzzy brain, so i took a walk through the village and along the shore. not a breath of wind, the tide so far out that our wee harbour is nothing more than a water logged sand pit! i walked to the end of the sea wall and stood watching the sea green water washing away at the sandstone wall. the water is clean and clear, the pebble covered sea bed easily visible. brown seaweed, anchored to the rocks dances to the rhythm of the waves.

i realized something, who we are might well be irrelevant.

we simply are!

we are born, we breath, we live and love. the form of our love may change as we move along our time line but the original energy remains.

love is ...
sometimes a butterfly, sometimes a caterpillar,at times no more than a pupa or a minuscule egg. a living growing energy, ever changing and miraculous.

i believe love is our gift to the universe and the challenge we are required to meet.
love is a coin of no use when saved within us, love deserves to be spent, poured out into the world where it will grow and spread.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


so here i am, sitting at my computer...
beyond the window, the drizzle drifts across the village, carried lazy on the wind.

from downstairs i hear the rumble of conversation, today is tuesday, tuesday is club day. a good portion of the village is seated downstairs enjoying coffee, cake and company. well, actually they are most likely drinking tea! "coffee, cake and company", was some how, all together too hard to resist!
the poet within me seems to be reviving. the appeal, the excitement of words which grow in my mind and fit together with others. the hunt, the quest ... the desire to write is returning.

i just received a text from my youngest, the artist...
"I have arrived in your soggy miserable country ...Mwah!"

nice to know he's safe!

the boy has made a big effort to be with me for my big "60". he will be in london for a couple of days and then will fly into glasgow on friday afternoon. happy days! i will have all my darlings in one country....

bumped into an old friend the other day... for the first time!
occasionally when i meet someone... i feel a rush of knowing, the comfort of the once familiar. and so it was when i met xan. xan bubbles... like a highland mountain spring. life for her is an adventure awaiting, a journey, a quest to be tackled full on and with every ounce of her not insubstantial energy.

interesting ...
life and the way we find friends, end up in places we could never even have imagined, find ourselves achieving the unexpected in many curious ways.

the path through life can be barren, bitter and boring at times.
and then...
sunshine and roses!
there is no way to know what lies beyond the next corner, over the next rise.
she travels best who travels the path in company with beloved family and cherished friends.

carpe diem!

"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence."
Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, 7 September 2008

winter green

the green grows greener as the rains increase
the earth squelches and runs with muddy ooze
the summer burn, reduced to a rambling trickle
now rushes, hasty and impatient along the way

it is time she warns us,for the dark again
time to forget the long, days of summer light
the earth revolves and carries the faithful
in a never ending ballet through the seasons

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

Thursday, 4 September 2008


today i was cyber chatting with margo moon of the starr ann chronicles. we had dared to enter the realm of politics .. yoiks!
anyway started me off thinking...
if i was a united states citizen...
which party would i vote for?

found this quick, easy and enlightening quiz!

Your Vote Score: 54% Republican, 46% Democrat

You are truly an independent voter, and you don't fit well with either party.

Maybe you should choose one issue to vote on - or look into third parties!

thing of it is... i really believe gay people should have the right to do whatever they damn well want. marriage , civil partnership...
why would anyone in their right mind object... no really!!

but then ...
i am totally against abortion! a fetus may not look like a newborn, a newborn may not look like a three year old, a three year old may not look like a twelve year old, a twelve year old may not look like an adult.
stages of life folks, stages of life!
life is sacred.

war is stupid!

allow mothers an additional vote!

damn! bet you all over there are glad i live on the opposite side of the pond ...

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

sea swimming swans

where do the days go? damn it....
i do believe that the less you have to do...
the friggin' longer it takes!

today has been mostly dark, not in mood but in sky colour. occasional showers and the odd (rather pathetic) burst of sunshine. the breeze is chill... perhaps a small reminder to our summer hearts that nothing lasts forever, each season deserves it's turn and mamma nature is nothing if not timely.
still and all, must admit i could be doing with a sunny september.

drove into girvan after lunch... things to do, places to be. the firth was dark and still, no raucous crashing waves today. looking out to the horizon, the edge of the world was black rimmed, dark, towering, heavy clouds suspended in the space between sea and sky. the pebbled shore was white with hundreds of seagulls, crouched miserable in the drifting dampness.

safely tucked away in my warm, dry car, i allowed myself to wonder a little about exactly how unpleasant it might possibly be to find oneself "free as a bird".

and then ...
i noticed them... two pairs of swans bobbing carelessly on the dark water. now in stranraer, which is about half an hour to the south of my village ... the bay supports quite a population of swans and ducks. swans swimming in sea water... weird! back home in south africa the surf crashes forcefully to the shore, rushing and frothing, making much ado and a good deal of noise. no self respecting swan would dabble their webbed feet in that maelstrom!

so... stranraer has sea swimming swans. well guess what? we now have our own swans swimming... somewhere between lendalfoot and girvan. hope they decide to stay...

Monday, 1 September 2008

cogito, ergo sum

i find i now remember
the word i need to use
no more pregnant pauses
no offering up of clues

no need for you to wonder
what i am trying to say
each sentence is quite clear
in an elementary way

i think, i speak and i explain
i conjugate each clause
the words which once evaded me..
no longer give me pause

i thought it was the passing years

which caused my brain to slow

while actually a chemical (prescribed)

had caused the words to go

i write, i read, i watch the tube

i stay awake all day

"i think, therefore i am" you know

more eryll in some way!

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

a wreck in time

yesterday i won a bet!
about a week ago herself dragged me off to our local library. m is an inveterate researcher and she had questions about village history. myself ... i felt that visiting the local library would be a complete waste of time! for one thing, the place is tiny, for another it is only open for a few hours on some days of the week. my imagination conjured up a disinterested, part time librarian...
my demanding new yorker !...
well, who needs such aggravation?
however, herself is a fair challenge to my indolent habits. after some discussion, i reluctantly agreed to accompany her. somewhat sulkily i must admit.

i was wrong! the local library was perfect, very small but positively stacked with delicious books. the librarian assured me that she could order any book my heart desired. herself addressed the question of local history and lo... local librarian has spent two years of her life researching and writing our village history. she has tales and fables, truth and myth and photographs of the past and how it was. local, part time librarian is a font of knowledge and eager to share.

we hear tales of witches, mermaids, curses and ship wrecks... we are royally entertained, the library remains open past closing time as herself and the part time librarian delve into the distant past.

local history and gossip, who could ask for more. apparently there is an ancient shipwreck in the bay and when the tide is out, the masts are visible.

yesterday herself expressed a need to drive down to the water and read (there is a rather noisy job of work being executed at my place of residence and her tender, sensitive, opera singer's hearing was being abused by the constant hammering!). i parked the car and took myself off for a wee walk about and a cigarette. i returned and my lady was not reading but exercising her brain with a sudoko puzzle. i settled down with my book, enjoying the warmth of the sun shining through the car windows. herself ... she dozed off, i may well have closed my eyes for an instant.
time passes.
my lady awakes and expresses a desire to WALK along the beach. such an opportunity should never be ignored, i positively leap from the rav.
and so ... we find ourselves wandering along the shore. myself collecting the multi hued pebbles which decorate the sand and herself collecting shells.
"do you think that is the wreck ... over there?
me ...
"nah, tides not out, wreck wouldn't be right up on the shore!"
"wanna bet"
note to reader... herself considers me a bit of a "know it all", she might be right ... possibly.
"sure, you can buy me a twisted if that is the wreck"
heself... (pretty damn sure she is right!)
"make it something worthwhile"
"like what?"
"a dessert at the garden centre".
whew heavy stuff man! still, my new glasses and my common sense assure me that no way could the bronx babe be right.
me ...
"ok, lets walk"
"i dunno, maybe not now. it looks like a long way, i kinda need the bathroom."
"heh! ...chicken?"

we walked...
i was right... no wreck!
man! i can taste that banoffee pie already ;-)

Monday, 18 August 2008

i have one

today was brain scan and blood tests results day and good news was on the menu.
i have a brain ... oh yeah! and what's more it is in fine fettle. all my tests came back A for ok, it appears that i am one healthy human, perhaps a little creaky in the joints but otherwise...
practically perfect!

now here i must pay tribute to herself ("at least give me some credit!"), for she it was who delved into the dark world of drugs. researched my medications and found that one particular medication has some rather nasty side effects.
uhuh! cholesterol in my family line runs high and handsome...
familial i think the catch word is.
the result... powerful medication is required. powerful medication indeed! it would appear that in sufficient dosage this particular powerful medication is more than capable of causing... 'cognitive dysfunction'! yikes!
apparently the statins cause 'inevitable damage to the mevalonate tree'.
imagine that, no friggin' wonder i was starting to exhibit symptoms usually reserved for the somewhat brain dead...
stopped taking the statins, revival, return (almost) to normal. i am able to sit without falling asleep, i occasionally remember something of importance. i am almost able to conduct a decent conversation.

at the very least i am now able to understand that my functional failures do not (as yet) signal an untimely descent into the sad, grey world of early onset dementia.

lift a glass mates! we have reason to celebrate!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

choice, cheese and eating italian


cheese wise ... south africa offers a fairly limited choice. the uk, another story entirely, a confusion of choice!
but ... uk cheese is not american cheese! the mozzarella, the parmesan, the ricotta available in our supermarkets may be imported from italy ...
why, you might wonder is the woman racketing on about cheese?

herself has arrived, safe and sound on scottish soil. a little late due to a three hour delay stateside whilst the airline searched for a co pilot! i kid you not, herself has a way with her, weird and wonderful situations arise all around her!
my apartment appears to have grown in her absense and she now realizes how fortunate i was to secure this home of mine heh, heh ... just goes to show the difference a little sunshine makes!

back to the cheese question...
so... herself has decided she will impress my friends and family by throwing a dinner party ... no really!
you thought she didn't cook?
she doesn't, not normally, not if she can possibly avoid...
pots, pans, the whole darn kitchen and cooking scenario.
the woman comes from an italian family and she loves to eat and she loves to entertain.
eating out in a proper restaurant in the uk is an expensive business. let's face it, friends and family are not going to be impressed with a take away from the kings arms ... heh!
now when herself put her mind to it, she would make the most delightful dish of chicken parmesan. of course that was before she became a flesh abhoring vegetarian.
however, she still makes a pretty mean eggplant parmesan!
british cheese ... will it do???


which explains how we came to be sitting at my small kitchen table, surrounded by many different brands of mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan. herself had decided to taste test her way through quite a few of great britain's italian type cheeses!
cheese wise... things appear to have improved since her last foray into scottish supermarkets. a satisfactory ricotta was found, the parmesan passed muster and although the mozzarella was not really up to italian/american standards...
even though imported directly from italy! heh, heh...
herself finally found one she felt she would be able to work with.

rock on! darn i love it when herself pretends to be all housewifely!! if pressed, i would have to admit that my lady has made me several cups of coffee in the week she has been here.

all i have to do now is locate an eggplant (aubergine to the brits and brinjal back home in south africa) and voila! i will be eating italian!

Monday, 4 August 2008

like any other monday

now, where was i...
been a little distracted lately, what with my visitors and all!

my sister patricia (used to call her pat but since she turned sixty she seems to refer to herself as patricia ... more grown up/sophisticated i guess!) and brother-in-law tony have flown south, to the shores of home. unfortunately they appear to have taken patricia's sun angels with them. man, that girl has powerful sunshine magic! we hardly had a drop of rain in the month they spent here. except for the time they spent on the isle of skye, then, it rained here in ballantrae whilst the sun shone on skye. they did get wet once, the pair of them caught a bus into stranraer and were rained on. i was seriously happy about that as i had begun to fear my beloved sister might be a weather witch!

btw, while acting as tour guide, i discovered port patrick! a quaint and pretty seaside village, with sufficient antique and curiosity shops to delight the heart.should you ever find yourself on the west coast of scotland, i heartily recommend port patrick as a port of call.
may i recommend, should hunger pangs gnaw at your belly...
do not seek sustenance at the wee tea room at the top of the hill. they do the most unimaginative baked potato i have ever tasted!
i am sure, (in my search for more affordable eating) i ignored some excellent restaurants!

next monday herself arrives!
well hopefully ...
always presuming, we do not manage to have an interesting enough philosophical disagreement in the interim to inspire a ticket cancellation event. that has been known to happen!

Friday, 25 July 2008

the overwhelming importance of functioning feet..

jump out of bed... huh... ouch! or rather as we would say back home eina!!
pain, in the foot, left foot.

ah well, probably just a bit stiff, walk it out. nah... don't think so, not today.
i limp through monday, i rest a lot, i limp through tuesday, i rest even more.
wednesday .. shona and i are off to ayr for an eye test for me, a bit of shopping and... an ultrasound of her heart.
so wednesday, i resort to drugs.
do they help... not so as you would notice!
i drive, shona's vehicle has a water hose problem. i hate driving in ayr, the place has a one way system i have yet to figure out. shona navigates, she was born in these parts, she actually lived in ayr for a while. smooth riding, we find central parking ... no problem. great to visit with a native.

shona walks...
i limp after her feeling my age.

the dear girl delivers me to the optician, right on time. a young man puffs air in my eyes and takes a photograph of the back of my eye.
the (blond and rather gorgeous) optician, makes me feel right at home and then takes my glasses away from me...
leaving me feeling like a mole, uncovered and exposed to the light of day. all goes swimmingly, we decide i might perhaps benefit from varifocal lenses... of course we do, damn things are a sight more expensive than good old bifocals but...
i currently have these blind spots...
can't see clearly...
items through shop windows.
some items on some supermarket shelves.
happiness would be, not having to peer in order to see, not having to get a crick in my neck whilst attempting to find the dill gherkins.

we shop...
i don't shop... well, not unless i have to. shona is a serial shopper! maybe it's catching, i mean... the shopping thing. the girl walks and i limp through innumerable weird and wonderful shops, i start to enjoy myself, the drugs start to kick in.
cosy, old fashioned scottish tearoom. coffee and strawberry tarts with cream.

hospital time, ultra sound time. we sit and wait and i try to look cool and unconcerned. we crack jokes about my upcoming brain scan. they call her name, evidently it does not take long to inspect ones heart and arteries, my friend is back sooner than i expected. she will have to wait for the official results but, so far, so good.

we pick up shaun and i drive back to ballantrae, guess the drugs are wearing off as i am now having a hard time working the clutch. eina!

thursday morning...
well that will larn me! my left foot is now painful and swollen and red... yikes. fear strikes my stoic heart. i drag myself off to the medical centre and dr k, my brain consumed with thoughts of crutches and disability badges. damn doctors! how come they are always so calm, miss k takes my foot in hand and appears seriously unimpressed.

dr k
" the small bones of the foot... you might have injured them without knowing, or it could be arthritis, nothing much to be done. keep moving, when you sit, keep the leg raised. take these tablets."

ahah! well... nothing for it i guess but to limp on home and try and pursuade myself that i am not yet quite at death's door.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

sawney bean and the missing memory

my eyesight fades,
my hearing wanes,
my memory is,
playing games.
there is a cave,
along our coast,
said to be haunted,
by a ghost.
the ghost of long dead,
sawney bean,
a cannibal,
so it would seem.
now sawney,
and his family,
hid in this cave ,
close by the sea.
they preyed on traders,
riding past,
then ate their flesh,
a grim repast.
the soldiers came,
to search and find,
old father bean,
and all his kind.
but, smart he was,
and hid away,
deep in the caves,
above the bay.
no proof, no bones,
were ever found,
but still the myth,
was told around.
now this is really,
quite a tale,
to tell the tourists,
they grow pale!
so, 'tis my pleasure,
to regale,
my visitors,
with sawney's tale.
i take them to,
a view point high,
i start to talk,
then damn it ... sigh!
the cannibal,
i've lost his name,
it's gone, forgotten,
out of frame.
my story seems,
to lose it's way,
without a name,
there's 'nowt to say.
the names not gone,
it's merely missing,
this happens,
when i'm reminiscing ...
two weeks pass by,
my brain is still,
perhaps i need,
a memory pill.
then off to ireland,
we all go,
we take the ferry,
it's not slow.
we take a coach,
we do a tour,
of beauty spots,
i'll tell you more.
the giant's causeway,
made of rocks,
which look like,
geometric blocks.
our next stop is,
a swaying bridge,
which joins an island,
to a ridge.
for twenty minutes,
we must queue,
to cross the bridge,
and see the view.
my turn comes round,
to cross the bridge,
high off the ground.
i must admit,
i was quite scared,
i paused,
the guy behind me glared.
i took a breath,
and holding tight,
i took a step,
and faced my plight.
when i was half way...
in the middle...
my mind came clear,
and solved the riddle.
it's sawney bean,
that is the name,
the cannibal,
of ayrshire fame.
i think i did not,
speak it out,
i'm lucky,
that i did not shout!
the joy of memory,
two weeks it took,
till it arrived.
so... what's the moral,
of my story,
enjoy your brain,
in all it's glory.
cause soon enough ,
you might well find,
missing places,
in your mind.
no matter how you strive,
to think,
your memory's...
gone on the blink!

All materials Copyright © 2004-2008 by Eryll Oellermann

Saturday, 12 July 2008

across the sea

i love five o'clock in the morning. the sun just starting to rise behind the high hill opposite my house. the a77 as still as it is ever possible for the a77 to be! just me and the cows and the sheep. i'm enjoying my coffee and first smoke of the day, they are munching away... as always. i wonder what it is like to eat all day and night and never grow fat? mind you, as delicious as the ayrshire grass may be ... would i really want to spend my life chewing on it? nah ... i think not! better to stick with cadbury's creme eggs (which, btw are now being produced as a chocolate bar called twisted, in order that those of us with a creme egg dependency will not have to suffer needlessly in the six months of the year when easter eggs are unavailable!) and other such delightful delicacies of our modern day diet.

my niece alison finally arrived in girvan at eight last night, only three hours late! evidently ... a train trip from hell. my niece is a pukka english person as my sister lola, married an englishman and spent the rest of her life in her majesty's realm.

of course WE are now Scottish with a capital S! however, unlike the average scot we feel no deep need to despise everything south of the border. i hear rumblings and i am quite sure that sometime in the not too distant future, i will be living in the republic of scotland, free of the chains which presently bind us to the sassehachs!of course i have equal parts scots/irish/english blood, plus a little french Huguenot and who the hell knows what else. but ... when in rome...

talking about irish blood...
tomorrow - sunday, we are off to stranraer to catch the ferry to belfast! this will be the first time my feet have touched irish soil and i am pretty excited. we are taking a coach tour and will visit the giant's causeway.
the carrick-a-rede rope bridge

if anyone fancies to offer me 'big bucks' to cross the bridge... well... i might just take them up on it. otherwise, hmmm, probably not as i am terrified of high, swaying bridges with gaps between the planks!

the weather forecast for tomorrow CLAIMS that the weather will be ok. here's hoping they have it right for once ...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

practicing ... the swallow swoop

i think... perhaps... i should try waking up a tad earlier. perhaps i might even try using an alarm clock. i guess i am, what could well be, a professional procrastinator.

i enjoy waking up and thinking...
'what do i have to do today?'
and realizing...
'absolutely blow all.'

this lackadaisical lifestyle, might well be in danger of some reorganization!

been watching the swallows, the past month or two. now those are pretty amazing little creatures.

evidently they nest under the eaves of my house every year. last year the whole place was painted. it appears the painter man had scant regard for the nesting habits of migrating birds and simply knocked down all their little mud houses. so this year they arrived home to a housing crisis! did the swallows hang around on the phone lines, wringing their wing tips and sharing the story of their suffering with any other bird within tweet distance.
nope ... they simply 'got on' with life. new nests grew beneath the eaves, mud carried a beakful at a time from wherever, attached and shaped into a new swallow home.
damn, birds don't even have hands!

now... there are swallow babies, peeping and cheeping from every swallow doorway, those hardworking parents spend their days on the wing, swooping in an endless pursuit of whatever insect meal swallow babies prefer.soon the youngsters will leave the nests and learn to fly. when the first autumn chill shivers it's way across the local landscape, the young and the old will gather themselves and take wing for warmer climes, where they will start all over again.

no really! i feel like a right idle oxygen waster. tomorrow, i wake with the first light, i exercise harder, i write more,i finish a book and take a longer walk. i give more thought to solving the world's problems. damn it ... if not me ... then who?

tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life, i don't intend to waste another minute. my navel contemplating days are over!
i'll need to prepare...
perhaps tomorrow is rushing things a bit...
maybe next week would be a good time to start...

Monday, 7 July 2008

the ceilidh

quite a weekend, that was! my home overflowing (doesn't take too many...heh heh) with family, their rasping south african accents... music to my ears.

saturday was gala day...
i thought the damned thing started at two in the afternoon. unfortunately my timing was a wee bit out, things started at one. this caused us to miss the stranraer pipe band...
mutter, mutter...
and while most of my family detest the bagpipes and refer to the music in the most derogatory terms...
me, myself, i adore them, their wailing brings tears to my eyes, my heart swells with joy and pride in my scots blood.

so anyway...
missed the bagpipes, missed the official opening, missed the gala queen and her two princesses.
did not miss...
the drizzle
the tombola
the rain
the treasure hunt
the mist
the owls... wow that was fabulous!
the wet field
the tea tent
and best of all the fresh made strawberry tarts with cream...mmmm!

the ceilidh (pronounced "kay-lee")
wow... now that was fun! exhausting, even painful but definitely fun. i was not intending to take part in the country dancing. i am probably one of the world's biggest exhibitionists but...
i need to be good at what i do.
i dislike making spectacle of myself!

the road to hell...
yeah right, pretty soon i was up there ... making a spectacle of myself! one of the guys in the band teaches us a dance...
seemed simple enough!
so i muddle my way through one set...
omg, i was totally exhausted, my lungs were screaming for air, my body was whimpering for rest. i was never so happy to hear a song end.
only then...
"now we'll all go again... faster this time".
yeah...right, and seeing as how i am dancing in a set with seven other people... none of whom appear to be even slightly worn out!
enough said, i am fortunate to still be here to tell the tale.

a ceilidh is a family affair, moms and dads, teenagers and toddlers,grannies and granddads...
great grannies and great granddads!!
yep, indeed...people in their eighties (at least) dancing the night away.
damn, but these scottish folk know how to enjoy themselves!
i intend to take lessons in scottish country dancing and look forward to celebrating my eightieth birthday with a ceilidh, where i will dance the night away...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

party night

what is it with me? i appear to have lost the urge to write...
my mind, which usually whirls with words and rhyme, lies quiet as a hot summer afternoon before the storm.

so... i said to myself ...just do it! put your fingers on the computer keys and start... something ... anything.

methinks mayhap i am one lazy little bum! not that i'm claiming my derrière to be particularly little in fact...
years of exercise have kept that part of my anatomy in fairly good shape, if it were not for the two stone of excess padding i carry on various parts of my once lithesome frame, well...

maybe ... i'm to weak to write!
my visit to new york took place in a spirit of celebration, accompanied by an orgy of over eating.
result ...
back to reality...
small (very small) portions, no pudding and a return to a fairly punishing exercise regime. well... madonna probably would not agree, what can i say, i ain't aiming for perfection here!

tomorrow my sister (third born) and brother-in-law arrive from south africa, via dubai. the trip is to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and they will be staying for the whole month of july! now i did invite them to stay with me, after all i have a huge spare bedroom with a very comfy bed and a marvelous view of ailsa craig. sis however, being older and wiser insisted on staying elsewhere in order to prevent any major sibling fall outs...
so ... i have booked them into the king's arms, our one and only pub/hotel. the pub is fairly quaint and old worldly, of course it also fronts onto the busy and noisy a77 but i arranged a back room, so hopefully it will be fairly peaceful.

saturday, my niece, her husband and their daughter arrive from belgium. yeah... we are cast to the four winds! they are on a camping holiday and will be spending a couple of nights with me. and yes, they will be making use of the spare room!

the timing for these family visits is wonderfully serendipitous...
this weekend the village gala take place. we will have a gala queen and princesses, a pet show, a tug of war, stands and stalls, cakes and tombola. a fun run (what the dickens is fun about running?),a treasure hunt, the stranraer pipe band will play. saturday night there is to be a ceilidh in the village hall and i have managed to obtain tickets for the whole family. what is a ceilidh you may ask, i certainly did...
"answers.com" tells me that in the lowlands, it is a scottish dance. evidently in the highlands a ceilidh is more likely to be a concert. ah man, where would i be without the internet... lost in the restless seas of my own ignorance.

so, saturday night is party night, village style...

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

to start, or not to start

michelle fetched me from the airport on saturday...
adam was off at some church seminar. have i ever mentioned how talented my children were when it came to choosing their life partners? they did a most excellent job and have provided their dear old mum with two wonderful sons-in-law and a absolutely delightful daughter-in-law!

on the long drive home, michelle had a favour to ask. tuesday would be their wedding anniversary and adam would be away in oxford,he was leaving in the small, wee hours of monday morning, would it perhaps be possible for me to babysit the menagerie so that they could take the trip together and enjoy their anniversary in the same county.

jet lag??? long stop overs at schiphol, amsterdam??? me... exhausted... no way!

me..."not a problem, more than happy sweetheart"

michelle..."thanks mom, you can use my car"

me... "huh, what's wrong with the rav???"

michelle... "well..."

i swear, my lady rav punishes me when i leave her to take a trip overseas. like a thwarted child she rebels and sulks and sets off her own alarm and allows her battery to go completely flat which then does something to the immobilizer. and then we have a problem. especially when she is parked at the farm... out of reach of my garage guy. sigh...

sunday, adam and michelle dropped off her 4x4 at my place, monday i drove up to the farm. today (tuesday) i phoned the RAC and told them my problem.he arrived... the fix it man, breathing kind of heavy.
"quite a road you have there" he said.

"you should see it in winter" i said.

fix it man disconnected the immobilizer, managed to start lady rav and informed me in a most doleful voice...
"i'm afraid that's all i can do for now, that is one dead battery...won't take a charge...you need a new one..."

why goodness gracious me! did i not have this very problem not so many months ago? how long are batteries supposed to last?. aarrrggghhh!!

fix it man..."take it back to the guy who sold it to you."

yeah right! that guy retired six months ago... even the building he worked from has been demolished...

fix it man departs, leaving lady rav running. i take her for a really long ride, hoping like hell her battery will be juiced up enough to start tomorrow.
spoke to my garage guy who has ordered a new battery.he is expecting us at nine tomorrow.
will she ... won't she...have i whispered enough apologies for my three week absence, has she found it in her to forgive me as i caress her steering wheel, whispering sweet nothings and weaving tales of magical places we will visit...

will she start tomorrow?

Monday, 23 June 2008

home again

home indeed, the comfort of the scottish burr on my ear, surprising, to say the least!
since when did...
"what in heaven's name are these friggin' people saying?"
the sweet, familiar sound of home!

of course it was raining...a cause for joy...

evidently there has been no proper rain for about two months. the grass fields...lie sunburned and thirsty.where once water rushed, it now trickles.

new york was great...
mostly because herself is there! we did have a bit of a heat wave which nearly did me in. for a south african i am a real wimp when it comes to heat and humidity. scotland's (so called) miserable weather actually suits me to a T.

herself determined that i should...
do the tourist thing this time around.
once the weather cooled down enough to allow me to even think about straying from the air conditioned comfort of her long island home...
the two of us took the train into penn station, a subway to the harbour and a ferry to visit with Lady Liberty. wow!... she is BIG!
all in all, a fun day. i managed to devour two giant soft pretzels, i even discovered how good they taste with mustard. i love america... american food... hmmm good...
tomorrow my new diet regime starts!

i miss the tall oak trees and the squirrels which inhabit them. i miss the bagels and cream cheese, i miss taco bell and friendley's ice cream sundaes. i miss sitting outside, listening to the birds and the breeze making music in the trees. i miss cheap cigarettes and affordable petrol (yeah well... and you should have to pay what we pay!). i miss jones beach, the white sands, artistically sullied with a plethora of empty rubbish bins which march across the sea shore. i miss strawberry twizzlers and hersheys chocolate.i miss the delightful company of herself, a part of this nomad heart now forever belongs to the USA.

Monday, 9 June 2008

a question of why

A couple of weeks/months ago, herself started to read “a new earth” by eckart tolle. Of course she was eager to share knowledge gained, insights inspired. I, of course thought…
“ho hum…another self enlightenment book, same old same old…”
In addition… of course, I had been feeling… well, unimpressed with the state of our relationship. We had been tormenting one another for months. I want you, I don’t want you, let’s talk, let’s not. My ego, a protective device of immense power, was well entrenched. There would be no wisdom herself could impart to me. It was perfectly obvious to me and damn it…most everyone, that any enlightenment to be shared between us would, in most cases emanate from me!
Yeah well, I have never been known for my humility … well, not up to the present time anyway!
And then… we reached our watershed. I was convinced that I had entered a hostile territory, a place from which there would be no return. I entered gladly, in the hope of an answer to our endless entwinement. I had not reckoned on unconditional love, on grace and forgiveness, on the sweet, pure energy of herself.
The witch ??? Are you referring to the witch???
I am…
we are never only one state, we are an energy flow through life, tumbling, changing, giving and taking. And whilst I write ‘my truth’ about herself and our relationship… it is exactly that… mine. Seen through my eyes and experienced through my ego. The biblical admonition to “judge not” a haunting call … stop, think, learn to be more than your ego.
As a result of herself stepping up to the plate, spitting on her palms and whacking the infidelity ball right out of the park…
Hell man, what more is there to say . I love the woman, I always have. Because of distance and matters of pride and ego, our entanglement, the mire of our emotions was always going to be… uh… messy? There must be a way, only an idiot would allow such a love prize to dissipate, decline, dissolve …en so voorts…
And so, I come to be sitting in her/our home, air conditioner blasting away, herself next to me, studying up on the psychological aspects of pediatric hiv, whilst I dip into the previously underestimated writings of tolle. Of course my ego adores his ‘rightness’, he and I seem to have traversed somewhat divergent paths to reach similar conclusions. Fortunately for myself and many others, tolle expended the energy to actually write his insights down, some smart publisher decided to take said insights to print. Result … a record, a reminder of the way things might possibly be.
I have not finished the book; I am only on page 109, about a third of the way through. I sojourned to the courtyard in order to indulge my nicotine habit. The courtyard is a somewhat magical space, surrounded by tall, very tall oak trees, casting shadow and light … the silky rustle of nature’s air conditioners. There is a green stillness, a present peace. Long island is baking, hot as hades… the birdsong grows still in the humid heaviness, even the squirrels seem to scamper a little slower. And I begin to wonder…
What if?
We were to conquer ego! Where would that leave us? Lost in a gentle sameness, spiritual beings in a physical world….
Surely our ego serves an earth designed purpose, it enables us to grab and grow, to fight and strive and impact on the physical world. Were we all to sink into the peace of acceptance, would humanity survive or would we have found our ultimate purpose, to die to the physical, rise above our bodies, our minds and leave the earth to the next generation of seekers?
For today, I will sip ice cooled water, read further the suppositions of this man, tolle and enjoy the sheer pleasure of my content at being at her side. For a while, I will watch with wariness for the input of ego and hope to find a little more enlightenment, a little more love for my fellow time travelers, a little more respect for the reality of others.