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...
"" 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...