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.
"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!
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.
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
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.
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
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!
damn... 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 ... heh!
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...
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!
"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."