Monday, May 18, 2015

Further along

I almost missed the azalea's short lived blooms, tucked away in the far corner of the garden. My energies have been directed elsewhere - making sure I don't miss a moment of the remaining time we have as a couple - as a family. 

John's condition has deteriorated very quickly over the last couple of weeks. I was managing on my own, then with the help of the District Nurse team and our GP, but as we went along it became clear that he needed full time care. He was admitted to hospital on Friday, where they have been working to get on top of his acute symptoms. We have just been spending time with him, holding his hand, reading out loud and chatting, catching a bit of crochet in the gaps. My step-daughter is here, taking some of the burden, helping with James, folding laundry (much more nearly than I do) and spending precious moments  with her Dad. 
It was good for me to share some time in between hospital visits, with James on his own, snuggling on the sofa, eating ice cream (raspberry magnums) and watching rubbish telly. He is doing ok, he knows where this is going.

And we move on, through these cycles of hope and despair, somehow adapting to each new phase, finding whatever grains of normality we can and holding on - yes, just really holding on.

Tomorrow, John is moving to our local Hospice. Another stage, another leap into uncharted waters.  We don't know for how long, or if he will be well enough to come home at any point - but here we are. He is at peace with this decision and I know we will all be cared for. 
I cannot begin to say how much strength I have gained from the kindness of others; from friends in the community, family, our church family and the genuine and loving comments online.  It helps - it really does. Thank you.  xx

Friday, May 15, 2015

This Moment

Sharing a moment that I want to remember. No words, just a single special image. Joining in with Soulemama for This Moment. Wishing you all a precious  weekend. xx

Monday, May 11, 2015


It was a nice weekend, quiet and relaxed. One gorgeous warm day, one almost wintry, James busied himself making the perfect axe, I pottered around in the garden, admiring the tulips that I had forgotten I planted. I sat with John and caught up with some knitting and discussed politics- such a fascinating  time ahead. We had one or two visitors pop in, including friends with their brand new puppy. He was such a cute bundle, but I forgot to take a photo- sorry. And then a glorious sunset to end with. With another frenetic week ahead, it's nice to stop and appreciate those moments of calm. xxx

Saturday, May 9, 2015

In other news...


There has been the most amazing result in the Grneral Election. The Scottish National Party took 56 of the 59 Scottish seats. After the disappointment of the Referendum result, this is an incredible outcome. Although it is - and can never be enough to form a government It means there will be a strong voice for Scotland in Westminster, and also for those in the UK who woke up on Friday feeling very upset and disenfranchised at the thought of five more years of austerity cuts. These 56 fine men and women will not be afraid to speak out against the unjust policies planned by the Tories. It's going to be an interesting time. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Where we are now

Hello - it's been a while. I've been pretty busy,getting on with bits and pieces, lots of family visitors have been with us, and more plan to be here in the coming months. Broadband signal has not been great on the island for some reason either, so there hasn't been the same incentive to haul out the laptop. John has had a couple of more spells in hospital since I last posted, and hasn't been doing as well as we hoped. A new round of chemotherapy has been delayed,until his blood results improve, and his mobility has decreased. It is a strange place to be, this, but it is where we are. I guess life has contracted right down to the basics, and we are living in a bit of a bubble right now. A very blessed bubble, mind you, as we draw together and try to work our way through this.
Love to all xxx

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In the Springtime of the year

It's a slow start to spring this year. We've had a few days when we can feel a whisper of promised warmth and sunshine, but we are being blasted again with wind, hail and rain. It's been a long drag of a winter. 
I've been away from the blog for a couple of weeks - a bit blown out myself, I suppose. James and I have been ill - just end of season colds, which we're getting over. John has started more chemo, and hasn't felt too good some days and the dog isn't well! He's been to the vet and we are waiting on test results coming back. 
We've had family home, with more coming to stay over the Easter.holidays, and I've been busy with a couple of fundraising events for the school. It's all felt quite hectic, really.

I'm guessing that blogging might be a bit intermittent as the days lengthen again. I'm looking forward to seeing my daughter and her family, and there is a lot of work to do outside. I'll pop in when I can, with the odd update, catch up or photo. 
Wishing you all a blessed Easter. Xx

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Reflection

As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. 
Luke 2:19

It's Mothering Sunday here in the UK.  I've had a nice day, cards, gifts and messages from my children, (including this handmade love heart). A quiet day, church in the morning, pottering around in my kitchen and sitting outside in the sunshine. It's almost 35 years since I became a mother for the first time. Four children and three grandchildren later, my heart is full of many treasures. I am so thankful for all my family. We have our moments, like everyone, but I have been very blessed with my clan. I have been pondering many precious memories today.

I've always liked this verse about Mary, pondering all the amazing things that she witnessed. No cameras, facebooking, blogging and suchlike in those days- she stored up these treasures in her heart. She pondered and reflected upon them. When she said yes, to God's messenger, she had no idea where this journey would take her. It was a hard road too - shame, poverty, homelessness, becoming a refugee, exile and all the normal ups and downs of parenting along the way. She endured all this, so that God's great plan of salvation could be fulfilled. It was a road that led her to stand at the foot of that Cross and watch her Son die for our sins. Such unconditional love. God assured her He would be with her all the way, and she believed with all her heart. 
He is with us too - all we need to do is open our hearts to his unconditional love.  His arms are outstretched towards us right now  A good thought to ponder upon xx

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Seven Days

It's been a quick week - and another stormy one too, but there have been special in between moments that I want to remember.

::  A brisk walk along the beach, dodging   the hail showers.

:: A surprise gift of a hot stone massage, from a dear friend who took me there, did my shopping and came back for me, (she also gave me enough warning so that I didn't wear the baggy knickers ��)

:: Being outside.

:: Happy that a recipe idea worked out (later)

:: Earlier sunrises 

:: Knitting at the airport 

:: Getting my husband home from hospital, and lunching outside on a gloriously warm spring day.

Wishing you all a precious seven days ahead. xx

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Around the croft

 I planted some spring bulbs on the grassy bank around the outside of the gate, and am so pleased that they are beginning to show.  I love seeing these little dots of colour, and marvel each time at how they have made it through this stormy winter. Not everything is looking so spring-like though...

...but we will draw a veil over the shredded polytunnel, the overgrown uncleared beds, the garlic shooting up from last year's unharvested cloves, and the wind-strewn debris scattered all over the place. Gloss over the fact that nothing has been planted or sown, and everything is all a little dispiriting. Yes, let's move on from the devastation of winter.

The primula are flowering

I have springtime on my window sill.

And there was one beautifully warm Tuesday, when I was able to dig out the deck chair and drink my first outdoor cup of tea this year. It was so uplifting sitting there in the sunshine, making plans for the new season. With the departure of the livestock, growing will be the focus of the croft work this year, and so plans and ideas will revolve around that aspect. The new cover for the polytunnel has been delivered, this year's seeds and tubers have arrived,  I am planning to put another, more convenient gate into that fence, and convert the cattle trailer into a garden shed, of sorts. I am enjoying this book, oh - and have ordered this one too. Who knows what will grow in this year's garden, but we can only try again, one seed at a time. xx

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Reflection

But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage. It is I. Don't be afraid"
Matthew 14:27

I've always liked the story of Jesus, walking on the water. As his friends struggled against the waves that suddenly blew up, he comes gliding over to them - the very image is calming. It's one of those passages which has something new for me, every time I read it. 
We've been in some stormy seas recently, as I wrote in my last post, and I have felt myself sinking at times. But then I seem to find the strength I need to get to get to the surface. The Lord puts out his hand and says "it is I - don't be afraid. His hand can come from a friendly word and a hug from a friend, the thoughtfulness of a neighbour, a kind and loving comment left on the blog from someone I've never met. It is in the prayers of the many over the world that I know are praying for us, and I am not afraid. 
Jesus told the disciples to get into the boat and cross to the other side ahead of him. That meant he would meet them there and they would cross safely. But then this unexpected storm blew up and caused them to struggle. They panicked, they doubted, they were scared and probably wondered just what on earth they were doing. Then, just before the dawn - that darkest of hours, He came to them and calmed their fears.
 And so, for me too, it has been those panicky, doubting, how did I get here ,  moments that I have truly felt God's loving presence most. 

Wishing you a blessed week. xx


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