Sunday, May 25, 2014
I just wanted to share this with you the Vinyl Cafe (CBC radio) are going to use my story on air!!!! I don't exactly know when yet but wow I mean wow!!!
and here it is for you all to have a look at...
Winters can be very long here on the isle of Lewis, they are not always frosty and snow covered but they can be very wet and wild. Our first couple of winters here on the island sure have been. We soon learned that the high winds would carry off anything that wasn’t tied down, from planters to our old yellow fibreglass kayak, which usually takes two of us to lift, that sailed two fields over and was surrounded by curious sheep when we spotted it the next morning. Each spring is eagerly watched for, first the willows will start to bud, then the primroses begin to bloom, but the sure sign that spring has come at last; comes with the cuckoo, its calls throughout the glen herald the calmer weather. People start to appear, folks you might not have seen since New Year are out and about in their gardens or checking on their sheep, awaiting the first lambs. The days start to get a little longer; it’s no longer dark by 4pm and its then that my mind turns to the coming task of digging the peats.
We were given a peat bank the first year we moved out here. A neighbour took us out onto the moor and pointed out a low heather covered hummock, half cut away to reveal the black crusty peat beneath. It looked just like all the other peat banks, there were dozens of them up on the high moors, but this one was special, this one was ours, this one could keep our house warm all winter, heat our water and provide cooking fuel in the ancient kitchen range which was the heart of our home. Now all we had to do was come up here, cut and dry the peat then haul it home and stack it ready for winter use! Everyone warned me how hard it would be, how my back would hut, how the midges would bite, how it wasn’t worth the effort. They shuck their heads when I went up evening after evening after evening with my spade and cut and stacked the peat, what they didn’t know was how much I looked forward to it. You see I come from a busy town in England where finding a quiet corner with just minimal noise and people can be difficult, so a whole moor to my self was wonderful, beautiful, sheer heaven! Although it was not silent, far from it, at first all I could hear was my own huffing and puffing as I staggered about in the mud, but after a while other sounds crept into my consciousness. The high ‘peeping’ song of the golden plover nesting on the moors caught my attention first, I spent ages trying decipher which direction the plaintive sounds were coming from; then I noticed that when a raven flew over head making honking sounds as it went you could hear its wing beats, yes that’s how quiet it was. The funniest sounds where the squeaks of the sheep pulling up and eating the reeds which grew in tussocks, they’d bury their heads in the reeds, chomp on the bases and pull, their teeth squeaking on the tough shiny green stalks as they tried to up root them. But my favourite sound, the one that kept me on the moor and stopped my in my tracked was the skylarks. I cant begin to describe their song to you, it truly is only something you can experience for your selves, all I know is that for some digging the peats really is about the hard work, but for me the digging is just a reason to get me up onto the moors so that I can stand and listen.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
As part of my writing course this year we were asked to write an autobiographical piece but from a different point of view, i spent ages thinking about which part of my past i should write about, in the end i decide i would write about my sister Jeannie, some of you will know her better than others, i have shown this to my mum and she seemed to think that it was ok to send, and i wanted to share it with you.
A June baby.
I’d always meant to go get the ring on Thursday morning, but stuff happens, you know? So by the time I got to the jewellers it was shut, half day closing. Who does that any more? We don’t do that at the super market, we went 24 hour last June, so now there are shifts round the clock. I do a lot of night shifts now, its quiet here at three in the morning, no one to bother me down here in Home and Leisure. I try and stay down the front of the store, don’t go up the far isles towards the back, although I can see the signs on the back wall, pictures of cheeses and salami to show the shoppers that this is the deli section. I can see them over the shelving as I restack the CDs and DVDs. That’s where my Jeannie worked, slicing the meats, cutting the cheeses. I’d see here talking to customers, letting them try before they buy. But I can’t go up there any more, can’t stand to see it, they offered me a transfer after it happened, thought I’d be better off working in another store…not so many memory’s, less awkward all round for me and for them too I suppose. But no, I couldn’t leave, sometimes the memory’s help, I go over and over it trying to change that night, turn back the clock, wind it right back. My life is full of what ifs now. But how far would I wind it back? To the staff meeting perhaps, that made me late? It made me get there after one when the staff had locked the small shop and Jeannie’s engagement ring was trapped there inside until the morning, the morning of her eighteenth birthday. My plans were in ruins, I wouldn’t be able to turn up at her house early with it. I would have to change my plans. Maybe if I had come up with a different plan, a better plan, any plan other than the one I did come up with, I long so much to not have phoned her, to not have told her I would be busy all day, couldn’t give her a lift home that night and would meet her back at her parents house at ‘sixish’. She was upset, understandably so, I’d kept the ring a secret you see, we’d told our family’s we wanted to get engaged, but they said at eighteen we were far too young. I’d hoped the ring would prove to them all that we were serious. I have a suspicion she knew I’d got her something special, because I remember how disappointed she was when I handed over the oversized card while she was working, across the deli counter, and apologised again for her having to get herself home. If only she’d managed to get that shift swap, not had to work on her birthday, they have introduced that as policy here now, it’s a perk of the job, you get an extra days holiday because you automatically get the day off. I’d like to think its because of what happened but its just good PR really. So when I finished, off I raced to get the ring, glad to be in the car, it was poring with rain, I was thinking that we would have to have the fireworks I’d bought on another night although tonight was November the fifth. There’s another what if, maybe if she’d been born in summer, not been a bonfire baby? But no, I can’t turn the clock back that far, can I? I wish, oh how I wish I could, then it would have all been alright, everything would be alright, we’d still be together. Maybe if the train guard had let her take her bike on the train, instead of refusing her, it was wet, the train was packed. So instead she set off to cycled the seven miles home. She loved her bike, had bought it with her first wage, had always wanted one, and cycled everywhere. If only I’d got there before half day closing, I go over and over and over that day, that pointless meeting, that train guard, no one swapping the shift, the tanker driver, not seeing her, I freeze frame when ever I come to that part. I know from the inquest, he didn’t see her, he says he even rolled down his window to see better at the junction, he looked both ways and there was nothing there, no traffic. No she was cycling in front of his cab, he didn’t look down. He never saw her. If I could turn the clock back at all, that is the time I would alter, the time I would change, it was all fixable up until then. I’d got the ring, and was at her house with her sisters waiting, we’d rigged up a banner, I’d showed them the ring. A policeman came to her house, we were all so happy up until then, we’d come up with a crazy plan to all hide and jump out on her; knowing she would be cold and cross at having to cycle home in the rain, but the ring and the banner and the cake would make up for all that. But someone at the door brought us out of hiding, stopped all our smiles dead. She was dead, we stood there. Time stopped. If only I could rewind it, play it over again, start a fresh. Maybe this time make her a June baby.
thankyou for reading it.
Sunday, August 04, 2013
I belong to the where are you walking to team and I just thought that after all the awful weather we have been having up here in the North of Scotland this vertical walk might be a good one to follow so I have put up a link to the actual walk so that you can take a look at where I am walking to. I record all my distances on the fitbit, as you can see its quite a long walk but I usually manage to get there each month...
Possible routes -
138 miles - Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia
I will keep up dating!!
1st - 2miles
2nd - 7miles
3rd - 3miles
4th - 4.5miles
Sunday, July 28, 2013
I know that I have not had very much to say for myself for quite a while! I have been trying to deal with my anxiousness which has been much worse these past few weeks. I have managed to keep up with my exercise routine but that has been about it!!
I made a really big decision last Monday; I am trying the juice fast diet; its been six days so far and I have lost 12lb so far. I have not eaten anything else - no bread no meat no sweets no chocolate no sneaky cakes or cookies or pastries, no alcohol. It is actually working, I know its not a long term solution, but I was struggling even when I was tracking all I ate.
I am hoping that this juice fast will cure my addiction to toast, etc.!!
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