Always look on the bright side of life….I tried,honestly!

  I decided yesterday to write a blog on what has been the impact of becoming a disabled person in an ableist world. And the truth is sometimes I forget how much I have had to give up, adapt, accept and buy to keep going in a positive way. Why positive, you may ask? Because I can’t live my life focussed on negatives as that takes a brutal toll on my mental health. I know this as I was stuck in that place earlier this year, with an internal black dog facing constant pain and an external context of evident climate crisis and a pandemic still being measured by excess deaths. I’m fortunate in that I have an internal reset button that helps me feel so grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life and the stability of an income that enables me to buy things that make me more comfortable. And to survive well, quite frankly, you need both.   This week I’ve just bought two mobility scooters! I started on my journey with mobility scooters just before my spinal operation in June 2018. I w

In search of Healing

Difference Between Healing and Curing                                                                               I read this article today and it really resonated for me. It’s perhaps because I’ve been stuck recently. Stuck in the sense that a flare up in pain had stopped me sleeping and that in turn had tipped my equilibrium. I was buried by my many health issues, trying to find an escape route. Sleep loss and feeling low meant that I forgot about ways to escape and mostly put my hopes in medication to re-establish some balance for me. Anyone living with chronic pain knows it’s much more complex than that. I know that how we react to and interact with pain is complex and yet I was clinging to the myth of the magic bullet to fix me. And perhaps worst of all I’d lost my joy in life.  Reaching out for support recently has really helped me re calibrate. I now can see again what makes life special and I’m being kinder to myself. But as with anyone who lives with cancer knows, we have ha

Through the eyes of a child.

                                                                                               York Minster  We should all see the world through the eyes of a three year old. It’s an exciting place full of opportunity and wonder. It’s a world where firing a nerf blaster at your birthday guests can fill the room with all our laughter. But it’s also a world where what you remember most from a trip to York, that took in the Railway Museum and a Viking Centre, are the bells of York Minster. Even at three years of age we know what a rare beauty that is. Our Grandson’s life and vocabulary expands daily and its joyful to watch. He got every kind of vehicle for his birthday, even emergency ones that made their own siren noise! If Eskimos have 50 words for snow, then he has a similar number that make car brrrroom noises. It’s even magical to see him play with toys that were once his father’s, especially super ted whose super powers live in the imagination of the children who have loved him. Wha

Walking each other home?

  I used to have a list of places I really wanted to visit.Like the Himalaya, Canada and the Rockies, and I would also dream of returning to Orkney, France, Italy, Switzerland, to our balcony looking at the Rila mountains and so on and so on. Perhaps the whole family could tour together and then take a villa to reflect and recover. I was rarely short of ideas, more commonly just short of cash! And I would of course be walking in the hills, through wildflowers and diving into cool wild waters to be refreshed until the sun dipped and we were also cool enough to eat. In those times I was unencumbered by pain, disability and fatigue. My body was symmetrical at lease, more rounded than I was ever happy with but didn’t let me down too often. Did I take these times for granted? Perhaps but I always felt gratitude that my life had allowed me to explore more of the world than my parents generation did. And I didn’t expect it to change as soon as it did. I’m from the baby boomer generation who t

Are you awake?

  It’s August already, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Who would have predicted these recent times. These times of isolation, fear, uncertainty and our lives changed for ever. A time that will divide the past from the future. Much of our restrictions in Scotland are now lifted but it would hard to describe it as normal. And what does that mean, that word, normal? Is it simply that good or bad, it’s familiar, a predictable rhythm over the year? Or is it that it doesn’t trigger a stress reaction anymore and however grim, it’s the new reality and we recognise it. So much so that many of us reach quickly for a mask or resist busy places and avoid public transport. The trajectory of normal has shifted again and we look to the winter with suspicion. Having lived through four cancer diagnosis and one of a benign spinal growth leading to severe pain and disability, I absolutely recognise the resilience of human beings and how we can adjust to the previously unthinkable. It does have

When summer hurts.

  When Summer Hurts Summer hurts  Not sunburn No, it’s heart burn Heartsore, heart broken. A summer of loss A path untravelled A climb unreached A beach untrodden  A Loch unexplored. Images abound of this glorious time from Scotland shimmering in the sun  the beauty catches the breath, attracting wild swimmers and  free walkers taking in this marvellous land. Searchers for a different world. I long for these images each one invites me a vicarious traveller  yearning to share it. And still the loss digs into my soul. I rail against my body. I resent I can no longer trail sandals in hand along those empty beaches or walk the softly shaded woods, they can no longer soothe my spirit. Spontaneity of summer  sucked dry with endless planning and no access stumbles. How can a simple trip be so very arduous? I don’t want your sympathy! I want a world that invites me in, that includes me, clumsy, in pain. Not this one that makes it too easy to stay home,

Summer in Scotland

  In Shetland it’s the simmer dim a name that shimmers like the light that hovers between not yet dark and not yet light. Summer    edging forward, vibrant colours fill our skies sunsets of fire, never tire. Scottish summers, not about heat. But about abundance of stunning views of soft whispering breezes. It’s the machair  defining the boundary of    beach and sea. Birds call a welcome, gulls riding the currents. I miss walking our velvet paths nothing to mind but the passing of time and the indulgence of the season. I miss walking.