Monday, 29 June 2015

A love story..

                                                                " When its over, i want to say: all my life
                                                     I was a bride married to amazement
                                           I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms" Mary Oliver
When I was a wee girl all I wanted to do was to live in Edinburgh when grew up. I lived in Fife then and we would take the train for important back to school shopping trips or Christmas and the like. The excitement  would start as we crossed the wonderful forth rail bridge and I would know as the we chugged past the castle into Waverley station that city life was for me....but only this city. Now even as an Edinburgher when I walk out of the station and see the castle and the gardens I get a thrill of calling Edinburgh my home.
But nothing could have prepared me for the absolute joy of seeing my son get married to a wonderful woman on Saturday in the city chambers and then walk through this marvellous city followed by three women fiddlers ( one carrying a baby). The mother of the bride was also playing guitar and was followed by the three bridesmaids stunningly strutting their stuff in gorgeous dresses and hot pink stilettos! Cobbles were no barrier to them! Hundreds of tourist witnessed something magical and every face we passed lit up with the evident joy on the faces of the bride and groom. What better back drop than the royal mile to set off from, our city provided a stunning backdrop to this marvelous display of modern Scotland at its best. That walk symbolised for me the whole wedding day and their relationship too, it was full of love, joy, music and so much laughter. To say I shed a tear would be a slight understatement and currently I have no voice! Every union should carry such love and joy.
I gave a mother of the bridegroom speech ( it was a hugely inclusive wedding) and touched on this being one of the days I prayed for when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer when my children were still young. I prayed I would still be there to see them marry someone who loved them, that day came on Saturday and it surpassed all my hopes. I couldn't be more grateful to have been part of such a wonderful day.
 Last week  I was nominated for selection to stand as an MSP in Edinburgh Central, representing the very streets we walked through and the people we walked by on this special day. This deepened my sense of honour at the opportunity to give something back to this wonderful city that is my home. And also I know my life experience has taught me to grab any opportunity in life to make difference. I have been so very fortunate in my life, I want those opportunities for everyone.  
So , confetti gone, heels firmly packed away, attention now back to being selected to represent the guid folk of Edinburgh. Sleeves are rolled up!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Compassion is the new radicalism

I recently wrote this think piece on the workplace of tomorrow 
to stimulate discussion and ultimately action around the transformation
of health and social care. I would love to hear your responses 
and own ideas of what the next steps might be to move to onwards
a future where people really matter in the system.
I used the quote from the Dalia Lama, "compassion is the new radicalism" 
in the title of this blog.
 It's not that I believe it's only compassion we need for the 
transformation to health and wellbeing in our culture and health and 
social care service but without it we will not achieve the difference we seek.
Compassion for ourselves and others will provide the context for reform 
and the wellbeing of our organisations. 
What do you think are the bold steps we need to take to think big, 
act small and that we can start now?