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. 

Socially secure?

                                                                                              Charley Macksey If I had worry beads, they would be down to the string just now. It’s not been an easy first half of the year. And I’m going to say straight away, I also know I’m very fortunate. I have so much that others start each day worrying about keeping. I don’t have to worry about finding a home or a job or even social isolation. But what we have had in the close family is a series of ill health, a horribly broken wrist and most recently covid has affected my grandson and his Mum and Dad. Thankfully we are on recovery paths now but it’s shaken us and also because it’s not been me who has been unwell for a change! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve a whole lot going on as ever but nothing unexpected or acute.   We humans are amazingly flexible and resilient but we are also vulnerable. Not only can our bodies let us down but so can our society. During lockdown we have seen so many people lose thei

Are we languishing or is it more than that?

  I recently read an article by the New York Times, recommended by a friend. We had been having a conversation about so many people describing a lower mood. Not a clinical depression but a greyed out life experience. A lack of energy for living. Not the black dog, more I can’t be bothered to walk the dog. Perhaps you recognise this in yourself? I admit I did. The article was describing this and said the term ‘Languishing’ had been captured to describe the state.  Feeling Blah During the Pandemic? It's Called Languishing ... › Well › Mind ‘Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.’ The article describes that languishing is somewhere between a clinical depression and flourishing and that it can be a precursor to depression if left to decline. I found myself react to the medicalisation of what seems to be such

Pale prisoners of a virus

                                                                         Spring 2021 Has there ever been  a spring so welcome? A blue sky - a cold underbelly. Lockdown easing-uneasy. Masked by vaccines ‘Have you had yours?’ Edging out now distanced and yet together our plans more tentative. Losses again awakened grief steals the anticipation, a sharp stab of memories of words unsaid. ‘Bring it back next time’ a casual assumption of friendships surviving, of us surviving. But we are here, Pale prisoners of a virus, the unseen assassin the stealer of life and living. But I need to be out to see the hills to paddle in streams, to breathe freedom in the air. I want to clasp my family close and together sit around the table to celebrate life and make plans for living again. A visit to the hebrides, to a gallery, an exhibition of colour filled stories, to see a play or a film and talk about it afterwards. To feel normal, there it is, that word, normal, an aspiration  so measly. But headlines

I’ve been struggling to write, to be honest

  I’ve tried to write a few blogs these last few weeks but a few things have stopped me. Mainly I guess we’ve had family illness and trauma so that’s personal to others and it’s not appropriate to write what’s essentially their stories. And worry is so disabling. I know, I do best when I stay in the moment, and I’ve tried but I’ve not done well really. And although I try not to communicate my worry I’m sure this leaks out in a thousand ways to become a burden for others. It’s a bit self indulgent. I feel so helpless and that troubles me.  My self image was of someone who could do things to help; it’s so ingrained; to make soup, do shopping,  washing, ironing (?). But instead I watch as others help the people I love and I’m part of the complexity not especially helpful at that time. It grieves me deeply and I also know it’s not about me so I stay quiet and bring what I can which is my listening ears and a bucket of love. Sometimes advice is welcomed and I know what might help. I’m guil


Image This is a video the ALLIANCE made of me reading this poem for a workshop. It brings this work to life, I hope you enjoy it.  Shielding.            Its beautiful today, blue skies and sun dazzling snow. Children sledging and shaping snow into fun creations. Their calls and screams a joyful burst in a long lockdwon winter.  They don’t notice me. That’s me there, across the road behind the window. My social calendar is empty, bar the NHS.  My “walks” with friends were highlights  Until the bitter east winds came. “Stay in” calls resound.  And snow is not the place for the vulnerable. I’ve done my share of sledging, skating on thin ice ( ahem) and building lifeless snowmen.  Instead I huddle in doorways. The offical photographer for photos I never appear in. Shielding they call it.  I’m at risk of the virus that haunts us each night on the news I try to avoid but cant. I’ve been in ICU before  it terrified me with drug induce