Saturday, 20 June 2015

Solstice Reflections

I am sitting here very quietly, just thinking, reflecting and taking time to breathe in the silence. Almost every year since I was in my teens I've watched the dawning of the day on or around the summer solstice.

Although I've been doing this well over half my life I'm not actually sure why I do it, or why it seems important enough to remain up overnight rather than just getting up super-early! I seem to recall it started one year in my teens that I could not sleep and sat up reading until the break of dawn. I just loved sitting in the quiet and solitude while everyone else slept to watch the daily spectacle of a new day coming into being. Somehow this always seems an important part of my calendar to me and I use it to reflect, to give thanks and to feel in harmony with my tiny part of the world. As years have gone on the summer solstice have gained an extra poignancy as it occurs shortly after what was my Dad's birthday.
04:04hrs - 27mins before the dawn
Tonight, or is it today, the skies are grim, grey and gloomy but that doesn't dampen the thrill I feel as I watch it get progressively lighter. I've chosen to do my solstice vigil on the 20th as I fell asleep after getting home from work and slept solidly till 23.30hrs so I am still awake enough to do this now rather than wait until tomorrow and knock my sleep pattern off any more than it already is.

What are my reflections? I am calm but quite excited as I have some lovely things coming up over the next month as I become another year older. I've already begun my birthday celebrations and been having treats and time with good friends. I have a very deep feeling of anticipation of great change. It's been persistent for the last month or so but I just don't know what it is in relation to. However, for the moment I am willing to accept the change will be good, that I should be content and allow it to unfold. The realist in me accepts that even if the change turns out to be hellish then at least I'll have enjoyed this time!
Typically, despite having been asleep, she wanted up to see if some more dinner might be on offer!

I am utterly grateful and thankful for my cat's health having been to hell and back with her over the last year. It was Friday June 13th last year when I sat up overnight in the garden after a 2am dash to the vet school with my very sick wee sweetheart and waiting on their phonecall. So, knowing tonight after everything including neurosurgery in Feb she can sleep undistressed and content in her life with us is a prayer answered.

I am saddened, distressed and depressed by my Mother's state of health as she drifts ever further into her mind and I cannot reach her. I don't think I'll ever find anything positive in this situation but am forced to accept what I cannot change.

I am so grateful for a letter which arrived this week which brought a small, forgotten but ever so welcome amount of money I am owed from many years ago. That the information arrived on what would have been my Dad's birthday just made it feel like he was looking out for me. And that the sum matches almost identically an amount I was debating using for something special makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!
05:05hrs-34mins after the dawn
So the day has dawned and even if it is just a vague lightening of the sky rather than a glorious sunrise it is nonetheless welcome. Happy Summer Solstice to everyone and may you be bestowed with good wishes.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Flaming June

Well somehow that's another month gone, but there is no point in asking me where it went! I think my target at the moment will be a blogpost per month and if I exceed this then instead of feeling bad for not posting regularly I'll have exceeded my target so it will be a success. I once marvelled at this tactic some years ago when the ambulance service were splashed all over the papers for failing to achieve their target of arriving at emergency calls in under 4 minutes. Their average response time was around 6 minutes but they raised their target time to 8 minutes so that, without changing anything, they not only met their target but exceeded it in one simple manoeuvre. I thought it was totally disingenuous but inspired at the same time so I'm going to give the trick a whirl to assuage my blogpost absence guilt. This post doesn't actually have a theme other than a whizz round of some random pics from last month.

The weather here is vile and feels like November with the dark skies, howling gales and lashing rain. The promised heatwave obviously was incorrectly addressed and we'd like it returned! There were a couple of nice days which only made the grass go mental and my dandelion crop was taking over. I couldn't do anything definitive so I cheated and pulled them up then strimmed the tall grass to stop the place looking derelict. I know they will be back but I've got weedkiller for the survivors....!
I also stripped some of the prolific ivy out of the hedge revealing what can only be described as a 'bluddy big hole'.
I hadn't realised it had killed the privet and actually WAS the hedge! I'm lost as to a solution, so my plan is to lob in some Miracle Gro and start praying the hedge rather than the remaining ivy sprouts.
My strawberries have come on brilliantly since this pic in March.
I had one single lovely big juicy strawberry ripening up nicely but last Sat I looked out to find it had been robbed and to add insult to injury it was only half eaten.....grrr. Who knew birds stole them? I should have twigged really as the strawberry thief is one of the patterns on my William Morris mugs! There were two more ripening yesterday so I snaffled them before any predators just to be able to say I'd tasted one of my very first homegrown strawberries. Although not perfectly ripe they were deliciously sweet. I'm not feeling homicidal towards all birds, just the ones with sticky strawberry coated beaks!
For many years I've watched successive new little seagull families being raised between these chimney pots and though you can hardly see him the little grey chick is the latest generation. Typically, he was having a wander round the outside but when I tried to picture him he played hide and seek! 
Random car sitting in front of me at some traffic lights - clearly a woman with her priorities right!
In Glasgow, the hospital provision is transitioning over to the new South Glasgow University Hospital on the site of the old Southern General Hospital.
It's been nicknamed The Death Star due to its external shape which might or might not be an improvement on its old nicknames of Sufferin' General or the Sufferin' Genitals depending on your outlook!
It's very bold architecturally but a bloody nightmare if you have difficulty walking as the parking is inadequate and none of it is near the actual entrance.
I am always mystified by why hospitals, which are generally for the injured or ill (!) are now based on a single entrance/atrium design which entails miles of walking.
Last month I joined instagram to see what it was like and I have been enjoying it, even doing an obligatory 'what's for my dinner' shot. Before joining I was rather dismissive and couldn't see what all the fuss was about as all I'd seen were supersaturated combination shots which all seemed a bit 'samey' and meh! However, since joining I've realised there is more to it. Obviously, when posting you are selective and want to present everything in it best light and I've been trying to blend in. However, just for a bit of realism, I thought I should provide some context to the arty dinner shot as it made me laugh.
This is the true state of the table at the time. Due to the weather the laundry was drying in front of the patio doors to catch what sun there was and, as I'd been craving Chinese dumplings for ages, this was a solo snack made for scoffing with no time to clear the table of my laptop or craft stuff or to fold the dry laundry strewn over the sofa on the right. The tea towel is not there because of carrying hot plates, instead it is because slippery steamed dumplings, thin dips and chopsticks are an accident just waiting to bounce down the front of my jumper. I may be a slovenly housekeeper but heck those dumplings were worth it!
Right that's probably enough randomness for now. Hope everyone is doing well and I hope to be round to say hello soon.