Friday, 29 February 2008

places and getting there

reading Tracy Emin in the Independent today - she was in Scotland for a bit recently and wrote about being here. it sounds like she has not been here before .. up north anyway, and it reminded me of a good pal of mine. a half English half Sri Lankan pal who said when she first came up here and up to the north-west - she had to get out of the van and lie flat on the ground in tears! she just felt she had come home somehow. it can have that effect. it does seem like an old old land, with many ghosts, and something very deep... and the air is good. it makes me cry up there too. i used to travel up and down between here and England by bus or train and always could smell the clear fresh smell of Scotland as soon as we got to the border.

as a child, flying home to whichever country the family were living in at the time, from boarding school, i used to love that first wham of air when you stood on the top of the gangway - heat and smell! lovely! home! as we landed and taxied in, i used to scan about for my father who would be standing somewhere about on the apron in his 'whites' and his shades and cap - although have to admit as he got older he didnt have to wear uniform. waiting for me. i loved the long flights out to Bangkok. the dimmed lights at night, curling up on 2 seats with a blanket, the quiet hum, and the feeling of being carried in the belly of a huge big safe wonderful bird - i felt that safe feeling in my tummy and almost tearful with wonder and love of it and the joy of going home!

of course the return journey couldnt be more opposite. but that is for another time.

this is not an advert for flying; i was flying in comets, and 707's and even my favourite the VC10! lovely planes. oh and there was the Britania 'the Whispering Giant'!! (oh -synchronisity - my email has just popped up to tell me i have an email from british airways!)
i know - just more advertising, persuading me to fly away to somewhere i cant afford to! one day, eh!

Monday, 25 February 2008

the comings and goings of life

pics to cheer up a post. taken a year ago driving through Glencoe. (feeling a need for the west coast just now)

i took out the Arshile Gorky pic quote and put it as part of the title, becuase it is something that i believe, even tho i am not very good at following it. i have another piece of writing pinned to the wall by Viktor Frankl which i read a lot to remind myself.. its about not aiming at success, or happiness.. saying just forget about those and live according to your conscience.. success and happiness happen when you arent looking (not a direct quote). i read that a lot because i am always worrying these days, and have to keep reassessing which is my responsibility to worry about and which isnt. and what is that all about? looking for happiness, looking for success - behind it is a thing i have got about 'doing' something before i die. something to make 'it all worthwhile' - all the mistakes, trials and traumas of life, to in the end somehow 'redeem' it all. so when i read what Viktor Frankl says it turns it all on its head. somehow i just have to accept it all, and then just do what i can in the present. and not try to chase any kind of redeeming or 'she managed something in the end' type thing.

i am feeling very much the fact that my sister and her family are moving to America very soon. i will have no chance to say goodbye other then by email or text or phone, maybe, even. i have been thinking quite a bit about the 'leaving' childhood mantra. how it was always traumatic because it meant that either you or your friends were leaving and you would never see each other again.. that was how life was, unless you were very lucky and your fathers got posted to the same country twice at the same time - which did happen once! but you dont see the wider circle your family had become; of the ayah, and others. or you dont know that you ever will again. i think these things get ingrained a bit - in that when a similarly traumatic situation arises in life it brings up those similar feelings one had as a child... and seems to make the thing doubly difficult. there is always the excitement of the new life ahead, new lands, new people, but then there is the realisation that you are giving things up as well. its inevitable. but maybe, in our case, there is a deep down fear of never seeing each other again because thats what kept happening in childhood. i dont know - i might be talking through a hole in my head - anyway. there it is.

and just now, while i am on-line, an email from a good pal who went to live in Argentina with her partner and child - who is thankfully blogging so we back here know how they are doing. but she is back here for a couple of weeks so we will meet up soon. nearly cried! oh its all so emotional all this leaving and coming back!
some people have what they feel is their spiritual home, a place they immediately feel at home in even though they are not from there. i have a close friend who feels that about France, and goes off over there as often as she can. but she always comes back so i have got used to that - plus if she ever moves to france i know there will be at least two of us going over to visit her! oddly enough, her mum died just after my mum died, so we are both sans parents, and she is a forty-niner like me! ha! the Big Party coming on..

unfortunately there are other issues (at work) which i am having to tackle at the same time, so life just now is certainly not that bowl of cherries, actually i gave up expecting it to be years ago. if i am to try to follow Viktor's advice then thats another thing - which is my conscience and which is another's which i am feeling responsible for.. (this is to do with work) - and then there is the house issue - should i or shouldnt i downsize. oh its complicated, but so much to loose and so much to gain on either decision. but the thing is, there is nowhere and no person to go to, no place to go where i can 'rest' for a bit, to be 'safe' for a bit, and it all gets very tiring.

still, life goes on and now the next thing is waiting for my attention! feel the need for a picture to make this blog a bit cheerier. will look for one.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

why Three Sea Horses

when i was very small we lived in South America for a while. we lived right by the sea, a huge expanse of sand and sea. i remember the house, most of it. its cool compressed marble floors, the big windows, the kitchen, my room and the sitting room. on one of the walls in the sitting room my parents had three sea horses - hung like those three flying ducks you used to see, but they were sea horses. one was red, another green and the third was blue. it was with the help of these that my parents started to teach me to count. but it was the colours i was more attracted to, and i just generally liked them. i was never any good at counting or anything else to do with sums or figures, and my mother was still trying to get me to learn my 'times tables' years later - i never did 'get' them.

so i have found an interesting website about sea horses - have a look

i have linked it to the survival page, but its a whole website about them.
i can still see my sea horses in my mind's eye.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


oh my! not quite thin air i'm writing to then! thank you for reading! thank you for commenting Bella Mia!! :-) i am glad you liked that piece - its true!
it is funny tho isnt it writing into the 'air' - well i think so - but i guess you get used to it.

so that was me in a wee bit of a downer yesterday.. (was that yesterday?) .. never mind because there is always another day. it was a strange mixture of sun and mist - well a sea haar really - its freeeeeeezing! nevertheless i waited patiently in for the gas man and for the insurance assessor (the 3rd one i think!) to arrive this morning, and then went off to the student's exhibition at the RSA, the ones graduating this year. lots of painting - and quite a bit of figurative - this year, and the usual splattering of 'student angst'. went round with a pal discussing, disagreeing and generally assessing.

two of my best girl friends are minister's daughters, oddly, i always think! and another best one lost her father when she was 10. one of the minister's daughters lost her mother when she was 5 or 6 i think.. or was it 9ish.. but very early, she has a younger sister and brother. the other minister's daughter was the youngest of 6 and she was always being forgotten about, she had older brothers which were both a help and a hinderence depending on point of view! actually she is a vicar's daughter because she is actually english. the non minister's daughter has a younger sister. and my best male pal lost his father when he was 10. he is the youngest of 3; a sister and a brother.
its just that it is funny - they are really pretty close friends; met at different times in my life; all random.
so many stories, eh? we all have them, but it's funny when you realise such coincidences as i have described. makes you wonder.. 'what's it trying to say to me?' !
and then my tummy goes funny and i think i dont really want to go there just now.

there are times to dig deeper and times not to..

tell you what tho - they're great good pals to have.

actually - i had forgotten, but this morning, eventally walking down the road, for some reason my mother came to mind and i felt very sad because i had been going to stay with her for a bit after i graduated, but she died just before i did graduate so i never got the chance. and as i remembered that i got that funny feeling in my tummy again - its like this thing that you cant say because there arent any words, but you feel, and you know you have not to feel or you wouldnt be able to walk down the road properly, so you dig your finger nails into the palm of your hand and keep going. and think of other things. and then i remember thinking i never believed women used to faint all over the place because of a shock - but then i hadnt realised the effect their tight corsets would have had.

i just remembered that.

Monday, 18 February 2008


happy birthday ex! course no one'll see this - but am used to talking to myself now.
back to the old dilemma again. which problem to try and face and sort out first; where i live, job, work.

so whats new.
must try to stop endless cycle of paralysis. trouble is after bad life decisions i just dont trust my ability to make big decisions any more.
not that it really matters. as there is no-one else to be bothered really.
solo, solitary, sole, mono..

Sunday, 17 February 2008

a beautiful image. and a memory

SO anyway, what i want to write about was the image i have put up above. it is an image i love, and it is of my little sister and her ayah. i love this image because it is of those two people, and because it is a part of my little sister's life that i have in common with her although at very different times and countries; the being brought up abroad thing. but there is also something about the image itself - besides the personal stuff - that attracts me to it.

it is quite an overexposed looking image - perhaps father took it into the sun or perhaps it has just faded over time. i dont mind that though. it is a very simple image without lots of background. it is either early morning or evening, because of the long shadows.
they are both obviously unaware that it is being taken, and i have the feeling father just saw this moment and took it quickly. he was a very keen photographer.
it is a very delicate image; the light, the trees, the people; one small, one big, walking along a quiet road together, both secure in each other's company needing no other. we - the viewer - are excluded from their world although we are allowed a glimpse into a moment of it..

actually this was possibly taken in the early morning, now i think about it more; quite often in the early morning there used to be a heavy mist in the air, and as the sun rose higher so the mist would disperse. sometimes i used to go to the club with father where he played golf before going to office. we used to take the dog and i had to try to stop the dog from going off to collect father's ball after he had hit it which i didnt always manage. there was usually this heavy mist then, which gradually dispersed. it was rather beautiful - the light gradually filtering through - the mist seeming to rise off the ground - the slight chill in the air and the particular smell of damp earth and grass which is usually dry and warm.

it is strange writing to oneself - as it were into thin air! i am used to writing in my notebook (to myself), done that for years. but this is just a bit different.

at first i was nervous, because i would be putting my thoughts 'out there'.
then i started to get into it.

and laterly i have realised that no-one reads it anyway, so its ok!!

back to writing in my notebook again, except it happens to be in cyberspace.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

siblings and india and old pals!

i downloaded Picasa the other day. it seemed to be a good idea, i thought, i could put some of my own slideshows up here. but it gobbled up all my photos, and now i seem to be spending far too much time in picasa trying to sort out the mess they are in!! oh well, i suppose a bit of a photograph spring clean!

its my little brother's 50th birthday tomorrow. i havent managed to get anything together for it - apart from a card and letter asking him to put me out of my misery and tell me what he wants!! he'll say just paint me something.. only if you arent a painter do you think that painters can just 'paint you something' just like that!!! on one of Joni Mitchell's albums - an old concert she must've done - people are shouting to her to play something or other and she says eventually - 'no one ever said to van gough "paint a starry night again, man!" ' poor musicians are expected to replay and replay their old numbers, while painters are expected to churn out a pic at a moment's notice! its is a strange thing that it is actually difficult to reproduce what you did before.. i put it down to the fact that you were in a different 'place' in your head when you first did it to when you try it again. that is unless you are working to a formula - you know, when you find a way of working that seems to work and sell and you just keep doing it, instead of exploring .. pushing the boundaries of it.. which involves making lots of mistakes and bad work - but for me i prefer that way. and there is another misconception that people say - oh just do the stuff that you know sells, and do your own stuff in your 'own' time! yea - i know many pals who do that and feel stuck in it and without any of their 'own' time... the thing is that your 'own' work so to speak involves your full focus, time, space to really let go and explore .. play .. make *....* work and do any kind of investigation it takes to you. its difficult to get into that head-set without the support to be able to do it, that's why there are artists' bursaries and so on available but sadly not enough to go around!!

so another thing is my little sister's imminent (i think) emmigration to the US. sorry. i shouldnt really call them 'little' its just a sort of endearment from me. i dont know that they like it much tho. its not a rivalry thing, its just that i am so much older than them all that they almost feel like my own children.. well its the memory of them little that feels like that. them grown up feels much more equal because i dont feel that old! they were all gorgeous wee souls.

well, i was changing their nappies, washing endless nappies, feeding and bathing them and also getting told off if they got into fights - well my brothers anyway, my sister didnt fight (and i only got to look after her in the uk) our wee 'chota-baba' (small child) - she could speak fluent nepali, because her ayah Kanchi more or less brought her up for a few years - spent every minute of every day and night with her more or less. i was just a dreadful teenager who had left school and was working for the minister of the church of scotland (because father said i had to get a job) and spending every afternoon at the swimming club with my friends - one of which is the friend i bumped into on my way home couple of days ago..

father had had a big promotion before being posted to Calcutta. just as i left school father was posted to the uk to do a 2 (or 3) year course at uni in london and become 'management'. Sister was born right at the start of that time, so we were in uk together for 2 or 3 years. then in Calcutta he got quite distant - i guess looking back i realise it was probably to do with becoming a 'burra sahib' (big boss) with a reputation and responsibility to keep. i didnt realise that then.

i remember once getting home late for lunch (as usual) and finding him there unusually, i bounced about telling him i had been asked to dance in a night club! i was so excited. he was horrified and said absolutely no way.. and so we had an argument. of course i can understand now - but then all i ever wanted to do was dance and act, the small matter of how or where didnt really come into it. anyway, it was all because pals and i were dancing one night (at a club) and the floor cleared leaving me and my partner dancing - everyone watching - and so the manager asked me to dance in the night club next door.

ho hum. i dont think i had any idea about any sort of 'conotations' a 'night club' might have - too innocent and naive.. but in those days - what, mid '60s - i guess it was still a rather risque place for a young girl..
ooops must stop - gone on far too long - rush rush

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

'Jumping Jehosophat'

That's amazing! there are a few references to the expression when you google it. tho i had spelt it wrong i still found it.
there are two links to the same question as i had and even a reply!
see : -

it was such a sunny day yesterday and the light was just magic, one of those winter sun days with soft translucent light. i splashed out and got the bus home, which meant getting off and walking back the way to the house, which also meant getting lots of different aspects of the city skyline in the changing dusk light.

then i bumped into a couple of old friends who i hadnt seen for ages - one of whom i have know since being a teenager in India - and its unusual for nomads like us to know anyone (apart from family) for that long. we exchanged email addresses. later it occured to me that i think she might be a '49er' too - another one to add to the 'big' party next year! (which i have promised to organise for myself, so i will have to try and make it happen)(we will see).

have to stop, things to see to..

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

rage against 'stuff' (oh dear that was a bad day)

12/2/06 (now)
just having a look at this draft i wrote on 6th - and didnt publish. i can see why. but looking back on it now i think i will put it up.

tried googling the women thing putting the word 'single' near the end but its no good - there are only dating things to find.

anyway, i had my hair cut today. i had a bob and its shorter than it has been for years. when i was younger i had more hair and it was a bit thicker so having it short sometimes was fine for a change. but this feels quite strange. still at least it will grow again. its another of those instances when you suddenly just dont recognise yourself, and have to take on board - yet again - that you just ain't young no more, and you dont look like what you think you look like!! s'ok, i can handle it!

the week is being taken up again with stuff. who was it said there is just too much stuff in the world. anyway i agree sometimes. stuff. gordon bennett any chance i can one day actually get on with some of my own work? you get sent envelopes full of stuff through the letter box daily, some of which look as if i ought to pay attention to, so that takes up time. the rest has to be chucked out, but first i have to tear off my name and address and put in the bag of all the paperwork i'm collecting which could be used by identity theives if i just put in the bin. apparently. one day i shall take the bag over to a friend's garden where we shall have a bonfire and drink a glass of wine. or maybe two.

oh i had a message on my phone today. it said '097543... if you are the account holder ... bla bla..' what account? who? what are they talking about? an automated voice leaving a stupid automated message expecting me to know somehow what on earth its about. i just hung up. i will no doubt find that i have inadvertently signed up for something, or that i am inadvertently getting into debt because that is some kind of account i have got..

just cant be bothered. dont they realise life is just too short. i used to have a block on people phoning who withhold their number - but since joining talk talk i havent any more - so the stupid phone calls start again. so i often dont answer the land line.

grumble grumble. i sometimes think i would like to live in the woods or hills with as little as possible and not have to get all this paper through the letterbox and things to sign or keep up with and remember about - so much STUFF. i just want to do my work.

of course i probably wouldnt really like to live without anything at all - it would be quite hard, its a romantic notion really which would have its own difficulties and dilemmas. and i would miss friends. i would miss cafes and chats and meeting for a pint or a movie.

i have to say, though, that the job i do now has been made far more as in amount of work - than just not very long ago before everyone had mobile phones and the internet. the job has at least doubled if not more due to having mobiles and internet. people's expectations go up and so more is expected .. because it is possible .. it is expected.

its like 'build it and they will come' sort of thing. i really liked that movie actually. but then it wasnt about mobile phones and the internet. it was about people.

get a life! i hear - yes actually i do have one and would rather like to get on with it - where was it again? oh yes - when i have got this thing sorted, or, when i have got the money together for.. paid that bill.. remembered that deadline.. phoned this or that to sort out some mistake or other .. then i can get some space..

aha.. but then i have to remember to eat! (yet another thing..)

oh well thats better, had a bit of a rant.

tomorrow's another day!

and yes that tomorrow was another day - which i cannot remember what happened on! and by the way i still dont really like my hair, but most of the time i forget about it as luckily i dont have to keep seeing myself in a mirror! wouldnt it be nice if when we get older, instead of our hair thining, it actually thickens! and the colour gets richer! so when we are young and the whole world's our oyster (so to speak) our hair could be fine, thin, any old colour - grey? no maybe not - but we get 'enriched' in colour and volume with age instead of t'other way about!

never mind. grow old gracefully and smile. it'll come tae ye all one day! oh yes, and something a friend said when i was moaning about my short hair - she said 'people will still see you but with shorter hair'. isnt that simple?! how nice! you know it quite changed how i thought.

i have just realised joining this onto the other post will make it awful long. will stop now.

by the way does anyone know where the expression 'jumping johosophat' comes from? its something my mother used to say a lot when i was young and it just popped into my mind. i do that sometimes - wonder where a word comes from. i should google it.


no it should be - mature woman single no kids - perhaps. if single is first it might attract dating sites - i would try it but am having to rush, just posting this so i remember for later..
mawosinoki!! to much of a mouthfull.. hmm think again

Friday, 1 February 2008

'Single Mature Women No Kids'

Ha! i have just googled "single mature women no kids" and only two things came up and they were dating sites!!

i have been thinking for some time that maybe there is something 'out there' in cyberspace by and for the above mentioned species, but no, this appears not to be the case. they must be out there though.

as i have got -slightly- older it has become more and more noticable to me that single mature women no kids are an 'invisible' section of society somehow. or maybe invisible is the wrong word; perhaps it is more accurate to say that this kind of woman just doesnt count. unless she has a high powered job or is famous.

i am aware i have to back that statement up - writing it is making me think about it more. there is something there though, i know it, something worth putting 'out there'.. more later on this.

Hurray - Eigg got its electricity switched on today!!! its renewable too!!
but horrible news about the trawler or tanker - ship - struggling at St Kilda - that must be so frightening; the sea there is quite wild at the best of times, but now it must be a nightmare. lots of thoughts go to all those involved.

and - it is not even April 1st - but they are announcing a FLIGHT for nudists BUT stewardesses have to wear uniform!!! mind boggles!! oh what a wonderful muddly world!

funny time

by the way - the time notification on this is a bit out; no way did i write the last blog at 01.whatever hours!!! obviously this isnt gmt time!

from fighty january to flibberty february (maybe)

1st February today. this year has started off with a lot of crossed wires and shouting matches. not involving me, but in the place i work. people keep getting their dates muddled up and causing mayhem. must be something in the water.

a bad january, thats all i can say. and its not just work. its the landlord. its family too. all things causing me anxiety and i find i hop from one anxoius subject to another as they in turn raise their profile. and while focusing on one and trying to work out how to cope with it, or resolve it even, the others fade into the back of my mind quietly gathering out of control momentum ready to pop back up again in another anxious-making stage.

for ages now i have imagined that if i just get things sorted out i will then be able to live life on more of an even keel - get on with my own work even. but alas, the more time goes on the more i am driven to the conclusion that this is a vain hope.

i then revert to the idea that i should just give up and pull back and just let whatever be - be. but that idea does not hold sway for long - imagining sitting about wondering what the point of it all is is more than i can handle, so its a deep breath and another step and on i go again.

i think my world is getting a bit small though. i am aware of that, and know i need to do something radical about it. although, i am also aware that it is fairly likely that the way i was brought up may have something to do with this feeling; you know, a periodic feeling of panic and having to radically change everything; or maybe everyone gets this, they just dont show it!

anyway back to the growing up bit - and that was the experience of living in a country for a few years and being suddenly packed up and moved on to another one - leaving all i loved and held dear behind for ever, and once again becoming a stranger, an outsider, till that new place and people became my loved environment - and then again off. a constant sound in my mind 'leaving' - 'they're leaving' - 'we're leaving' ..

as i was saying - how much do we repeat a childhood pattern, or how much credence should we give our urges (only the harmless ones) as being leftovers from childhood or relevant to our own 'nows'?

in which case, maybe the letting go of everything and letting it all 'be' might be THE thing to do for me now - just go against that inbuilt habit.

hmm .. i dont suppose i will do either extreme, i will just do the deep breath and step thing. the hope thing. maybe i can make things work out, make them better. i cant really give up. but i am learning things - like that i cant please everybody, that people will get cross with me, they will misunderstand me and that i can make mistakes and survive - take it all on the chin - as these things are things i cant do anything about. as long as i know the truth of me; so what about what other people make of it.