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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Signs of Spring...

Or an early, temporary summer. Sometimes it's hard to tell in Scotland, as it doesn't get really hot here in the summer at all. Last year the hottest it got to was 21 Celsius. It also doesn't hit peak heat until 4pm either, which is a little disappointing somedays, as it's still fairly chilly when I'm out in the mornings, but right now, it's making for lovely evening walks and tonight I'm hoping to go for a run, provided my headache goes away and Kio naps so I can lie down and am not so tired.

In any case, we went out this weekend and enjoyed the sun. Everything is is bloom. Actually, last night at the park, the cherry blossoms was 'snowing'. I of course didn't have my camera (not even my phone!) and I'm still pouting at missing out on the image of a young woman sitting cross legged on a bench under a pink Japanese cherry, nibbling on a sandwich while petal floating to the ground around her.

But here are some images I got on Sunday on my iPhone. The last was from this morning. In hopes we can make it to the coast, I bought K some sunglasses and a pail and shovel for the beach.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bearing Witness

Last week I was walking through the park with K in the stroller, as I often do. Along the river that cuts through our area, the paved path flows along and the metal fence you see in the image above goes the entire way.

This time there was something different. This time there were these crosses affixed to the fence at even intervals. The first one I passed with mild curiosity, briefly skimming the inscription, but it was seeing the second one that made me stop and actually read it in order to make sense of it.

On each cross was a name (male), a place, and how they died, plus some other word (or two) I couldn't make sense of. The best guess I have based on the info provided was that maybe they were members of a gang or something like that, but I have no way to know. It was seeing the cause of death  of a few listed as 'Shot' that possibly lends credence to my hypothesis, but the truth is I don't know.

I don't know a lot actually. I don't know the names personally, or who these people were. I don't know what compelled someone or some people to put up these markers, other than they wanted a public memorial to people who obviously meant something to them. There were after all about a dozen of these crosses put up, so it must be something big that I simply don't have a reference for.

It also raises more questions than answers. But therein lays the point of all of this.

Whatever their initial intention, the people who put up the crosses got my attention. It truly was a surreal experience but it was also humbling and touching. I walked along slowly, reading, wondering and feeling in general a little sad. When I saw that some of them had obviously been torn down, I wished I could find the missing cross and had a way to put it back up. It was as if some careless stranger had defaced the memorial, and I desired nothing more than to make it right.

For a short while, I participated in this public memorial and these people were a part of my consciousness. They were nothing more than random names, but they were people who had lived and died. And they had had an impact on someone else's life enough that this person or persons felt the need to tell the world (even if it was just a very small piece of it) about these lost people.

Who were they? How old? When did they die? Were they brothers? Fathers? Uncles? Nephews? Best friends of someone? Did they go to school? Have a job? Hope, wish and dream?

I'll likely never know the details, but for a short time they were recognized by someone outside of their experiences. I also think (hope) that I have not been the only one to notice the memorial and take a few moments to honour it's intent.

As I moved away, I was changed, if only in a small way. It made me think about the impact one life can have on others and how we take for granted our own interconnectedness. We are not alone. Someone will have noticed, even if we never know it.

And so it was for me that day. I bore witness to their existence and in doing so, I left a bit of myself with them. As I share this with you, I can't give you all the names so that you can share this with me, but I can ask you to take a moment and think about those in your life, even those you have a passing acquaintance with. Who might you have an impact on that you don't even realize? Some answers are obvious, some are not. But surely the point is to look at ourselves and our lives within the greater picture and see things a little deeper.

To the name on those crosses, I don't know who you are, but you have been seen and recognized. You have clearly not been forgotten.


Mrs. Gamgee asked, 'What would you do if you won the lottery?'

Honestly, I've thought about this and as nice as a cool few million would be I would be extraordinarily happy with $100,000.


It's just enough to take care of a few things but not enough to cause strife.

The way I figure it, we could pay off our student loans and our credit card debt, giving us more spending money each month, as well as have a down payment on a house (omg a real asset! :O) and have a rainy day fund/savings as well as be able to make a some donations to some well loved charities.

See, I don't think that is too much to ask for. It would be financial freedom and the chance for us to do the things we would really love to do.

Yeah, it would be nice...

Friday, March 23, 2012


I'm trying to get back into some sort of routine with my posts but it's just not been happening. So I'm trying some more 'short and sweet' ones in order to find my rhythm again.

 - - - - - - - -

Active 2 year old + overseas husband (work trip) = less time to blog or do much of anything.

Warmer weather + sunshine + not so cold wind = more time enjoyed outside.

> 4 weeks + strange mechanical/power issue = broken washer (again!!!!!)

Bad memory + calling from mobile where number is stored = wrong number given to letting agency (engineer couldn't get through to me… crap!)


Calling letting agency back after 2 days + home number given = appt. Sat afternoon for engineer to come by and look at the washer.


Engineer + a hell of a lot of hope = fixed washer to tackle the five loads of laundry we'll have to do once hubby is home from his trip tomorrow?


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Pushing Ahead

The days are getting longer and the sun is shining more. That usually makes me feel better, but I feel a little stuck. I know it will pass soon, but it's the process of kicking yourself into action that is always hardest.

Snag after snag lately with starting this business is sucking the energy and motivation out me. Who would have thought that opening a simple business bank account would be so difficult. But then again, as usual, my circumstances are always more complicated and the stupidest things are holding me up. I'm waiting… waiting for an application to come in the mail because I can't apply for my account online like everyone else. Why? It's simple. They want your current address and how long you've lived there. If you've lived there less than three years, you have to provide your previous address. Keep in mind all the moving back and forth with family we did last winter and that I was still in Canada. So I entered in my-inlaws address as my last address there. Except it wouldn't accept the Canadian postal code. The form has no country option so you can only apply online if your last address was in the UK.

Grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch.


I have a bunch of photo editing to do, and I might have a photo shoot this weekend, not sure. Trying to stay focused and positive.

Meanwhile, I'm working on the research portion of a fiction novel I've been planning to write. I know at some point I just have to start writing, but because it's partially based in real history, I am adamant about getting certain things right. If I'm writing about a certain group of people in a certain time period, I need to know about them, their environment, what motivates them. Who were they? How did they think? Feel? How did events around them affect their lives? Until I can answer these questions I'm not ready to start writing that side of things. However, that being said, there are parts I can write, so that's what I'm working on.

Focus. Breathe. Keep going…