Friday, 22 June 2012

Another busy week goes by

I can hardly believe today is Friday... this week seems to have gone so fast.

Monday was fairly relaxed and then on Tuesday morning I headed for Glasgow. I was due to attend an evening with Jon Kabat-Zinn followed by a day conference with him and others on Wednesday. I was invited to stay with a friend and we'd organised that I would have lunch with her at her flat on Tuesday and get myself settled before going off to meet up with my step-daughter and her son. However, a slip-up on Mountain Man's part and I never made it to see them, which was a bit sad, but I did manage to get myself to Glasgow Uni, the venue for the evening, in good time.

After the evening, which was very good, six of us headed out for a meal at Tchai-Ovna, a brilliant place, which I advise you to visit if you're in Glasgow. They sell over 80 different kinds of tea and we didn't even get to try one! Still a delicious shared platter between us all and our appetites were satisfied. Back to my friend's for the night.

I woke early on Wednesday and was walked to the venue in case I lost my way. I was very grateful as I'm totally direction-dyslexic. The weather was fantastic... warm and sunny and that was at 8 in the morning. I then spent the whole day inside at the conference on what was probably the very best day of the month to be outside and sadly I didn't feel like I got a whole lot from it, however I did get a chance to meet up with a whole load of people and that certainly was good. Then off back to my friend's to collect my car, which I made with only one wrong turn... I was dead proud of myself! And what a beautiful walk it was along the river. Here's a photo... you'd hardly believe this was the centre of Glasgow, would you?

A reasonable drive back to Edinburgh to get ready for work on Thursday, after which a meet up with MM and my friend N for a dinner at the local tapas bar, El Bar, to put a smile on our faces in the dreadful weather that had managed to manifest in Edinburgh for the whole day. Arthur's Seat was completely shrouded in mist and couldn't be seen. We had an amusing conversation about what tourist's to the city might think about the much vaunted dead volcano in the middle of Edinburgh... kind of: 'Volcano? Where? There? But there's nothing there, just a grey blank' sort of conversation.

This morning we had tickets for His Holiness The Dalai Lama's public meeting at Usher Hall. It was a good morning, if somewhat strange in places as we had opera and orchestra at 10 am before HH took to the stage, but I'm so pleased we went. I always find the way HH speaks is truly inspirational and his voice has this resonant depth that's difficult to describe.

From there MM and I went back to the Borders to pick up our Nell's ashes from the vet, which came complete with plastic flowers and a letter of condolence from the crematorium. The box is completely different to what I expected and has a small, gold coloured disk with Nell's name on it, as you can see:

We both felt it was most appropriate to pick this up after being in the presence of the Dalai Lama. The fact that it was pissing down somehow reflected our mood.

However, when I got home I found two lovely things to cheer me up. The first was a copy of The Eildon Tree, which is the Scottish Borders Literary Magazine that decided to publish one of my poems (it felt a bit surreal seeing it in print); and the second was a gift from my friend who has been putting together the catalogue for the David Nash exhibition, which is currently on at Kew Gardens. It's a wonderful publication and I feel so lucky to have been sent a copy.

And now MM has left me for the weekend to go and medic up at the top of Glenogle for the Rob Roy challenge. Rather him than me in this weather. I shall, in the meantime, have a bit of reflective time... no man, no dog, but a lovely David Nash catalogue and an Eildon Tree to peruse, so not all bad by any means.

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