Thursday, 25 August 2016

Talk about stress!

This last week has been incredibly stressful.

My mother was taken into hospital, taken out again, been near to collapse and feeling great... so the whole gamut of being an elderly human all in the space of one week.

My younger son was in a production of The Mikado at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Talk about stressed... and that was both him and me! Luckily I can report that the show was incredible and he was absolutely fantastic. Phew! Relief, relief, relief!

I had a great couple of days going to things at the Edinburgh Festival, which included some very intellectual events about Compassion and also Philosophy and some music things too.

I've now got the lovely Folly, an ex-Guide Dog pup (who was withdrawn for skin problems and not for bad behaviour). She's incredibly easy to have as a house guest. She came here before when just a wee puppy and Odi was here. It's so great to have a dog here again even if it's only for 24 hours.

Odi and Folly when she was about 12 weeks old

Folly all grown up

Susan and Gordon (Folly's owners) are also boarding Meg, a 17 week old lab/retriever cross who is absolutely adorable. I even got a cuddle!

A cuddle with Meg

Next I'm off on a retreat, which I'm facilitating, on Holy Isle. The second one this year and the last one of it's kind that I'm running. Next year will be all change as I'm preparing a new 7 day retreat.

I have a bit of work today, creating a workshop for GP's I'm doing in October, and then it'll be full steam ahead for retreat organisation with a quick trip back up to Edinburgh tonight for a final Festival fling.

So hopefully there'll be no more stressful events this week... but who can tell!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Trouble with technology?

As some of you may know, I'm not all that fond of sweet things. However, when I was in Thailand there was a coconut and tapioca flour cake that was really delicious. They gave me the recipe and when I got home I made a batch, which tasted great.

I came across a coconut today and decided I'd make some more, so got out my trusty food processor and managed to slice my thumb in the process by forgetting that the grater blade is double sided and also has a slicer on the other side. I found out the slicer was pretty sharp!

Having got through 3 plasters as the wound wouldn't stop bleeding I needed to use my iPhone. I've become so accustomed to using my thumb print as ID to sign in rather than numbers that I'd almost forgotten what my numbers were!

Then I had a phone conversation with my friend Shirley and was bemoaning that I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to use my thumb print again as there'll be a scar, when she enlightened me that I can have more than one fingerprint - in fact I can have as many as I want.

I'm now back at being able to let the numbers go and can fingerprint my way in.

Good thing someone's read the iPhone instructions!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Dog pics

My holiday is now officially over. Work has had to be done in London today and again tomorrow and I'm finding it hard to engage my brain!

I promised some pics of Sara's dogs, so here's some for you:

Me with Clarence trying to be a lap dog and Myrtle getting jealous

Myrtle manages to displace Clarence!

Clarence displaces everyone!

Clarence is exactly the same age as Vespa, to the day. So he's going to be 2 on 30th August. He currently weighs in at over 70 kg and is still growing! Myrtle is only 14 months old and so she has an awful lot of growing to do.... it'll be interesting when I go back next year to see by how much.

And here's a pic of the house. It's right in the middle of farmland and is incredibly picturesque. They have loads of outhouses and stables both to the right and left of the house and many acres too. Just lovely.

The house from the front gate

The early morning view from my bedroom window looking out over the garden to the fields beyond

Friday, 5 August 2016

Summer hols in France

I've been in France for the last 6 days and having a wonderful and very restful time. The weather hasn't been brilliant (although is getting better daily), but spending time with my friends, Sara (who I've known for over 50 years) and her husband Kzryztof, brings with it the joy of them not expecting anything more from me than to be myself and relax.

I've done some shopping - mainly Morrocan type towels that I like and are super cheap over here and some Italian linen trousers and a dress from the market we always go to - and cooking. Oh yes and eating and drinking of course. Well, no point in being in France without doing what the natives do!

Today Sara and I decided to be tourists and went to the Chateau de Vendeuvre, a lovely place about 50 km north of where I'm staying. They had the most fascinating museum of miniature furniture I've ever seen and is well worth a visit for that alone.

It also has an incredible garden with hidden water features that spray you if you're not careful! We had a lot of laughs about that!

The back view of the castle

The back garden!

One of the many 'surprises'! This one managed not to wet us too much!

Stunning view over the flower field to the castle

The rest of my time en France has been spent playing with the Great Dane's - they have 2, Clarence who's 23 months and Myrtle who's 13 months and so are still both growing and are absolutely gorgeous and pics will be posted when I actually have some.

Tomorrow and Sunday are Vide-Grenier days, which are a bit like car boot sales but French style and are good fun to go to just to wander around and get caught up in all things French.

And that's about it for now. Hope you're enjoying your summer as much as I am.