Tuesday, 22 February 2011

True Love

I took this photo in December during the snowed-in cold spell we had just before Christmas. I call it the "True Love Power Pack". ;-)

Every night when it is cold hubby puts a hot water bottle into the bed for me. When it is very cold (like this night photographed above) he adds my fluffy pink knee blanket and fuzzy bed socks for extra warmth.

You can keep your red roses once a year on Valentine's - I'd much rather have a man who remembers to heat my bed socks in winter!


Up in the Air

The weather has been really nice in our area recently so hubby and I took a detour grocery shopping and stopped off at Findhorn Bay to admire the view. The bay area is a bird sanctuary. It's a bit boggy, so I didn't try walking out to the water in the bay itself.
A small plane was flying over us doing circles around the bay, over the Kinloss airforce runway and back again. The runway was empty and quiet; just that one little plane circling round.
We've watched all sorts of aircraft in the skies over Findhorn Bay over the years... Nimrods and Tornadoes, French and other NATO planes during shared exercises. I still remember the first time I stood at the end of the runway when a French plane ROARED in over our heads. It was just amazing to experience the noise and power that close.

Last year RAF Kinloss was one of the places hit by the goverment spending cuts. Not only have the new Nimrods been scrapped, but the entire base is going to close in July this year. It's a huge blow for Kinloss and the surrounding towns/villages. In some schools in this area the pupils are 65% RAF children and the local hospitals employ many RAF family members as well. Businesses are already closing, unemployment is continuing to increase... it's not a good time for Morayshire.

Their future seems as rough and uncertain as the old road at the edge of the Bay.
It made the moment very bitter-sweet, standing there watching that little plane practising on an empty runway that once teemed with life and aircraft. It's hard to imagine not seeing Nimrods and tornadoes practicing in the skies above Findhorn. Things are changing for Findhorn and Kinloss. and RAF Lossiemouth (to the East of Kinloss) is still waiting to hear it's fate as well. Will it be the next to close? It's seeming more and more likely with every new News update.

The fate of Moray is up in the air.


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Mother Earth Prayer


of air and fire,
to weave desire
into everything we do;
make our hearts true.

be our needle

of stone and earth,
in us
a reconnection
to the land beneath our feet;
make us complete.

be our bridge

of woods and watery
teach us
equality through empathy
for all living creatures grand or lowly;
all life is holy.

be our balance

copyright ~ Michelle Frost


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Weekend Surprise


We had a nice surprise last Sunday. My sister-in-law phoned in the morning and invited us out for lunch.We met up in town before deciding to head out to eat at the Old Mill in Brodie.

It's a very pretty place to eat, with lots of interesting features, like this fireplace...and old prints on the walls....
The food is fantastic too. You can see some of their cake choices lined up in the photo below.
We sat here for at least an hour talking and catching up on family news from both sides.
Good food, good company... great day. :-)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Arise O Egypt

I rarely comment on World News, but my family and I watched this on TV and were so impressed that I felt it was well worth posting portions of this BBC news item about it:

Egypt's Muslims and Christians join hands in protest

By Anne Alexander

University of Cambridge

Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
Making my way to Tahrir Square during the anti-Mubarak protests, a striking piece of graffiti caught my eye.

Scrawled on the concrete pillar of a flyover was the symbol of a Muslim crescent embracing the Christian cross and the words: "We are all against the regime".

During the big "Day of Departure" protest in Tahrir Square last Friday, Coptic Christian protesters made a human chain around their Muslim brothers and sisters as they performed the noon prayers.

A Christian Copt holds a sign: "From Muslim and Christian brothers,
Leave Mubarak you coward"

Two days later, "Martyrs' Sunday" was celebrated by Egyptians of both religions as an affirmation of national unity in struggle.
I was told: "We are all in this together. Muslims and Christians." Other people were listening and nodding. "One hand, one hand," the crowd roared.

This time they were not talking about the people and the army, as they had a few days earlier, but about Egyptian unity. Muslims and Christians: One hand.
The sign of the crescent embracing the cross was everywhere: From the careful calligraphy of the handmade placards, to slogans picked out in stones on the floor.

A man prays on his national flag with his 'crescent and cross' sunglasses nearby

I saw three elderly men, two Muslims clutching gilded copies of the Koran, arms flung around a third, hugging an ornate cross to his chest.

A group of young men and women belted out a song of the 1919 revolution, accompanied by a guitar. "Arise O Egypt, arise. Arise Egyptians: Muslims, Christians and Jews."

The symbol of the crescent embracing the cross was the banner of the 1919 revolution against British control of Egypt, and became the badge of the nationalist Wafd party which dominated Egyptian politics until the early 1950s.
It remains to be seen whether this unity forged in struggle will strike deep and lasting roots in Egyptian society, but Maha Abdelrahman is confident that the potential for change is real.

Anne Alexander is a Buckley Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge
BBC © MMXI The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
You can find the full article on the BBC website here.

If they can embrace each other, then why can't the rest of us realise there are more important things to worry about (or die for) than the way you choose to pray to God?


Saturday, 5 February 2011


This week my dad had to go back to Aberdeen for a check up at the hospital. He had three appointments with different departments. It was a long day waiting at the hospital, but the wonderful news is that the specialist and doctors are very happy with Dad's progress. The X rays show that his lungs are still continuing to heal and he's actually in better shape than most men his age.

Dad's healing has truly been miraculous and I'm certain all the prayers and wishes of my friends and family went a long way to making that happen.

It's a long drive to Aberdeen, but the scenery along the way is very pretty. Winter isn't the best time to photograph scenery, so the photos I have up here are ones I took of the area last summer.
Very pretty to look at, but it's the place signs that I really enjoy looking out for when we travel. The names in Aberdeenshire are completely unique to themselves. I mean... would you want to live in Baldysquash?

Then there's the signpost that always makes me giggle - the one for Windyraw and Boghead.

Is there any message in the fact they're not that far from Nether Rashies?

Other ones I like include Meikle Wartle, Clovenstone, Kinmuck and OldMeldrum. Today I went and looked at Google maps, to check spelling, and found some new gems I'd not seen on the main road signs: Warthill House, Meikle Tarty, West Firbogs, Drum of Wartle, and one that truly made me burst out laughing...

Potts of Rayne.

You could think people in the area had a really odd sense of humour, but most of them are ancient names that have been changed over time, or just seem odd when read from a modern English language perspective. Whatever the case, it really does make a long drive far more entertaining.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

White Rabbit Rabbit Wishes

Rabbit Rabbit!

Best wishes for the Chinese New Year. :-)

The Chinese year starts on the 3rd of February. It's a Rabbit year, and also Metal year in the 60 year cycle of animals and elements. If you want to find out which of the 60 signs you are you can find a rough guide on my blog HERE. Do remember that the Chinese New year is a lunar calendar, so if you're born in January or February you may fall into the sign for the year before.

The colour for metal is white, making 2011 the Year of the White Rabbit.

Alice followed her White Rabbit into Wonderland... will our White Rabbit year be equally surreal, I wonder? Goodness knows last year was unusual enough for me to expect anything of 2011, including Jaberwocks and Cheshire cats!

I went around the web looking for more info on this White Rabbit year:

The Rabbit will bring stability and will give you a chance to catch your breath and calm your nerves. Think of 2011 as a time for negotiation, discussion and debate. Don’t try to force issues aggressively - use diplomacy and quick wittedness to bring about your desires.

2011 is a time to focus on home, family, security, and relationships. This year you must rely on your sense of intuition, but don't be impatient or in a hurry, for in the Year of the Rabbit impulsive actions fail.

Sounds good to me, especially after last year which was a Tiger year - wild, chaotic and ferociously active.

I was amused at some of the Chinese websites translations:

horoscope 2011 presents the year of the white metal Rabbit like a period with less changes that take over our real world and mass changes in every sphere of life that stand on an inner level. In other words a lot is going on behind the scenes and we shall open up our eyes widely to these changes and find out how we managed to live with all this new, bright and fascinating.
Huh? :-\

I also found this bit about how each sign relates to Rabbits.

Rabbit is very friendly and attractive animal. Rabbit has good relations with other animals. When the other animals have an attraction with Rabbit, they all fall in love with Rabbit wholeheartedly. They will give way to Rabbit all the time.

Rabbit contains pure Wood.
Rabbit and Tiger together form a strong force of dry Wood. Rabbit and Dragon together form another strong wet Wood. Rabbit and Pig together make Wood stronger. It's the same with Rabbit and Sheep; together they can make Wood stronger too. Rabbit and Dog together form a strong force of Fire. This is the love relationship. That implies that people born in year of Dog will have good people social relationship, good romantic time or good marriage life.

As a Rabbit myself I'm really delighted to discover my marriage (to a Dog) is "a strong force of Fire." :-)

The only other famous White Rabbit I know is from an old movie I love, Harvey. Harvey was an invisible 6 foot tall white rabbit who was the best friend of a human. But Harvey was actually a Puca - a Celtic magical creature Shakespeare based his character Puck on. Puca's aren't what they seem.. they're shapeshifters and imps, given to teasing humans a lot. Rabbit's are good at teasing too. Look at Bugs Bunny and Brer Rabbit... and those four hundred drunken ancient Aztec Rabbit gods! I'm wondering if a White Rabbit year might also hold some "teasers" and surprises.

Maybe that Chinese website is right about "a lot going on behind the scenes." Given the quirky humour of all those famous Rabbits I can't help thinking we might just, "open up our eyes widely to these changes and find out how we managed to live with all this new, bright and fascinating"after all! ;-)