Thursday 25 September 2014

40 ~ Stand Up

40 of the 60 ways of Peace challenge -Stand Up. I've made a poem I wrote for blogblast 2011 into a graphic. Feel free to use it. :-)

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Bridging Worlds

Years ago a friend sent me a link to Mayan astrology. For fun I popped in my birth date and came out as... White World Bridger. At the time the write-up amused me, because it fitted my personality so well. I am and always have been a world bridger. In fact... I even won a blog award for it!

 As a long-standing member of Blog4Peace I've recognised the vital need for our planet to build bridges... between the divides of countries, races, religions, and political aspirations. We can accomplish nothing unless we work together.

On the surface that might make my recent stand on voting Yes for Scottish independence seem strange. You would think the alternate side slogan of "Better Together" would fit a world-bridger better. In theory... it should, but bridges can only be built when both sides are strong. You cannot bridge a divide when one bank is weak and crumbling. It just won't work. Plain and simple - your bridge is going to collapse. The truth, sadly, is that the United Kingdom is not made up of equally strong and respected sides. Most simply summed up by the coat of arms...

Ever notice that the Scottish unicorn is chained? I never did until recently, but I've certainly felt it since I've lived up here. There are words for partnerships where one side is chained up... and none of them are good! 

And that is why I voted Yes, because I believe bridges between equally strong sides will do more to unite this planet than simply ignoring the issues and trying to hide from them. Our planet is divided. We are never going to be all the same. We are of different skin colours and language groups. We worship in different ways, or not at all. We have issues special to our particular cultures. We will never all be the same and why should we? We glory in the diversity of Nature, don't we? We don't want a planet with only one bird species... so why do we try to enforce a world with one humankind? One religion? One political viewpoint? One country?

In a strange twist of fate, Mayan astrology links this fortnight back to that White World Bridger symbol. 

Action for Transformation... forgiving the other side in order to build the bridge. Letting go of the illusion that there is no hope of changing things for the better. Bridgers see the bigger picture, I think. We see the fact that you can work together and still keep your independent unique identity. It's all about building those bridges of mutual respect. 

And this brings me back to the recent referendum in Scotland. Whether Scots voted Yes or No, most of them voted with a passionate hope in a better future. Now comes the tricky part - building the bridges between those two sides. Both are equally strong, since the voting was an almost equal 45-55%. We can build across that easily, with determination. We can create a better future. 

What would you like to do?

Sunday 21 September 2014

45 ~ Global Peace

45 for my 60 ways of Peace challenge - the Global Peace Meditation.

Join us for a Global Peace Meditation at 12:00 Noon Pacific/ 7:00pm GMT
on Sunday September 21 for the International Day of Peace.

There is a timezone conversion chart here:

We also invite you to gather in your communities at 12:00 Noon in your time zone to create a wave of peace moving across our planet.

Friday 19 September 2014

A Long, Long Night

I went to bed at 6:00 am today, then got up and 9:00. it was a long, long night. And it doesn't look to be over yet.

I don't normally talk politics on my blog, but this month I made an exception. I am a YES voter for Scottish independence. Being an anti-nuclear blogger for Peace and pro-Green, a YES was the obvious choice for me.

It was an equally obvious choice for all my in-laws and friends, including many born in England and elsewhere. There were so many well-wishers, including most of my English friends who saw this as a move towards sanity for the entire UK, for various reasons. People like Keith, who writes a political blog down in England. Here's the letter he sent to 10 Downing Street, before the voting began. A letter supporting the YES vote, as many of my English friends do, both here in Scotland and in England. 

To say last night's NO results were a shock is an understatement.No-one I know was expecting such a low YES count. And the shock keeps deepening...there have been videos on Youtube and Facebook showing what looks very much like vote-rigging. This is appalling viewing!

I've lived in two African countries where vote-rigging has taken place. I've witnessed it first hand in the 1980s, as a teenager helping out at a polling station. Sadly, the world shrugs when you mention election fraud in Africa, but in the UK...??? 

It looks to be a very long night. :-(

Thursday 18 September 2014


Scotland goes out to vote today.

Four YES votes in this family. ;-)

I thought I'd put up a song for the day. Everyone seems to be putting up Dougie MacLean singing Caledonia. So I went with something different. One of my favourite musicians, who also happens to be a YES campaigner -  Eddie Reader. Singing a slightly different version of one of my all time favourite songs by Fairground Attraction - Perfect.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Summer photos 7 ~ Loch Ness

The next batch of our summer photos are from a trip along Loch Ness. We took a walk down to the loch edge for this photo.

There were Highland cattle in a field near where we stopped. They were hiding in the shade as it was a hot day.

We stopped at Fort Augustus, for ice creams. :-)

Houses just visible through the trees...

...and yatch masts just visible above the walls and fences.

I took some photos of St Benedict's Abbey, on the edge of the canal locks. It was a working Abbey up until 1998.

50 ~ Be the Change

50 of the 60 ways of Peace challenge - Be the change you want to see in the world. I made this video for blogblast 2010.

From here I'll be doing the countdown on my blog on every 10th day until we're down to the last 10. 

Friday 12 September 2014

52 ~ Be the Captain of your Soul

52 of the 60 ways of Peace challenge -Be the captain of your soul... it's a line from a poem. INVICTUS by William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). 


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

Which is why it was chosen for the Invictus Games, which started on the 10th Sept:

Finding the courage and strength to rise again

The word ‘Invictus’ means ‘unconquered’. It embodies the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick service personnel and what these tenacious men and women can achieve, post injury. The Invictus Games will celebrate this through sporting achievement that recognises the journey to recovery these men and women are on.

Prince Harry was driven to bring the event to an international audience following his inspirational visit to the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013. The event in London will bring together for the first time servicemen and women – both serving and veteran – from 14 nations. The Invictus Games will spotlight the sacrifices these men and women made serving their country, and their indefatigable drive to overcome.

Several celebrities support the games, including Brad Pitt and the cast of FURY.

The Games logo sums it up perfectly...

I AM... the unconquerable soul.

Never forget
YOU can make a difference.

Thursday 11 September 2014

53 ~ Make a Difference

53 of the 60 ways of Peace challenge -Make a Difference.

Which is why I will be voting YES next week, on the 18th of September:
For an independent Scotland that can choose NOT to have weapons of mass destruction any more.
For an independent Scotland that can choose NOT to enter wars that it personally feels are immoral.

Posters from the marvellous website/magazine Bella Caledonia.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

54 ~ End the World

54 of the 60 ways of Peace challenge -End the World. A brilliant video (thanks to another Peace blogger, Susie of Arabia

He says everything worth saying.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

56 - Stop and Smell the Flowers

56 of the 60 ways of Peace challenge - Stop and smell the flowers.

Take time to appreciate the beauty of this planet. 
We only have Mother Earth. We need to take care of Her.  

Monday 8 September 2014

Summer photos 6 ~ Inverness

This first photo is a panorama of the River Ness looking back towards Inverness. You can see a bit of the cathedral on the left bank and the castle up on the hill on the right bank. Please click on photos to enlarge.

 Here's a close up of the castle.

After that we went up Tomnahurich, to look at the view.

I've been up here lots of times over the years, but this was the first time I noticed this sword on the rear view of this war memorial.

Here's the yew tree behind the memorial, looking back along the top of the hill. It is HUGE, but then most of the trees here are enormous.

57 ~ Smile

57 of the 60 ways of Peace challenge - SMILE. 

Sunday 7 September 2014

58 ~ Sing the Perfect Song

I'm starting the 60 ways of Peace challenge a few days late. 

58 - Sing the Perfect Song. :-) For me that is my all-time most favourite song, "What He Means" by South African group, Just Jinjer.

If there is Grace in this world
If there is light on this earth
Let us use it, let us see it...
starting right now

Can we be down with ourselves?
Respectful and mindful of one
Of one another, your significant other,
Your sister or brother?

Peace, Love, more tolerance.
Faith, hope, trust 
in the same name of God

Peace, Love, more tolerance.
Faith, hope, trust 
in the same name of God in whose
name we die for, take an innocent life for
well that's not what he means..
and it doesn't matter what Book you read

Is there relief up ahead?
Cos Judgement and hearing await
A weight on our minds to bear,
A shame on our hearts to wear

Where is Salvation now?
Now that we have what we want
Now that we have our wars..

Peace, Love, more tolerance.
Faith, hope, trust 
in the same name of God in whose
name we die for, take an innocent life for
well that's not what he means..
and it doesn't matter what Book you read

with a little bit of ease and little bit of calm
acceptance is the key to all we know
what about a stir of compassion and
what about some understanding?
what about some sympathy?

Peace, Love, more tolerance.
Faith, hope, trust 
in the same name of God in whose
name we die for, take an innocent life for
well that's not what he means..
and it doesn't matter what Book you read


The 60 Ways Challenge

Today's post is from Mimi, Queen of Blog4Peace. :-)

Take The 60 Ways 2 Peace Challenge

For the next 60 days leading up to Blog4Peace on Nov 4,
write down ONE way to be peaceful.
 (P.S. Of course, it would be awesome, if we actually did the things we wrote down.)

Friday 5 September 2014

Summer photo 5 ~ Magical and Outlandish

This July, we took a visiting friend to some magical places.Our first stop was Clava Cairns. Even though the cairns are ancient burial chambers this is a happy mysterious place. We've been there at virtually every time of the year and the area always has a lovely peaceful vibe.

There are three main cairns, set in woodland. Each one is surrounded by a ring of standing stones. There are four more covered cairns in the surrounding farmland and other standing stones in the fields that could form a walkway or markers.

This chamber entrance is directly aligned with the midwinter sunset, same as Maes Howe in Orkney. The standing stones also align with the Winter Solstice.

The cairns also have  cup and ring mark stones.

One thing amused me recently, thinking back to Clava. I was looking at the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon
The series starts with the heroine, Claire, being flung back in time after touching a standing stone. The problem is her stone circle is supposed to be on a hill near Inverness. There are no stone circles like the book describes. Clava is the closest, lying just beyond the Culloden battlefield.

Another strange thought - Jacobites probably fled the battle through these stones...

... which makes this bit of Graffiti on the nearby viaduct all the more ironic!

From Clava we travelled on to the Black Isle, to look at Munlochy Clootie Well. It is a bit of a climb to get there, up the hill. You can already see the "cloots" (bits of cloth) tied to the trees.

There are a LOT of cloths and clothing tied to those trees! For those who do not know... a Clootie well is a sacred spring. Often healing mineral waters of some kind. 

 In ancient times they were the homes of goddesses, but most were transferred to The Virgin Mary after Christianity arrived. The belief is that you dip your cloth in the sacred water and then tie it to a tree as a prayer for healing. As the cloth degrades your illness will fade. So it is not advisable to leave an item that is not biodegradable! The well in Culloden Forest was part of the May day spring celebrations right up into the 1960s, but it is in a very sad vandalised state nowadays. We try not to go there. It's too sad.

On the way back to the car a young man going up the hill asked us if we'd seen any fairies. Our friend was a bit startled, thinking he was joking, but he assured us that his mother had often seen fairy folk in the woods as a young woman. He told us he was there to give thanks. He had left a cloot and been healed of an illness.Strange, magical and outlandish...

Thursday 4 September 2014

Blog4Peace Countdown Badges

It is two months until Blogblast for Peace (Blog4Peace) 2014. Mimi already has all the info and new badges up on her blog. As she says...

"We Blog for peace annually each November 4th and keep the peace alive on the Internet via social networking sites and many websites and blogs. Peace Bloggers can be found on six continents and in 202 countries and territories around the globe. Grab this free logo for your own sidebar or page if you'd like to join us. We're 21K strong on Facebook and growing.
Here's our Fan Page."

Please join us! Blog4Peace November 4 and everyday on our Facebook page
Our Peace Store

How To Blog4Peace
1. Make a peace globe. Choose any graphic on this page. Save. Sign. Decorate
2. Send the finished peace globe to or TAG Mimi Lenox on Facebook
3. Post it anywhere online November 4
4. Title
your post or status Dona Nobis Pace
m (Latin for Grant us Peace) hashtag #blog4peace #blogblast4peace

I've made some extra badges myself, for the event. These are free to share and use wherever you want. Just click and save. :-)