Something Had To Give …

It’s been a difficult few days since my last post. Work busy and good, but the rest of it completely sucks.
Nothing like a Sunday evening and your wedding cancelled/postponed for making you say enough now.
Am not meaning Alistair of course, am meaning this Rollercoaster ride of 2018. Want it stop and I want to get off!
I turn half a century this summer and we were to be wed on that day and it was one thing which has kept me going.

Obviously am trying to grieve Dad, but just nae getting chance. And we’ve several other difficult things going on too, all making life exceptionally hard. Trying to deal with things and balance things.

A friend commented the other day, that as long as she’s known me, I’ve always been putting other people first etc and that I should look after myself more. It certainly has given me food for thought.

Talking of Father, it has made me question life after death, signs, spirit, etc etc Wanting to believe there is something, but unsure. Yesterday morning, was sweeping the yard, questioning something else, thinking of Dad, when all of a sudden, a Woodpecker Feather appeared in front of me. The most perfect feather. What are the chances!!? I thanked Dad and put it on the photo frame of us. Now as I type, am wondering with how yesterday ended up if he was just letting me know he was around?

Tuesday, my Wedding Dress arrived.
This brought on a few tears and thank the Lord we have the most amazing Postman!

Wednesday as a day just wasn’t great, well, let me rephrase that, it didn’t end up great.

I had advertised for help with housework and getting the house in order, amazed with the number of people wanting to help. I met Linda and she decided she would pick up the gauntlet, reassuring me, that the hoose wasn’t that bad and she had seen worse and she would begin the following day.

The Farrier arrived early doors to see to McKenzie.

Then, a busy gallery morning eased up after lunch but a pleasant surprise to see a couple of friends appear.

They had come for my help, involving a photo shoot for the following morning. It was something I would have normally loved, but just didn’t see how I could fit in. I would think up on it.

Pet Lamb was sheared this afternoon. Now got a totally different looking sheep and Barclay has been going ballistic ever since! Am sure he thinks another resident has moved into the Tulloch fold.

As the day wore on, I could feel myself getting down. And the fact I was unable to help the friend out tomorrow really began to play on my mind. Their help was invaluable when I lost Father and this was one person I would and should have gladly helped.
WHY.. was everything happening at once!

By evening, my mood hit an all time low.

I think absolutely everything from so far this year just hit me and the tears began.
I was mentally exhausted and openly admitted I could not cope with everything.

Something had to give!

Thursday morning, up for the 2nd time, making coffee and look out to see young Wagtails hopping around the yard, wonderful.

Following Dawns Phone call last night, I did heed her advice and didn’t open the Gallery today. I would instead begin wading through outstanding jobs I never get round to.
And … I finally made the decision to contact Airbnb!
I explained what was going on in our lives and from the 24th July, I will no longer be taking bookings or hosting guests.
Alannah from Airbnb was incredible. And I want again, to give her my thanks.
She was very understanding and efficient. She took over everything for me and for the the first time, I actually understood what the term ‘Weight off my Shoulders’ meant and felt like.

Of course, I am so very sorry that some guests beyond July have had to be cancelled and how disappointing and annoying that will be. Some things are just beyond my control, am not Wonder Woman and Airbnb was something which has to give.

Is it permanent? Who knows.

Perhaps wasn’t meant to do photo shoot for friend, as me back went mid morning! Ow!

This weekend sees my begin the count down of hosting guests.

And tomorrow evening will begin to see in a new week and some precious time spent with my best friend.

Onwards, Upwards, One Step and One Day at a Time

Karen x

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Woodpecker Feather

 

Half a year gone ….

And you are gone.

Over half way through June.
The year is going by far too quickly.

We have two lots of House Martins nesting, on a night in bed you can hear them chattering, tis lovely.
Swallows diving in and out of the stable, but nae as many as last season.

It has been hot, can you believe way too hot, then Thursday Storm Hector paid us a wee visit and yesterday was torrential downpour, the yard was about flooded!

And we now have a Pony living at Tulloch! Two mugs broken and a Garden Parasol demolished this last week! And as I’m sat typing this, Alistair reckons he’s messed up the Sky dish too!
He is a proper Thelwell character!
Am hoping that all the animals will get on together (Eventually)

I can’t say I’ve had time to enjoy this Spring. Work is nonstop and that is why I have now blocked off Airbnb and am taking no more bookings. Still too soon to say if I am finishing it forever, but certainly come August I am done for now.
Exhausted and really struggling to cope, never mind not getting any Photography done and I need to be and WANT to be.
And The Wee Scottish Gallery is coming into its own, yet lots more to do there too.
Just work, work, work, hence behind on this journal too, it HAS to change.
On a positive note, oh boy, the sleep, the Gravity Blanket is awesome!

And talking of Photography, am (Can you believe), looking at trying something other than Nikon!
I think I have decided to trade in one of the McNikons!!
More on that if/when etc

Mum came up for flying visit this weekend, waved her off again this morning, far too short.
But, your ashes are now with me Father and I do so hope that you can hear me talking to you.

I want to wish you Happy Fathers Day Dad and to tell you that I miss you every day, as does Mum.

There is a huge void in our life’s, which try as we might, it will never be filled.

Life is changing again but more on that on a future post.
Just want to talk to you again
Karen x

The Grand National…

Thursday 12th April – 3.30am and up like a shot! Perhaps should have had a Gummie?

Framing this morning and got done by midday.

Beautiful day (When out of the breeze).

Saw a Peacock Butterfly sunning itself in the meadow.

Daffodil leaves poking through.

Work continuing well with Gallery extension

Friday 13th April – 6am, nae even finished me first coffee and Barclay was digging the biggest hole in the garden!

7.30am and I waved goodbye to our charming guest Angela, wishing her well with her next chapter in life. And … that is now me having a week off from Airbnb! This will be the first in over a year. Love it, but I am just exhausted at present.

It turned out to be a grim cold day, an abundance of Finches in the garden.
Jim & David made great progress on the Gallery extension and got tables, chairs etc ordered for it today.

Saturday 14th April – 3.01am and that was me up!
Saw the breaking news of us bombing Syria.
Today was nae a day I was looking forward to, yet, has always been a great one in previous years, The Grand National.
For as long as I can remember, Dad would put my bets on for me and we always had great chat in the morning about it.
Today would have been no different and then we would have been discussing the latest news on Syria, we enjoyed talking politics too.
Mother telephoned am, did I want a bet on the National, I said no, everything had changed, it did not feel right.
Though as the day wore on, I began to have second thoughts, Father would indeed want me to, so I made my selection and got my bets on with William Hill.
Alistair home early and a spur of the moment decision was made to continue work on Loch McBasil, am exhausted as I type, but thoroughly enjoyed it.
4.55pm, dropped tools and headed on indoors to watch the National.
Champions theme was playing, (That was what Mum & I walked into Church to at Father’s Thanksgiving Service).
Jockeys steadying their rides and they were off, by time they had finished their first time round, I was already out of my seat, heart in mouth and talking to Dad, Pleasant Company was in the lead and was looking comfy.
What a finish, a photo finish and congratulations to Tiger Roll & Davy Russell on your win and to Gordon Elliott and his yard, not forgetting owner Michael O’Leary.
But, not only I had I got 2nd place, I also had 3rd with Bless the Wings.
Just a shame that William Hill app & site is down and no one can collect their winnings!
Back out to Loch McBasil to tidy up, then will finally collapse on the ole sofa as soon as Ive published this.

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Father & I with his horse Claudia Miss

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First Place

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What a difference some sunshine makes

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Gallery Visitors!

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Loch McBasil

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Progress slowly been made

Over Two Weeks …

 

It has been blowing a hooly these last 24hrs.

So now over two weeks have passed since Father’s Funeral.
I thought the hardest part was now behind.
I had thought wrong, so wrong.
As someone told me a few ago, getting up and dressed and putting one foot in front of the other was a good day.
How right they were!

Sleep still evades me, I am absolutely exhausted.

I reckon as Funerals go, Father got a right good send off.
I paid my respects to him the night before, could have spent so much longer with him, just talking away.
I rode in the Hearse with the other Pall Bearers, as I was to help carry Father, after all, he has carried me all my life, as we were piped in by Alan, it literally took every ounce of strength I had for me to do so.
It was a long day, yet I did find comfort in that day.
Just so sorry I did not get to chat to everyone.
And so sad, that I doubt very much that I will see some of these folk again.
Such is life I suppose.

Snowmageddon, stuck in Yorkshire, there would be no travelling back top narth.
But, a positive was getting to watch the Fieldfares.

Thursday 1st March went into dads den with his whippet, closed the door to the world, reclined his chair and wept.
Still snowbound.

Finally made it back to Scotland.
Saw Curlews on the way up ear the borders, but they’ve yet to arrive here at Tulloch.
7th March, about 30 Starlings in the garden

The Tulloch animals were been real delinquents today, mid afternoon you’d have seen me stood in yard giving them a right dressing down!

Making a sandwich, the Poodle has his nose as close as he could get, told him to ‘b****r off’, Alexa suddenly bursts into life and says “I’m sorry I’m not sure I can help you with that”

Monday 12th March, 4am and am wondering if I will ever get a proper nights sleep again.

Wee herd of Fallow appear round the garden late afternoons now.
Amazingly, Barclay has yet to see them!

Have had some wonderful guests staying, am blessed for them.

Also, (This is such a long shot here), but to the family from Zambia who called in The Wee Scottish Gallery yesterday, how wonderful to meet you, thank you for calling, your visit will stay with me.

(Click to play) My Anthem for life at present is … A 1000 Times 
“If I had your number, I’d call you tomorrow”

SO MUCH MORE I could/should write.

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Songbird Survival Trust …

The snow has lost its fluffiness and is now hard & crunchy. Up to 4c this morning, was positively mafting. I would say a third of it had thawed by the end of this afternoon.

Father was a member of the Songbird Survival Trust, I telephoned them the other day to ask if it was possible for his membership to be transferred to me, this they very kindly sorted out and my membership card & pack arrived today, take a look at their site … https://www.songbird-survival.org.uk

Bruce the Cockerel was nae letting me in the coop to feed them this morning, so just managed to throw a handful in and told him that he would have to man up and step outside if he wanted more feed! 48hrs since they’ve left that coop!
Sure enough, 5min later out he stepped, reckon it was for a minute at the most.

Probably listened to every version of the lake isle of innisfree today, still no decision on favourite version.

Got guest room ready for tonights guests, which was a miracle, as I am having to keep check to see which day it is on a morning, am totally out of sync & am running a day behind! Poor nights sleep again, so felt totally crap when getting up, a sob broke out, but only for a minute, chest aches still and couldn’t manage anymore, but maybe I don’t want to? Maybe that would mean accepting things?? Told Dad I just want him back.
Folk ask how I’m doing, I reply with.. okay, but am not. But reckon folk could be going through their own stuff I am not aware of, also, whilst I’m living this nightmare and am alone with thoughts, I realise that it is one we all have to live through at some point in our lives, just different versions, different coping mechanisms etc. Those who have lived through it, will know it’s the worst, those who haven’t, will be like me a few weeks ago, not even be able to comprehend what a wrench it is, nor will you ever be ready for it when it does come.

 

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Chaffinch at the Gate

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Long-tailed tit

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Blackbird

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Starling

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Siskin, Chaffinch & Goldfinch

 

Transition…

As a few of you will know, my Father passed away on Monday 29th January 2018.
And I have just returned to Scotland after a couple of weeks in Yorkshire.
On the morning of my return home, someone was wishing me well with my travels and on about me having to pick up the pieces on my return home.
Thats the thing, How do you pick up the pieces?
I do not know how to, as one of the main pieces, is now missing and the life I knew before has ceased, but … I do know how to start again.
Lets face it, I have had one or two new starts in life and that is something I can do and adapt to.
Someone had left a kind comment on Facebook and used the word Transition and I personally think that is apt, that is what this is.
Have already began to change a few small things, like routine etc

For some months now, I have been mulling over the idea of doing an online journal, life in the Glens, Guests, Work, etc etc
But wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to go about it and when discussing with a couple of close friends, had even thought about an anonymous journal.
But yesterday it finally came to me and as it often has been throughout my life, that inspiration came from my Father yet again.
For decades, my Father has kept diaries. Part of his early morning routine, was writing up the previous days events and whilst I have only seen a few entries, they were mainly about the Countryside and Nature, but often included events, personal thoughts etc
Yesterday, I decided to pick up the gauntlet and carry on his tradition.
And I already had begun The Nature Diaries (Of sorts).
No idea yet what or how I will post, as to be honest, at the moment I just seem to be pottering around aimlessly and feel nothing but emptiness and numbness.
Some days you may get an essay, others may just say North Wind doth blow.
Today has been almost Spring like, after a -5c and icy start, the sun had burst and we’ve had a day of bright blue skies, exactly the kind of day it was on the morning of Friday 26th January, as it was one of the last full conversations I had with my Father, which resulted in him asking the Doctors & Nurses to move his bed so he could see for himself out of the window, also for them to open said window, so he could feel the breeze.
This they duly did and his bed stayed in that position until his passing.

This is for you Father
– Karen – xIMG_3124IMG_3125