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Water Therapy: the Wonderful Orkney Islands

 

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.”
― E.E. Cummings, 100 Selected Poems

To close the circle opened by my last post about our trip to Orkney, I wanted to share with you just a few photos from our visit.  To prove, if indeed it was necessary, that our gorgeous Scottish islands are just the best!

The Orkney Isles archipelago consists of around 70 islands, of which around 20 are inhabited, to a greater or lesser extent.  We were visiting only for a very short trip this time, so we stayed on Orkney itself, in Kirkwall, the largest settlement and administrative centre.

We had glorious weather, as you can see.  This is a view from Kirkwall Harbour across the Bay of Weyland.

Continue reading “Water Therapy: the Wonderful Orkney Islands”

Ah, beautiful Orkney: the irresistible pull of the Scottish Isles

A view of the Orkney Isles from the beautiful walled garden of the Castle of Mey
A view of the Orkney Isles from the beautiful walled garden of the Castle of Mey

This week, Hub and I have been travelling North.  Having already visited Tain (north of Inverness) and Wick (south of John O’Groats), the final leg of our trip has taken us across the Pentland Firth to the breathtaking Orkney Islands.

I have written before about the feeling one gets when on a Scottish island.  As we left the mainland, I realised that I just had to re-post this wonderful video produced by Alistair Corbett, which, with the help of Rachel Field’s mesmerising poem ‘If Once You Have Slept On An Island’, celebrates our wonderful islands.

 

Continue reading “Ah, beautiful Orkney: the irresistible pull of the Scottish Isles”

Be a Rainbow in Someone Else’s Cloud: The Timeless Wisdom of Dr Maya Angelou

 

 

“I’ve had a lot of clouds. But I have had so many rainbows”

~ Dr Maya Angelou

I know this applies to me, particularly at the moment.  As a woman of a certain age, life currently swings between highs and lows.  I should say that there are plenty of ‘in between’ times, when life is calm and peaceful.  But every now and then, something I have come to know as Melancholy sneaks up on me, dragging me down to its level.  Happily, I am rarely in the grip of Melancholy for very long – sometimes only a few hours.  But while I am there, it can be difficult to see life in any way other than utterly hopeless.

It is of great comfort to me, therefore, to listen to the powerful wisdom of Dr Maya Angelou, as she reflects on her view of life:

“I don’t ever feel I have no help.  I’ve had rainbows in my clouds”

I love Dr Maya’s view that all those people who have ever been kind to her can be called on by her when she feels she needs help and support.  These are her ‘rainbows’, which she can gather around her in times of need.  I like being reminded that I also have plenty of rainbows on whom I can call when need be.

In return, counsels Dr Maya, we should work to provide this kind of support to others:

“And the thing to do…is prepare yourself, so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.  Somebody who may not look like you;…may not eat the same dishes prepared the way you do; may not dance your dances or speak your language.  But be a blessing to somebody.”

So, next time you find yourself in a cloud, dwell not on its size, weight or density.  Rather, look through the fog to the myriad rainbows which sparkle there for you.  Think of yourself as your own rainbow too – switch any negative self-talk to a voice of kind, loving support.

And, of course, find a way to be someone else’s rainbow too. 😊🌈

 

Flash Mob in Chicago 2009: a brilliant feel-good event

I am something of a podcast addict these days.  Add to this an unconnected, but no less intense, love of flash mob footage and I am a happy bunny.

You guys may already seen the clip below, as it is 8 years old.  But I picked it up only recently while listening to a fascinating podcast called Making Oprah.  A short series of three main episodes, and three bonus episodes, this broadcast covers ‘the inside story of a TV revolution’.

To open the Oprah Winfrey Show’s 24th season in 2009, the producers staged a massive party in Chicago.  Oprah knew that the Black Eyed Peas would be performing.  What she did not know was that the 20,000-strong audience would be participating in a flash mob surprise for her.  This footage is amazing – the flash mob itself is mesmerizing, and Oprah’s reactions are brilliant, right from the start where she is clearly confused about why only one person in the audience is dancing.

It’s a few minutes of feel-good watching.  The perfect way to start the week! 🙂

PS:  if you want more of this stuff, there are loads of clips on YouTube about the preparations and rehearsals for the final performance.

Happy Birthday Elvenhome!

 

A year on from Hub’s guest post about the start of his model rail journey, here is an update from him…..

Hello everyone.  It is Hub here again.  Yes, you are right.  The Lizzie Question was posed again (for those who do not know what that is I suggest you read my last post).  I happened idly to mention to my dear wife that it was nearly a year since my first video on my YouTube channel presented to the world my N gauge model railway layout Elvenhome.  Her little eyes lit up.  A smile crossed her face as she formulated the question.  I knew what was coming.  I could see the words forming in her brain and moving, synapse to synapse, to send the signal to the vocal chords.  “Might you like to write…”.  I capitulated at once.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday Elvenhome!”

Find Your Colour, Whatever It May Be

In The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters, the reader is invited to “imagine that you are 100 years old and on your death bed with one minute left to live. Your great-great-grandchild asks, ‘Before you die, tell me what I should do with my life?’”

The answers you come up with are really advice to yourself.  Peters says “if you are not living by this advice, which is the essence of your existence, you are living a lie. Don’t live a lie; it will unsettle you more than anything else.”

My own results from doing this exercise can be summarised as follows:

“Take notice of who you are and be that person with all your heart.”

~ Liz Humphreys

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Spring Reading Review 2017

Picture of Admont Abbey Library – Austria, from http://www.dandalton.me

Back in January, I wrote about my plans to read my own library in 2017.  I should have known that reality would turn out differently – it always does when I think I have a reading plan.

The majority of books read since my last reading review post back in January have been library books (hurrah for libraries!).  And so my own library currently remains largely unread.  I like looking at books on shelves almost as much as I like reading them, so I am not at all troubled by this.

Here are some thoughts on a few of the books that I have most particularly enjoyed in recent times.

Continue reading “Spring Reading Review 2017”

I’m Here: So Are You

 

Alex Katz, Three Figures On a Subway, 1948, Oil on masonite, 13 1/2 x 29 inches, Alex Katz Collection, Colby College, Maine. © Alex Katz / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, Courtesy Colby College Museum of Art, Gift of the artist – see http://www.timothytaylor.com

“A great relationship is about two things. First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.”

~ Unknown

I am not usually in the business of promoting adverts for beer, but I feel compelled to make an exception in the case of the latest offering from Heineken.  Check out this short film which demonstrates starkly and powerfully how well we can get along with other people who hold views different from our own, if we just make a tiny effort to spend some time with them.

Continue reading “I’m Here: So Are You”

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