Day 68 finally walked in the right direction for Tianna Falls and it’s STILL abroad heat hot in Scotland!! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☀️🏝

Another amazing day….. couldn’t decide whether to get up at 8 or stay in bed and Craig said “it’s sunny…” so I shoot out of bed only to assume he was getting up too. It would since appear not after I tornado around the house and let the dogs run amok even suggesting Calaidh goes to find him… 🤷🏻‍♀️😬 so now we are all awake, some of us are slightly more grumpy than others by was my bad.

By the time Craig’s come through I’ve emptied and filled the dishwasher and fed the dogs so he sticks some bacon on…. bacon rolls and coffee for brekkie.

Holly next door suggested heading to Tianna Falls today since I took Claire on a wild goose chase on Thursday and headed in the wrong direction. I think I said in a previous blog, Holly remembers finding these falls when she was about 6 years old as her gran lived on the main A737 and thinking it was such a magical place. She offered to take me there and let her girls see it too.

Calaidh being “The Littlest Hobo” (bet Craig reads this and asks why Calaidh’s way out in front on her own….. the roads were empty down near the Munitions place).
Farmland looking lovely in the sun
The entrance to Tianna Falls, so relived not to be climbing through a hedge… there is an actual path!
Ruins of the old Kersland Mill
Walk round the side of the ruins
Ta-dah! Even the dogs are impressed!!
Stunning!
Film of the falls
Continued…
Close up…
Lovely pic of the girls!
The girls right in the water and Calaidh is fixated on a stick!!
Calaidh went in deeper than I’ve seen in along time! Spot the stick…
Rachel’s in control of the stick
It’s in there somewhere!
Rachel almost lost her balance but she did really well!
❤️ this
She’s been sitting waiting for the stick to be thrown for so long the water stopped moving… fixated much!
One final pic before we head off

spen about an hour 15 down there. Moved 3 T-shirt’s, 2 cans and a packet of crisps from the water to hide them a bit in the undergrowth. 2 adult and one kids T-shirt just left in the water….😳

View over towards Largs
On our way back, it’s blistering hot!
Check Leo! Calaidh was up there too but I just missed her!!
Checking out the coos
The field in Reek Street is full of buttercups just now 🌼🌼🌼
Cluny house in Reek Street puts out water for dogs on hot days! Calaidh took the bit of paper off and spat it to one side when she was done drinking!!!!
Sun on Main Road and no cars!!

The weathers just been so amazing today that everything look so stunning. I’m now lying in “Craig’s” hammock and could almost sleep… 18,282 steps done vs 27,003 the day I made Claire walk in the completely wrong direction!!

In Coronavirus updates the UK are now over 38,000 deaths….. 300 + the other day and 115 in the last 24 hours. England are set to announce new lockdown easing measures too rotor but I don’t think that they will apply to is. Craig’s been down at his friend Paul’s today and their two kids, under 6, were both great at social distancing. Normally Craig would get loads of cuddles and kisses but they stayed well back.. Paul and Craig went for a socially distanced walk. Life has changed so much since we saw them last. It makes me sad that the kids can’t hug anyone anymore as they were always great for a wee cuddle. But I know we all have to stay safe!

Just when you’re having a nice wee hammock moment you get Bhruic’d
It’s no braw but try taking a selfie on a hammock with a dog!!

So last night we sat out until about 8.30 when the sun started to disappear. It was so peaceful, just the birds twittering away…. and the smell of muck spreading from the nearby fields!!

My view lying on the new deck
Strange cloud formations
Our new sunset!

Stay safe everyone 💜💜💜

Day 67 another glorious day in the garden! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☀️🌈

Gonna start today with some pics from last night. Went for a walk with Claire in a direction that we could not go wrong…. and I reckon it’s the first evening walk I’ve had in lockdown.

Sun set from Reek Street
Nature at its best
Spiers was really dark and moody
Coos just been fed!
Calaidh waiting so something to happen…. anything… 😆
Main road about 10pm on a Friday night
Sunset from the Memorial Hall Gateside

Could not get to sleep last night at all… the downside of not drinking alcohol at a BBQ is that you’re pumped full of caffeine from all the diet juice. Lay there exhausted with my eyes WIDE OPEN for what felt like hours… so a lazier start to the day. Up 8.45 and still sitting on the new decking as the sun starts to come round about 10ish. It’s another holiday hot heat day!! Scorchio!!!

Scorchio!!!!! ☀️☀️☀️

Guess where the ball is????

So we had a roll and square sausage with brown sauce and have decided that Craig’s on the stones until he passes out through heat exhaustion and I am on the greenhouse and planting out sweet peas if I can… might need a zoom call to mum and sad sad just to check requirements!!! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

Had a wee burst of energy then neighbours came to the wall to chat and I lost it! Have sweet peas out the greenhouse and can’t decide what to do with them… thinking a lazy sunbathing day should be the plan…. 🏝☀️ it’s not often we get temperatures like this! It must about about 25 degrees again!
Asked Claire to take a photo of this in her garden as it’s lovely!! 🌺🌺🌺
Beautiful Bhruic!
Calaidh’s turn to pose! I’m now lying on theses dog beds… be rude not to!!
850kg of stones done just waiting on the next bag to be delivered
🤣
Neighbours get no peace when hiding their garden!!!
I need to remember this when I feel particularly down. Today is another good day!
Sparko
I am now having a weeeeeee rest on the hammock!
This is my view.

I’m lying here contemplating the last few weeks and realising that it’s ok to have bad days.

I may not have a job anymore but I know everything’s going to be ok. It’s been a year since I was last in the office working…. a whole year sounds like an amazing holiday but it’s been the hardest year of my life. Its taken a long time for me to realise that life is good. I could do with losing 3 stone but other than that I have everything to be grateful for. I am so grateful to be living through lockdown in Gateside. We have everything we could want in a holiday home and of course the weather helps. I have family and friends who love me. ❤️

…and I have a husband who is currently demonstrating his pressurised water jerrycan…. the 2nd one… for drinking water this time. I’m watching with one eye as I write this from my hammock…. sorry his hammock as I’ve been reminded…
I have always believed this… even through the bad times ❤️
In today’s slight movement by Julie… I held on to the end of this while Craig made it for my sweet peas!! To be planted in the next few days. I’m sure he’ll say I only held onto it half heartedly…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🙄😆
The puppers modelling the new deck! Took this last night in the last of the sun.

Stay safe everyone! 💜💜💜🌈

Day 66 official phase 1 lockdown Scotland and it’s abroad heat hot!! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☀️☀️🌈☀️☀️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

What a stunningly beautiful day!! The weather is great…. the mood is great… I’m loving life. ❤️ Was wide awake at 6am and checked in with the world for an hour or so, you lose so much time to social media sometimes. Then up and at the housework….. hallway, bedroom and bathrooms done…. everything smelling fresh and then outside to the heat.

Even at that time of the morning it was hot. There was no breeze….. we had to go down to the new decking at the back to get some shade! First breakfast on the deck! Well…. coffee….. I couldn’t relax though as I could see stuff needing done…(inner sloth obviously wide awake!) we cut back some of the bushes behind the deck to see the field, then I moved some stones that we didn’t need anymore. Thinking how cool it was in the shade with no breeze so suggested Craig dog walk so I could stain the deck…. all done by 10am!

I’m awfy chuffed with it!
The slate arrived and Craig started unloading it…. too hot to do it all!
A wee rest in the shade!
Lovely wee ploughman’s lunch on the deck… everything melting!
A wee ice cream and Freya’s chilling in the shade.
Bhru snoozing in the heat.
Our wee tree is so gorgeous just now

Went round to drop some flowers at Evelyn’s house as she fell and broke her ankle yesterday. Was lovely to see her for the first time in 10 weeks!

Been next door for a few drinks in the sun now that we can. Had a lovely afternoon and can actually feel my skin cooking nicely. Scorchio today! It’s really like being on holiday, you could be forgiven for forgetting everything that’s going on…..

Stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️

Day 66 phase 1 lockdown Scotland. Social distanced 15k walk with Claire to nowhere and back!! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😬😳😆

So from today Scots 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 are allowed to meet with members from another household as long as we stay 2m physically distanced! So Claire (next door) and I decided to walk to Tianna Falls as neighbours had suggested. A beautifully waterfall about 45 mins walk from the house.

Last night Holly (other next door!) had told me how she found the falls by accident when she was about 6 years old. It’s right behind her Grans house and she used to play out the back. Can’t imagine how magical that must have been. We wouldn’t know…… we never found the falls yet. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Can’t stop gabbing long enough for a photo! just showing off the newly painted front door…
Found rhododendrons that matched Claire!
Into Spiers school, all going well so far… Claire is out in front!
Not every day you see a sign like this… well unless you live here 🤣🤣
I am now in charge of directions… I’ve given Claire the good news that I got extra directions last night. Turn down the Admiralty road past the Defence munitions and carry on until the end of the road. That is what I heard….

At this point we pass my father in laws work so I call him to say we’ll catch him on the way back up! Unbeknown to us we miss a crucial right turn just past his office block and I have missed this whole instruction … I’m on the phone chatting to him and. Claire is watching wee sheep in the field opposite thinking they are goats and we sail on past, we keep going to the end of the road…. as per….

It’s a beautiful road… but it’s long and it just keeps going…. on and on. The scenery is lovely but it seems an awful long way.
Just ploddin’ along…… for miles and miles
This is where the giggles start….. Claire’s in hysterics that we can see the Dalry bypass and we have walked MILES past the falls! I am INCREDULOUS…. honestly cannot believe o followed the instructions to the letter (obviously not?!) and we’re that far out.
Not to be outdone she puts her picnic blanket down at the actual road end and sets up! Strawberries and fibre one bars… at the junction!!!
These things are not made up to make my blog more witty they actually happen 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣
The only view we can see from our picnic area!
Reminder we are on an actual road at a junction…. 🤦🏻‍♀️
And we’re off again….
There’s something sinister about walking past the munitions depot. We’re out together for the first time after lockdown and it’s like we’re the only ones out but passing a military style base felt very like the Walking Dead!
As we head back we notice this road which is probably the way we should have gone….
My paw in law Douglas comes out to say hi!
Finally saw some water hoping to pass it off as the falls?!
Back thru Spiers looking lovely
Nearly home, thank god!
Finally made it home after a few extra steps to hit 15k distance!!!
Craig was laying weed control for the stone delivery which hasn’t arrived yet
All done and Calaidh find a cool spot!
Wee Rachel comes in to see Bhru and gets kissed to death!
Shade puppies!
Could be forgiven for thinking I’m on holiday. In the beer garden waiting for deliveries! #deliverydriver
Got stuck in a Gateside traffic jam as the cows were moving out the field!
Yay look forward to being able to meet up with more people now. We just have to make sure we stay 2m apart

You may have gathered that today has been a really good day… I feel a weight has lifted that’s been hanging over me for the the last week. I feel relaxed (albeit knackered from the walk) and my head has stopped the incessant put me downs and telling me that i can’t…. I can…. I can….. I can…. every day I still show up and fight this. Thanks to everyone for their kind words and support and to Craig for understanding more about this than he ever has. Maybe because I write it down every day…. maybe that helps us both.

And one final note. To give thanks for our key workers, this is my friend Evelyn all gowned up for work….. with my hearts. Means a lot to see this photo and really think about where they will go and what they will mean to people. They were made with love ❤️

Stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️

Day 65 do not leave me in charge of the handbrake while volunteering ❌🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😬😳

Kinda sick of typing about sad feelings but woke up feeling like sh*t this morning. Thumping head, clenched jaw, erratic, shallow breathing. Like a good girl I thought I’ll try Headspace mediation to try and calm myself down… but I couldn’t focus on it at all! At that precise moment, my lovely friend from Canada messaged to ask how I was doing…. poor soul got it between the eyes!! Now thankfully she knows all the right things to say and do and got my to breathe I’m for 3 and out for 4…. I could only get on for 2 and out for 3 and while I was telling her I typed out for 33!!!! We both agreed that I’d have croaked it before 33… 😆 so that made me smile. So of course I calmed down and got my breathing in check but I still seem to lack the ability to do that bit on my own. When I’m in taz mode as I call it (Tasmanian Devil) I can’t think straight enough to get out of it….

So I got up, had a coffee and sat in the garden.

Flowers looking lovely in the sun

Had a quick over the fence up the ladder cuppa with Claire who’s on holiday and got ready to go Volunteering with the Beith Trust. I drive along to Geilsland which is literally 2 mins from the house. My head is all over the place and I have to concentrate to drive… I get there, park and jump out and it’s only when a young guy is helping me load the car that we both realise the car is moving…. we are pushing it by stretching into the boot…. yip for the second time on deliveries, I haven’t applied the handbrake?!?!? How is that even possible?!? It’s ok though only 5 folk saw me…….. 🤦🏻‍♀️

So I’m just getting back to this and it’s 9pm. The latest blog writing yet!! Food bank deliveries went well and I had a lovely chat with one lady who looks really sad in the last few weeks. She’s just not able to get out anywhere so I mentioned this back at base and they’ll arrange calls for her. She also asked if I could get hold of a local book written by Bob Marshall who lived in Gateside and died recently so I will do that and drop it off.

Did a quick food shop in the Co-op which is now clearly marked for socially distanced movement round the shop until the last few aisles…. I’m genuinely not sure what to do here, my brain blows 😂🤯 but I get through it and back to the car in one piece!

I finally dropped off the crochet hearts for Evelyn for Co- op funeral care. (of course I forgot them and had to go back home to get them!) I drove past her house earlier when I remembered…

I also picked up a prescription for my neighbour who got me a lovely selection of alcohol free beers! She thanked me for the blog and said she was really enjoying reading it and I burst into tears…. 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

So… emotional day today but very busy and as I’m writing this now I’m feeling a bit brighter. Our neighbour Holly and the girls came in to the garden for a bit and then made me a bite to eat. We had a good chance to chat and it was good to take my mind off everything. Craig went to visit Jim and Fiona and sat in the garden with them. I miss them but I’d had been a bit too much today so better to stay home. Next time you guys!

Leo & Calaidh posing!
Didn’t take many pics today but needed some of the dogs!
Bhru keeps the ball from Calaidh…
S’mine…..
And she’s aff….
Let’s go!
So we got a delivery today, new Overland and Borders hoodies. The ones we have now as black…. loving the new ones!
I went for indigo blue!
Quick chat with Claire and Graeme but could get Craig in the selfie. They’d been playing Bananagrams in the back garden! We must do that together one night.
🤣
Tomorrow I will try to look forward and enjoy the breeze

Stay safe everyone 💜💜💜

Day 64 does anyone have my mojo?? 🤷🏻‍♀️😤😒

Got woken by a very squeaky bin lorry this morning… it’s early…. but it’s fine as it goes through the village one way and then comes back down our side after it’s done all the farms etc….. USUALLY…. but no not today. 🤦🏻‍♀️ by the time I walk down the length of the back garden, get the bin out of the newly designated bin area and of course the grey one is third one in… get it out the garden and down round the side of the pub and you guessed it, I missed the bin men. Bloody typical…

Not sure I can even explain how I feel today, there’s an anger and frustration that is honestly totally unfounded. It’s a beautiful day, we’ve been out working in the garden, there’s nothing to stress about and yet my head is mince. A jumbled up mess of noise. So jumbled I can’t even really make head nor tail of the noise. I can’t think straight about anything and don’t ask me to make the simplest of decisions.

I don’t have to pretend but sometimes it feels easier than trying to explain the unexplainable… “just because..” isn’t the best answer.
This makes me laugh as it totally sums me up at times. Today I’m more fuzzy headed than anxious but it says it all!

So despite my mood I’ve had coffee and the second coat on the front door by 10.30am (it’s still tacky at 4pm!!) Craig says it’s not tacky, it’s really nice… sigh…. I know a few other folk who’d a come out with that one too! 🙄😬 and now it’s time to walk the darlings!

Ooh forgot to say I did work my magic on a passing bin lorry at the back of 10… I saw them coming and I pretty much danced around my bin highlighting it and showing how lovely it was, looks at this beautiful bin… please empty it?!? The guy drove up smiling and said “I’m no emptying that…” he was always going to and I knew that so we had a laugh. I mean honestly, how can you forget a bin in lockdown when there’s nothing else to do 🤦🏻‍♀️😆🤷🏻‍♀️

Calaidh’s trying to social distance from the others! Don’t blame her… I wasn’t feeling it today… let them drag me one foot in front of the other. At least we went out, I could have sat and done nothing.
Desperate to go and run in the fields but I tend not to go in one of the gate is closed. There could be something I’ve missed and I couldn’t have them chasing sheep or trying to bark at the cows.
Pups knackered after their walk!
Little miss poser in the shade

By the time I got home Craig was back on with the decking! He’d had to order some additional wood and we’ve cleared an area for some stone chips and that will finish the whole garden…. 4 and a half years after we moved in (how much more of lockdown is there?!?! God knows what we’ll do next 🤷🏻‍♀️😆🤣 maybe actually relax??!

One proud man! Main bit of deck done!
Then Bhru finds a hiding place under the new deck before the sides go on! Took her a while to get turned round to face out once she went in!
This is the area to be stoned, stones ordered and arrive Thursday
Calaidh found a wee sheltered spot on the new deck

So yeah, It’s like I’m asleep inside my head but angry with myself at the same time. I’m so overweight that I need to exercise and count my calories but I don’t want to cook anything. I just wanted to eat junk because it’s easy then I get disgusted with myself for not being more careful. Wee Rachel next door went to the cash and carry with her mum today and got sweeties which she split up into cups and took them round the village to cheer everyone up. I inhaled them!! I must be the only person in the world who gave up drink and put on 3 stone. I need to stop beating myself up for feeling like this.

I guess I have struggled with this today
Sure does, might just get that out now!
So true

Sorry it’s not a more positive one today. I’m ok, if you bumped into me it would be all laughter and giggles. That’s what I do best. Tomorrow is a new day. 🌈

Stay safe everyone

💜💜💜

Day 63 started with a poop scoop 💩💩💩

You know you’ve arrived in the world when your first thought in the morning is that you really need to do a poop scoop… it’s a lovely morning and that’s the first thought in my mind. Poop needs scooped before I can relax. That’s not a euphemism 🤣….. 🐶💩🐶💩🐶💩… now the garden is acceptable for a sunny day!

So coffee and paperwork this morning. Updated my budget spreadsheet…… ooooooh check me….. trying to figure out how long my redundancy will last! Still don’t have the answer 😆 quite proud of myself sitting on the laptop working away…. it’s been a while. Craig made scrambled eggs with smoked salmon for breakkie which was awfy good. But I’m really emotional today…. the tears are not far away. We watched the last episode of The Newsroom last night and I had tears in my eyes most of the way through. My diet and exercise have been shocking these last few days. I feel sad and exhausted and the simplest thing could send me over the edge. It’s maybe that Coronacoaster we’re all on??

I’m overwhelmed by the response to my blog. Everyone has been so kind. I got a lovely surprise delivery at my door last night. I got into bed and checked the phone before I switched off and had a message to say go look at the front door!

Isn’t this beautiful! She made it by herself, I am so touched that she wanted me to have it… 💜 should have taken a photo of it in the sun earlier, the colours in the dark bits are stunning! Such kindness 💜

So speaking of doors… I decided that today was the day the front door was getting painted. It’s been a state for a while and living right on the main road means it’s filthy all the time. To be fair it was white….

Sad wee front door
All sanded down.

I’m one of those people that wants to paint the door and just want to paint the door… so I had to unscrew the surround and sand the door. Craig shouts that would be much faster with the drill screwdriver…. hmmm I just keep going with my wee Phillips screwdriver so I can stay angry at the faffing…. women eh?!? So finally it’s ready to paint!! It’s not a fun job as it’s that glossy dragging feeling and the brush creates streak marks in the paint but it’s done by 2pm. Definitely needing a second coat but the result is that I can’t do that for a minimum of 16 hours. Ya dancer!! 🎉🎊🎏🎀🎊🎈thats the most I’ve smiled all day, it’s lifted my mood though.

Check that beautiful car STILL for sale over the road 🤷🏻‍♀️😆
From across the road it looks very different but we’re pretty chuffed with it. 🚪😍 the white round the windows is just the masking tape.

There’s a real north/south divide with Coronvirus news at the moment. Sky News are not reporting any death figures today but heavily feature the amount of people on the beaches….

Southend beach today sparking fears that this will start the second wave of the virus (pun not intended)

England will be opening all non essential retail shops from 15th June and they are urging everyone to use common sense. Not much common sense on that beach?!?

Scotland are still “stay at home” and on Thursday we can meet up with another household outside keeping 2m physical distance. I realise that it’s likely that we all have to catch it at some time. Yet they say immunity only last 6 months as well….

I remember back to the Italian and Spanish footage of their early infection. They were about 2 weeks in front of us and the true horror was all over our screens. Watching their emergency wards was one of the most harrowing things I’ve seen. Maybe it’s just me but the UK have a higher death rate than Italy and yet this horror doesn’t seem to have been reported. I feel like we’ve sailed through 36k+ deaths with a stiff upper British lip… no news reports of us struggling, of our exhaustion battling the virus. Nothing like the coverage we saw from Italy. Just my thoughts….

I feel a bit brighter this evening. I’ve done virtually zero steps the last few days and Craig made me chips and cheese for dinner while he had steak. I was just in the mood for junk…. then our neighbour delivered toffee cream meringues!! I will never be thin living next door to the pub chef!!

Stay safe everyone! 💜💜💜

Day 62 lockdown – random woman witterings 😆

First of all thanks to the Western European Director of Overland Bound for today’s title! He hit the nail on the head yesterday… a blog an excuse for women to do their favourite thing…. talk!!!! (As an aside bloody Bhruic just knocked my Becks Blue over 😤😤😤 cleaned… now calmed down!!)

So very quiet and lazy day today, but a good day. I’ve sorted through paperwork, made to do lists for Craig, (🤫😉) and read some old historical Beith books that a neighbour had given me.

We moved to Gateside near Beith in October 2015 and since I spent most of the time driving out of it for work, I know very little about the area. Was great to read the original minutes of the night the Memorial Hall was opened in the late 1890’s. It was a tribute to a 19 year old local girl who died. She seems to have been so highly thought of but in all of the history I can’t find why she died. She was sorely missed. The hall was used as a local gathering place for the group Scottish Girls. Think some of us present day Scottish Girls should bring that idea back!

One book is dedicated to the old news stories of Beith was fascinating! There’s been rail accidents, mill accidents, it told when the first electricity was switched on…. still going through it but really interesting to take the time to read up on the history. I had questions so messaged our friend Fiona most of the morning!! She gave us some new walks to do and Claire next door and I are already planning our Thursday morning legal socially distanced walk to some local falls! The new phase of lockdown allows it!

I also did the suicide awareness course that I recommended in yesterday’s blog… wow, very powerful stuff… yet so obvious that we should look out for each other.

The three points we need to remember.
See – look for the signs that someone might not be feeling right
Say – open discussion with them to determine their state of mind. Check their response for signs of feeling worthless, feeling a burden to others. Ask directly if they have considered suicide
Signpost – have planned details on help that can be given to them based on their answers.

❤️

You may never know it but you could save a life as a result

❤️

We tidied the big shed today and found Bhru hiding under the bench for some reason! She doesn’t like tidying??
Had an over the fence up the ladder cheeky cuppa with Claire after the storm with no name but before the sun came out! Wee Rachel next door ran up and gave me a Becks Blue from the pub!
Check the clouds behind Claire!
Then the sun returns! We’ve been down the back of the garden trying to decide how to finish off the area next to the decking.
This is the last real bit of the garden to tidy up
The decking still to be finished – will get this cleared when we next get a dry day!
Forgot about these… still need to sell the old Jeep tyres – someone says we can just sell them, it’s that easy… that’s why they are still in the garden. It’s an improvement… they used to be in the house!!!!!!!! 😤 yeah that was fun!
This is now my new favourite bush… stop it……. 😳😬🤣
The rockery is coming on great after the rain… yeah most of it is probably weeds but I love pretty weeds! We have a HUGE difference of opinion over flowering weeds….. HUGE!! (I’m right….. just sayin’)
The tree at the clothes line is blooming just now
Great shade for the pups, I have millions of pics of them under this tree 😆 check Freya with her wee paw on her Antler! You ain’t getting it…
The best dog chew ever…. always have to make sure we have 3 🐶🐶🐶

We heard some great news that our neighbour Michelle’s uncle has survived COVID-19 after being on a ventilator for 14 days! He’s never missed a day of work as a delivery driver in 30 years until now. Michelle posted a vid of his return home on FB with all the neighbours out clapping him. What an amazing outcome for a great guy!

He warns that we should still try to stay home as much as possible though. He knew how serious his illness had become and didn’t think he’d make it to hospital. He said the paramedic called to his house kept saying he “needed that ambulance now”. Most of us don’t know anyone affected personally by this so I have to use Michelle’s Uncle Tam as our reminder not to relax the rules too much. Coronavirus can be deadly and you just never know when. Stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️

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Day 61 storm with no name still raging… so this blog gets a bit deep

Find it funny that this is the worst weather we’ve had this year and it’s not been given a name… we seem to have been naming every gust of wind in the last few years trying to be like America. Coronavirus comes along and finally we have more important things to think of than naming the front that’s come in. I for one am kinda glad as it was always a bit of a joke! Check me… it used to annoy the life outta me and now I’m searching for a name… any name, this storm needs a name…. 💨🌧💨🌧💨🌧💨🌧

So we had a lovely afternoon yesterday binge watching The Newsroom with Jeff Daniels. Watched 6 or 7 episodes I think and ordered a takeaway from La Dolce Vita in Lochwinnoch. Now I realise that doesn’t help with the diet but we got some great news yesterday about an endowment policy maturing and it’s done way better than I thought it would. Still have weeks to go on it but we were celebrating. Any excuse huh 🤷🏻‍♀️ so a pound on overnight, less than 10k steps done but a lovely day.

Crocheted another 15 red hearts watching Newsroom! My friend from Crochet, Evelyn works at the co-op funeral care and has asked for 2 hearts in a plastic bag, hearts to be identical, one to be given to the family and one to stay with the person who died. Ran out of wool at 15 so have an odd one left. They have to stay in the plastic bag for 72 hours before they can use them to prevent contamination.
Did another square for Craig’s blanket… on track for Christmas completion 😬🤣

Today feels a bit rough. I have that, can’t-open-my-eye thing today. I woke to messages from a friend in the States who’s son is experiencing some mental trauma. He terrified them last night with a cry for help. An angry, loud, sad cry for help. It made me think back to how bad I felt on my worst days and how mental health can really trick you into thinking your life is worthless. So yeah, this blog might be deep but I think these words are hugely important to help us recognise when someone needs some real help and support.

Zero Suicide Alliance Training

This is a short online training course that teaches us how to handle a potentially suicidal situation. The things to say to help support….

I reckon that most of you who knew me before all this thought I had it made? Great job, lovely handsome hubby (some guy with no beard who looked about 12 😬😘) and 3 gorgeous dogs and no kids. A gorgeous country cottage in a village with the best neighbours. It all looked great from the outside but inside I was crumbling. I am a people pleaser who put everyone and everything before myself. I gave my all to everything I did, nothing my half for me. Get to know me a bit better and you would realise that I was a stressor… I overly worried (and still do) about everything. Things that some people took in their stride were a huge stress for me. A glass of wine, or a pink gin were the only things that would take me away from my worries… a crutch to force me to relax and we lived next door to a pub! Result!! I was building up debt. I was so miserable that I would think I work so hard that I deserve a, b and c AND x, y and z…. 😳 credit cards maxed out and juggling 0% balances all over the place while trying to keep a job that would never allow the level of perfection I needed to see. It was an impossible situation. The hopeless tears had been on and off for years, the yo-yo dieting, the saving calories so I could have a wine. The blackouts after a few glasses. I’d be the life and soul, wanted to be the centre of everything, be funny make people laugh… but the “fear” of not remembering the “fear” of having to be told what you’d done, who you’d spoken to and how. I saw Craig as an extension of myself therefore in blackout I treated him like shit. It had to change. There was no Big Bang, no ultimate decision to stop drinking but a quiet start to dry January and just keep going. Funny how one of my worst drinking moments was on a work night out where I had 3 strong lagers with the boys in Bier Halle in Glasgow, before I had any food. I enjoyed being one of the lads at work. Joined in, matched them round for round. They all thought I was heading safely home as I wandered about the streets and lost an hour and a half completely. Could have been sleeping in a door way or just walking around the city… but the time I was more alert and phoned Craig I couldn’t explain where I was. It was heavy snow that night too. I remember crying, being sick, walking and yet somehow found myself in a taxi on the backroads to East Kilbride when I finally “woke up” around 4am (we lived there at the time) Craig was so worried, he’d gone looking and couldn’t find me so had to head home.

So the worst of that was I didn’t stop drinking until YEARS after it. I didn’t see the signs. The guys are work we’re horrified that they hadn’t seen me home but I was a hero in the office. How truly shocking that being in that state made me seem cool… it came up in conversations for years. (As an aside you should have seen them run when I started talking about how heavily reliant I’d become on having a drink…. it’s comical actually how quickly it turns from cool to taboo)

Anyway, no Big Bang like that but a realisation that I had to take control of my life. So if you think it’s bad up until that point… this is where the real crash came. For the next 7 months I spiralled downwards at a rate of knots. I had counselling every week and Kinesiology every 2nd week. I tried everything I could to feel better and yet somehow kept feeling worse. It was all coming out. The suicidal thoughts started around August last year. By December, I finally found a doctor who would really listen to me. She realised she had to change my medication and fast. I was beginning to think that everyone else’s life would be better with me not in it. I was a burden to everyone as I was always crying, always sad, always moaning. I had to keep pretending I was ok. I’ve said all along that the support I had was amazing. You see people’s true colours when you need support like that. Yet despite it all I still felt it would be easier for everyone else if I wasn’t here. I write this now with tears in my eyes as how can anyone think that is true. There are people in this world that have way less than I have support wise so what chance do they stand. Every day was and can still be a fight… a fight to get through “it”, that thing we don’t talk about.

She (the doc) had me on a close watch through December and into January. Booked me appointments herself and I was the first person she saw at 9am 27th December so I knew I had a doc to see as soon as the festivities were done. It really helped. I’m attaching a few pics of me during this time as I want you to see that you would just never know from the photos… at least I don’t think you can..

I remember feeling particularly bad this weekend in the Galloway Forest with the Overland Bound guys. They are so lovely, yet my head fought everything that weekend. I remember looking into the fast flowing hydro damn spillway….
I just want to make the point that you would never know and unless I said something… Craig would never have really known either

Anyway this has taken a few hours, a few tears… I had no idea what to blog about today until I woke to that. I just think it’s really important to share every now and then. Part of healing and strength comes from true vulnerability. From sharing your worst thoughts. For me it’s a part of my healing journey. Please look out for people you know and if it helps one person it will have been worth it 💜🌈❤️

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Got this from a lovely girl the other day… she’s been a great support on my journey despite the fact I hardly know her. Her and her mum have always said the right things. 💜💜
I can’t say it better than that. You all helped get me through xxx
So on to lighter matters…..breakfast time in our house!! These guys
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What a miserable day, way worse than yesterday and yet it felt amazing to be out in the pouring and sometimes driving rain and wind. Of course the puppers were pestering the life out of me while I was writing the sad bit! This is Spiers school ground in the torrential rain. It’s just as lovely!
Leaves have been blown down, oh and Bhru is about to jump… looks like she’s about to poo 😆
They always want in this field… of course every time I took the phone out now it got drenched and rain poured down my sleeves 🤦🏻‍♀️ check the sky….
Calaid found a plastic bottle to play with
Yep we’re done with the field now… I’m wet through to the skin now!
Homeward plod and it’s even wetter than it was when we set out.
Been a long time since Reek Street flooded! Love that the pups try to walk round it!!

The only coronavirus news that I see just now are people being angry at others for not following the rules. The politicians who told us to stay home but travelled to see parents… etc. Scotland now have a 4 phase plan that will see Craig being able to do some more work from next week as long as he stays out of peoples houses. Think by phase 3 he will be able to meet people in their homes again.

So as lockdown life moves into phase one next week I will have to start thinking of what life means for me. This blog’s been pretty deep today so I’m gonna leave it there. I’m ok so don’t want anyone worrying. Only 2.5k steps to do!

Stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️🌈

Day 60 Craig says this storm is just called “wind” 🤣

The forecast’s no the best for the next few days

This is when lockdown takes a turn as we’re pretty much into a routine when the weather’s nice. It feels like being off sick when it’s miserable. It’s not that there aren’t a million jobs needing done in the house… there are but none of them seem that appealing.

So, feeling a wee bit more alert today which is good… up for coffee and watched the Overland Bound daily lockdown film which was about creating traditions for your travels to make them special. Will try sharing it so you can see what Overland Bound is all about – I’m sure there must be a better way of attaching links to pages but blogging novice here will look into it!

And we’re off in the wind and rain… as usual it’s not as bad as it seems once you’re out in it.
This was another let them sniff day… more about the dogs than me getting steps!
Shady wummin 😬🤣
We all want it over with
Had no idea Craig was this tall…. this must be what everything looks like from his height!!!

Think this has got to be a lazy day…. it’s wet, windy, miserable and I’m tired. Hoovered the downstairs so at least it looks nice for lazing around! We’re years behind but we’re watching The Newsroom just now, half way through the second series. It’s really good so guessing this might be a binge watch day.

Girls- Remember when we’re kids and we used to pleat our hair when it’s wet? did that last night slept on it and have crimped curly locks…. not that anyone will see them and lockdown means hair up all the time!

Read a lovely story that the National Trust for Scotland are urgently looking for 32,000 homes to take unwanted Easter eggs. They usually run an Easter egg hunt and obviously this years was cancelled. Apparently they are only dated until July so need eaten! Eh hullo………….. wonder if there’s a volunteer group for this???!?! 🙄😬

The UK is now up at 36,402 deaths with another 351 deaths in the last 24 hours. The UK will now have a 14 days travel quarantine for anyone who comes into the UK. There will be fines and spot checks for anyone not adhering to this. These quarantine plans are being heavily criticised by the aviation industry… understandably so. You’re only going to travel if it’s absolutely 100% necessary.

It’s hard to think that any form of normal will be possible anytime soon.

Binge watching in front of the fire!

Stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️

Day 59 battling my inner sloth 🦦 and fighting with Kevin the teenager

Jeezo I’m zonked today… even opening my eyes felt like an effort. Finally dragged myself out of bed after 10 and decided to wake up with the Low Impact Cardio live on Team RH at 10.30. Every part of me was screaming that I couldn’t do it, actually brings out my inner Kevin the teenager from Harry Enfield… remember that?!?!

I am the grown up talking….. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

But….. yeah I know, never start a sentence with but…. but… I did it. I fought through every negative thought, every Kevin strop when she changed an exercise…. Every muscle that didn’t want to move… 3,600 steps done. Now I’m going to walk my lovely doggy darlings before I allow inner sloth to win!

There was a lot of pee-mail checking going on and coz I’m tired I let them! 🦥
You’re getting the gist of this walk now eh?!
They sky was weird today!
They had a run in the field so I could stand still 😆
A wee drink… more standing around for me!
On the way back we passed Wylie’s farm, Broadstone, and I realised they were waiting for me to walk back past before they let the cows up the road….. soooooo glad they didn’t let them out so I was in the middle with 3 dogs. Think it would have been every dog for herself!
I was nothing today but slow….. 😆🦥
A few pics of last night out on the new deck, we gained another hours worth of sun in the garden by moving down the back!
It was a lovely evening
I can assure you I is no looking this happy the day likesy
Our new sunset!
Man happy on his deck no wanting to come in house!
Big news for Scotland from 28th May. ( think this is the 21st…. lose track!)
Not certain any of this really affects us apart from going out for walks with people from other households. We’re still being asked not to travel too far and not to go in anyone else’s house… just as well as the cleaning’s been on a back burner.

It’s hard to imagine how life can ever go back to what it was. We all used to meet and hug, even with people we hardly knew and now we will be encouraged to stay away from each other. I thought before that people had become very distanced from each other. You only need to watch the 4 girls out for a pub lunch sitting on their phones messaging other folk. The couples sitting not talking but ontheir phones. The companionship of other people outside your family unit was a lovely part of friendship.

I have my feet up in Grans chair now, not moving until pub food deliveries later. I am listening to my inner sloth and shutting up Kevin the teenager by doing exactly what I need to do. Healing. 💜

Stay safe everyone ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜☪️

Day 58 up like a lark and 7.4k steps before 8.30am… 🤦🏻‍♀️😳 what time will I crash??! (Was about 11.30am!)

All these days where I say I wish I’d got up early… Craig said he would wake me today if I really wanted. I did… until he woke me. In these endless days of pretty much nothing we don’t really need to add any extra hours into it but I’m “busy” today. I have Kinesiology online at 10.15 and am running my food bank deliveries at 12. Wee Rachel next door has a virtual school sports day at 5 and she’s doing a village assault course. So that is busy in the new world!!

So team RH fitness recommend walkie talkie where you walk and listen to someone talking which passes the time. This morning Auntie Jac and I did walkie talkie! Well she’s super fit and a wee bit crazy so she’s already done 8k steps by the time I got up!!!!!!! 🤦🏻‍♀️😱🤣 so I did walkie talkie while she had her coffee then she realised she should start walking again.

As much as I love the early morning exercise and chat I said to her I just couldn’t wait for Craig to get up so it could all be over and I can sit down with a coffee!!

Not gonna lie I said “awwwww thank f*** here comes Calaidh!!” when this happened then had to apologise to Auntie Jac as that sounds awfy rude… I just needed a rest honest! Check my breathing on this vid… jeezo man!

I’ve tried to explain kinesiology before and it’s very hard to do. It’s a wonderful way to clear out old mindsets that are no longer serving you. Today we focused on how I feel carrying my past with me and how I feel when I give myself to others. (Not literally boys….) my past weighs me down. I have regrets that I live with on a daily basis. Things I can’t ever change but I constantly beat myself up for. I approach everyone with caution these days, like I’m not worthy of their time. I don’t have the confidence that I might show in this blog. I seem to always be expecting rejection and that’s my kryptonite.

So Kinesiology today has recognised all that and cleared the cells that were blocked by the gunky stuff…. (just grin and move on lads…) we then dealt with the stresses I feel when I think of being “liberated” and the stresses I feel of “not being liberated”. One day I have to step out into the big real world and that’s scary. What will it be for? What will I do? Who will I be? How will I cope? On the other hand I can’t be the blob that sits at home forever analysing and reanalysing my every waking thought and regret. Realise some of you will be very interested in this kind of thing while others see it as fairy dust and magic beans. It’s been a huge part of my healing process and Shelagh is so lovely and proud to be a part of your journey….. that’s the key to being able to open up and discuss everything. She’s so supportive of everything. Of course I did show her Lucky Ted… 😆🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

https://www.enhanced-wellbeing.co.uk
I made my choice
I saw this yesterday and didn’t realise how relevant it was until today. I carry the old me about like a huge weight

Volunteering at 12 today and only have 3 houses to go to now. Another lady cancelled. You’ll be pleased to know that I applied the handbrake at the first job… see I learn from my mistakes! I had a good wee chat with the folk I went to and I told the last lady not to be cancelling on me as I’ll get upset! No pressure eh?!

One man and his dog! back on the decking.. Bhru never wants to be too far away from the action.
Freya’s turn to check it out!
Bhru found a comfy spot… 🤣
Taken from my resting on hammock position… it’s all about the angle of the pic obviously…. it was an early start to the day remember!!
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Run out of boards but looking good so far
Chilling on ma hammock and Bhru found me dammit
Bhru taking a selfie!

Had a WhatsApp video call with Mum and dad as they are celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary today! of course my card and present haven’t arrived but that’s more my fault than Royal Mail’s… I tried to make them a card but it was a bit of a disaster so had to order one at the last minute…. too late!

Wee Rachel next door had her virtual school sports day so we all came outside to watch her complete an assault course round the village. God love her she did so well and was bright red in the face when she was finished. Some pics of the social distanced sports day!
Claire and Graeme looking good!
Craig set up two hurdles for her – there she goes with Louise supervising.
Jim Reid the village photographer…. hugging the chicane! He looked like a speed camera! The standing joke is that we never see the pics Jim takes but we need to get him to download everything sometime as there’ll be years worth of photos!!

It’s been a good day today and we’re still sitting outside in the sun.

Stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️

Day 57 “what’s that coming over the hill, is it a monster??” 🎼

My cheerleader was up and at it this morning…. of course after 8am as I can’t seem to surface before that! Every night I say to Craig that I’m getting up early tomorrow. Don’t know why I waste my breath 🤦🏻‍♀️ he just smiles now..

Coffee and Spanish lesson first thing. Check us we made it two days in a row! I knew if I wrote it hear it would happen 🙅🏻‍♀️ bit rusty this morning but will keep going. Decided to walk to the post office as I had a parcel to send. It looks like rain but it’s really warm when your walking! Took loadsa photos….

Just me and Cal. We met 2 different neighbours so took about half an hour to get out of the village!
Spiers grounds were stunning after the rain. It’s not been enough to make it muddy to walk but everything’s in bloom. The smell of the wild garlic here is mouth watering!
Come on mum!!
Two of the trees here think it’s autumn! The are stunning, red and pink against the green.
One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite ‘80’s films. Lockdown had given me time to look at everything in a new light. I’ve watched everything grow this year and nature is amazing.

Actually going off sick and stopping work allowed me time to stop and look around. We let so much pass us by in life and we only get one shot at this. This last few years on the better days I’ve been fascinated by the wonder of nature. Learning a bit more about farms on my walks even though the whole cow mounting bull thing was pretty eye opening. 😳 we live in a fascinating world that we are covering in rubbish and destroying at a rate of knots.

Heading back from the post office and the sun came out. It was roasting!
My bored pup while I take pics!
The Beith bypass with no cars at 10am ish…. still love it when it’s quiet…
Calaidh knows exactly where she’s going on the way back!
Love these old gates
Lovely to feel the sun again
Exploring the woods
All these wee paths have sprung up as people explore during lockdown, never saw any of them before, maybe just wasn’t looking?!?
Not sure if these are giant daisies or buttercups but they’re lovely
Bluebells
I may have got carried away with the camera 🤷🏻‍♀️😬
Rhododendron’s starting to bloom
Last one I promise 🌺🌺🌺
Calaidh having a wee sniff round the base of a tree when all hell breaks loose!
What’s that coming over the hill?!?! They look familiar….
Yes it was a monster…. 😆 at times I even make myself laugh.
Aw naw mum thought we had peace today??!
Actually taking a pic of the trees rather than the monster but he happened to be at posing distance
The same trees as early but now with the sun shining. The colours are amazing
The wild garlic is everywhere
The gang back tougher heading for home
After a wee play in the field
And a wee play in the burn
And a wee rest..
Team drink out a puddle… lovely
Home sweet home by the back entrance (stop it…)
In the short space of time between rain showers Craig added structure to the decking frame
While I “hilled” the potatoes (had to look that word up yet it’s bloody obvious 🤦🏻‍♀️😆) I cut back the crape vine and watered the greenhouse again. It’s all coming on great. Just need to get planting out the sweet peas soon!
The onions are coming on great too
Waiting for over the fence up the ladder cuppa break with Claire!
Sky News is reporting up to 40k deaths in England and Wales with 39,701 but this Worldometer tracker says we’re still down at 34k… this tells us total world cases up until now.

Been feeling a bit lost today and not sure what to do with myself but berating myself as whatever I was doing wasn’t enough.

Team RH Fitness has me on 15k steps a day and it’s just been a bit too much so I changed it yesterday to 10K which reduced my calorie intake but all good. After all the walking I’ve done today I still hadn’t vibrated at 10k! The more steps I did, the more antsy and pissed off I got that I couldn’t even manage 10k…. yeah you guessed it… battery gone again and it’s amazing how quickly my mood lifted when I realised that was all that was wrong. Even did a low impact cardio workout this morning with my hiking boots on. 🤦🏻‍♀️😆

I have a friend that I used to work with in Benchmark Electronics back in 2002. We’ve met up a handful of time’s since then for dinner in Glasgow and the last time was years and years ago. I got the loveliest message from her out of the blue. She drives past our road end on the way to work. When she left Benchmark to start up her own cafe a few of us got together and bought her one of those old fashioned teddy bears. I couldn’t remember that. Anyway, she made her first teddy herself recently and it reminds her of our wee Freya so she would like me to have it….. how lovely is that?

Lucky is coming to live with us tonight…. isn’t she gorgeous!! and yes mum I will keep her away from the puppers!!!!!

What a lovely act of kindness, a lovely message out the blue and it’s made my day. She’ll be socially distantly delivered after work tonight and I feel very “lucky” to have been chosen to be her new owner! (See what I did there?!)

She’s here!! Look at the size of her. I can hear my mum rolling her eyes now at another teddy but I’m honestly so proud to have her…. she’s gonna get up to all sorts of antics… 😆❤️
Here she is up the ladder having a wee look round the garden!
Yes I know….. I am 47 🤣

I think you can tell how much I love my Lucky Ted. Such a generous and thoughtful gift. Kindness goes a long way…

❤️❤️❤️
Stay safe everyone

Day 56 more rain, walking, cleaning and SHOPPIN’ ☔️🚶🏽‍♀️🐾🐾🐾🛒🛍

It’s 5.36pm and I haven’t typed a thing today…… not like me but it’s been a full on busy day. I’ve sat down now, before dinner and realise that I might never get up again… I’m on 15,393 steps and STILL didn’t remember to let go of the trolley in Asda so only got a few hundred for my whole food shopping…. that’s so not fair… damn Fitbit 😆 it does look pretty daft walking about pushing a trolley with one hand though!

So we did a wee bit of Spanish again this morning… really must do it everyday to keep it going as we’d lost our flow, that’s been about a week!

A wee status update from the Duolingo app. We’re gonna do it everyday Craig says…. I’d have been doing it everyday up until now if it was up to me but hey…. jus’ saying… so every day from now on (you heard it here!!)
Me and the girls off again!

The poor dogs never got a minutes peace on the walk today as mumma was on it….. determined to walk as far as we could in 35 mins before turning round. There was no checking pee-mail… they were wheeched off every blade of grass they tried to wee on. I was way more forgiving on the way back.

I’ve never said on here but I have some people that I see on my walks on a daily basis either driving or walking but one sticks in my mind. She drives past me in a wee black car and is true smiliest lady ever. She grins every time she sees it and does a proper wave as if she’s genuinely pleased to see us! So today’s 35 min in one direction took me down a new road. Turning right at Tanderhill Farm and up through Threeport.

GUESS WHO WALKED OUT OF ONE OF THE HOUSES WITH 2 DOGS?!??? YES, SMILEY LADY!!! We had a lovely chat and she said she drives to visit her elderly mum which is why we see her so often. I told her that she makes me smile when she drives past as she’s always so smiley!! She seemed really chuffed by that. I’m so pleased I got the chance to tell her she was having an impact on my day just by her smile and wave. 😁🖐🏼😁 it doesn’t take anything to be kind and it might make someone’s day.

Passed these lovely bluebell woods – this is where they burned the trees and undergrowth and it’s growing back but looks lovely against the black of the burned trees.
And yes more cows but these guys came bounding over to us when they realised the dogs were running in the field opposite! Check the wee one with the mottled face! Sooo cute!
Another overcrowded cow field through a wee gap

It’s mental health awareness week this week so I’ve signed up to volunteer with the mental health volunteer team. After the call with my friend yesterday, I know I can help but I’m not naive enough to know that I’ll need to be careful. I can’t allow it to have an effect on my own mental health. I just want to make sure that people have someone to talk to and someone to have a little laugh with to share their burdens. I look forward to hearing about what this entails.

The mainstream media don’t seem to be reporting on the coronavirus stats anymore. It’s like it doesn’t matter anymore, doesn’t count? I went up to Asda today and think the adherence to social distancing is slackening. So many people don’t seem to care. So many people don’t seem to follow the one way system in the shop. Everyone can make a mistake, I did… but I’m talking people pushing in front of you when they’re coming the wrong way and you’re in the right.

So I’m gonna say it…. I’m scared of life going back to normal, whatever normal is. I’ve been hiding in my wee bubble since Sept 2018 and it could be that I genuinely just don’t like crowds of people anymore. Think I’ll be setting up an online shop for the next few weeks or going ridiculously early.

🤷🏻‍♀️
🤣🤣🤣

Day 55 it’s the fine rain that soaks you (what other kind of rain is there? I know….) ☔️☔️☔️

We both had horrific nightmares last night for some reason… nothing to do with watching John Wick 3 before bed I’m sure… I was chopping up folk in my sleep. Nice.

Didn’t wake up until 9 this morning and the birds were tweeting away but they did not mean it was a lovely day as it was raining… have forgotten how lovely the smell of wet dog is 😳🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾 yes that many wet paws…. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Had a lovely WhatsApp chat with a friend who lives abroad years ago this morning and it was so lovely to talk to her. We’d been messaging and my spidey sense told me she could use a chat. You know the way when someone who is usually so bubbly sounds flatter than she usually does. It reminded me of how bad I felt at my worst and can’t imagine how you deal with that when you are told to stay home and work on your own without any company.

I hope I left here feeling a bit brighter. It’s easy to think that you’re worthless when you feel down. You think you are moaning all the time and making everyone else feel sad too. You want to say “you’re fine” just because you think that’s what others expect to hear.

The most important thing I learned while off sick was that I matter. I need to put myself first and give myself a break. We all talk to ourselves in a way we would never talk to someone else. We put ourselves down before anyone else can.

I have learned that life is for living and it’s what we make it. Things can come and go but it’s how we react to them that change the outcomes for us.

You have to keep taking what life throws at you and move on

I’m unemployed now so I don’t have to answer to anyone and that is a wonderful feeling. Whether it will be when the money runs out, remains to be seen 🙄 The world is my oyster…. I have no real idea what I will do with my life, but that’s ok as I know it will be so much better than it was before. I will no longer put up with a toxic working environment as I know I am better than that. There was a time for me when work was my life. It really was all that I did. You think that people that you work with are a huge part of your life. If you go off on long term sick you soon realise that the business goes on without you and most people don’t keep in touch. That’s ok but it shows you that you are dispensable. It can hurt if you’re no strong enough but it’s a valuable lesson when you are.

❤️
Pouring rain today… check the grimace on that face! Obvs think I have to shut my teeth to stop the rain getting it. We got soaked!!
Got a wee fright as these guys aren’t normally in this field… #cowwatch 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣
Was just about to let them off into the burn when I spotted this wee guy totally on his own… no mum and his hoof looked like it was bleeding a bit. I stayed and talked to him to ages…. and then I had to go.
They were all watching in… dogs probably annoyed he was near their burn 😆 so they couldn’t play. It’s not like the needed to get more wet!
Heading home last the trees
She made us put our goonies on 😳 Freya’s eyes say it all….. goonie AND another photo…..
A happy life is a zonked out pup….. x 3!!
Craig came up with a new set up for the tv shelves… sorry there no before for comparison as he obvs isn’t trained up as blog photographer #2 properly 🤦🏻‍♀️ love it. He was happy in the shed when we got back from dog walk hammering away!

So I’ve been up in the spare room this afternoon going thru all the stuff up there and have segregated the stuff for charity, chucking and possibly selling. I forgot to take pictures anyway(yeah I know but I’m the boss I’m allowed to forget!!! Let’s see if he sees this bit?!?) but some of you might remember how bad it was from a previous blog. It’s still a mess but an “organised mess” even got wee notes on each bag to remind me what to do with it 😆 my house will be spotless when I can get half the stuff out of it!!

I’ve not had a coronavirus update for a few days now but sky news shows another 170 deaths in the last 24 hours. That’s the lowest since it all started. The government live address tonight was delayed as Zoom crashed! They are using Zoom for all their social distancing meetings and it’s not the most stable of platforms! They’re talking about England trying to get kids back to school and how they are going to go about that. Keeping kids apart while trying to teach them is going to be virtually impossible I would have thought. In Scotland were still Stay Home so our new “normal”service here!

Love this 😆

Day 54 what a difference a day makes 🥰 and 500 days since I gave up the bevvie!

Thanks for all the lovely words or support from yesterday. I feel so much better today… I did end up taking the dogs out last night and dragged myself round 13.5k steps. I would never have done that without the encouragement. Craig was cheering me on every time I came to swap a dog (with the fire on and a glass of wine in hand!!!)

Proof!!!! 🐾🐾🐾

So full mind scan when I opened my eyes at 6.30am suggested today was an energy day but just after another weeeeee nap! Got up at 10! Craig had a call this morning so I thought I’d better get them all out at once so he didn’t have any howlers in the background trying to reconnect with the rest of the pack! Bhru and Freya are hilarious when I take Calaidh out… proper wolf style howling!

Off we go in the rain determined to make this one count! Never met anyone today until the very end! The rain makes everyone stay home.
On our way…
Wee play in the burn… Calaidh is under the bridge and Bhru stayed up with me
Under the old railway bridge heading out to Scot Plants
She made us stop to pose in front of Scot Plants flowers 🙄
Rhododendrons looking amazing after true rain, there’s peach, red and white too
The only way home is the same we we walked…… uh oh…
Whatsis???? Coos hiding behind the fence!!
More rhododendrons on the way back
I love the colours in this wee bit just now… just next to the whisky bond!
Want to run in the field for a bit!
The suns coming out and the 10k step vibration yay!!!!!
Awwww here comes Kenny, Rachel and Leo…. look how excited the dogs are, ears all down!
Wee pose by some lovely shrubs
The home stretch!!! Craig’s got the kettle on!!!
500 days since I gave up alcohol!

Wanted to talk a bit about this as I hit 500 days without drink since the start of 2019 but I couldn’t have done this without Craig’s support and the group After Dry January on FB.

ADJ was set up in late Jan 2019 when a group of us had almost completed a successful Dry January and didn’t know what to do next. A guy Darren that I’d been chatting with decided to run a group for Feb onwards and a few weeks on asked me to be admin with him.

I don’t think I ever had any intentions of giving up alcohol, we live next door to a pub after all and its the pivotal point of the village, socialising with a few drinks is just what we do. Over the years though, my reaction to drinking was getting worse. I was blacking out a lot, probably as on a constant diet I would save calories for wine rather than have food before I had a drink. I was using it to mask the awful days at work, a crutch to get me through the my ever decreasing mental health. I’d get in the car to head home from work and nothing mattered more than pouring a glass of wine, my life revolves around it. I had the fear the next morning, what had I done, said etc etc. So when I did dry January I had no plans, no big eureka moment. It was hard work to sit in the pub drinking Diet Coke but it was also really rewarding not to have any hangover the next day. Once I got through the first few rounds I was ok with not drinking but the first round was the hardest. Why me? Why do I have to stop drinking? Why can’t I just drink like the rest of them???

With the help of the wonderful group on ADJ we all got through the hard times and kept going. We knew that life without the fear would be better but had to work to get there. In May of 2019 my anxiety and depression came back with a whammy… I ate for Scotland, put on weight, felt so sorry for myself and yet nothing to look forward to as you might look forward to a wee glass relaxing at night. The guys in ADJ have become a part of my life. I’ve made some great friends and yet I’ve never met them. They have supported me through the worst of everything and had an answer to it all. I can’t thank them enough.

I chose to drink on Friday 20th March when the pubs were told to close down due to the spread of COVID-19…. it came from nowhere but I wanted to have some wine. I must have been a big 445 days in by that time. I drank rosé wine. I had a glass. I didn’t like the feel of the glass on my hand, didn’t like the taste, didn’t like the smell and didn’t like the feeling it gave me as I felt it flow to my toes…. so I had a Diet Coke. Then I had another glass of wine and carried on the rest of the night on wine. That showed me 100% that my decision to stop was the right thing for me. When it gets in my veins I am not in control and I just want to guzzle it despite not liking it.

So…. 500 days in total not including that one and I’ve saved £3,823 based on the amount I drank a week. Where is it???? They also reckon 214,000 calories but I’ve more than made up for that in Dolly Mixtures and Giant Chocolate Buttons!!!! That’s my only regret that I gave up the drink and out on all that weight but hey…. the fat loss will come!!

So check me… Granny in the chair while Craig teaches me to play chess on his dads chess board and I celebrate with an alcohol free Nosecco!!!

Better go as I’ve been told I can only play chess when I don’t touch the phone….. yessir bossy boots. Wish me luck. I don’t do games….. ❤️❤️❤️

Quick note… I lost but I had him in check 3 times before he finally got me!

Check the concentration of a winner 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣😘❤️❤️❤️

Day 53 if there’s a rock blocking your path sit down on it and admire the view

I think the rock hit me today…. I can hardly keep my eyes open, when they are open they leak tears for no reason and I can hardly put one foot in front of the other. So I’m sitting down in Grans chair admiring the view. (When Gran died we got her recliner chair which sits in the sun room and it’s been my bolt hole on the tough days and an awfy comfy seat the rest of the time! It makes me think of her sitting here and she gives me a hug!)

This is not about compliments but I hope these darker days might help others understand what life can be like when it takes a wee step in the wrong direction for no real reason.
For so very long I was this person… I don’t think I understood it myself. It’s good to talk and get it out. Any confidence I’m building comes from the vulnerability of being totally honest in this blog
Now this takes a whole lot of courage to do…. 😱🤦🏻‍♀️🥴 this could be a new thing, a profile picture on fb when you feel at your worst?? Ye reckon it would work?? Eh naw!

So, some crochet and sleep for me today. Crochet always calms my head as it gives me something to concentrate on. Although I have to say my head is so calm it’s almost empty today already!! There is no reason that I should feel bad. Craig’s had his government COVID-19 earnings packaged confirmed so that’s great news! Just some days there’s a weight that comes down that will lift just as quickly.

Not posted a crochet pic in a while but slowly plodding on with Craig’s man blanket in man colours…. gonna let him decide how it goes together but only 30 squares to go 😳😬 still on track for Christmas completion 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣
Had a go at some rainbow hearts. Thinking of stringing these horizontally and vertically. They’re work in progress just now photographed next to our tree chunk wooden heart!

So it’s been a strange day today… I’ve really not moved off Grans chair… really only when to try to have coffee over the fence with Claire but it rained… there’s no Coronavirus stats on Sky News for the last two days… maybe the number of deaths is not headline news anymore? Craig said that as of midnight last night there was no one in Intensive Care in Ayrshire and Arran which is good news. I did read there were only 24 new cases in London so maybe that’s why there are no stats in the news. London’s ok now so they don’t need to talk about?!? Have to go find a new source!

The Mac n Cheese fairy rang the door bell and ran today leaving this behind… warm and ready to eat!!! It’s got mince at the bottom so I reckon a Mac n cheese lasagne! Lovely when I have no energy to move!

So lazy day and lazy night for me, up and at it again in the morning I hope! Will have thousands of steps to make up….. 🐾🐾🐾👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣👣❤️❤️❤️

Had plenty cuddles from these guys!
Guess it was a good day then!

Day 52 focus on the positive when you wake up a total grump 🤯

Toyed with titling this – beware of bin bags that go bump in the night – or – lets give the dogs the run of the house, they never all try to sleep on the bed all at once – or – I slept like a log that got trampled by 3 dogs in the night or finally just wham – stay out of the way of a woman at her time of the month!!! 🤭🤫😉

Instead I turned it around and will explain the above but first the positive.

What a beautiful morning!

So this all starts last night. Craig had a online call with a client and I decided to clear out all the food cupboards while making a chicken and chickpea curry for dinner. I have a great time chucking out everything that is out of date and clearing space! I put it all into a large black bag… so you can see where this is going can’t you?!

If Carlsberg did food cupboards 😬🤷🏻‍♀️😆

So he finishes the call we have dinner, I read while he listens to music and then it’s time to let the dogs out and “up to bed”. Our cottage has small attic rooms so we converted a room into the dog room!

Calaidh did those puppy dog eyes and we gave in and decided to let them stay in the living room, kitchen and sunroom overnight instead of upstairs to bed…. I know that we have a bin bag surfer in Bhruic so I lift the bag off the floor, one step ahead of the puppers….. check me ✅ At 1.40am there’s a crescendo of horrific barking. There we have it…. the bin bag has fallen (lets give Bhru the benefit of the doubt and assume it fell rather than she was trying to get into it) and a old jar of mouldy strawberry jam has shattered and splattered everywhere. Craig clears it up and ends up with glass in his foot, so tweezer, scissors and a torch later the glass is out and the dogs are now in the bedroom. Joy….. so much fun to be had… 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

If our wee cat Baby Rogue was alive she’d have been in there too!!

So 7am after lots of bounding around (by the dogs!!) I shout ffs, through the covers back and storm out of bed then fall over trying to get my leggings on in a fit of very grumpy giggles. Poor Craig is in lockdown with this grump monster 🤦🏻‍♀️🙄🥴

So from now on… positive, positive, positive, grrrrr oops positive 😇 it’s a beautiful day. What can possibly go wrong??

As an aside I did always say this was the one day a month that I just couldn’t handle work at all. For some reason the hormones reduced me to tears for the whole day and nothing seemed to stop them. Then of course the tears came all the time that led to me finally going off sick. Just wanted to add that as us gals need to be kind to ourselves when we feel like this as we are less in control that we usually are and you guys know that’s by the tip of our fingertips at the best of times. Anyway… nuff said.

Freya has old Speirs School field all to herself – look at the sky tho
Bombing it through the bluebells!
Yer so slow mum…. yeah that’s coz you wee b’s kept me awake half the night!!!! 🥱😬😉
So much fun!
Wee drink and play in the burn!
In the meantime Craigie hair monster has created a hose set up for the Jeep. He posted a vid on Overland and Borders to show how it works.
Back off out with Calaidh
Beautiful Calaidh posing by the road.
On a sad note a whole carpet dumped at the side of the same road… the dumps are still not open but there’s no excuse for this…. if anyone’s getting any work done just now maybe ask how they are disposing of it…
Calaidh checking out the coos… no funny business going on today!! Yes I did mean a cow mounting a bull yesterday… 🥴🤣 apparently it happens?!?
Hardly surprising that it’s 2pm and we’re all out for the count…. nothing getting done today! Check Bhru on the couch…. honestly 🤷🏻‍♀️ so wise man say let’s not have the dogs in the bedroom tonight…. yeah like no shit Sherlock. 🙄😜

Unsurprisingly it’s now 4pm…. we were out for the count. Well Craig’s been found in the office but 4 of us were out for the count.

Just did an over the fence trade with Claire coz that’s how we roll these days! She’s out of sugar while I’m out of rice. She’s lucky that we had two extra bags for some reason so can give her a whole one. We laugh at this new form of trading but it’s great as there’s never something we both don’t have. Saves us going out for one offs.

I’m just gonna get ready and head to my Thursday pub delivery job! The covid numbers aren’t out yet as far as I can see…. there is a headline to say that a quarter of those who died had diabetes though so sure there’ll be more investigation into that. Goo big to publish now as WiFi has been dreadful after 5pm…. first world problems huh? Stay safe everyone ❤️❤️❤️

Day 51 volunteering and dog walks 😷🐶🐶🐶 and there’s actual snow on Goatfell 🏔😳

So we had a Chinese takeaway last night, apparently I slept right through the what’s for dinner discussion so Craig decided for us! He did no bad.

Wide awake at 4.24am this morning but out for the count again until a truck appeared at the front window about 8.20am which turned out to be the decking board we ordered.

I asked him if he took any photos of the guy unloading from the crane. He said awww no… he may be sacked as my number 2 blog photographer. I mean come on… rookie error 🤦🏻‍♀️😆 got it delivered up the back of the pub so glad I don’t have to help handball it from the front door!
At this time of the morning they follow my every waking move… pestered to death until we take them out!
Getting in the way of the new decking area!
So I’m off out with Bhruic and Freya

Met 3 separate people for a wee chat. One lady I’ve meant every day for the last 3 days and I haven’t seen her in ages. We got on to the subject of work and me being off sick and she told me her son had died at 20 years old from cancer and how hard that was to deal with. Then her husband 10 years ago and her sister. She says the dogs have helped her through it all and given her a reason to get up and go out every day. It’s lovely to take the time to get to know people where I used to be so wrapped up in stress at work. We are lucky to have that chance to be able to learn about the surrounding area and the people who grew up here. I’m starting to realise she is a font of all local knowledge and I will start picking her brains about things!!

We noticed that Goatfell actually has snow on it today. I’ve never thought May was cold enough for snow but the winds from the north just now as really bitter out of the sun. Craig always laughs when I come out with “its cold in the shade” or “it’s warm in the sun”… stating the obvious! 🤷🏻‍♀️😬😆

There looks more snow that the iPhone shows! 🏔
So yes we might have said hi to a cow in the very busy cow field!
Got back and Craig had already laid the back foundation for the decking!
He found this under the soil… it’s actually quite small, kept my hand in the photo to show the scale. Wonder where it came from?!

So it’s Wednesday and that means new volunteering day so I headed out for 12. Drove past a neighbour to pick up some food and bags she wanted dropping off. Then picked up my food deliveries for today and headed out. Only 4 houses today as one has now cancelled. So wee Rachel next door had drawn pictures for them so everyone got their food parcels and their wee picture.

The food varies each week and is always packaged differently so you get a we run down at collection then when you get to the first house you have to remember what they said at collection. The first house also gets 2 of everything so I park up, wave from the car, put my face mask on, look for my box of gloves and have the sensation of moving… yip I’m rolling backwards away from the house as the one thing I forgot was how to drive!!! Forgot to put the handbrake on! By this time a farmer had noticed me and I wave to him to say all under control… as I jump out he said “your cars for sale so you don’t want to be bashing that up…” erm yip… so he watched it all! 😱😬

All others after that we’re fine. One lady seemed a bit down so I had a longer chat with her. She does a lot for the community and I guess is feeling a bit helpless as she can’t get out. I hope my wee chat brightened her day. I walked into her door handle as I couldn’t see as the mask was catching on my eyelashes… I must look like a walking comedy sketch at times!

Either that or a burglar?!
Don’t know if any of you have tried these but they are my new obsession since giving up the booze! The mint one is new and it’s amazing… like a low fat After Eight flavoured Milky Way!!
Decking coming along nicely. Boy job done well! Need a wee bit more wood to finish the structure.

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who is reading this and PM’ing or calling me to say how much they enjoy it. It means so much to me. I don’t get a lot of likes or comments on fb but I’ve been doing it for what I actually get out of it. I’m not sure what that is but it feels right for me to do this just now. So thanks so much again, you have no idea how much it means to me to hear you’ve enjoyed it.

Steps still required so out with next door Leo and Calaidh this time!
They played in the field and the burn. Leo is great on the lead and great with recall. He walks up to folk and just growls! I think it’s his way of saying hi but one woman said “it’s ok I don’t like him either…” but harsh 😆🤣
So I was watching a cow mount a bull in the opposite field and Calaidh’s having a good nose!
Heading back down Reek Street

Got my feet up in the sun room but in the sun as it’s finally warm enough to sit in. Coronavirus deaths are another 494 taking the UK to 33,186. English news shows packed buses and trains as people went back to work. They are all going to start spreading it around again. They say all the African continents have confirmed cases now…. if we actually stop and think about what we are all going through right now it’s just crazy. 51 days ago our world, as we knew it, just stopped….

A wee funny to end this. Seriously though our key workers are amazing and saving so many lives.. helping our new world keep turning
❤️❤️❤️

Day 50 in COVID-19 lockdown, can’t quite believe it! 15k steps ✅ shopping ✅ big nap ✅🥱

Day 50 eh? I can’t quite believe I’ve spent 50 days in the house in lockdown only going out for essentials. Speaking of which I filled my tank with diesel today for £47!!! Wow… think it was 102.9 per litre. So cheap and yet we’ve nowhere to go. Figures 🤷🏻‍♀️

Was WIDE AWAKE at 4.51am… it would appear I broke the hose the other day and I was trying to fix it in my head why I woke up. I mean, seriously, how can you break a hose just by unscrewing the nozzle off it? How is that actually possible? Felt myself getting irritated and angry so did some breathing techniques to try to calm the building anxiety down. 4.51am is not the time to be angry and stressed out about “apparently breaking the hose”. See how I have to put it in quotes? Means I still can’t bring myself to agree it’s broken…. sure I’ll spend more brain time on it. 🥴 so thankfully the breathing worked and I conked out again.

So I had a few bits and pieces I needed from B&M but they were hardly essential but I’d convinced myself I’d needed to go out to the shops again. So off I go but it’s never quite as exciting as you think it might be before you go. It’s kinda stressful.

Was 3rd in the queue as the two women in front me were together. They then walked about all over the first aisle as I tried to negotiate being behind them, beside them and getting in front of them while they were oblivious to me. 2m???? I was dancing about round them!

Got 6ft canes for my sweet peas and gardening wire. Highly essential stuff…. Popped into Home Bargains for the things I couldn’t get and it’s much quieter, never have to queue there and people seem to avoid each other. I think I feel really guilty if I’ve gone out and I know I shouldn’t have. It’s done now.

Big exploring dog walk today! From the house up past Low Bogside and Mid Bogside, last Margaret’s and our onto the golf course. Up the road to the reservoir and back down past Coldstream. Was a long walk!!!

Bhru is doing her Donald Trump impression!
The gorse is in full bloom
Big kisses!!
This one needs a haircut. It there’ll be no hairdressers open until at least July! 😆
Coming down to Coldstream, walked way further than we’d planned to!
Roadside drink before we headed out on to the main B777 to get back to Gateside. This was the tricky bit as a busy road and not ideal but the pups were great and did what they were told!
The dogs are as exhausted as us!!
Sparko
So after cuddles with next door pup Leo, I went for the biggest nana nap! Could not keep my eyes open, think I slept for over 2 hours and only woke because it started to rain and we had cushions outside. Musta needed it!!

Phone connection has been shocking since we came back from our walk. I’ve had no connectivity for 2 hours. I think this blog is a wee bit too much for the phone….. was just about to say there was no blog today and then I moved back to WiFi and suddenly it’s the answer to all my prayers! It’s not usually… in COVID news another 627 deaths taking the UK total to 32,692. That’s a huge rise from the last 2 days which were under 300. The confusion goes on in England about what they are actually allowed to do. They can be on the common with lots of other people but are only allowed to know one of them??? They can meet one parent outside but not the other? No one seems to have a clue what’s going on. I’m so glad we are still in lockdown and when ours ends as least we’ll be more structured. Can’t be any worse than England have it just now….

Summer is cancelled! No holidays abroad this year…

I’ve not been in the best frame of mind today so I am posting this for myself and anyone else who needs it. Tomorrow is a new day. Stay safe everyone! ❤️🌈❤️