"Life is a stop-over on a long journey" TravellingSpirit's Profile

I live with my 17 year old son in a lovely house in Prestwick. We used to have cats and hens but unfortunately they are no more. I’m on the list to take ‘rescue’ hens from a local battery farm which would be killed otherwise. I love my garden, but it’s not very lovely right now due to the neglect of last year. Regardless of this it is very forgiving and keeps producing lovely things – the spring bulbs are just coming through now and in a few weeks we will have snowdrops, dwarf irises, crocuses, daffodils, anemones and tulips bursting into bloom. This coming year I am certainly going to put more effort into my fruit and vegetable growing as there is nothing more rewarding than sitting down to a meal of food which you have grown yourself. Even last year I managed to get a good crop of potatoes and garlic (never planted anything else) and the fruit trees and bushes were over laden.

I work in the health service, managing a clinical network for epilepsy throughout half of Scotland; supporting health and social care teams to improve the care they provide to people with epilepsy and those with epilepsy to be more involved in their own care and to advise on development of services. I am increasingly interested in complementary therapies, gaining qualifications in reflexology, clinical aromatherapy, Swedish massage and Indian Head Massage. I also practice and teach Reiki and do some other energy work. I have seen so many amazing things whilst doing this work that defy logical explanation and this is almost at odds with the ethos of my full time job, which is all about going for the option for which there is most evidence. I think I am at one of those crossroads things with my work at present.
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My travels so far

I grew up in a most beautiful part of the world, in Shropshire, on the Welsh border. I have no photos of this place and all of the views are etched in my own mind. I will hopefully come back and describe these at a later date. There was no need to travel as all I could possibly want was there for me. Family holidays (very infrequent) were taken visiting grandparents in Dunfermline, Scotland. Until I was 15 I had never left Britain. At 15 I went on a school field trip to France, to Paris, and I also went to stay with a school friend in the outskirts of Oslo. When I was 16 I went on an exchange visit for two weeks, again to Paris. After school I went to work in Haarlem, Netherlands, cleaning bulbs and got to see all around the coastal villages of Holland as well as spent some time in Amsterdam (and was smitten by the place). The following summer I spent a month travelling around France, Germany and Switzerland and came back exhausted! The following two summers were spent in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, when I also had the chance to see some of North Carolina, and further South, Savannah and Tampa, Florida. At 21 I was married and we were living on a shoe string, so after our honeymoon in Greece with a child on the way six months later travel plans were limited to camping trips and visits to friends and family in the UK. After my husband and I parted when my son was 2 I bought a tent and would take my son camping to various places in Scotland but a favourite place being anywhere in Argyll. When my son was 3 I took him back to visit my friends in the States and to see my aunt outside Detroit. Each year from then until he was 7 we would go to Dublin once a year to stay with friends there. We then went to a variety of destinations; to visit friends in Portugal, back to the States again, a camping holiday in France, to Portugal again, a package holiday (my first ever and not my choice) to Salou in Spain, to Guernsey and this last summer we returned to Salou (at my son’s request). Interspersed with this have been trips with my partner at the time to Dublin and around the south coast of Ireland, to Amsterdam (three times), and to Prague. I am very lucky to have friends in various parts of the world. I have always wanted to travel to Central and South America and when I went to Cuba in 2006 I fell in love with the country and the people, went back again last year and would happily move there if it was at all feasible. I've been to the VT euromeets in Marbella and Karsruhe and was very sorry to miss the one in Santorini. This year I've also managed a week near Detroit visiting family and am plotting trips for later in the year. My son has just been accepted for a volunteer project in Fiji so we will be taken up with fund raising for that (£4000 - yikes!!).

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The Sea

I live a mile away from the beach and love to walk down there. It was a glorious (cold but) sunny day today and I went there towards close of play. I wished I'd taken my camera with me but then how can a camera capture the experience; the view of the expanse of water, calm, with waves lapping at my feet, the expanse of sky, with the delicate clouds and the subtle shades of blues and greys and hints of yellow and orange of the setting sun? How can a camera capture the sounds, the sounds of the water lapping and smalls waves breaking, of the bird cries, of the children playing, their laughter? How can a camera capture the feelings, the ground underfoot, the sand and the pebbles and the bricks worn round by passing sea? How can a camera capture the feelings, the pull in the abdomen, the draw of the sea as it offers peace and security, and death and life, the security of the lights of the town behind me, the security and intrusion and potential dangers?
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'Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.'
(Alfred Lord Tennyson)

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Photos

I have had a camera phobia as long as I remember - both about having my photographs taken of me and of taking photographs myself. For this reason there are some photos I've used that I can't claim to be taken by myself. The photos on my home page were taken by an ex, using my camera though (I took this one alone). This same ex took the photos that I'll put in my Prague page. I'm overcoming my phobia now and took all the other photos I've used and will use on my pages.

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'It took me a long time to learn where he came from. The little prince, who asked me so many questions, never seemed to hear the ones I asked him. It was from words dropped by chance that, little by little, everything was revealed to me.'

'I believe that for his escape he took advantage of the migration of a flock of wild birds'

(from 'The Little Prince', by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
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Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

(Hope Is The Thing With Feathers by Emily Dickinson)

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This is for my own father:
AE Housman wrote a collection of poetry called 'A Shropshire Lad' and many of the peoms referred to landmarks near where I grew up

**On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble**

On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

’Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood:
’Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.

Then, ’twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare:
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then ’twas the Roman, now ’tis I.

The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, ’twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

  • Intro Updated Jun 3, 2008
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TravellingSpirit

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles (W Cather)”

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Prestwick, United Kingdom
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Nov 6, 2005

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