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Blogging Break almost done!

7 May

As those of you who read my wee blog regularly, you may have noticed that I have been gone for a little while on a ‘blogging’ break – I have been taking some time out to work on a few little projects, spend time with friends,enjoy the Scottish sun, and clear my head! But I can say that in the next few days I will be back, and hopefully be back for a good long while this time! While it has been refreshing to give my writing brain ( and fingers!) a break, I have missed being able to share what knocks around my flighty mind, and look forward to sharing once again! See you very, very soon ūüôā

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Weekly Photo Challenge : Boundaries

9 Feb

This photo of these ‘ foxtails’ were taken in the Atacama Desert in Chile in March last year. They created the perfect boundary between the oasis where they were growing and the rest of the barren Atacama Desert. The incredible colour contrast between the sky and the foxtails is what inspired me to take this picture.

Winter Wonderland

7 Feb

Even though it hasn’t snowed like this in Edinburgh for a few weeks, I thought I’d share the memory as the weather gets colder again. This was taken at the park just down the road from my flat – it was a beautiful afternoon and the snow was freshly fallen from the night before. All was still and quiet, and frosty – so peaceful.

Blaze / Kindling Course – All signed up and ready!

17 Jan

Another short post as I slowly run out of hours in the day, but thought that I would share that as of today,  I can begin the process of ticking off one of my goals for this year Рthe Blaze / Kindling Creative Writing course that I have signed up for finally begins! I has wanted to do this for a while and had thought about it since I saw an ad in a magazine since first arriving in Scotland ( it seems so long ago!), but the way I managed to sign up for this at the last minute was incredible- the course only runs twice a year, there is a maximum of 12 people per class -there was only one place left, but I got on! Now I have 10 weeks of writing to look forward to and do, and am very excited about learning and creating something new!

10 Reasons to Travel Europe in Winter

16 Jan

While I wait for the rain to pass this morning, I have come across this article on Matador Network, which sums up the best reasons to travel Europe in the winter. And while yes, it is cold and the weather miserable and at worst, unpredictable, there are many wonderful reasons why travelling in winter can be¬† fullfilling and enjoyable, and add something just a little bit different to our travel experience. What’s not to like about not having to fight hordes of tourists everywhere you go, cheaper accomodation and flight deals, and being able to enjoy the indoor atmosphere of cosy pubs, cafe’s, and countless museums, as well as see¬†the beautiful transformation that most cities undergo when covered in blankets of snow. Now that I have written this, and reminded myself of essentially why I am here in Amsterdam, time to go off¬†and enjoy it all!

10 Reasons to Travel Europe in Winter.

Who deserves more credit?

3 Jan

Who do I know that deserves more credit than they currently get? I have thought about this question, and in all honesty, nobody comes to mind. And when I say nobody, I mean the hordes of celebrities and so-called ‘personalities’, who we put on pedestals for their dazzling looks, glamorous lifestyles, bottom-less bank accounts, and…lets be honest, with most of them, not much else. Sure, some of these people have genuine talent, and yes, some of them can be inspiring to us, but how many of these people know hardship, know difficult times, know what it’s like to have their lives transformed by circumstances out of our control? Admittedly, there are many stories of the rich and famous ending up in rehab for self-induced alcohol and drug addiction, or sex-addiction, or those ever-pesky bankruptcy problems because they thought their supposedly bottom-less accounts really were, eh…bottom-less, ¬†but we can hardly sympathise when they have the means and the opportunity to pull themselves out of their miserable little holes.

My point…and where I am going with this, is that I believe that the people who deserve more credit than they get, are the Average Joe’s of this world – people who have had all odds stacked against them, with little or no opportunity, but who have risen from the ashes, from the slums, from adversity, and made something of their lives. Ordinary folk with ordinary dreams who have made it happen for themselves and by themselves. Those who have had terrible misfortune fall upon them, whose lives could have been devastated by illness, accident, and tragedy, but who have made the choice to live their lives, be successful, live happy, and rise to the occasions that are their lives. These are the role-models we need more of in our society, the ones brave enough to take a stand, make a difference, and be counted. And even if the ending of their stories isn’t so happy-ever-after, there is much to be learnt from other’s experiences to inspire our own lives. There are many examples of such people, if we just care to rip our eyes off the weekly gossip mags, provocative music videos, and so-called ‘reality shows’.

One example of such a person whose story I found inspiring is of British writer Sarabjit Parmar, who is living with fascioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. This rare genetic disorder affects the muscles of the face and upper body, slowly weakening these muscles and rendering them useless. This in essence means that Sarabjit is unable to smile. Ever. But she has made the best out of what most would consider a bad situation – carving a career out for herself as a published writer, making friends, going out, and living her life to the fullest. Another woman I recently came across is Missy Jenkins. Missy Jenkins was the victim of a school shooting in Washington DC in 1997, which left her paralyzed and in a wheel-chair, where she will most likely have to use for the rest of her life. Despite this, she has moved forward with her life, which is now full of joy, peace, and meaning. She struggled to accept what had happened to her, but has had the strength to forgive her shooter, become a social worker, get married, and have a child.

There are many countless other examples of people such as these women, who in my eyes, do not receive enough credit or recognition for what they can bring to the human experience. By spreading the word about such people, perhaps by featuring them in magazines, blogging about them, buying their books – you might even know someone – a neighbor, a friend, a parent, a relative who we can learn from, support and appreciate – we are giving them the credit they are due for enriching our lives, and teaching us a thing or two.

To read more on Sarabjit Parma’s story:¬†http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/may/28/muscular-dystrophy-disability-fshd

To read more on Missy Jenkins story: http://www.missyjenkins.com/