Monday, 22 June 2009

Off to Andorra

When I get back I'll have some of my own photos to put onlne, maybe even of Dr. Caycedo himself! Although it is now mostly his daughter who teaches, he was born in 1932, which makes him the same age as my mum.

Sooo, how do I feel? Well, excited and also a bit apprehensive. Will I be able to hear? Will I be able to follow? I've sent a mail explaining my hearing problems, and asking for a reserved seat, so I hope that that will be okay. Also, as it is in French with a Spanish accent, by all accounts, that might just complicate things for me.

Excited, hey chaps, this is something that I really enjoy, that is helping me in my everyday life, and that is the most important thing

As they say in France...affaire à suivre....

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

awareness or consciousness

I as I was walking yesterday, I had various little mantras going through my brain. The first was "I am going to get fit"...4/4 time works quite well. Then I started (over)intellectualising.....something I am prone to do and having been teaching the future tenses, thought again that "going to" could mean an intention rather than real plan. So my next attempt was "I am working on getting fit". Much better in the idea as it is something I am doing now, not in future. But not so good on the 4/4 time. I had also been working on a translation where the work "maitriser" came up... it means to Master. Sophrology and early science fiction ideas came to mind, the next phrase was "I am Master of my fate". I can chose, if I am aware/conscious. Sometimes I don't really want to be, as that is all about taking responsability. My last one made me smile, and that is good.

I am Master of my Weight!

home part 2

My spiritual home. The only place that has been there for all my life. The thread that links my children to Scotland. My French LO adores the place. It is where my parents are at the moment. And my father is, to put it mildly, a tad concerned about my mother's health, as are her friends. Freaking out might be a better description. I am worried, but that is not helpful in the least.

This is when I wonder where my home really is, I am a long way away, by European standards. Mind you, Coldabackie is a long way from anywhere by those standards! My every day is not attuned to my roots.

Language is more important than you can imagine, particularly if you are native English speaking. . For the refugees in Scotland refugee week, I cannot imagine; the language, the weather (Scottish weather is not like anywhere that a refugee might come from!) the many things.

And linked to that I have another problem, my hearing. I am recognised as a handicapped worker here in France. My ENT specialist's are surprised that I can cope so well in my first, never mind my second language. Think then of the handicapped person, who does not have the family background that I have: the example of a sister who despite being considered deaf in most people's points of view, has lived her life to the full; I admire her so much, even if sometimes she is a bit of a pain! lol Ask her and she will say that I am the bossiest person out. In a wonderful Scottish vernacular my response is "Aye, Right!"

I am working on a translation at work about migrant workers, refugees, asylum seekers. That makes me think even more about where I really answer for the moment!

Monday, 15 June 2009


My brother has just blogged on what is home, and I have my bit to add. He was asked to write with regards to refugee week in Scotland. Now, I am not a refugee, far from it. I don't even think of myself as an expat. That's far too exotic. I chose to live in France, and when my children's father left, I decided to stay in France. I do not regret that.....but.....

But what? Well, Terres Gilet has been home for longer than any other place in my life, and it is home. The dwelling itself. And I am delighted that my children want to keep the house on, and have come up with a project where that should be possible. I myself am looking to moving to live with my partner of 8 years, not immediately, but when we are still both young enough to make a go of it.

Funnily enough I feel more at home up in his part of France, Haute Savoie, where even if there is neither sea not ocean, there is a lake and mountains,compared with this flat plain far from the sea and hills of my childhood. My house but his area....not possible, so I shall have to adapt.

We moved home a lot when we were children, my father's job obliged the family to up stakes quite often. The plus side of that is that we are adaptable. The minus, for me, is that I hate throwing things out, even when they are well past their sell by dates. That goes for relationships too.

Like my brother, the wee croft house is the place that I consider *home*, although I have never lived there, and could not live there full time. It says a lot that my sister and her family, and me and mine all want our ashes to be taken there. I think we need to buy the field to plant the trees that that represents!

Home? The Elvis song comes to where the heart is. My heart is with those I love, so I have more than one home. Here, it goes without saying, but also Edinburgh, with my parents and my siblings, the croft house, J's of course, and even the tent when we go camping in the Landes. Coldbackie with sun!

Yet I know that here I am not fully at home. The language is different, the culture, and during the last Gulf war, I felt "A stranger in a strange land". And for my children it is even more complicated. My elder daughter felt Scottish until she lived there for a year. She now realises that she is probably more French than anything.

Home? A luxery that we take for granted.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

2 years on

I wrote and read this poem when we planted Kai's tree at Coldbackie, last summer.......

For Kai, at the planting of his tree

With what colour will I fill the space left when you went away?
That is the question I can ask, today and every day.
The answer I can choose, it is not set in stone;
The choice is mine to make, me and me alone.

Black was the space when you went away, an absence of all light,
A void that drained all energy absorbed so much of might.
That will not do, not sparkling white, nor even shades of gray.
I shall choose bright colours, to illuminate my day.

The colours that I chose represent some of my memories of you,
Not easy to reduce your life into a verse or two.
But I shall try to paint some pictures with my words,
And evoke some images to balance out the hurt.

Red for love, fire castles, roses, sunsets of every hue;
Yellow for spring, sunshine, Marie Curie daffodils too;
Pink for sweeties, bubblegum, frothing cremola foam;
Green for fields, new life, trees tenderly cared for by mum.

Orange the fruit, monks robes, 60’s pop art patterns,
Purple the music, passion, things for you that matter.
Blue the sea and dolphins and peace within my heart.
This rainbow of colours is however only a start.

The colours ebb and flow, a real kaleidoscope,
This rainbow of souvenirs is also a symbol of hope.
And we have also here other memories of you
In Katrin, Kai Scott, Keira, and our Sonny too.

Our lives continue despite your early departure,
The best of you lives on embodied in your four.
You are always with us through their very presence
Our memories of you, past future and present.

With what colour will you fill the space left when he went away?
That is the question you can ask, today and every day.
The answer you can choose, it is not set in stone;
The choice is yours to make, you and you alone.

And here I have stolen my other brother's blog

Kai's tree

Kai's tree, originally uploaded by ccgd.

We interred Kai's ashes at Coldbackie back in August, the first time that the whole family could get together at the croft house almost 14 months after his death. His kids then planted a tree - a rather nice red bitter sweet crab apple (sums up Kai I suppose) - over his final resting place.

A funny/sad/happy/difficult/cool sort of occasion. But it worked.

Oh and have a look at the Kai Davidson Trust website - its all good stuff.

And he made the dead rock stars website. Now that is funny.

Midges were hellish though........

See him at the entry of sep 22nd 2008

My hunting cat

She looks as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, does our Dinette (ds1 chose her name! it means toy tea set in French)Well this little cat is quite the hunter, and obviously thinks that she is really a terrier. Last night she dug a hole in the grass (calling it a lawn would be pretentious) and her head and front legs were quite down it. I'm not sure if she caught that particular mole, no offering this morning, unlike others. But she does also hunt to eat. And if she keeps the mole hills down, I am quite happy!

No to the pity party

I woke up this morning feeling *decidely* sorry for myself; sinusites and throbbing eye, coughed during the night with asthma, sweated so much I have whorls on my fingers.....the perimenapause is not somewhere for sissies, to paraphrase a quote. And then I thought about BJ, with whom I am carrying on an on line corresspondence. Her goal is to get fit after surviving being hit, as a pedestrian, by an articulated lorry. I'm worrying about a throbbing in my eye....she has lost the sight in hers. I'm feeling a tad sorry for myself that I have to work on a Saturday....her state of health means that she can't work. And then a mail from her, where she says "The best thing my orthopedic surgeon told me was I would never be able to use my arm much. That only gave me the mindset to prove him wrong. I am already doing more with it than anyone ever expected."

There are so many ordinary people out there, and here, who manage to just live, to take the positive, where others would just turn their backs to the wall. I don't think that they realise the positive good that they do in the world. I can think of a few "angels on earth"; they would be horrified that I could think of them like that.

I also thought of a line in my triple murders last night, but nordic walking with one of my sons. There was a steep hill and another walker showed us it could be a lovely slide.....and he also said just to live the judgments no preconceptions. It was great fun going down the slide, like skiing or canyoning.

But now to shower (I am no shrinking violet this morning) and then off to supervise the TOEIC)

Friday, 12 June 2009

Grrrr Trains!

We took the train to Lyon Saturday, and had problems, and dd 1 is on the last leg of a trip back from Lyon as I write....she had gone for a day trip, to see a Harry Potter exhibition. Yes, in France. Dd2 had been to the cinema in Bourg, and we had planned that they were to be picked up at the same time more or less.
I'm not sure how many phone calls there have been, the train was 20 minutes late, then 2 hours late, get the picture. Dd 1's bf isn't keen on driving at night in the town, so we both went for dd2, so that he could see where to pick dd1 up later. As we walked in the door, the phone rang. The train had arrived. had we known we could have made just one trip...and not wasted time, deisel etc. It hadn't just contributed to global warming, the air had been a bit blue here aswell!
Not terribly sophro.......

Monday, 8 June 2009

Last weekend of the first cycle

The next step is Andorra!

A weekend with practicing with Y on the Saturday, and then theory with C on the Sunday. Very interesting, but it does make me wonder what is in store for me at the end of the month. C talked a bit more about the conflicts within France, and the different schools of thought....and his opinion! So we'll see.

Also, he talked about the possibility that there will be a formal recognition of the profession of sophrologist......and that would be good.

I'm thinking of other possibilies of how to use sophrology in my work. I just hope that the school accepts my proposition of teaching it to the BTS students.

And I really need to keep working on myself...if it works on me it could work on anyone!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Walking through the jungle....

I looked at myself in the mirror this evening, and was not 100% happy with what I saw. For some reason the book written by Julie Lacome came to mind. Find it at This book is great, and when I taught English to babies I used it. What's more, Julie the daughter of friends of my parents. We spoke last year in Scotland at her father's exhibition mostly in memory of her mother. We talked about the book, and she said "when I was famous"
Wy did this come to mind? The second line is "What do you see?" And it is not necessarily the what do I see when I look in the mirror? Hmmmmmm

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A far cry from Thursa

When we were little, that's what my father would say about our travels, that we were a long way from our roots.....and the days by the med showed that.

At the end of Saturday J showed me a little fishing village that I found hard to believe; in Sete, a stone's throw from the tourist traps, the big hotels, the rows of holiday homes, a small corner which reminded me of Burano, off Venice. There was a real feeling on community there. In fact people were painting what was going to be the scenery for their "fête". In the north of Scotland they still have their galas and their games. And maybe more of those later.

They also seem to have a sense of humour.

The above picture was taken early sunday morning, as we bought oysters to take to the Drome.... different from the boats of my childhood....the Primula in particular. The men were however rather similar!

Photos from the trip

A link to my picasa photos, most taken with LO's little camera!