The universe begins to speak

Goodness me the early part of the year has been interesting.  I felt a strange sense of disconnection as the year turned as if nothing was quite under my control.  Rather than being frustrated by that I found myself welcoming it as I felt it was a long time overdue.

As a result there is much change in our wee Scottish family and so far we are able to welcome it.  Change is an interesting concept.  My old line manager used to say that I was his personal change agent in the workplace as I seemed to instinctively know how to create and manage change successfully.  I think I am fearless when it comes to change and that has helped enormously over the years.  I see change as an opportunity and I am in love with opportunities whatever shape or form they take.

IMG_6778Usually by now all my planning for the coming year is in place and then it is just a matter of rolling it out as the year unfolds.  This year I only have a few tentative plans and even those are not set in stone and liable to shift as a result.  The only thing that is staying fixed is my walking for wellbeing challenge that is turning out to be a challenge indeed.  Mostly the walks have been very hard work and in very harsh conditions but I am delighted to report that I am on schedule.  Over 40 walks completed and many footsteps still to come. I did also manage to successfully launch my new online shop, The Vintage Bobbin, in January and I am pleased with both the feedback and the sales so far.  This site is dedicated to one off pieces allowing any purchase to be truly treasured.


I have been invited to join a wee group on the island and it has served to remind me how useful teams can be.  Teams that are creative, dynamic and committed are a real force to be reckoned with.  I am hoping that the created group energy will be helpful to me creatively and personally.  Much more information on that to follow as regular readers will enjoy this wee project me thinks.

cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-growing-may-2014-04511.jpgBeyond that, the rest is still circling looking for a place to roost and I am resisting the temptation to manipulate it.  Even though my children are all beginning to reach the fledgling stage (or indeed have even fledged) there is suddenly a lot going on in their lives so I am content to have the space at this time to support them.   Growing into a fully fledged adult is about as tricky as the garden birds find it taking their first flight.  Come the summer I will have number 2 child moving out to a shared house in the village and number 1 child moving back in for a while to do her thesis for her masters.  Number 3 child is completing his studies before taking a year out before university and number 4 child finishes home education and moves onto distance learning qualifications.  After over 13 years of home education all 4 will be through and I will suddenly have a huge amount of new time to explore.  What shall I do with it?

Well that is where we are back to the universe and things floating around unsettled and I am content that they stay there a bit longer.  The ideas have been formulated but, at this stage, I have no idea which one (or ones) will develop into a new reality.

tunnel may 013It is not unusual for me to be gifted things that other people no longer want as I have made a life time of trying to live in a more sustainable way.  However since the new year I have been gifted so much incredibly useful things that I am able to work with before passing onto others where the need is greater.  This has included a wedding dress and regular readers will know that I make wee gowns from these to send to a small charity who, in turn, gives them to parents whose baby’s have been born asleep.  We don’t show images or say very much about this work as that would not be appropriate and I certainly never ask for wedding dresses.  A dress will last me months anyway and create dozens of gowns.  Thankfully, not that many are needed in the western world but now we are turning our heads towards other parts of the world to see what we can do.  I have also continued my wee pledge to teach as many people to use as a sewing machine as would like to learn.  So I have received lots of unwanted fabric to use in the classes.  This will be greatly appreciated.  Lastly, yesterday we received a jam pot and lots of lidded empty jam jars as I happened to mention that we want to start making jam and that little bit of information spread round and through the community until it arrived at a kind lady who no longer makes jam and wanted rid of her equipment.

It might be island living but I suspect it is just community living.  So a huge thank you to everyone and we promise to make the very best of these new resources and be completely mindful of the needs of others around us.

I will keep you posted on ideas, the universe and roosting….

scottish island mum

Shoots of new growth

It has been a challenging start to the year on the island as the weather has demanded a great deal of attention.  However Scottish island mum is pleased to be back with her brand new site and new pages.  As we enter our 4th year it does seem incredible that there is still a place for her.  In the past three years a lot has changed and followers have been here every step of the way.

The pages on this site have been updated and new elements added so there is much to explore……


As we turn into the festival of Imbolc we celebrate new shoots of growth and the traditional beginning of the agricultural year.  Scottish island mum would like to return to her roots and has many plans to grow and get creative in her neglected garden.  With the help of a very loyal husband we are to create a wonderful new herb wheel adjacent to our house and the preparation of the ground will soon begin.  This is designed as a place for peace but also an addition to the dried herbs that we need to run our craft business.  A new page will pop up in due course with all the plans and progress for you to follow if herbs are a favourite of yours.

There is a wee secret venture already underway that will be launched on the Spring Equinox this year that falls on 20th March.  It involves working within a small but perfectly formed creative team and a new page for that will appear when I can say more.  Those of you out there that love to create will love this new venture.

But one venture is already well underway and that is my ‘Walking for Wellbeing’ challenge for 2016.  The plan is to take a walk every day for a year as a way of strengthening my body to try and combat some of my symptons of my illness, fibromyalgia.  I am very tired of being ill and, although I try not to focus on it, it is taking up too much space in my life.  This is my personal intervention.  I know a lot of you are walking with me and you are also members of the Towards Wellbeing Project which is a monthly mailchimp that lands in your inbox full of resources to explore in the pursuit of wellbeing.  If you are not a member of this entirely free project just complete the form below and I will add you to the distribution list.  The February mailchimp will be out in the coming days.  I already have the page HERE for that project.

So it promises to be another full and busy year for Scottish island mum.  The constant storms in this new year can not dampen my spirit or alter my deep love of the island I call home.  I have a brand new camera so I am hoping that, as the light returns, to be able to post improved photographs of this very beautiful place.


Blessings to you all for a truly wonderful year ahead.

scottish island mum



Turning inward outward

Firstly let me say that I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2016 is everything you want it to be.  

The six of us that make up Scottish island family were all together this Christmas although we did miss Molly’s man, Scott, who was with his parents this year.  I always consider it a blessing when we are all together because it is not something we can take for granted.  The children are mostly adults now and have their own lives to live.  If they choose to be at home then we are blessed.  Molly arrived back on the island in time for my birthday and we all had the best of times including a very long game of cards on Christmas day which the youngest member of the family won….again!  I proudly took up my last place as always.  My Grandfather would not be impressed with me but he would think that I had taught my children well – too well obviously!


Family time continued into Boxing day with tired souls having a second Christmas dinner and then back to our own spaces.  We try not to over-indulge but it is difficult with all that is tempting at this time of year.  I refuse to go mad in the supermarket and I was truly touched this year when the eldest two insisted on making a financial contribution despite my best efforts to resist.  On Christmas day Harry stepped up to assist his father with the Christmas lunch and Molly and Harry helped me with the washing up.  I witnessed a change in the family dynamics this year as our adults are now fully fledged and keen to make more of a contribution to make it all a wee bit easier on Pete and I.  I felt blessed all over again.

I do have to admit to a battle between my inward and outward state at this time of year.  All year I worked closely with charities who support less fortunate people all over the world.  I raise awareness and funds throughout the year and in 2015 I was also able to assist in the training of five young charity workers.  I bear witness to some real horror stories and I am always acutely aware that my contribution is a drop in the ocean.  So, outwardly, I love Christmas and all that it means to my family but inwardly there is a part of me that struggles.  As I sit down to Christmas lunch I feel it most acutely as I consider all the people in the world who do not have the same privilege.  It would be wrong of me to share those feelings at that time as the family are so happy so I keep them to myself.  I make a silent pledge to do even more for charity the following year and I know it is a pledge that I will deliver on.   Be it raising money for the people of South Sudan in a combined attempt to lift them out of their state as the world’s secret humanitarian crisis or it be knitting more warm blankets and hats for refugees the work will continue and it will settle me once more.

IMG_6411I admit that by the time Christmas day is over I go into a state of complete exhaustion.  This time of year is the busiest for me and then there is getting ready for the family Christmas on top.  Once I start to relax my body starts to scream at me and stamp its foot as well it might.  It matters not as it is part of the rhythm of the year and January is my primary incubation month.  It is in January that my best thinking takes place as I consider the year ahead.  This year is slightly different as I have already done some of my thinking to ensure that I could launch my next Scottish island mum challenge on the first of January.  The premise that underpins this challenge is that seeking and maintaining a feeling of wellbeing is a vital part of a healthy existence and that this is especially important with chronic illnesses.  With the support of Fibromyalgia UK I am undertaking a challenge that I hope with not only develop an enhanced feeling of wellbeing but also tackle some of the more debilitating symptoms of the illness.  Scottish island mum is going to take a walk every day for a year.  This challenge will be documented on its own site entitled Walking for Wellbeing and there are lots of ways you can get involved if you choose to.  Seeking wellbeing will be our communal goal and we shall see where this journey takes us.  Do not be put off if walking is difficult as it is not how far you walk that matters but how your steps make you feel.  We shall walk beside each other the whole way and see where we are at at the end of the year.    If you do not want to join me walking then you might like to sponsor me.  Fibromyalgia UK and UNICEF are my chosen charities for this challenge and all I ask is 10p donation for every walk I take.  Potentially we have £36.50 from everyone who is kind enough to sponsor me and this will rise considerably if more people are able to help.  At the end of the year I encourage you to chose whether to donate your funds to UNICEF or Fibromyalgia UK and I will remain grateful for ever.

Scottish island mum will go a wee bit dark in January as always as the site is redesigned and new pages added.  As we enter our 4th year as a wee community I look back with so much pride in all that we have achieved.  Without you guys none of it would be possible so as Scottish island mum takes her first steps of her new year long challenge she will know that she has many people right by her side.

Wishing you all a peaceful and healthy 2016.

Much love

christmas card