Is there anybody there?

So it’s been a while and I would not be at all surprised if my words just disappear into the ether.

In the hope that there is somebody out there reading this then I’ll go with it.  In the likeliehood that there isn’t anybody out there then being an independent kind of gal I’ll just go ahead and answer my own question….. “Is there anybody there?”  Well actually yes and in particular other bloggers.

I was very blessed to meet up with the lady behind gilreansblog.  I have been following this lady’s blog for quite a few years and she has also kindly followed mine.  A couple of years ago I got a message from this lovely lady to say she was coming to Inverness and could we meet up.  We did and it was fandabiedozie.  She is a big fan of Scotland and so is her partner and it was with some excitement that I found myself heading to a little pub to meet up with them again.  They had just hiked through some of the most beautiful parts of the Highlands – pretty impressive let me tell you.  So myself and a pal hot footed it to the pub to meet lovely blogging buddy and her man.  Non stop conversation, sitting outside wrapped up in woolie jumpers, and more non stop conversation.  It was a joy.

Also in my silence I have been gently nudged by Counting Ducks.  Messages like “how are you, where are you, have you stopped writing?” have been much appreciated and have spurred me on to get back to WordPress.

Sometimes a wee special email pops into my inbox from Empty Next, Full Life and that always makes me smile.

In my real life much has changed.  I’m getting on with getting on in my new job and I’m also moving house.  I am very blessed that my pal Jeannie has made all of this moving stuff so much less stressful than it could have been.

So what else……. well this is Scotland and we are in the throws of a vote on Independence (the vote takes place on 18th September).  Everything and everyone is a buzz and can I just say no matter what happens the Scottish folk are so engaged in the debate and so well informed that even a visit to the butchers or the bakers is exhausting.  It took me 20mins this morning to get a loaf and some mince.

So where am I in all of this?  Well I guess I am just where I have always been – grounded and thoughtful.  I am passionately Scottish, I don’t sign up to or tolerate an anti English stance, I believe in democracy and politicians being held to account.  In my world if you don’t deliver what you are employed to deliver you get fired. Sadly this has not been yet translated to the world of politics as far as I have witnessed.

I don’t ask that you agree with me but it feels importt for me to say where I stand.  After much thought, reading, listening, debating (not just in the butchers and theh bakers) I have chosen to vote YES to Independence.  Why?  Well in summary (and I really mean in summary) if things really are better together why has it not happened, why are things not better – and that doesn’t just apply to Scotland?  I also believe passionately that my vote isn’t  just about me.  Of course I will think about me and mine when I cast my vote but I will also think about others in my community and the changes they need.  Changes that I truly believe can only come our way when Scotland vote for our own Government post independence.

Make no mistake there will be tough times ahead – but isn’t that the way it is now?  Of course it is.  I just believe that given the opportunity to do so Scotland can tackle these challenges differently and as a Scot I know that my voice won’t just disappear into the ether – it never seems to reach Westminster you see.

So here I am, holding my head up high and declaring myself as a YES voter who fully accepts that the road will be uphill.  Come on though I don’t know many folk in Scotland who don’t have hiking boots – I think we’re up for it.

Oh and just to underline the fact that politics and politicians are everywhere look who I met on the way to the butchers – only the First Minister, Alex Salmond.  He had to queue as long as I did in the butchers mind- that folks is equality for you!




Planes, trains and getting older

My world has been a whirl these past three weeks, however, I’m delighted to report that I’m still standing.

My new job has taken me to London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle so far. The endless travelling continues for a couple of weeks yet.

Interestingly travelling gives you time to ponder. At the moment, as I sit on this very slow train, I’m pondering turning 48 next week. Oh my, how did that happen?

I’ll be honest this stings a bit however I got thinking and there are some positives to getting older, having lived a bit and all that jazz. Here are mine – in no particular order:-

I’m lucky. I really am. Some of my friends, sadly missed haven’t made it as far along the road as I have.

Years of experimenting have resulted in me turning out to be a pretty good cook. Who would have thought!

I can say, with some confidence, that I am now officially over the guy who asked me on a date and left the 18-year-old me standing at Hillhead Underground in Glasgow wondering what to do when he didn’t turn up. That said if our oaths ever cross please note I am an intelligent competent woman now and you are toast!

I am a mum. It has been one if the toughest and joyful journeys in my life so far.

I can no longer pretend that I’m not a grown up. I have life insurance and can hold my own in a political discussion (ok ‘argument’ – I’m Scottish, go figure).

I have learned the hard way what the important things in life are and I value them. I also don’t care if other people disagree.

Re above, the other thing that comes with having a bit of life under your belt is that you develop thick skin!

Life is too short to have sore feet. Flat (but attractive) shoes rock.

If you can’t sleep don’t lie there fretting. Get up and do something. Time is far too precious to waste.

Talk to folk, talk to strangers. You’ll be so surprised at the wee gems that cone along.

No matter how old I get I still can’t go to sleep with the wardrobe door open because that’s where the monsters live.

I still have the capacity to love – whatever knocks I’ve had they certainly haven’t held me back.

Laughing is my favourite thing.

So, as my birthday approaches, my hope is that I do more of that laughing thing.

So what things have you learnt along the way that you cherish? Do tell.

I’m losing it….


I seriously am losing it. Well to be clear I seem to be losing almost everything.

I’ve spent more time wandering about the house these past few days looking for my keys than I care to tell you. I’ve been late for work as a result on more than one occasion as a result of intense key searching episodes.

Why is it though that I only lose the things I really need? I haven’t lost my iron (or the huge pile of ironing), or the electricity bill that needs to be paid. I haven’t lost my to-do list (most of which I will undoubtedly not get around to). I have however lost the left shoe of my favourite sandals, one rather precious earring and 3 nose studs. Last night cooking supper I couldn’t find the potatoes I bought – they are probably still in the supermarket along with the bank card I left in the machine.

Some would say that this all comes about because of stress. I would have to agree, but I think it is more than that however the crazy me also believes that these little things are being sent to test me. There is some force in the universe toying with me, nudging me – just to see how far I need to be pushed before I lose it completely.

In this eternal struggle I have to say that I’m kind of holding my own (except for the time I burst into tears because I couldn’t find the car keys, but in my defence I was late for an appointment). On the whole I think I have been able to remain fairly calm and not subscribe to the notion that I could be slowly losing my mind, which if you think about it is just another thing for me to lose.

So universe bring it on, I can take it, I can calmly float above the chaos that you keep shoving in my direction. I can accept the fact that the most sensible place to look for things is in the least obvious place. I can smile when I find my watch in the fridge!

So, why is it that I feel I can take it, why, despite all, do I feel that the universe hasn’t got the better of me? I’ll tell you – the one thing, through all of this I haven’t lost is my sense of humour. That folks I seem to always be able to find.

So universe give it your all – this gal is still smiling.



How to jump from a moving train

1_1249600836_lee-jumping-off-the-trainThis time next week will be my last day in my current job.

It’s been a hectic week. It’s quite a frantic time finishing up a job, a job that I have held for 11 years.

The organisation I currently work for is busy, always busy. My clients are people who have been let down by the Welfare System and, based on the current economic and political climate,  you can imagine the complexity of my days. Stress doesn’t even begin to sum it up however this is equally balanced by the elation of righting a wrong in the system for someone who otherwise may not be in a position to challenge the system.

Change is an interesting experience. Over the last couple of weeks I have realised though that I am now ready to leave, move on, move over and let someone else fill my shoes. I have been going through the process of finishing things off, packaging them up and handing them over.  It feels great!

I also made a mental note to start packing a box of some of the personal things I have on my desk or on my wall. Looking around though I did have to smirk though …… two things in particular on the wall above my desk made me smile.

One is instructions on “How to Jump from a Moving Train” (with diagram instructions included), the other is a little postcard from the Mental Health Foundation that says “ARE YOU CLOSE TO BOILING POINT? – DON’T LET ANGER GET THE BETTER OF YOU”. Clearly the previous occupant of my office knew a thing or two about the job I was taking on and decided to leave these two little samples as needed guidance.

I will confess that over the years in this job anger has got the better of me. I have to say though I’ve never needed the instructions on how to jump out of a moving train.

I cautiously note thought that still have one week to go, so you never know.




And we’re off ……

Oh it’s so nice to be back in Blogland again.

I used to write and it is very nice to be back with this wee blog.  The next part of my journey.

So the title of my blog.  Well I chose it because it just made sense, a play on ‘damsel in distress’.  I am not in distress, well not today anyway, but I fully acknowledge that life can be tough.  When my life is tough I write.

I try to write with humour, because that’s how I choose to see life, especially in the tough times.  I try to write with passion, because I’m a pretty passionate fiery Scottish gal.  I try to write with relevance and honesty, because what is the point otherwise?  Above all I try to write.  That is not always easy in a busy life but I make time and I miss it when I am not writing.

I really hope that you will follow my journey.

So where am I now?  Well, I am about to embark on a new challenge.  A management post with a leading charity.  It will take me on a new adventure.  Along the way I will share with you my adventures.

I would very much like it if you would climb on board.  There is no in flight meal, safety instructions, headphones or toilet facilities.  There is however honesty and fun abound.  Please fasten your seatbelts and put your seat in the upright position!

The ONLY way is up.