Rannoch Moor

Wild highland hills
Clothed in purple hue.
Bitter winds scattering clouds,
Bracken brown and sodden,
Rainbow in a boisterous sky.
All the scents and sounds
Of an ancient land
Clothed in history.

The mystery of darkening glens
The mist rising over the moor.
Ghosts of legend whispering by,
Snow capped peaks
Forbidding in the gloming.
Stones of a ruin lying forlorn.
Desolation in a wintry landscape.
Timeless land filled with memories.


Purple Heather

My love is like the purple heather
That blooms so free and fine
My love is like a silken tether
That binds my heart and thine.

My love is like the purple heather
So fast and strong and true
And heedless of life’s stormy weather
My life is bound to you.

My love is like the purple heather
So let it grow and mature
And thrive ‘spite earth’s thrawn endeavours
Loves faithfulness endures.


For Janice

My dear friend lay, pale and drawn. Her poor little arms and legs looked so thin and fragile yet her abdomen was swollen. The shadows under her eyes spoke of pain-filled restless nights and still she turned now this way, now that, in an effort to find ease. I sat down and held her hand. “ I’m scared, I don’t want to die, there is so much I still need to do. What about my family, how will they cope?”I felt her fear and anxiety and wished in that moment I could spare her this ordeal. Of the many journeys we had taken together this one she had to take alone. I would, of course, be there for her and her family, help in whatever way I could, feeling helpless and frustrated and knowing that, whatever any of us did, it would not be enough. In came other visitors and immediately the smile was on her face and the play began; the one where everybody is trying to be cheerful and hopeful and talk about everything and anything as long as it is not this awful reality. As I sat and watched them my mind went back to better days, happier days when –
We rented a cottage on a small Island off the West Coast of Scotland. It was a beautifully restored former school house in a picturesque tiny fishing village. The window to the front offered an uninterrupted view of the ocean. The weather that summer was unusually good and we enjoyed day after day of warm, sunny weather. My friend and I along with a mutual friend, away from all the cares and responsibilities of our usual lives, reverted to being girls again . We dined al fresco on the patio under the shade of a brightly coloured parasol. Fresh, crisp, aromatic bread, creamy butter, favourite cheeses and meat, all tasted so much the better for the beauty of the day, the scenery, and the company. We walked along beaches picking up interesting shapes of shells and colours of stone. We found a piece of driftwood that resembled a fish and wrote our names on it using a piece of limestone we had found and asked a passer-by to take a picture of us by the plaque. I have it in my possession now, a captured precious memory. We walked forest paths, walked beside little streams and waded in shallow pools , and talked and talked and laughed, a lot of laugher.
Another time at a church social we became “The Spice Girls-Forty Years On”. We each dressed up as one of the Spice Girls, bearing in mind at this point we were all in our fifties and, for the act, we each sported either a walking stick or a zimmer. We had made up a silly dance to one of their hits and we brought down the house. I was Baby Spice complete with a blond wig made from strands of cream yarn, and cuddled a teddy bear, and my friend was Sporty Spice dressed in baggy street trousers and backward baseball cap. People cried with laughter and still talk of it.
So many good memories of wonderful times shared by the very best of friends. But now she lies, a non-smoker, dying of stage 4 lung cancer with secondaries in her bones, getting ready to undergo her first radiation treatment, followed by chemotherapy. “We can’t cure you. This is only palliative treatment” the doctors told her, and left, leaving her to the smashed pieces of her life. “ I will fight it all I can,” she said. I will fight by your side with my prayers, my presence, all the love, compassion and empathy I possess, dear friend. I wish her to live long, for all the dreams she has that are yet unfulfilled, for her devastated family and the grandchildren yet unborn, for all the future laughter and tears of our friendship, but not if it means selfishly prolonging her suffering. There are times in life when the greatest testimony to love is to let go.



Your much loved face so worn with care
I visit in my mind today
I miss so much your fun and flair
Your energy and kindly way.
Your hair now shot with silver thread
The grey eyes tired in their place
A blessing on your ancient head
A victor in the world’s last race.
                        Your cheeks now pale and heavy lined
                        The strength of character always there
                        Stares out at me and fills my mind
                        And gives me refuge from all care.
                        When I in turn do this road take
                        My mother’s steps I wish to tread
                        Then in my turn an example make
                        Now I am mother in her stead.

On His Death

Tall and blond with eyes of blue
California boy in every way
His heart and soul and love so true
I miss your presence here today.
As time passed on disease took hold
I watched you change from day to day
A tragedy to soon unfold
I saw you change and waste away.
Battered shadow life barely there
A broken man in every way
Yet spirit and soul though full of care
Stilled shone and glowed with fire that day.
I took your hand and held you close
I whispered of my love for you
The man I knew and loved the most
Drift softly away like morning dew.
I knew not fully what was lost
Nor yet the loneliness to come
I cannot measure what it cost
Am left bereft and sorrow numb.
A hope I have in time to come
The man I once did hold so dear
Will once again new time begun
Rejoin with me and banish tear.

Ode to a Pylon

pylonTo A Pylon
You’re Albion’s ruin, landscape’s demise,
You stand like giants against open skies,
Most brutal of forms that none can disguise
You ravage our view.
You intrude, you spoil, you loom, you tower,
You buzz and splutter, menace and lour,
But day by day you bring us our power
Though your friends are few.
Always prosaic, never poetic,
Hardly graceful, scarcely balletic,
Lenin, alone, once found you aesthetic,
You mis-shapen hulk.
From Barry to Cwmbran, from Torness to Leith
You cut a crude swathe across forest and heath
With little regard for what lies beneath
Your lumbering bulk.
From Hinckley to Bristol, from Drax to Leeds
You stride over cornfields, orchards and meads
To harness the voltage that industry needs
By day and by night.
Yet streetlamps, hospitals, factories, schools,
Laptops, cookers, televisions and tools
Rely on your plenteous gigajoules –
So let there be light!

Cotillo Beach Hotel, El Cotillo, Fuerteventura

Cotillo Beach Hotel, El Cotillo, Fueteventura

 My husband and I booked this hotel on an all-inclusive basis having looked at other reviews here.  We needed  a cheap, relaxing sunny break to give us some relief from theUKwinter.  We were very pleased with all aspects if the holiday.  The resort is small and very quiet off season. This suited us, but if you are looking for shops, pubs or clubs you would be better to choose a bigger resort.

This hotel is set around a rectangular court yard with the swimming pool, plenty of loungers and chairs and tables in the middle. It is all very pretty and well maintained. The restaurant serves a wide variety of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. When the restaurant is not open snacks are available in the bar.  The food caters for a variety of Nationalities. There were British, French, Spanish Italians and Germans in the Hotel when we were there.  The chef cooks some variety of fresh fish or meat each lunch and dinner time.  The coffee is delicious and if you want to you can drink alcohol continually from 10am-11pm!

The hotel is on the edge of the town a few yards from the coast and at the bus terminal if you want to take a trip to Corralejo. There are some lovely coastal walks and a wide variety or plants & birds to spot nearby.  The hotel has tennis, table tennis darts and various other activities organised. There was always something on in the evenings. Sometimes karaoke, bingo or live entertainment

The staff are all really friendly & helpful. They are extremely hard working and could not have been more helpful.

If I wanted to nit-pick I would tell you that as the staff cover the dining room and bar at the same time we sometimes had to wait quite a long time (several minutes) to be served in the bar if we went in during mealtimes and the puddings were very similar throughout our stay, but these things are very minor. 

We had a lovely holiday and would certainly go back to this hotel.