Blue January…

There’s a lot of media attention around ‘Blue January’, it’s a time to be thoroughly depressed about, well everything! I don’t subscribe to being told what to feel and when but I do believe in ‘Blue January’, for me it’s the chance to absorb the blueness all around. Caithness is  the perfect place to do this as we’re completely surrounded by sea and sky. Bring on the blues…

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My boys also benefit, the sea has such a calming effect and they never refuse a quick stopover at the beach after school. The sky is being explored more than ever, a wonderful xmas present of a telescope from a favourite aunt, now we just have to work out how to best capture the Aurora Borealis!

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‘Smell the sea, feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly’ Van Morrison.

#myspecialplace

Happy New Year! We had a wonderful time travelling South to Dorset to see family, and enjoyed several pit stops along the way to see friends. All in all, a fabulous Christmas but I was very keen to make sure I was home for Hogmanay (Scottish New Year).

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With the dawning of a new year, new adventures are on the horizon. D finishes his phd, cannot wait to call him Doctor D! Number 1 son embarks on a whole new chapter, starting High School in the summer. As a family, we are busy putting the final plans together for our Bunkhouse #mostnortherlyhostel. I am full of positive thoughts for 2017 and although I cannot remember who said it, my mantra for the year is ‘faith and fear cannot co-exist’, so I’m placing all my faith in exciting, productive and fun times ahead.

Highland Hygge-ing

Tis the season… for having friends over. I had a wonderful evening celebrating my birthday with friends, the theme was ‘French Kiss’ and I went to town on the menu and the decor. Alas, it was too much for my highland lovelies, with 2 falling asleep during the movie, but it reminded me of how important getting together, eating,laughing and sharing is.

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Tis the season…for long walks on the beach. Well maybe not always long. When the weather is just that little bit too nippy then a brisk walk and a long warm up in front of the fire will suffice.

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Tis definitely the season… for cooking. I love trying new winter recipes, sweet or savoury, it really lifts my mood. I feel best when I eat well, and my go to dish for these long winter months…the Buddha bowl. Although its still a little bit hard core for my boys, more experimentation needed!

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Armed with my hygge  essentials (gorgeous birthday treats), and a good dose of singing, yoga and home improvement, tis the Hygge season, and I embrace it!

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‘Winter..time to gather golden moments, embark on a sentimental journey & enjoy every idle hour’- John Boswell.

 

 

Amsterdam Awareness.

Its been a couple of craazy weeks since we returned from our Autumn excursion to Amsterdam. The city hasn’t changed much since I last visited 4 years ago, except this visit did have one major addition…my children! Experiencing Amsterdam through my boys’ eyes made me question the idea of mindfulness in children.

I was keen to spend my days walking the streets, looking through windows at the beautiful Dutch interiors (they don’t close their curtains!). My boys, on the other hand, not so keen.They did however suggest a canal trip, which I had never done before. Far from it being touristy and tacky, it made me look at the streets from a whole new perspective.

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I was so keen to instil culture into our visit, that I planned trips to a couple of art galleries, as well as visiting the Botanical Gardens and Nemo ( the Science Centre). Alas when it came down to it, my boys favourite activity was avoiding getting soaked in the fountains outside the Rembrandt Museum.

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An activity deemed so good, we went back several times! To hear my children giggling so unreservedly, made me realize that children do not need to be taught mindfulness… they always exist in the moment! And with that , my yearning to travel on new adventures had made way for excitement at getting home and starting the ultimate adventure.

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‘Children see magic because they look for it’- Christopher Moore

Autumn Leaves…

I miss trees! I miss seeing the rain beating off leaves, I watched wistfully in my student days in Glasgow.I miss the cherry blossom that lined the  streets in Leith were I lived for 12 years. I even miss the tree swinging of my youth from our old pear tree and the glut of fruit in late summer. But I miss the falling of leaves the most. The shift from the lush green to the jewelled red,burnt orange and the almost flourescent yellow.

Instead of pinning after leafy loveliness, I’ve decided to set a new focus for my Highland Autumn. 1) appreciate being able to have bonfires with a nice mug of soup. 2) Make more soup!                                                                                                                                                                                     20160904_1748571

3) More crafternoons,  I must use my creativity to turn my beach finds into something rather than let them sit looking pretty.

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4) Embrace ‘hygge’ to its full extent…candles, blankets, cosy fires,hot chocolate, homebaking and more gatherings with friends.

sepoct-2016-008My own Autumn leave beckons,  and  the best city to experience this glorious season…Amsterdam.

  ‘Autumn teaches us how beautiful it is to let things go’.

Mayhem and Mindfulness.

What a hectic couple of weeks we’ve had…kids back to school, the twins turning 6, our 15th wedding anniversary, not to mention the start of the singing group (rather more apropriately called The Mey Melody Makers!).By way of celebration, we held a Viking Feast…

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September holds a mix of feelings that come with the changing of seasons, the sadness of saying goodbye to long summer evenings coupled with the warm glowing feeling that Autumn instils. My walks on the beach are not over, if anything I embrace the North’s blustery, freezing wind and feel envigorated in a way I don’t experience any other time of year.

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‘ some remember the fire, for me it was the rush of wind that fed the flames’ JmStorm.

Go to the Sea.

This morning I found a piece on Facebook  ‘ Go to the water ‘ by Elizabeth Gilbert that pretty much summed up how I feel… With 4 small boys to run after, I do get overwhelmed with the day-to-day. I am lucky enough to be able to go to the beach when I need some calm. I look for sea glass or driftwood, I listen to the waves, I dip my toes in the water (hardened Highlander that I am!). I utilise all the sea offers and am thankful for it.

(I wish it could have been a movie, alas I don’t have a high tech blog!) . My children also benefit from the healing powers of the sea. As a parent of an eleven year old, I find that the distraction of the sea and its treasures (he’s taken on my love of sea glass), can calm the most confused of minds. As for the 3 amigos, well, they can devise a game, song, or bug hotel pretty much anywhere!

Lastly D.W, who after a long day researching for his phd, can be found out the front of the house, admiring the view. Not for much longer though, our final days of summer are upon us and we’ll soon be looking inward rather than outward for comfort. The sea might not be as accessible over the autumn/winter but we always have the sky!

‘ I have seen the sea,when it is stormy & wild,when it is calm & serene, when it is dark and moody, & in all it’s moods, I see myself ‘ Martin D Buxbaum.