Looking back and forward

I woke up this morning in reflective mood I was the same last week when the holiday was over but more so this week as it truly marks a time of going back to reality and November, January and February are my least favourite months of the year so much dark and grey and too little of blue skies and the sun and even the garden seems to give in to the hibernation of this season.

So in order to sort out my feelings and thoughts I took myself and my daughter off for a walk and this is the result of my thoughts which I just had to write down part cleansing of 2010 and mostly to put myself in a positive frame to face the challenges and the opportunities of 2011.

On the 31st December my husband and I reflected on the year 2010.  For him it wasn’t a good year and he is very much looking forward to 2011 with lots of ideas and resolutions for the year ahead.  For me 2010 was a much better year than 2009 when the realities of the current economy hit me with a huge reality check and like many businesses all over the country we fought hard just to keep ourselves above water and not sink.  In 2010 business has not been easy but it has seen a steady growth again and I have in the process of the last two years learnt many lessons both personally and in my business life that will stay with me now for life.  But I would agree with my husband that 2010 has continued to be an up hill struggle financially and each month of the year has brought its own worries as that unexpected car bill hits you or heating bill or as in December your deposit for a holiday cottage in Arran goes to pay the plumber when your heating breaks with a frozen pipe.  That was a low point for me as I had been dreaming for months of returning to my childhood haunt and later romantic haunt for my husband and myself. 

But we reflected also on the positives of 2010 and that for me was an interesting thing to do.  My number one highlight is my kids.  For  my daughter her School report in November .  My daughter since she went to school has given 100% and worked hard at everything that she does.  But she has struggled to achieve success despite the effort that she has put in and that as a mother is hard to watch.  In P5 though it has come together for her and she has started to shine particularly at her drama and writing and as I sat there and heard what the teachers had to say I nearly broke down and cried I was so pleased for her.  Then seeing my shy little girl act her heart out as Daisy the Cow in the school play I was so so proud to see her talents show and see her joy in making people laugh.  My son also works very hard at school and his reading is fantastic and it is wonderful to hear him read to himself after his bedtime story each night.  He has grown this year into a caring football mad wee boy who makes me very proud to be his mum and has opened my eyes into the world of football and sport like no one else could with his passion and enthusiasm for it.  I have also enjoyed seeing him change from a child who disliked walks into a child who marches up hills and fells and it is me now who falls behind.

Another highlight for me in 2010 was getting our cocker spaniel pup.  He has brought chaos to our lives, eaten up a good part of my underwear and two good pairs of shoes but he has given us unconditional love and through this winter forced me out for walks and I feel so much better for it.

The garden for me has also been a highlight of 2010.  It has been the place in the house that has given me most joy over the year and where I want to be on a spring, summer or autumn day.  The fresh vegetables and the Poppy in full red bloom on a wet day and my rose-bush have been particular gifts but overall spending time in it and seeing it grow and mature has made me become a garden addict.

Days spent with my family have been highlights of the year.  Walks above the fells in the Lake District, walks along the Tweed, a beach trip to Coldingham with fish and chips in Eyemouth and a trip to Holy Island.  Plus two weekends stand out one a trip to see the Glasgow Boys in September home to my home city to see Mother Glasgow and to sample the delights of the food and atmosphere in Cafe Gandolfi and secondly a very precious weekend away with my husband to the Lake District in December.

Lastly 2010 brought a re newed joy in where I live.  I love this small corner of the world and never stop pinching myself at my fortune at living in the Scottish Borders and particularly the village of St Boswells.  My sense of belonging to this village has grown this year as my walks with the  4 -5 village mums have continued each day and as a family we have become more and more part of village life.  It is a valuable commodity in life to feel that you belong and I do feel that we do here.  So it felt right to say goodbye to the old year and bring in the New Year with dear friends and then at the hoolie in the hall.  And as the balloons fell from the ceiling  down at the bells welcoming in a New Year my heart was full that I was where I should be home in the Scottish Borders.

So New Year is a time of looking back it is also a time of looking forward and forward I do.  My aspirations for 2011 are for each member of my wee family.

For our pup I wish him a good second year of life, plenty of good walks and lots of love and hope that he chews less and behaves a bit more in 2011 but that he continues to provide us with joy and love and lots of laughs.

For my daughter I wish and hope that she will continue to grow that she will continue to work hard in all that she does and that she will find her talents grow and that she will find great joy in that.  I wish lots of reading time for her and her imagination will soar as far as she will allow it.  I wish for her more confidence out with the home as she realises that it’s not just her family who value and care for her.  And finally as she would want it I wish her lots of cuddles.

My son I wish for him that he would continue to grow and mature.  That he would continue to enjoy the things that bring him joy such as playing for the St Boswells football team and watching sport of any kind.  I wish that he would continue to be the very caring child that he is and that his ability to make me and others laugh with his wicked sense of humour would bring a laugh to many a face.

For me I wish less worry about the things that might happen but most likely won’t.  I wish for me to take joy in the current and in my family, friends and surroundings.  I wish for less shopping and a continued appreciation of what is in my house and less keeping things for good and more wearing and using what I have.  I wish for Bright Light Marketing to continue to grow and mature making our clients stand out from the crowd and getting rural businesses noticed.  I wish for lots of happy times spent with family and if money allows a holiday.

For my husband I wish that his hard work pays off and he gets the rewards that he deserves.  I wish for him lots of relaxing times in the garden and lots of walks but most of all I wish and hope that 2011 is a year that his dreams come true.

For my husband and I its now over a decade since we first came to the decision to live in the Scottish Borders over the millennium New Year.  We stayed at the cottage at Merton Bridge by the Tweed with my brother and sister – in – law and over the course of that weekend decided that this was where we wanted to live and start a family.  We were there as part of the Land, the Light and the Locals and one part of this festival was a New Year walk which took us to Dryburgh Abbey.  There Hilary Bell sang a song which touched both of us to our core.  For me it summed up what I had wanted to do since I was a small child and discovered the joys of the countryside.  For my husband it was to recapture his childhood in rural Stirlingshire.  The song was by the poet Roger Quinn and its titled “My Borderland”.  We hadn’t listened to it for a long time but last night we put it on and once more I was captured by the words and the sentiment but even more so as now I have lived here for over a decade a decade which has given us a daughter and a son and a love and appreciation of this small part of the world.  So I leave this blog post with the words of My Borderland and wish you all a very happy new year and hope that you make your wishes and aspirations for 2011 come true.

The Borderland

By Roger Quinn

From the moorland and the meadows
To this city of the shadows
While I wander old and lonely  comes the call I understand
In clear, soft tones enthralling
It is calling – calling – calling,
‘Tis the Spirit of the Open from my dear old Borderland

Ah that call! Who can gainsay it?
To hear is to obey it;
I must leave the bustling city to the busy men-
Leave behind its feverish madness,
Its scenes of sordid sadness;
And drink the unpolluted air of Yarrow once again!

For the grim, huge city daunts me,
Its wail of sorrow haunts me-
A nameless atom tossed amidst the human surf that beats!
For ever and forever,
In a frenzy of endeavour
Along the cruel barriers of its never-ending streets!

I shall leave it in the morning –
Just slip out without warning
Save a hand-clasp to the friend who knows the call that lures me on;
In the City’s clang and clatter
One old man the less won’t matter;
And no one here will say me nay, or care that I am gone.

What though my wallet’s meagre?
That won’t quell my spirit eager –
Like careless-hearted Goldsmith when he wandered by the Po,
Whichever way I turn me,
My simple flute will earn me
In the kindly Border country, food and shelter as I go.

I shall see old Neidpath hoary,
With its grim romantic glory,
And soon have glimpses through the trees of ghostly grey Traquair;
And in my happy wand’ring
Adown the Tweed meand’ring
Shall note the Peel and Ashiestiel and onward to the Yair

By Caddonfoot, I’ll linger –
It has charms to stay the singer –
And from the bridge a painter’s dream of beauty then I see;
But I’ll leave it there behind me,
Ere the evening shadows find me
Passing the vines at Clovenfords and onward to the Yair.

Gala Water shall not hold me –
Tho’ its mem’ries fair enfold me –
Nor many-gabled Abbotsford, so stately and so still;
For I’llhasten to the vision
Of a valley fair, Elysian,
And gaze on Scotland’ Eden from the spur of Gala Hill.

Ah me! Shall I recapture
The early joyous rapture
Which shook my being’s pulses when that scene first met my eye?
Steeped in old Border story
It stretched in radiant glory,
To where the filmy Cheviots hung along the southern sky.

Fair Dryburgh and Melrose’,
Touched by the Wizard’s spell, rose
And Bemersyde and Leaderfoot and Elwyn’s Fairy Dene;
The Tweed serenely gliding,
Now seen – now coyly hiding,
While Eildon raised his triple crest and sentinelled the scene.

The spell – the dream is over;
I awake but to discover
The city’s rush – the jostling crowds – the din on every hand;
But on my ear soft falling,
I can hear the curlew calling,
And I know that soon I’ll see them in the dear old Borderland.



About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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