Sunday, 26 July 2009

My Holiday Thank You

I can't believe I've been away from home since 1st May when Partner-who-loves-Tea first chauffeured me down to stay with Daughter-who-takes-Photos and Friend-who-loves-Otters.

Then Brother-who-Blogs took me from Devon all the way up the Isle of Lewis to stay with him.

Partner-who-loves-Tea has come up to Lewis this week and we leave the Island next Monday. It will be July 28th when I get home.

Three months away. Three months during which Partner had big health issues to cope with; the television packed up; the drains collapsed and various other crises occurred back home on Merseyside. I love the Isle of Lewis and I'm not anxious to go back but it will be good to see Son-who-watches-Films; the garden; my desktop computer; the pollution; the traffic; the weeding; the doctor; and all the bills that have come in..... Well, the first three of those!

I shall miss -
The people.
The sea.
The sky.
The flowers.
The insects.
The birds.
The boats.
And so much else that the Isle of Lewis has to offer.

So, a big thank you to all those who made me so welcome in Devon and then up here in the Outer Hebrides - especially, of course, my hosts: Helen and Ian and GB. I am pretty reclusive by nature. (Actually I'm not pretty at all - just reclusive.) When GB moved to the Western Isles 35 years ago I remember feeling horrified that people didn't have doorbells or knockers; neighbours or visitors just opened the door (never locked whether you were in or out) and called out ' Hello' as they came in. Nowadays doors are often locked when you go out but that is more to satisfy insurance companies than to actually prevent crime. In other respects the neighbourly system remains the same. Over the last couple of years I have not only grown used to it but actually find it enjoyable. The folk who drop in are friends and neighbours of GB's who I am now also pleased to call friends.

And, most important of all, an even bigger thank you to Jo for allowing me the freedom to play for three months. Despite working hard while I'm enjoying myself, Jo has been pleased on my behalf that I've had such a good break. It's quite a special thing to have a partner who lets you do these things; and it's even more special having one who does so uncomplainingly and with such fortitude and even takes you to and collects you from your destination; coping with all the issues that running a house, keeping down a job (or jobs!) and looking after a youngster involve. So a very big


  1. What a wonderful relationship you two must have! She sounds like a very special person to be so pleased for you to be enjoying yourself. She obviously loves you to pieces.
    I am so happy to see your post, SS, and would like to think that it means you are feeling well enough to do it!
    Thank you for showing us around Lewis while you've been there. I've enjoyed reading every day!

  2. Hi John,

    Thank you too - for bringing the sunshine with you. Today, the day before you leave, it is raining so please don't take it make to Merseyside with you. It has been a pleasure to have you over here. We shall miss your humour when you go.

    It was just lovely to meet Jo - she certainly is a very special person.

    Please come back and see us soon.

    Lots of love - Pat x

  3. Really glad you've had such a wonderful few months. Looking forward to your next visit, xxx

  4. John,

    Collapsing at the computer does not give you liberty not to blog - No! Get writing, and chronicling, and photographing...

    We'll be here when you get back!

    Seriously, keep well, and your holiday has been such a boon to us too - Jo is saintly, and very lovely - You two are lucky to have found one another in life... Hugs...

  5. I hope you are ok now and I think you have a wonderful partnership; one to treasure!!

  6. Wonderful post and obviously also wonderful partner! :)

    And thanks for sharing all those wonderful photos from the Hebrides with the rest of the world!

  7. She sounds like a gem. Safe travels home.

  8. You are indeed blessed - as are we that you share your travels with us.

  9. How lovely to find and read your blog. I was surfing the net, looking for info on writer Gladys Taber, when I found your site. I have just added it to my favourites list. I love the idea of a book a week. Would love to put it into practice but probably won't. Sometimes reality intrudes! Do hope all is going well now, and that you will soon be back on line regularly. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. Though I was born in Canada, I am married to an Englishman and love GB with all my heart. Right now we live in Seattle but try to get back to the UK as often as we can to see famiy and friends. Have never been to the island of Lewis, but it sounds fascinating. Take care, and God bless you and all your family. Canadian chickadee.

  10. You are very welcome, Brother. I shall miss you. I expect you to be back next year!

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Thanks for all your kind comments and thanks, Carol, for the Taber offer. I shall e-mail you separately.

  13. John you will be really missed. I will miss your amazing pictures and your humour. We never did get a picture of Graham in the pond!!!!!! Was nice to meet Jo, she is lovely. Take care and both have safe journey back home. See you next year xxx

  14. This is the comment I deleted -- without the personal information :-

    I sent a comment earlier today, signed Canadian chickadee, and I just thought of something I wanted to add.

    I was very impressed by your five-star review of Gladys Taber's book "Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge". Taber's books have always been favourites of mine and it's good to meet another fan.

    I wondered if you would be interested in any of her other titles? Taber's books have been out-of-print for many years and I'm not sure how many titles are carried by your local library.

    However, I have a spare copy of "The Stillmeadow Road" (c. 1959-62) and an extra copy of "Still Cove Journal" (c. 1979-80) the last book Taber wrote. The books came to me from the estate of a writer friend. If you would like to have the two books, I would be happy to post them to you at no charge.

    Of course to do that, I need an address, so I guess I'd better give you mine first:
    (removed for Carol's safety)
    If you would like to have the two books I mentioned, just e-mail me and I will post them to you at no charge. We Taber fans must stick together!

    By the way, I have to send this to you as if it were anonymous, because I am such a techno-klutz I can't figure out how to set up a google account! Pains me to admit it, but there you are.

    Best regards, Carol Lake


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