I’ve never really been one for the camera on my phone, but since I acquired one of those silly apps that makes everything look like 1975, it has suddenly become much more interesting. Even when the Autumn light is pretty rotten (as it is at the moment) you can still get some quite appealing effects, and it is much easier for me to carry about than a heavy SLR. I am feeling much more perky today (hurrah), and have been out for a nice lunchtime ramble with Bruce around my locale. Here are a few shots from our familiar paths.

Trees in Victoria Park

One of Gormley’s Six Times, near Warriston

Cherry tree-lined path around St Marks. . .

. . .The Water of Leith

. . . sit . . .


Thanks for your comments on the previous post. I particularly appreciated what Debbie B and kblemay had to say. Also, a big thankyou to those of you who emailed me last night with the news that an o w l sweater had appeared on BBC4’s Only Connect. I really was ridiculously excited.

38 thoughts on “ramble

  1. Well, I haven’t visited in awhile and boy have I been missing out. I don’t know where to start, the deco (and your dress) are lovely. Your walking and hiking – amazing. Especially the photo of you and your husband. And if it is the hipstamatic app – I love mine as well. I am sorry you still have so many physical struggles.

    While reading your post about the fatique and headache where the stroke took place I was reminded of a line in the latest Karate Kid (I have four kids – so a must see in our family.) And one point J. Chan and J. Smith are talking and the comment is made that being still and doing nothing are two entirely different things. Which reminded me of when Moses was trying to get across the Red Sea and God told him to be still. Same type of still – that still that molds us into a bit more of who we are too become. The kind of still that is never easy no matter the form, the kind you are having to be forced to live out now.

    Many blessings to you.


  2. i keep remembering things we did we ran combs over my limbs to get the brain to make new connections not hard just enough that there was sensation which made nerves send message to the brain and the brain have to find some where new to process them (old places destroyed) which made the brain use a new area and massage (touch is the thing the combs work better for some reason but the massage feels way better do both)also hot and cold (not to hot) but put your leg and arm into a very warm bath then into a bowl of ice water repeat about ten times we did this a few times a week. and to be positive emotions are chemicals in the brain one type for positive and another for negative the negative actually slows the brain down (not good) but worse than that the brain will defult to the one most common (that’s why negative people just can;t seem to be positive they have huge amounts of those chemicals that carry negative messages around the brain and no positive they could change they just would have to put in the effort)
    BUILD POSITIVE PATHWAYS don’t allow negitive chemcals to build up in your brain this will quicken your recovery and as a bonus you will be a really happy positive person take control of you when feeling or thinking negativly just say no and think about positive things laugh this releases hormones (chemicals) into the brain that not only make you feel good but help the healing in the brain. who knew recovery could be so much fun. Seriously it’s really hard work it will be the hardest thing you have done but why can’t we make it fun I love that you climb Mountians that is the metaphor I have always used I’m climbing a mountain and some days the peak seems unreachable I turn and look how far I’ve come and maybe sit and rest a while be kind to myself and enjoy the view from where I am and that’s ok, happy climbing but most of all may you learn to be happy resting also.


  3. kate me again I forgot don’t get dehydrated the brain needs water to work properly so can’t if not enough water (most people live slightly dehydrated their whole lives) so carry water (remember you can have to much as well, I think it’s about 2 litres per day /8 standard glasses) and remember to google brain pathways you have lots of brain not affected by the stroke and you can activate it you of course will need to use a more physical method but don’t pass over the rote learning apparatly it is one of the best tools to wake the brain up (I can do a higher level mental maths than before!) lots of love and remember there’s always bad days but there are always GOOD ones as well with time the bad get less and less with the maths I also used timed sheets starting at about grade3-4 level and worked up to senior levels get them from education bookshop or prob. online happy recovery!!!


  4. The lovely spin-off of following your blog is reading comments from people like Shannon. I was very humbled. I really don’t know what else to say about it – It really blew me away – Bless you both.



  5. Penny quotes: “just like a proper jumper from a shop”. I had to chuckle. There was a time – long ago, when home made was the standard and store bought was the sub-standard. I can’t run the video either. :( too bad, I so wanted to see it. But Huzzah for o w l s! We’ll say we knew you when. :)


  6. hi kate unsure if i have commented before (bad memory) but I have always meant to I think you would be helped by my journey. 14 years ago I was a fit active amazing person (except I didn’t realize the amazing part) and went swimming in a public pool I contracted viral illnesses resulting in brain injury and physical losses. after many years of almost complete bed rest I found ways to quicken my recovery.
    change of diet: for some reason the illness made me unable to cope with wheat,gulten bearing grains, dairy products, alcohol, chemicals in food mostly preservitives (the stuff on dried fruit being the worst. the symptoms would be fatigue, brain fog confussion etc. before illness I could eat anything. Maybe try going off these foods and see how you go.
    avioding chemicals: because the body has enough (read more than enough) to do trying to recover, protecting it from extra strain makes a huge difference so cigg smoke (others around you) car, truck, factory fumes, perfumes deoderents after shave ect. garden and ag sprays and any others you can think of avioding them gives you body breathing space (lit) to put energy into recovery.
    building newpathways in the brain: you can google this before illness I had a photographic memory after I had nearly none I only remembered people I had known a long time I could not hold a conversation as could not remember the begining of a sentence by the time I got to the end (I lost 90% of my friends during this time) I discovered building pathways and started crawling (builds heaps of connections) times tables spelling, memory work (I used the psalms they also help with the hope you need to sustain you on such a difficult journey) and reading out loud:pslams and the little house books (Ihad young children) this built new pathways in the brain and now I have about 80% recovery of intelligence but only 50 60 % of memory (I also played concentration which the children loved as they could never beat me after illness they won every time!!) using your sticks is a great way to build new pathways as you are swinging your arms while moving your legs
    I moved: to the wild coast lots of fresh air and clean salt water in summer I walk in the water anything from ankle deep to mid thigh and from 5 minute to an hour it all depends on the day (weather sea conditions my health) this has made a huge difference yet I don’t know why (hey if its good enough for racehorses its good enough for me)
    followed the major advice the spec. gave me NEVER GET COLD NEVER GET TIRED NEVER GET HUNGRY in other words look after yourself take coats EVERYWHERE even in summer as SOON as you START feeling a bit tired REST don’t push though it your body can’t do that anymore (and I,ve learnt there’s always tomorrow) and give your body the fuel it needs to recover and to sustain that recovery it’s great advice (although not what you expect from one of the world’s major teaching hospitals!!)
    acceptance: the old you is gone and will in time become a pleasant memory rather than a painful one right now is a time to greive the loss of the old you and all her amazing abilities (bet you didn’t think you were amazing either) look at what you have and give thanks for that ( giving thanks is one if the most powerful thing a human can do) look to where you can go and how to get there. look for new things that the new you can do I have started to learn to knit from a pattern (how I found you) piano this is harder not the playing bit but remember and understanding all the written stuff. goals that will take years to get to you alrady have some of those I’ll bet and you most likely will get to them just don’t make them the focus of your life dancing would prob help you and provide lots of laughs put on the right music (something graceful) and dance around the house with your partner I bet you end up laughing (also very good for the healing process) it with held you brain remember smoothness of movement. you already are doing so well and remembering to smell the roses!!!!! I hope this helps in some way.


  7. I’m glad you had a perky day, I hope you get many more. One of these days when I’m in Edinburgh (we visit friends there as often as we can) I’m afraid I will have to stalk you and get you to teach me to knit more than knit one purl one, I love your designs.


  8. Why is no one else creeped out by the naked man in the water! I checked out photos of the sculpture elsewhere and it seems simple and peaceful but with the Hipstamatic it somehow reminds me of Marilyn Manson. Maybe just the 70’s in general creep me out. Glad to hear you are feeling more cheerful!


  9. Ha, ha, ha! As you said so 1975. Reminds me of the few photo’s that taken and developed using my sisters Instamatic. I love the way the blurry, colour rich photos are treasured even though they are awful.

    Glad to hear that you are feeling more energetic.


  10. Huzzah for days out and vintage photo apps! I am glad you’re out of your funk. Thank you so much for your pictures–our dog is learning stay, too, and your last picture perfectly captures that funny sit where the dog is leaning forward, just waiting for you to say “free!”


  11. So glad you are feeling perkier. I love the photos of Bruce! Our puppy doesn’t have anything like that good a ‘stay’ yet – must work on that.

    I really appreciate the accounts of your experience of stroke. My mother had quite a devastating stroke when I was in my early 20s and I took care of her for the remainder of her life. Apart from the emotional roller coaster it was fascinating to see her brain’s process of recovery. While she was far more disabled by her stroke than you are (and less diligent about rehab), I hope it will encourage you to know that she recovered lots more than the doctors predicted. She continued to regain skills and abilities for the rest of her life, in fact.


  12. Some of Mark’s friends were on “Only Connect.”

    I confess I was not as pleased by their appearance on this esteemed show as I was by the appearance of your O-W-L-S sweater.

    A true moment of glory.

    Even Joey – who is very uninterested in everything which isn’t a) tummyrub, b) Mark’s lap c) new eschalon of cute pose achieved – was very impressed by seeing your design on Only Connect.


    xXx Doktor Ford xXx


  13. at the point in my life when my problems became insoluble by human agency, i was advised to read the book of common prayer. as an atheist/agnostic this seemed pretty onerous, but less so than my problems. i was told to leave out the god and jesus parts and to observe the therapeutic and emotional transactions — well tested by time and terrible experience. this is the one i’ll never forget, from Prayers for Use by the Sick:

    =In the Morning=

    This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring
    forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I
    am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still,
    help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it
    patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.
    Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit
    of Jesus. =Amen.=

    the other one was the prayer for the right use of god’s gifts, that i might honor hir with my substance.


  14. I have a retro camera app on my Droid. It lets me choose from 5 different cameras, each with different effects. I love it! It’s so much fun to take pictures with it. I understand!


  15. Delighted to hear you are having a good day, thanks for sharing some of it. Bruce must be a joy to have and keep you company on both good days and bad.


  16. I am the owner of the o w l jumper in question and I’m glad you were pleased. It was much admired in the studio, and indeed by Victoria Coren, who commented that she was rather worried when she learned that I would be appearing in a jumper knitted by my mum, but in fact it was “just like a proper jumper from a shop” (her sense of humour is on the dry side).

    I will not pass on my mother’s comments on your pattern – it took her a long time, much unpicking and foul language, and the combined asistances of the entire Kent WI Crafty Crafters Guild – but to be fair, I think that’s just because she’d never knitted in the round before, and it did look lovely when finished, and she can now queen it over the rest of the WI because her handiwork has been on the telly. Suffice to say if I want an owlet jumper for my daughter I’m going to have to learn to knit it myself.

    Very best wishes.


  17. Beautiful photos. I passed that very sculpture the other day for the first time and was intrigued, but I had no idea there were 5 others. Thanks for the information – now I want to visit them all.


  18. Good to see you out and about again. Your photos just make me realise that I know less about this city than I really should given that I have lived here for more than 5 years now. Still, we managed to take our small people out for a lovely bike ride along the canal on Sunday, and explored parts that I have never seen before (including the vertigo inducing aquaduct above the water of leith at calder road). Yikes.

    And, your frank posts about what it’s like to live with fatigue and the aftermath of stroke are an invaluable insight.


  19. Love the effect on the photos, Bruce looks so wistful…”must I stay, when you’re all the way down there?
    Almost as if he can’t bear to be so separate from you, after all, you might need him!


  20. My phone’s camera has also become much more appealing now that I have one of those silly apps! I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling more perky today.

    Oh, and yes…the o w l sweater was very popular at Rhinebeck this year!


  21. Woot! Go o w l s. I must check that out on iPlayer (with MasterChef on the other channel there is just no competition as to what I tune into after University Challenge on Monday nights).


  22. I just got back from Rhinebeck/NYSW and I saw more o w l sweaters than any other single pattern. A friend and I agreed that it was definitely *the* sweater this year.


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