A wobble. And a thank you.

I had my first wobble this week.

It wasn’t so much an oh-my-goodness-I’ve-moved-to-the-other-side-of-the-world wobble as it was a damn-these-hormones-and-the-long-list-of-things-to-do-and-why-isn’t-there-any-chocolate-in-the-house wobble.

But it was a wobble, nonetheless.

So I did what any self-respecting woman would do in that situation. I drank too much wine, cried a lot and had an early night.

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Old friends and whisky

Jura Whisky 16 years old

I learnt a new word this weekend. Diurach.

Diurach is the Gaelic name for someone from the Isle of Jura, and I was lucky enough to have three of them staying with me this weekend (although one of them – a friend who I have known for twenty-five years – is a Hearach like me. But Harris is happy to let Jura borrow her for a wee while…) Continue reading

International Women’s Day 2013

It is International Women’s Day on Friday.

Last year, I marked it on my blog with a post about Save the Children’s campaign to give women around the world access to reproductive health care.

This year, my thoughts have stayed a little closer to home, and I’ve decided to acknowledge some of the many incredible women who have had a direct impact on my life.

I started the post thinking I would just mention one or two, but as I started writing I found myself overwhelmed – in a good way – and I couldn’t even begin to narrow it down like that.

Women get a lot of stick sometimes, for their cattiness or for being seen as too competitive. True enough, there are some rotten ones out there… but there are also some incredible communities of women who support and nurture each other, and they are far more worthy of our attention. I count myself very lucky that in my life so far the good eggs have outweighed the stinkers by far.

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heart made of leaf

I’ve been pondering the notion of friendship a lot recently, and admitting to myself how hard it sometimes is to have your friends scattered all over the world as we do.

I had a lovely Skype chat with a friend in Australia the other day. I used to schedule those chats for a time when DorkySon was here, but now I wait and do it while he’s at nursery, otherwise the entire hour is taken up by him showing off all the cars in his toybox. We usually manage to catch up every couple of months, and it’s always great to hear how she is settling into her new life, how work is going and all the rest of it. But it’s not quite the same as when we used to sit and watch a chick flick together with a bottle of wine and a pizza. It’s especially hard when there are big things going on in each other’s lives. Celebrating good news (or commiserating about bad news) several weeks after the fact, via computer screen, doesn’t feel quite as effective as an in-person hug!
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The Book I’d Like to Write: 373 Friends

person using smartphone to look at Facebook

At the last count, I had 373 Facebook friends.

There is more than sixty years difference between my youngest and oldest friends. A dozen of them are related to me. There are seven Sarahs, and three Tims, but only one Wendy.

Some of them are people I went to school or university with, and some of them are former colleagues. There are a lot of fellow mums, journalists, and poets. Three of them are people with whom I shared a tent on the Arctic ice sheet. A small handful of them are people I know through online communities – parenting and photography – who I’ve never actually met.

My friends include several MSPs, one MP, and a former US Congressman. One of my friends made news around the world for disrupting Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the Jewish Federation General Assembly, while another once superglued themselves to a British Prime Minister. One of my friends has featured in a Blackberry advert, and one of them turned down the opportunity to go on Oprah. Continue reading