Friday 8th February
A gentle day greeted us this morning on Arran. Not a puff of wind to be had anywhere. One of those days when the sea meets the sky in hues of blue and grey and almost forces you to spend some time contemplating.
I have had a contemplative 24 hours or so. Yesterday morning my lovely friend, Elaine, text me to say that she had just had to have her beloved dog, Abby, put to sleep. Abby had been poorly for some time and Elaine knew the time had come. Sadly, she was on her own as her husband was away and her daughter at work. 'Brave Elaine', as Max now calls her, did the right thing by Abby but we are all more than a little sad. Losing a much loved family pet is hard and we send all our love to Elaine, Callum and Hannah.
Yesterdays post was about my creative process as I had had some requests on my facebook page to tell readers more about what I do. At the end of the post I wanted to recommend the work of a special lady whose career I have followed for many years. Jane Lindsey runs her craft company, Snapdragon, from her home near Loch Lomond. Jane and I have a great deal in common as she too loves flowers and is also committed to ethical manufacturing.
Once I had finished my blog I went on Jane's facebook page to give her the link so she could see what I had written. To my complete horror I saw a post that revealed that Jane had been a victim of cyber bullying. This both enraged and saddened me as I consider those people the biggest cowards in the modern world. I sent Jane a message of support and supplied the link so she could see what I had said about her and her lovely work. Jane had a great deal of support on her facebook page and this came as no surprise to me but she still found time to thank me.
In this second I stopped. I realised that I had stumbled across a way to celebrate my 2000 page views. Given that it has only taken 37 days to reach this number I am going to do 37 acts of kindness over the next month or so. I have given this some considerable thought. I do not want my readers to think I am not otherwise a kind person but my life moves on at such a pace that some potential acts of kindness get lost. This challenge will force me to make time to act on the kind thoughts that often flash through my mind and re then gone.
When I started this writing assignment I could not have imagined the outcomes that have already presented themselves to me. I have quite decided that I am not going to plan for too much in relation to this blog and I am going to let things come to me. My 37 acts of kindness might be a drop in the ocean of kindness that the world should embrace but they will all be genuine and, I think, that is the most important aspect of this new challenge.
I am starting tomorrow - Saturday 8th February - and I have included a new page at the top of the blog that will record what these acts are without naming the recipient. I will also try to keep you all up to date on this daily blog.
The Arran Banner newspaper is out as it is Friday again! Headlines are about the relatively high cost of fuel which remains an outrage. Sharing the front page is the excellent work of Arran Trust who have awarded the Arran beekeepers some money to support their quest to re-introduce the Scottish Black Bee to Arran. Regular readers of my blog will know how much I would welcome this.
We have a local man, Calum McNicol in a team attempting to row across the Atlantic in 30 days and he is very much on course to break this world record. We are made of strong stuff up here! A much nicer letter was published telling us that Arran is, indeed, a welcoming place and Visit Scotland are looking to recruit someone to do just that by welcoming visitors to the island. Perfect!
Can I tempt you to a traditional Burns supper at various locations on the island? You will, no doubt, get to eat Haggis.... I was pleased to see that 'Discos' still feature in the social calendar of the island and I might be tempted to join in that particular event. There are posters all over the island at the moment looking for male singers. We appear to have a distinct shortage on the island and that will never do. I also noticed that that Aga is still for sale.....
I am off to do my first act of kindness and I feel a genuine excitement over it. I had a brief discussion with Max about it as he is naturally so kind and he approved so I must be on the right track. I do wish all of you a lovely weekend.
Until tomorrow. xx
Picture is of Lochranza castle, one of my favourite places on the island. xx