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R&R and playing guitar!

Evening, evening, evening - hope you're all having a good one.


I'm glad to be back with my blog tonight. I was talking to a friend about it yesterday saying how I had hoped to do it at the weekend but I just wasn't in the mood and, with things like this, you really do need to be in the mood to allow the thoughts and words to flow! Tonight, I'm feeling it!


I actually spent the weekend in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. With my eldest going to stay with a friend, I decided I would accompany her on the long drive and have a weekend of complete relaxation and that it was. I slept more hours in a bed than I have in a long time. My most comfortable sleeping position at home is on the couch, usually with a whippet beside me - anytime from mid evening (sometimes even mid afternoon) to 12.30 am. My husband despairs - he comes through to the living room to ask if I'm coming to bed - I wake up and don't even know what day of the week it is but I trundle upstairs and five hours of restless sleep later I am awake and ready for a new day....almost!


Anyway, while I was there, I went to visit Newburgh Seal Beach - wide, golden, sink into sands - the wind skimming off the top layer - big breakers rolling in from the North Sea and, of course, hundreds of seals doing their seal thing in and out of the water, lolling about on the shore and singing their loud and haunting songs. It was fantastic - I even saw Eider ducks (or drakes I think they were) for the first time - and it was slightly better than lying in bed. Over the weekend, I was alone for some time - I enjoy being alone, I enjoy working on my own, sitting on my own, going for coffee by myself but sometimes you can have too much time to think and the mood I was in, I began over analysing. This is not such a good thing for me and it can be a few days before I get myself out of the black hole!



Artist, Illustrator, blog writer and song writer Mary Carroll or Mary Carroll Artworks photographed in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen
Gorse in the North


But...here I am and I'm not here to talk about feeling shit. I don't anymore....not today, because today I walked through the most glorious countryside with my husband and dogs. Oh the bluebells and garlic (they have made their way into my latest song) are so delicate and precious - the smell of the fresh growth and the rain - somewhere you go with a lover. Jeez, we're so bloody lucky here.


However, we almost didn't get to go on our walk because in contrast to the buttercups and dandelions that light the way with their glorious yellow flowers, we also have dark, dirty mud....mud that, when you start to manoeuvre your car into a parking space, gets stuck around your tyres. We could not get out of the great stinky hole of earth that I had made! I was completely chill....it'll be fine....but the dogs were going crazy - WE WERE PROMISED WALKIES, WE WERE PROMISED WALKIES, WE WERE PROMISED WALKIEEEEEEEES!!!! - and my husband was trying his best to rectify the situation but to no avail. Lo and behold though, a charming bearded man came to our rescue with a land rover! His daughter is getting married tomorrow - we hope she has a lovely day whoever she may be - and she has a genuine and kind superhero of a father!


After that episode, we went to collect our fabulous new piece of furniture - I have to tell you because I love it so much. It's a pine chest of drawers....a TOPLESS chest of drawers (sorry, but I can't help thinking there's an element of the risqué about that description). Anyway, it is completely us and, in our own way, we have temporarily saved its blushes by putting a piece of Wayrock flooring, that just happened to be the perfect size, on top! Our youngest sceptically suggested that it would still be there in 20 years time - oh he of little faith!!!! We have furniture in our home which we know we will never, in our lives, get rid of....things that are far from perfect - the table with felt tip marks and paint stains from the kids doing their homework or an old sideboard I fell in love with and a topless chest of drawers. It is now part of our family and yes, I think I may still be a little emotionally volatile when I'm describing furniture in this way.


I'm thinking about what else has happened over the last week or so. I got my hair 'done' (my friend of a hairdresser is, in truth, more of a therapist but do not tell her in case she starts charging therapists' rates). She's fantastic and makes me feel good - we usually eat nice things and have a proper laugh! I'm also delighted to say I have my first covid vaccine injection on Saturday - yay! I was in such a panic over this and thought I'd fallen through a mighty big crack but it's all sorted now - I am ready! My sweet peas are growing so well and my nasturtiums are looking healthy albeit a little scarce - my sage and chives have popped their lovely little heads up which means I'm just waiting on some lemon balm. One day, I hope to show you the results of my greatly thought out flower pot plan although I have my doubts about it if the weather doesn't warm up. We're all so tired of the inconsistency - the clouds and cold!


I've been doing a little song writing recently but I can find it a bit emotionally draining. I find it difficult to write without getting involved but I am trying. A friend sent me some words recently and I found it a very interesting exercise simply rearranging a few words and lines without the attachment. I've been playing my guitar too, just before I started writing my blog. It's a small bodied acoustic and I can play 3 chords!!! Wow, they are so good! If you fancy learning guitar I know a great teacher (not that he can teach me anything) but you can learn https://www.facebook.com/Doug-Carroll-Guitar-Tuition and almost get to be as good as I am!


And, as always, to my art! Well, I had to remove the photo of my damned self portrait from my facebook profile. Jeez, it was making me scared every time I saw it. I do like non-smiley portraits but that was something else. It's now stored away, sad and unfinished but still scary! Far less chilling (I hope) is my colourful watercolour and ink painting of a fox which will be for sale on this site very soon. I'm intending doing more of this type of painting and I'm completely inspired by the photographic work of local man Billy Smith. His stunning work can be seen on the Dumfries & Galloway Wildlife & Birding facebook page. Not only are Billy's photographs there to see but also other amazing wildlife images from many talented people - photographers of all levels.



A watercolour and ink painting of a beautiful fox by Scottish artist/illustrator Mary Carroll of Mary Carroll Artworks.  Photography credit to Billy Smith
Fox and Fern


Finally, I just want to make mention of the awful trials that have come to light about unmarried mothers and forced adoptions that have been highlighted in the news this week. I feel so, so sorry for anyone who had to live through this and the brutality that these women had to suffer. Hearing the stories of some of the women, I was reminded of the song 'Little Green' by Joni Mitchell who had to place her daughter in adoption because she was unmarried and poor. I'll leave the lyrics with you and bid you goodnight.


Little Green (Joni Mitchell)

Born with the moon in cancer Choose her a name she will answer to Call her green and the winters cannot fade her Call her green for the children who've made her Little green, be a gypsy dancer

He went to california Hearing that everything's warmer there So you write him a letter and say, "her eyes are blue." He sends you a poem and she's lost to you Little green, he's a non-conformer

Just a little green Like the color when the spring is born There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow Just a little green Like the nights when the northern lights perform There'll be icicles and birthday clothes And sometimes there'll be sorrow

Child with a child pretending Weary of lies you are sending home So you sign all the papers in the family name You're sad and you're sorry, but you're not ashamed Little green, have a happy ending

Just a little green Like the color when the spring is born There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow Just a little green Like the nights when the northern lights perform There'll be icicles and birthday clothes And sometimes there'll be sorrow


Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Joni Mitchell

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