Category Archives: Miraculous May

My Miraculous May: Day 30

Today I bridged the gap. 18 months ago I had a tooth extracted and ended up with a dry socket. Sounds delightful and apart from labour was the worst pain I’ve known to date. You know the kind where rocking, rolling, moaning and crying is par for the course and no amount of codeine and alcohol touches it. Well that! It was total pants. Well eventually it healed but being a pre molar I was always conscious of its absence possibly being noticeable. I mean what would happen if I was to laugh heartily or heaven forbid have a close up in one of those unpaid student films? The horror!

After a failed attempt at a “false” tooth ( double horror) my dentist very kindly offered a bridge on the NHS. Thank you very much don’t mind if I do. So today the gap was filled. I know I will need to give it a while but it feels the most unnatural thing. I didn’t notice it gone nearly as much as I am noticing it there. It got me thinking about loss.

Sometimes something happens so gradually that by the time it has gone it feels like a natural eventuality. Sometimes it happens so quickly and without warning that it feels like you’re falling down a never ending hole and you just want to hit the bottom. Sometimes ( if a relief) it is like a gentle sigh. Sometimes it feels like you’ll never breathe again. Sometimes it feels like nothing. Numb. Lifeless.

Now I know this all seems a bit heavy regarding me and my little tooth but it’s how the gap is filled. In the past I used alcohol as a filler. It helped in the short term to fill my head with exaggerated thoughts, false reasoning, artificial understanding but of course left me with more of the problem afterwards without having really felt it at the point of loss. The pain I felt when I lost that tooth was so extreme that no amount of alcohol was going to make me forget it. I needed to feel it. Physical pain has a habit of doing that. You can’t ignore it but emotional pain is different. That likes nothing better than wearing an invisibility cloak, ducking and diving like a trickster, losing itself inside a bottle of wine.

I used to think since my teens that I had a piece of me missing. That somehow I had lost it and at times that it had been taken. Feeling angry that I had been robbed of feeling whole. It became easy to account for my sullen anger as a by product of my relationship with my Nana and the lack of support I felt from my mum and dad but confusingly and naively I looked to them to fill the void. As that never happened I suppose I turned to excess to fill it.

Maybe what I see isn’t necessarily a loss, a void, an empty space needing to be filled but something that has moved. Do you remember these-



Those infuriating puzzles where you had to move one piece at a time to make the picture or the sequence? Well perhaps that’s it. The missing or lost piece isn’t a bad thing. It allows change. Space. Rebirth. Trying endlessly to fill the gap to make the puzzle whole isn’t what is needed. If there was an extra piece in the puzzle the structure would remain fixed with no room to move or grow. The trouble comes with trying to change for others rather than for you. Do we really need to feel complete?

The dictionary definition is ” to bring to an end; finish: to complete a task.

So by filling the missing piece that is my completion, my end? If that is the case I never want to find it. I don’t want to be stuck with nowhere to go. I want to embrace that I have the capacity to change as a person. I want to inspire people I care about to to look to the part that feels empty but by looking deep into it you have the power to fill it with yourself.

I am an ever changing creature. We all are. The gap filled in my mouth is of a practical and I must admit aesthetic nature but the space within me that I have tried so eagerly to fill has a purpose. It gives me space. It encourages me to change. It let’s others in. It opens me up to love and sharing with my life with another. Maybe one day there might be someone who truly embraces who I am and is happy and content to move in the space with me.

Nighty night x

Ps 60 days


My Miraculous May: Day 29

So tonight I worked on The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour for the second time. As I made my way down to the Grassmarket area I was met with an endless stream of cyclists, barriers and extremely loud amplified voices. For the love of Jehoshaphat!!

For fear of being run over by one of these speed cyclists I tentatively tried to make my way through to the cafe I had planned to have some food in before the tour. After stopping someone official looking and try not to come across as a chicken I enquired how I could get to the other side? I was told to walk back up from where I’d just come and there was a crossing point there. Bloody hell! So I did.
Once I reached the cafe I quickly realised that the two queues snaking out of it and onto the pavement were the take away and sitting in queues. Double bloody hell! Not even attempting to join either snake I looked around for another option. Food had to be consumed as I wasn’t working on an empty stomach and I was starting to get the low blood sugar shakes. So I took my life in my hands at the crossing point once more and then again to reach the newsagent shop on the other side. I then purchased an egg sandwich and a packet of crisps. Big whoopee do! Taking a longer route up towards the infamous “Pubic Triangle” area I then double backed on myself to find myself on the side of the street I needed to be on for the tour. There were people everywhere, bloody cyclists and loud speakers all over the sodding place. Now where was I going to enjoy my food. Oh how about that manky old disused church doorstep? Great! So there I sat surrounded by chaos of the wild things. Huge squawking seagulls, buzzy flies and pigeon poop which missed me by no
more than an inch. Triple bloody hell!

As a result the tour had to change its usual route and we started at the second stage but apart from being outside all night and some bemused faces to start with it ended up being a good evening with some lovely positive feedback. The character I play is the teetotaller ( handy for me) but does succumb to the grog half way through in the shape of the hip flask prop. As I mentioned in last post this is all kidology of course but my abstaining from drinking alcohol did not go unnoticed. Two separate people ( well I don’t mean the others were sets of conjoined twins) mentioned how good I was being and how was I coping not drinking especially in the chilly outside air? I replied I was a good hardy Scottish lass. Think they bought it but my bullshit counter was giving me gip.
All of a sudden when someone offers to buy me a drink I turn into a gibbering fool. What to drink? Orange juice, coke, soda and lime, nothing, coffee, water?? Bizarrely not drinking alcohol gives me much more choice. When I was drinking alcohol I knew what I wanted – to feel drunk- but now it seems a bigger and more complicated decision. Yet when I was making it alcohol just wasn’t an option. It never came into it. It wasn’t important.

Back in my Angelic April I wrote about life being a series of choices and decisions and here I was again deciding and choosing. I like that I am choice making with clarity because then every one I make no matter how big or small is honest and what I really want.

No point lying to yourself.

Nighty night x

Ps 59 days

My Miraculous May: Day 26

Woohoo!!! 8 weeks today of alcohol abstinence. I’m finding that a day, sometimes even two pass and alcohol doesn’t come into my mind at all. I did have a craving yesterday but I stayed with the feeling and really thought about it and then I could clearly see where the craving was coming from. When I looked at the circumstances I very quickly realised that alcohol was not a necessary requirement but it was a deep rooted association with another memory that wasn’t fully related to what was happening at that moment but some elements were and that was what was taking me back there and tricking me into feeling I needed alcohol. When I say alcohol I really mean the feeling of being drunk.

So anyway tonight I started on The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour. I was slightly nervous ( which is a good thing as an actor) but equally was looking forward to it. Now of course I wasn’t to be indulging in alcohol but it was a strange situation to put myself in. Walking from pub to pub, actively encouraging others to drink and being in such establishments was an interesting but happily not too enticing an activity. Starting at The Beehive I had an instant pang of alcohol desire when I first walked into the pub. The familiar smell of a pub. The smell was warming and lovely. They do say that sense smell is the most evocative of all the senses so with that in mind I allowed myself to enjoy the beery aroma and tell myself it was ok to remember it fondly.

The tour went well and group were really lovely and so was the feedback. I have to give a special thank you to my dear friend Mark who was my partner in crime tonight. His support, experience and encouragement has been invaluable. Yes Mark, I am glad you were my first 😉 So roll on Thursday for my next literary outing.

Afterwards we finished at The Cafe Royal which truly is a beautiful pub. A couple on the tour wanted to buy us a drink and I found myself without hesitation asking for an Americano with hot milk. I am finding that I am enjoying not drinking more and more. Still a day at a time though. There was a more tricky point on the tour. At one point the other character offers me a drink from his hip flask. I take it and drink heartily. Now Mark assured me the flask was empty and indeed it was but the strong smell of whisky that still lingered on this metal container filled my senses and when I put it to my lips to do some “drinking” acting it was in that moment I realised; this was the closest I have been to alcohol in 8 weeks. The knee jerk reaction was -YUMMA YUMMA!! And a strong desire to knock a nip back but the desire left me as soon as it had came. Interesting because at this point I am talking about Jekyll and Hyde and the duality of mans nature.

Alcohol does that. Well it does to me anyway. It brings out elements in my personality that are insecurities that are then paraded in a drunk fashion disguising themselves as confident , fun filled traits that in sober reality I can’t live up to and why? Because they are not really me. Alcohol brings out the truth? Well does it? Maybe it brings out some truth but how it is manifested is a false sense of security. I am discovering the truth warts and all with clarity and a fresh pair of sober eyes. I am fighting hard to clear those jaggy nettles and find a clearer, lighter and happier path in front of me.

Nighty night x

Ps 56 days

My Miraculous May: Day 24


I am starting with the poem. I have posted it a couple of times before but it really resonates with me. When I first discovered it in my favourite place I egotistically believed it had been put there just for me. After all, it is only me that should be there.

So after feeling the peace of the wild things time and after time and experiencing their healing restorative power I hope to have given a little back today.

The kids and I were just ready to head home after spending the afternoon at my mum and dads. As I went outside to call on Angelina I saw she was upset at the far end of the row of front gardens where she had been playing with her little friend. Sighing and expecting some “falling out” had occurred I reluctantly stomped ( yes stomped- how old am I?) over. As I got closer I saw her crumpled face and that she was pointing to the ground at the end of the path. I looked down. What is that? At first I thought it was a frog but on closer inspection saw that it was a baby bird. It was flailing around on the ground, gasping and looked not long for this world. My dad came over and just stared, shook his head and said, ‘ Don’t think it’s alive. What can you do?’.

What can you do? It was breathing albeit weakly but I knew I couldn’t just leave it to die there or have the local cats feast on it. Everything I asked anyone to do ended up being like a sodding Keystone Cops scene. My mum made such a palaver out of sourcing a number for the RSSPB ( plus complaining that it was £2.58 per minute) that I lost the rag and started barking orders at people. I went into Super Medic mode. I managed to contact a bird person in no time and they advised me what to do and said someone would be on their way. One hot water bottle, soft bedded box and sugar water syringe later he was breathing quite shallow but still alive. Here he is:


I sat with him for almost an hour. Keeping him warm, trying to entice him with drops of the sugar water. On a couple of occasions I honestly thought he had gone but after a while, as he warmed up his breathing became stronger and he started to move more. Eventually the “bird” woman arrived. She picked him up in her blue gloved hands where he instantly opened his beak and squawked a tiny sound. She assured us he would be fine but if I hadn’t of done what I did he wouldn’t have made it. She said he was a starling and probably about 3-5 days old. She was going to take him where he will be hand reared before setting him free. The kids agreed to call him “Polly” and off he went in his new cosy cardboard box to enjoy some milk and cat food. Apparently they love it. Poor bird. Not only does he have a girls name he’s also eating another species ( and mortal enemies) food.

I felt a little pang of emotion afterwards. Who the hell am I trying to kid? I felt a big pang!! Wherever you are Polly I hope you fare well and grow up strong, not confused and have a wonderful bird life. If your little wings take you to my favourite place among the wild things stop by the woman sitting glowering at other humans and remind her how truly special life really is.

Nighty night x

Ps 54 days

My Miraculous May: Day 22

It would appear I cannot keep away. I get very protective over others coming to my favourite place. As soon as I’ve mentioned it I get a tense feeling in case they go and make it their special place. Really I’m doing a disservice mentioning it here as anyone who reads my warblings will know. I’m kind of acting as a Visitor Information Service for Doctor Neil’s. Well dear reader ( spoken through gritted teeth) if you ever do visit and come across a lone woman glowering at you that will most likely be me wondering why the hell you are here?! Just ignore me. I mean you no harm 😳

This fine flower caught my eye today. Standing there tall and proud but alone.


It’s not afraid to stand out of the crowd and be counted. I like that. A principled flower. Hoorah! Then as I was sitting in my first favourite seat ( yes I’m that sad I have three favourite spots and sit in them in a order. I really need to get out more!) guess who came to visit me? No sadly not Michael Fassbender but Mr Stripy,


Now I know what you’re all thinking. “Silly cow! That won’t be the same bee” , so how do you explain him having the same bow tie on? Yes, that’s made you all think hasn’t it. Of course you can’t see it because it’s facing the bench but he is wearing it.

The time I spent there today like so many other times was completely alone. No one else was there. I love it like that. Not just so I don’t have to glower at people ( poor people) but it feels magical on my own. Secret. Private. Peaceful. Mystical. Comforting. Enveloping. It brings up so many feelings just sitting or walking there but also being among the wild things it helps me make sense of it all. It levels me out. Puts me back on track. As I sat there thinking a song came into head. It is so perfect for how and what I was feeling. A song that I remember listening to as a 15 year old. Obsessed with Kate Bush ( probably had a bit of a girl crush too). It was an bonus track on ” The Hounds of Love” album, which I adore but I remember hearing this song and somehow even at that young age feeling overwhelmed by both its power and simplicity. It’s short, just voice and piano and is basically a series of directions but I find it deeply emotive. Right there and then having retreated to my favourite place, leaving the world on the other side of the iron gate, being amongst the wild things, remembering, feeling, wishing, longing this song 29 years later finally made complete sense.

“Go right to the white rose,
I’ll be waiting for you”

Nighty night x

Ps 52 days

My Miraculous May: Day 20

Well I wasn’t going to post tonight but yesterday was 7 weeks but today is 50 days. I’m not one for self congratulating but well done me. After another epic journey to the The Gyle shopping centre ( truth be known I am exaggerating a tad. It involved two buses there and back plus a costa coffee hardly ‘Homers Odyssey’) I managed to buy the much sought after Elsa doll ( or as they pronounced it in the film Ailsa) from ‘Frozen’ plus her sister Anna ( or Uhnna?) for good measure. Back of the net Mama or Muhma?

Look here’s the proof:


There will be one very happy girl coming home tomorrow and one very relieved mum.

I have been reading a fair bit about mindfulness lately. The idea of redirecting our neural pathways or creating new ones really interests and makes sense to me whether it be habits or patterns of behaviour. If won’t happen over night but if you want to change the way you react, feel or behave that with certain mindfulness techniques you can aid this happening. Now to some it may sound like mumbo jumbo but there is physiological evidence for it as well. When certain chemicals are released in our brain i.e. Seretonin for happiness or adrenaline for fear they fire along neural pathways that have been formed from repetitive responses. Like a stream flowing down a hill over time due to the consistent repetitive trajectory an indent, crevasse or valley is formed but if it were dammed the water would need to find a new route and in time would create a new indent. Our brains are the same. It is not a hard mass that is unmovable in its form but a soft malleable shape changer that is open to being what you want it to be but you have to want it. Only you can mould the brain putty. Only you can forge the way.

I have many pathways that could do with a change of direction ( haven’t we all?) and some that haven’t been walked enough but focussing on my relationship with alcohol has been an enlightening one. Some associative paths were set in stone like some ancient roads walked along so many times they are forever there but with a lot of work on myself, honesty and courage I am creating a new pathway. When I find myself having the old feelings related to alcohol I am getting fairly good at redirecting them down another route. This new path is much lighter, peaceful and a happier place to be. Over the last 50 days the work I have put in is paying off. Still a day at a time and still not sure if I will drink again but if I do it will be when I know for sure I am totally ready to enjoy that drink in more open and sunny path and not down a dark alley.

I’m learning that there is no sense in dwelling on what ifs and could have beens. We need to make every moment count. If you’re not content or happy do your very best to make a change. Listen to your instincts something I have learnt a lot over last few months. Be kind to others but be kind to yourself too. Everything happens for a reason. We can’t change what’s been.

I don’t want my life to be about regret. I want it to be alive and have the courage to act on instinct because in the blink of an eye it could be gone.

Nighty night x

p.s It will never be too late x

My Miraculous May: Day 19

Drum roll please ladies and gentlemen …….. * crash bang wallop*

I would like to announce that,

* clears throat and adopts smug face*

It is seven weeks today since I drank any alcohol.


I celebrated tonight with a chippy tea, copious amounts brown sauce plus I threw in a bite size caramel shortbread and a Twister ice lolly for pudding. I know how to bloody live and I won’t hear otherwise.

I was drawn yet again drawn to my favourite place amongst the wild things. It had turned into such a glorious evening I couldn’t help but go. I had made the pilgrimage today to the other side of Edinburgh in search of an Elsa doll from the Disney film ‘Frozen’ but seriously it would be easier to locate a unicorn at The Gyle shopping centre or the UK it would seem. I then ended up back in town and tried the “prestigious” Jenner’s but to no avail. The shop assistant there informed me that the film has been so successful that there has not been enough dolls manufactured and basically the world has run out of them. I stood there, hands on counter, mouth gaping.

The world has run out!!!

There and then I felt the pain that Beelzebub will feel when she understands that she cannot get the beloved doll she wanted to get with her birthday money. It was like for me being told the world has run out of Earl Grey tea or Skippy peanut butter. Not wanting to feel that the journey was for nothing I took myself to the new-ish restaurant in Jenner’s ( I’m sure Beelzebub would have wanted me too *tries to look reassured*) and had a pot of tea and a scone. The view was rather nice too.


After I got back I headed to my place. A friend said something to me that I found quite profound a wee while ago on talking about contemplation and reflection. He said:

‘If you’re looking for anything you’ll fine it at sunrise’

To me it was such a lovely thought. I have never been to Doctor Neil’s at sunrise but I’ve been a lot at sunset and have found a great deal. Both have such unique qualities. The beginning and the end. It’s the only sure things we have whilst living. We began and we will end. Simple to the point of beauty. What we do between those two points is the complex stuff. Living is a complicated business. More and more I try to stop and remember that I am living between those two points and really feel it. There is something about the end of the day that I love especially there. The light distribution through the trees, the warm glow on the loch from the sun, the shadows falling on the grass. I will plan to go there at sunrise one day. I bet it’s breathtaking. Tonight the birdsong was wonderful. Hearing them sing their little hearts out they sounded happy. It made me feel happy. It was infectious.



As I left the garden I always walk down to the more open field like part which I think is an extension of the manse gardens. There is a chicken coup and enough rabbits bouncing around to make it look like a scene from ‘Watership Down’. There is a large tree at the waters edge that stands completely on its own.


There were crows in it. They were squawking loudly to each other. There is something about that tree, the loch, the sound of the crows that feels pagan. I like it. Makes me feel all Brit Eckland. Ooh er missus I should stop there 😳

So another lovely end to a day. A day which is the 49th without alcohol. A day that is unique in itself. A day that is almost gone but without the days end there would be no sunrise.

Nighty night x

Ps Earl Grey’s door is always open 😊