Category Archives: The Healing Paths of Fife

Islands of Inspiration (4) The Isle of May in the Firth of Forth, Fife

I confess that this was my first and only visit to the Isle of May, taking the ferry from Anstruther with friends, including author Hamish Brown. We did not realise how fortunate we were, because the following day was the last day trip to the island in 2022. The warden David Steel @Steelybird, who I follow on Twitter for his amazing photos, needed to shut the whole island down due to bird flu. Tragically, this has decimated the population of sea birds up and down the east coast of the British Isles, especially on nearby Bass Rock, famous for its gannet population.

I say that this is a confession. When walking the coastal path and writing The Healing Paths of Fife we walked most of the way between the Forth Rail Bridge and St Andrews, but there were a few wee sections which were purely in my imagination, alongside some timely research, and one of these was a trip to the Isle of May.

How the island helped me in Mind, Body and Spirit

The boat trip over was a matter of mind over body as the boat rolled in the stormy waters. Hamish, however, was bobbing up and down, eating his sandwiches and pointing out various sightings of puffins, other sea birds and even seals. I was sooo relieved to be on terra firma and so was my husband!

We had brought a stick with us because we had to walk through a colony of nesting terns. The stick was not to thrash about, as it was explained to us; the birds go for the highest point and so an umbrella would do just as well. I was mighty glad not to have my head dive bombed, I can tell you.

Once we had safely navigated both of those assaults to our bodies, we set off at a pace following Hamish to a favourite spot he knew where the puffins hung out, called Bishop Cove. It was magical. They are such heart warming creatures. We sat among them watching them waddle to their burrows, peer out to sea or dive down to the water, skimming the surface in search of a place to fish. It was as if a calm had descended. We sat on the rocky ground eating out picnic, absorbing their world all around us, almost at eye level with them. They made us smile. They made us laugh. We hardly spoke as a silence crept over us. We certainly lived in the moment.

How I was inspired by the island

The Isle of May as a place of pilgrimage has always inspired me; its location at the mouth of the Firth of Forth en-route between Lindisfarne and St Andrews. One day, I believe, my writing will take on the direction of a pilgrimage in days gone by, just as it did in The Healing Paths of Fife; a personal fantasy memoir and pilgrimage describing when we first relocated from Bedfordshire to Fife including ‘meeting and talking with famous folks along the way. The lives of saints, whose unusual names have also intrigued me since moving to Scotland; St Mungo for example sounds like a perfect subject for fact/fiction. His name crops up in so many places we have visited and his birth is a legend in these parts.

Meanwhile, I am still searching for the direction my writing journey should take in the here and now; but I do believe I’m edging closer to feeling at peace in knowing the way I should take next.

On our journey home it was as still as a pond and I fell fast asleep. Unusual for me.

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Filed under Fife, Fife Fantasy, Inspiration, The Healing Paths of Fife, Writing

Volunteer Recognition Day ~ 20th April 2021

One Step Back into the World Again

On Sunday I joined my first session of socially distancing Kinghorn in Bloom; a volunteer group who work to enhance the beauty of our lovely coastal town in Fife, Scotland. It felt as if I was being liberated:

Tulips on the Kinghorn Loch Road

liberated…

from lock down, …

from loss,

from grief,

from guilt,

from a burden too heavy to carry.

Set free …

to be me again,

to serve,

to smile,

to contribute,

to enjoy the simple pleasures of flowers and plants.

Having returned from Bedford and my Mum’s cremation service I had a week of relative isolation before rejoining the world. This coincided with changes in regulations.

It’s going to take a while, but The Healing Paths of Fife are working their magic once more. Life moves on and I’m left with precious memories.

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Fife, Fife Fantasy, The Healing Paths of Fife

Review, Reflect and Move Forward to 2021 (and a festive Giveaway)

If I knew in December 2019 when I reflected on the previous year what I know now, would I have made different plans and had other aspirations? Who knows!

2020

Early March

               Click cover for link to Amazon

… saw the launch on my second ‘mystery inspired by history’ novel

MISSING Past and Present

at the last social gathering in Kinghorn, a cheerful event held at the Station Gallery.

 

More used to face to face bookish activities rather than on line, I must admit to have struggled with social media this year, having spurts of activity, interspersed with period when I just could not get my head around it.

(Like everyone, being unable to visit my elderly parents was a constant worry; both having dementia but attempting to live independently. It is only when the security rug is swept away that you realise just how much loved ones rely on visits from family)

April/ May

I worked on a little book of encouragement for young people who need direction and a bit of positivity; a project I began a few years back. I hope for it to be released February, March 2021. Watch this space for a cover reveal in the new year. 

June

 

 

Unable to be creative I worked with local ladies in Kinghorn to prepare

‘Kinghorn Lunch Club Social Memories;’

a lovely little book which, among other wonderful ideas, was a much needed morale boost for our elderly folks during the pandemic.

Click on cover for link to Amazon.

 

 

 

July

I actually began to write again, focusing on the sequel to MISSING.

August

With infection rates lower, the highlight of the month was visiting my elderly parents which was a mixture of heart wrenching moments but relief to be with them.

September/ October/ November

Working with fellow Eventispress author Brian Kerr, whose third book 

How to Value a Skylark ~ The Countryside in a Time of Change

will be launched in January 2021.

(meanwhile my parents were hospitalised not with Covid and transferred to a care home, where both are now cared for and safe. I still long to see them but when it is safe to rwsume my regular visits down south ~ the culmination of a very stressful and upsetting time. So hard not to be with them when they needed us most!)

Click on cover for more information about Brian and the book. 

 

Charity Sales

Sales of Kinghorn Lunch Club Memories and The Healing Paths of Fife (currently sold in aid of Kirkcaldy Foodbank which covers Kinghorn, Burntisland and surrounding areas as well as Kirkcaldy) 

£673

has been raised to date!

I would love it to reach £1000 as soon as possible!

On reflection, in the writing world I have some achievements to be cheerful about in 2020.

What do I long for in 2021?

~ First and foremost to see my parents and to spend some quality time with them. Both having dementia, I cannot make up for a whole year lost, but I want to do my utmost to make their lives as pleasurable as I possibly can.

~ Secondly I wish Brian Kerr every success with his new book. 

I’d like to reach my goal of £1000 through the sale of ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’

Yes, of course I would love you all to read ‘MISSING Past and Present’ and with that in mind I am willing to give 10 ebooks away if you’d like to email me ~  dianariduna@yahoo.com

…and finally I’d like to wish you all a safe Christmas,

        …that you’ll be vaccinated soon in 2021

                  …and that you can be reunited with your loved ones as soon as possible in 2021.

 

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Book reading, Marketing your novel, MISSING Past and Present, The Healing Paths of Fife, Writing