She tried ….

I hear some wonderful stories of people’s lives  that make me sit back in admiration at the things they have achieved or experienced in their lives.

Some stories are genuinely upsetting, tragic lives where someone’s greatest achievement has simply been to get through the next day.

What I have found is that is not the achievements or success in someone’s life that make people mourn them.  It is their personality and their character that leaves their family and friends missing them… and that is how it should be.

We all have different paths in life, sometimes we know what we want from it but sometimes what we want is very different to what we need from it.

Working with families and hearing the very personal stories that made them love someone does make me reflect on my own life at times.

I have achieved a lot, I have lost a lot and at times I have had no idea what I wanted from life but I have been lucky, somehow fate has always taken me in a surprising direction, and my work as a Celebrant is one of these.

It has taken me a long, long time with successes and failures on my route to find what I think I was meant to do with my life, I have found my peace (which is something I did not always have), and more importantly, I have found me.

Don’t get me wrong.. I still have worries.. being a single, self employed woman, I do still have to worry about paying bills .. and that in a way annoys me, I wish I didn’t… but the reality of life means that it is something that we all have to do…. you just have to pull your belt in at times!

The rewards of this job are huge … there is no better feeling than knowing that you have let a family say goodbye to someone they love in exactly the way they wanted to.. it is the final gift that the family can give to someone.  Beautiful tributes do not come from me .. they come from the memories and stories that people hold in their hearts …  I am simply their voice… and there to wrap up “their gift” as beautifully as I can.

When I die … I know that I will leave a smile in a few people’s hearts and my epitaph will probably read “she tried” … and that, for me, is enough!


Every year The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants supports a small charity.  This year it has been decided it will be CRY..


New string to my bow ..

cath 3 cath2 cath1

I have decided to start selling unique wee gifts on my site … at the moment I have Glass Plaques that can be engraved with ANY message or poem that you wish .. and there is a space for you to add your own photo.

More details can be found under “Memory Gifts” on the title bar … or by clicking here Memory Gifts

There will be additional gifts being added to this soon … personalised memory boxes, slates that can have photos on etc … keep watching!

The little boy that was loved.

To me and to many others you are our heroines.

The love that you have in your hearts knows no bounds and what you do for others, who are much less fortunate, is really beyond words.

I know that right now you are both going through probably the toughest time in your lives and nothing that I or anyone else can say can ease that pain right now.

The next few days, weeks and months will be tough on you both .. life will not be the same but you gave love and happiness to a very special little boy who was always destined to be a visitor into your life and your hearts.

His visit, so tragically short, has meant something to you and all that knew him and I know that you will always remember him for the little personality he undoubted was.

Take your time right now, cry when you want to, but don’t forget to smile sometimes too .. nothing you could have done would have prevented this and I am just happy that for him, he had you both.

Talk together, cry together, laugh together, play with the 2 minions and the dogs, celebrate that you had him in your life .. celebrate that you knew him and loved him.. and helped him to enjoy the life that he had.

Take your time, grieve in your own way (which might be quite different from each other), but talk, remember and smile at the memories you have.   They are yours now, always, and that is a beautiful little tribute to him.

I know you both .. and I know you will open your home and hearts up to another little star that will receive all the love and attention that they deserve .. not as a replacement .. not to help you forget .. but in honour of the little boy that was loved.

Auld folk and chip butties ….

Today I got up early … finished off some writing I had to do and now have the rest of the day to myself.. well .. I SHOULD have the rest of the day to myself .. but yesterday, when visiting my mum, I found myself being organised to pick my mum and my Aunt Maggie up and take them to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill at Dobbies in Dunfermline … I am not quite sure how it happened .. but my mum has a knack of organising things and just presuming that I will be the taxi driver ….  (she does still drive!), so I am not quite sure why I have to be roped in … I end up walking around with this “Oh woe is me expression on my face …

This is what happened the last time I took the pair of them out ….

Today has been a day of … auld folk and chip butties …  

I whisked my mum and my Auntie Maggie off for the day. My Auntie has never been down towards the border in Scotland so we headed off for Peebles.

It was a bit wet and miserable on the drive down and Peebles was no better. Although we circuited the main street 5 times (thanks to my Mums insistence that there was a car park).. however it seems this car park has mysteriously disappeared. I did find two car parks, but these were not the right car park and would have meant at least a 2 minutes walk to the town centre… which was far too far in the opinion of my two ancient creakies.

I also managed (on the fourth circuit) to find a car parking space in the middle of the high street, so I parked up .. only to be informed that 45 minutes was not enough time to have a cup of tea and a cake …

In the end, shortly towards the end of the fifth circuit I was possessed by a demon that shouted out “bugger it, I’m going somewhere else” and headed towards Galashiels.

There was at least 2 minutes silence from the creakies as they considered the fact that perhaps they had been too fussy, but it was too late, I was on the road to Galashiels and that was that.

Driving along the Tweed Valley was beautiful, the road was lined with daffodils, lambs were playing in the fields, ok so maybe one or two of them were lying dead but we ignored that…..

As we approached Gala I was informed by both creakies that it was necessary to find a toilet asap… I was rather worried about my leather seats (well.. the smell of urine on leather!) so I dutifully found them a wee cafe in a village just outside Gala… we even had a lovely cup of coffee and cakes!

The day was looking up … as we left the cafe (fed, watered and dewatered) we found a thrift shop .. which have magical powers when it comes to my mum .. they just suck her in in a whoosh of white hair, fluffy white scarves and blue rain jacket … Anyway .. after spending 20 minutes looking at other peoples rubbish she bought me a vase .. it is quite a nice vase.. but I already have vases.. and not much room .. but I thanked her and wondered where on earth I was going to put it.

My Auntie Maggie spent the 20 minutes staring at a bookcase full of books. Not moving, not touching, hardly breathing. At one point I thought she had died in an upright position. I was wondering if perhaps the thrift shop had a second hand coffin round the back .. but thankfully she suddenly came out of her obviously excitement enduced coma and picked two books that she gleefully bought for 50p (25p each) … We Fifers do like a bargain.

Eventually we did reach Gala… only to find that on one side of the high street it was sunny and fair and on the other it was raining! (not lying was very strange!)… We hunted in vain for an Edinburgh Woollen Mill (my auntie wanted a new jumper) but failed to find one .. so instead we hit the pound stretchers where the creakies charged through the door like a couple of elephants spotting a water hole …

My mum managed to find a new biscuit barrel … which pleased her greatly since it even came with matching salt and pepper dishes and .. much to my amazement .. I bought things too! Some Herb seeds, 4 tall solar lights for my garden and a couple of big bulbs for plants. I am not sure what they are .. but they looked nice in the picture.

We then decided it was lunch time .. “I know a lovely restaurant round here” says me … “Nooooo” the creakies replied in unison (did I mention they were wearing exactly the same rain jacket too….) “this lovely little cafe with do” …

So … 3 chip rolls, 2 cups of tea and a coffee later .. I realised that both the creakies were looking at me in an expectant kind of way … both with their heads tilted to one side … white hair neatly combed… matching rain jackets (did I mention that they … oh yes .. I think I did!) … “sooooo” says me … I presume I am paying”. Honestly it was like having 2 very smiley nodding dogs in matching jackets …

Lunch cost me £10.50 (which pleased me greatly!) … I am soooooo glad that they didnt take me up on my offer of the restaurant now … that would have cost me at least £70 … and the embarrassment factor of having the two creakies in the matching jackets “ooohing and aaaahhing” at everything and then discussing (loudly) how expensive things were .. then the good old “I will just have soup” routine .. where they both look at each other in a pathetic way waiting on me to say “nooo .. nooo it’s my treat .. have the steak/salmon/truffle stuffed up the arse duck” or whatever.

I got off lightly today .. next time I may not be so lucky …

Goodbye 2014.. I will miss you!

Well … the last day of 2014 … and as the bells go tonight I will wave a sorry goodbye to this year.

For me it has been a lovely wee year, I have loved watching my wee business grow, and although at times there is still a quiet week, there are other weeks when I am very busy .. so I can’t complain about that!

My personal life has been curtailed a bit … although I have been busier, being a single woman, living on my own, my main priority has been to pay my bills .. and unexpectedly having to get a new car this this year was an added expense I could have done without! (my old one died a slow lingering death) … however.. I love my new wee hippo (and it does look like a hippo!) … and I hope we have many years of me cursing at other drivers together!

My pets are fine .. no expensive vets visits all year .. which makes a lovely change .. Brae is getting to be an old lady now .. 11 years old, has survived 3 bouts of cancer and gets cuter every year, she really is a wee darling of a dog and enjoys her “shared” ownership with my mum … as when I go to visit families or to take funerals/weddings then she goes to stay with my mum … who then stuffs her full of steak and chicken and other such like… my mum has even bought her a really big posh dog bed!    I sometimes think that Brae would prefer to stay there!

Bo and Jilly (my cats) still hate each other … but they both go looking for each other … I think really they love each other .. one of those “love you but hate you” relationships.    Bo still cuddles me .. and after owning Jilly for around a year and a half she does come to me now … I think she has accepted I am her food slave … and perhaps so have I!

My family are all very well .. my Mum is still an auld bugger, who makes me laugh and, sometimes, grind my teeth, but I wouldn’t have her any other way… we had a lovely family holiday in Portsoy earlier this year, catching up with relatives from up north that we hadn’t seen for a while.. and I really enjoyed it.

My lovely friends from Romania came over for a week on holiday … we had a blast .. Fort William, The Kelpies and they also enjoyed Edinburgh (sadly I had to take a funeral that day so missed most of the Edinburgh experience with them!)

WRAC Fort William was a blast .. I love spending time with my ex army buddies .. we have a certain type of humour that is hard to explain to anyone who has never served …. and my lovely, lovely friend Abby came along with her son .. and we had a hoot .. for someone who is not an ex army girly, Abby fitted right in! … so much so that she has already demanded (and so have my friends!) she comes to FW2016! … we are not having a FW reunion in 2015 due to the grand reunion which will be held in Harrogate in March … which sadly I am not able to afford to go to .. but I am off for 5 days to Benidorm with a group of other ex army girls in May … that will be a hoot and a half! … and sun … ohhhhhh I have missed not having any sun this year … although my holiday to Egypt in December 2013 with my fabulous friend Sharon was great fun … just what the doctor ordered … and we even survived the “Vatered down Wodka” … and Sharon’s dance of the 7 veils!

I have also started Slimming World … and doing very well (apart from a wee slip up over Christmas!) … I am aiming to lose 4 stone .. mainly to help my back that has been a bit of a bugger at times … even just losing nearly a stone seems to have helped it .. so I am hoping in the next few months I may stop moaning about the bliddy thing!

I have found a lot of peace in solitude this year …partly forced on me because of lack of funds to go socialising .. but partly by choice too … I like being alone .. I also like seeing my friends … but I am very comfortable and enjoy the peace I find when I come in, close my door and find the peace that allows me to think …

It has been lovely to see so many of my close friends find happiness this year … and even a few weddings and engagements amongst them that has pleased me greatly!

On the flip side I have watched some friends tear each other apart.  It has not been pretty and has been sad to watch.   I hope that all of them find peace and perhaps some reconciliation in the year to come.

I have seen some families who have been left in tatters after losing someone they love this year .. some very sad and very cruel deaths .. and some deaths, where in the end, it has been a blessing.    All these families have handled the tragedy of death in such a brave and compassionate way, that I can only salute them.

Weddings and naming ceremonies have been fun .. great characters, great days and lots of smiles .. and next year there are many more to come .. which I know will be equally as joyful.

Me and my friend of 40 years .. Barbara Anne .. we have seen each other through relationship breakdowns, deaths, fun times and a few bottles of wine!

Me and my friend of 40 years .. Barbara Anne .. we have seen each other through relationship breakdowns, deaths, fun times and a few bottles of wine!

I have also seen my beautiful friend Barbara Anne lose both her parents within a few months of each other.   I was honoured to be asked to take both their funerals and both were hard for me … I knew her parents, and they were both very lovely people.  I know BA has not yet found her peace or acceptance of this … and I hope in 2015 she does.

2013 was a tough year for me .. big life changes, both professionally and personally, 2014 has been much more gentle .. and I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be great …  I am not making any “resolutions” … I am already on track doing what I want to change .. but I am going to socialise a little more … I have sadly neglected some wonderful friends due lack of funds, but they have been wonderfully supportive and understood my predicament!

Happy New Year everyone … and remember, the only thing that stops you getting what you want, is you!

My very talented "wee" brother Andrew

My very talented “wee” brother Andrew

My sister Margaret and my Mum (who was complaining I was taking too long taking the photo!)

My sister Margaret and my Mum (who was complaining I was taking too long taking the photo!)

My friend Maddi from Romania who came over for a holiday .. fabulous week with lots of laughs! We met in Spain on holiday a few years ago .. and I have visited Romania and even "Dracula;s castle" inTransylvania!

My friend Maddi from Romania who came over for a holiday .. fabulous week with lots of laughs! We met in Spain on holiday a few years ago .. and I have visited Romania and even “Dracula’s castle” in Transylvania! .. also got to see a bear just casually walking along the side of a road!

My fabulous friend Sharon and I sampling the vatered down wodka ..

My fabulous friend Sharon and I sampling the vatered down wodka ..

fw group

The girls of the WRAC (and Abby!) … not a sane one amongst us!

Let it go …

Christmas, perhaps the most poignant day of the year, can be a day when many people reflect on what was,  what if or what is.

“What was” is a destructive thought … it destroys your happiness and your peace.

“What if” can be a glimmer of hope, a throb of excitement .. a pipe dream, not yet achieved, and not yet a reality.

“What is” is now.. what you love.. what you have.

Today, I hope you find the greatest gift of all .. peace … to achieve this you have to appreciate what is .. the courage to go after your dreams .. and the realisation that what was, is just that .. your past… that you cannot allow to destroy your future.

Today as you raise a glass, toast yourself, to who you are .. to what you want from life .. the important things, not the material things … and I hope that you find what you really want.

Have a great Christmas … have a great life x