The purple heather of August is slowly turning to the lavender/bronze colour of early autumn and the hillsides are taking on a golden glow. Nights are closing in and there is an extra blanket on the bed at night. I love this time of year. I love that line early in 'You've Got Mail' where Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) writes to Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), 'Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.' And you can substitute the name of any town or city for New York and that sentiment would still hold true. Despite the fact that I haven't been a student in more years than I would like to remember, this time of year makes me feel like putting on a plaid skirt with a white blouse and pullover sweater and a pair of penny loafers. I love Autumn.
It has been a long time since I last wrote this blog and so much has occurred in that time. Our darling Catherine has turned 5 and is in school now. Caroline posted a photo of her in her school uniform, grinning broadly on her first day. I am delighted to report that Catherine loves school. I hope that continues throughout her school years. She is a bright little girl; I know she will do well. She has lots of lovely friends and takes part in a little drama activity group on Friday afternoons. The latest news is that she has 'boyfriend.' She tells me that they have lunch together every day and then giggles. I just hope she doesn't follow in her nana's footsteps. I had more boyfriends between the ages of 5 and 7 than I did for the rest of my life! We don't want her peaking too early!
Of course, the big news here in Scotland is the upcoming referendum on independence. My great love for Scotland should not be mistaken for my supporting the referendum. I do not. The nationalists have based their ideas on dreams and wishes, and the current release of information from experts in economics have echoed my own concerns. Without a currency, without a very detailed plan for a completely new infrastructure, no amount of oil in the North Sea will be enough to secure a prosperous and healthy future for the people of Scotland. Not now and most certainly not for my daughter or my granddaughter. Salmond and company have been selling an emotive idea that has no basis in fact and figures. I hope with all my being that the result is a resounding 'no' when the vote takes place next week. I also hope with all my heart that the divisions this issue has created will heal. As we close in on the final week, there is such an air of belligerence between the yays and nays. No matter the outcome, there will be a great deal of bridge-building and healing to do.
I have cut down on the number of events I will be taking part of for my business. This year, I will be attending just one event in October - in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh - and two events in November. I have added two new stockists to my list - and one has already produced a sizeable sale just five days into carrying my jewellery. Detailed plans for my participation in the trade show are coming together. I am really looking forward to the show to see what the retail reaction is to my work.
Chris is doing very well. He recently was contacted by a company in Seattle asking for exclusive North American rights to several of his images for reproduction on acrylic and brushed aluminium. These images are aimed at the interior design trade and will be part of the company's presence at the trade shows in High Point, North Carolina, and Las Vegas. After researching and speaking with other photographers whose images are being used, Chris signed the contract. I am so proud of him. His cards are selling very well at the GALE Centre and we will soon be offering canvases of his stunning photo-art creations. If you would like to see his work, you can see it at www.aramakimagery.com.
I am continuing to deal with the grief that comes from being an adult orphan. My mother's death renewed my grief for my father's death, so I find I miss them both more than ever. There is a beautiful photograph I have of them at Tams Street. Mom is sitting on a chair on the front porch, Dad standing behind with his hands lovingly resting on her shoulders. There are days I simply can't look at the photograph - it so easily triggers the tears. But I am so grateful that I have my lovely daughter and granddaughter to make up my own family. Chris and I are so blessed. Caroline is doing so well at her job and in her life, happy and unconditionally loved by Stuart. Catherine is thriving and admits that one reason she likes her little boyfriend is because 'he has hair like Stuart', so that's good, too! Lucy and Malcolm have moved into a lovely little townhouse in Guildford and her studies for her MA and her work as a piano teacher are going so well. Olly is graduating from University of Plymouth this month and is working at the Eden Project and Mountain Warehouse. His girlfriend, Nat, is working for a publishing company that specialises in all things natural. All is well, everyone is happy and thriving and I couldn't ask for more.
So, until next time, whenever that may be, take care and enjoy the colours of the Autumn.