Monday, July 28, 2014

Feeling a bit spiritually lost.

For a while there I really felt like I was on the right path spiritually.  I felt like I had it all together.  I was eliminating (learning to ignore) my ego.  I was counselling friends about their problems and it felt like the universe was flowing through me - I mean, really, some of the advice I was giving out really felt like it came from somewhere else - not me.

But for the moment I've lost it.  I'm not feeling the flow, I'm not feeling the energy, I'm not experiencing the sinchronicities that I was.  I feel disconnected from "the Force."  Yoda ... I need help!

I know it will come back.  These things happen in waves.  Perhaps I needed a break from it.  Maybe I needed to come back to the physical and let the spiritual go for a while.  They say we have four aspects to our personalities that need to be in balance:  spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual.  I guess my spiritual needed a rest.

Things in life come in waves and circles.  They come back around - they will wash upon the shore again.

I've been tired lately, maybe there is an energy movement on the planet, in the solar system, or the universe that is putting strains on us in ways I am not aware.  I just need to be patient and go where my instincts lead.

So .... onwards.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Postcards #13 - The Seaforth Highlanders

This postcard is not really location-based, but shows the colours (flags) of the 6th (Morayshire) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders.

The Seaforth Highlanders regiment was formed in 1881 with the amalgamation of the 72nd Highlanders (Duke of Albany's Own) and the 78th Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) - names of both can be seen on the flags - and was located in Morayshire (or Elginshire) - where the community of Elgin is found (Elgin is where the McCurrachs lived before moving to Nairn).  The Seaforth Highlanders were combined with Jack's regiment, the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (written about previously here) to form the Queen's Own Highlanders in 1961, which in turn was combined with the Gordon Highlanders to form "The Highlanders" on September 17, 1994 (as an aside, the day I turned 26).

The 6th Battalion, from what I understand, was a reserve battalion - as Jack's regiment would also have been.

This postcard was sent October 27, 1909 from somewhere ...  I am pretty sure now that it was Burghead, Scotland.  Burghead is located to the northwest of Elgin and is in Morayshire, where this battalion was located.

The Postcard was sent to Jack McCurrach in Nairn and was from Sarah - a name we've seen on this other postcard.  It would seem that previous postcard was also sent from Burghead.  Here is the Burghead Post Office.  I can't imagine that it's changed in 100 years:

Written on the back is: "Your photo was awfully good Jack.  Thanks very much for it.  You see my space is limited as I cannot write more.  Sarah"

I do wonder who Sarah was.  Was she a relative, or another sweetheart?  Was he trying to decide between his future wife (my great-grandmother, Nellie) and Sarah?  Maybe we'll find out at some point, but right now I don't know.  There are three Sarahs living in Burghead in the 1901 census who are around Jack's age.  Sarah Robertson is the daughter of Donald and Mary, Sarah Sandeson is the daughter of William and Isabella, and Sarah Stewart is the daughter of Alexander and Sarah.  We'll see if there is any clarification with future postcards.

As an aside, Jack had his birth registered in the Parish of Rafford.  

His father, John, was listed as a farm servant and they lived at the Leys of Hillhead in Rafford.  Hillhead was a large farm on the property of the Earl of Moray (who still has farms and properties managed by Moray Estates).  Ley farming consisted of growing grain crops on pieces of land and letting it ley (lay) fallow at times.  

In 1901, the family lived in Elgin and John was a Railway Plate Layer.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What's going on with me.

So I've been posting a lot of stuff lately about what I've been doing.  But not much on HOW I've been doing.  Anyone new to the blog may not be aware, but I have what I like to call a "mood disorder."  I hate terms such as "suffer" with depression and anxiety.  I "live" with mild depression and anxiety.  And it effects my personality sometimes - I become extremely sensitive to other people - what they say to me - and concerned about what I've said to them.  I also get cranky with my family and sometimes others.

Well, until a few days ago, I'd been doing very well, indeed.  I felt like a channel for the universe, like everything was in place and just where it should be.  I've been taking Cipralex (an SSRI anti-depressant) regularly and feeling much better on it, as well as a mild sleeping pill to help get more regular and lasting sleep.  But the past couple of weeks have been rather busy and that is always difficult.  We hosted a party (okay - here's my sensitivity to others - not everyone can be invited to a party.  We invited a regular group of folks to our place who enjoy food.  I'm terribly sorry that we can't invite everyone, but we just can't), went to the funeral of a very young cousin, had relatives visit, went to see Wicked, lost some sleep driving to the airport at 4:30 in the morning (which I'm really happy to do and I got some great photos, but it does take a toll) ... it's just been very busy which is a trigger.  And my son and I, after nearly a month at home with each other, seem to be having an "adjustment period" - in other words, we're getting on each other's nerves.  And we're both grumpy.

So I've been eating poorly - too much sugar, which is one of my addictions that gives me short-term relief from feeling so stressed, but long-term it makes it worse (sound like alcohol or drugs?  Well it is - just not nearly as life damaging or extreme) - and not exercising enough, etc, etc.  And so I was in tears the other night thinking that if I could just have a day to myself, I would feel better.

I don't really think that's the answer, though.  That won't fix it in and of itself.  I need to sleep regularly, eat better food, exercise, get sunshine, reduce obligations (of which mine are mostly self-inflicted like blogging and making jewellery and taking photos - all of which I love, but I need to be easier on myself about getting them done).  The usual.  But somehow, like so many things in life, these bits of advice that I KNOW, and that I am quick to give other people, are still not part of my being.  Not part of what I unconsciously do.  I'd rather eat a grilled cheese sandwich than go out into the garden and get salad makings.  But I know I should do the latter.  I would rather eat ice cream and chocolate chips than cherries and raspberries.  But, again, I know I should do the latter.  I would rather make jewellery than exercise ... you get the picture.

To all of you out there who find yourself feeling "out of sorts" - take the time to make your mood a priority.  Do the long-term fixes, not the short-term, and realize that you can't do everything.  No one can.  But some of us can do less of everything than others.  And that is okay.

Postcards #12 - Tain's Tower

Sorry - the postcard posts are out of chronological order, but only by 30 minutes - the last postcard I wrote about was sent at 12:15PM, this one was sent at 11:45AM - both on October 21, 1909.  Both were also sent from the same man in Tain.  However, the last postcard was sent to Jack, this one was to his brother, William, who also lived at 9 Roseneath Terrace in Nairn.  And on the last postcard, the signature was not legible.  On this one we see the man's name is Andrew - it's definitely the same man as the writing is exactly the same.

Text on the card reads:  "Got back to the old place once again.  Hoping this will find out all well.  What do you think of our Tower     Your Old Chum Andrew".  The card itself was mad by J&M - I assume printers, and it was part of the "Caledonia Series."

There must have been a number of people living at 9 Roseneath Terrace at that time.  Susannah (the mother), Jack, William, and Bella (all siblings) are noted as living here in postcards to this point.  Annie, the youngest daughter, seems to have been a maid for someone, and she sent cards from Gourock and Dunoon which seem to lead to this conclusion.  I'm not sure if Susannah's husband, John, the father of these 5 children was there, but I assume he was as he and she eventually moved to Vancouver and he died there in 1940.  Son Alexander was the oldest and may well have already moved to Vancouver by October, 1909.  By 1911, Jack, William, Alex, and his wife, Matilda, were all living in Vancouver.  (I can find nothing of Matilda to find out her maiden name or where and when she and Alex were married - but she did die on September 17, 1920 - September 17th is my birthday, by coincidence).

The front of the postcard shows the tower in Tain that is attached to the court building - if you look at the last postcard, the base of the tower can be seen on the left hand side.  The courthouse was built in 1849 with additions in 1873.  The tower itself, however, is "ancient" (no date found) with it's bell being made in Holland in 1616 - it was formerly part of a prison.  If you look at the pictures, you can see the difference in the masonry.  More information on the history of the town can be found here.

Like most places in these images, it looks rather the same today.

Nothing I'd rather be doing on a Thursday night than a little research!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Postcards #11

Today's postcard was sent from Tain.  Tain is located in the Highlands of Scotland, on the North Sea Coast, on Dornoch Firth:

"The origin of the name "Tain" is uncertain and may be derived from the pre-Celtic name for the nearby River Tain. The origin of the town's Gaelic name is however quite clear;Baile Dubhthaich, meaning 'Duthac's town' after the saint of this name, also known as Duthus." (care of Wikipedia - the whole article is here).

Tain was granted royal charter in 1066, making it Scotland's oldest Royal Burgh (also from the Wikipedia article).  A large aerodrome was built here in the 1930s and was home to many airmen during WWII.

This post card was sent October 21, 1909 from Tain to Jack in Nairn - not too very far away, really - just across a peninsula and Moray Firth - I'm starting to understand where Colin Firth's name comes from).  The text reads:  "I got back once again + feeling alright what do you think of High St. Did not see J (?) yet but will write you when I do .  Remember me to all at home.  Your old cheer (chum?)" illegible signature.  

The mark WR&S is on this card as it was on numbers 2 and 7 as well.  I thought I wrote about them earlier, but I can't find that reference, so I may repeat myself.  WR&S (William Ritchie and Sons) was an Edinburgh firm that produced a lot of postcards at this time - all of these ones are the "Reliable Series."  They also put out albums of postcards for purchase.

The front of the card is of High Street in Tain.  Love to see the photos with the dresses, top hats, bicycles and such.  

Here's how Google Street View has it today:

Hasn't changed much, has it.  I want to go visit these places.

Misty Morning

There are some bad things about getting up at 4am to drive people to the airport.  But there are some WONDERFUL things, too.