I’m in Scotland, supposedly writing my book but in reality lazing about and breathing unpolluted air as I wander through green fields, up beautiful hills covered in sheep poo, then lie curled up by a roaring fire with one of my best friends and a bottle of Baileys.
My trip up was much more fun than a train journey has any right to be. I admit, I did book first class this time. In the past I’ve booked a regular ticket then smiled nicely at the friendly guard and asked to upgrade for free. But one run in with a less-than-friendly jobsworth meant I had to be squashed up near someone smelly and without wifi for three hours. So I paid the extra and wow! Was it worth it!
First of all, I didn’t know you could settle in for the day in the first class lounge at Euston with complimentary everything. I made myself at home at a clean and tidy workstation, plugged in my laptop and whizzed off a mailshot before anyone had time to offer me my second free banana!! And I had no idea you could take a shower at the station in spa-like surroundings, before wrapping up in a warm fluffy towel and claiming a hot chocolate and muffin. (I didn’t actually have a shower – that would have been taking the hospitality a step too far.)
Then the train itself proved a fantastic place to work. Armed with my (more-free-stuff) butternut squash and feta wrap, and a green tea – I turned down the rosé – I wrote four client blogs and some poetry. The January sun shone through the dirty window as the beautiful Peak District rolled by.
To top off the fun of the railway, a quick trip to the loo made me laugh so much I posted immediately on Facebook and Twitter. An automated voice asked me oh so politely: “Please do not flush nappies, sanitary towels, unpaid bills, your ex’s jumper, hopes, dreams or goldfish down this toilet.” Made my day!!
So here I am, four days later with book unwritten, but far more knowledgeable about home-made damson gin and Tibetan Buddhist practices. Not that those two things go naturally together, they really don’t. My time at the Kagyu Samye Linge monastery was spiritual and calming. This beautiful, harmonious place is a centre for wisdom and learning open to people of all faiths, and none.
I made my wish as I tied a pink ribbon on the Cloutie tree in keeping with the Scottish and Tibetan custom. As my cloth fades the wish will be carried away and, hopefully, come true. Walking around the Stupa (not in a stupor!) the path took me through the Prayer Wheel House, with each wheel containing millions of mantras for peace and compassion. Imagine a world full of both of those…. Who could ask for more than that?
I did come to Scotland to work from a different perspective, even though less work’s been done than planned. But getting back into work mode, I’ll be speaking about social media on January 30th at the Truly Me event for women entrepreneurs at Earl’s Court. It’s going to be a fabulous afternoon (4-7.30pm), so email or tweet me if you’d like details.
If you’re expecting some Scottish lyrics now, sorry to disappoint… there’s no flinging around this laptop. But providing the background to blog writing right now, mellow against the homemade damson wine and appropriate for the Scottish weather and fields of heather: ‘Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing, it’s time we all reach out for something new – that means you too. You say you want a leader, but you can’t seem to make up your mind.’ I won’t be your weekend lover but I’ll be your @WeekendWitch, follow me here.