The Big Dipper

The Big Dipper

2014-10-23 16.19.52

I’m rarely unwell, but due to a persistent flu-like bug, my energy levels have been unusually low lately. When levels are ‘normal’ I have been described, variously, as “InterCity 125” (by train enthusiasts) and a chipmunk. Upon which observations I have nothing to add 🙂

I have noticed that when ‘unwell’, large portions of my brain waste good creative time trying to tell me I’m not up to it. Portions that usually wake singing “The sun has got his hat off.. hip, hip, hip hooray”.

2014-10-24 15.00.29

What’s really going on is that life is providing a whole new set of challenges.. and I’m not sure I’m up to “em. My flu-raddled brain takes advantage and makes that mean, that other important people (ie: people I love and care about) don’t think I’m up to said challenges either. Which really means that I just want ’em to think well of me. So that I look good. None of which is really gonna make much of a difference to them or me.

That said ..if it’s alright with you, and even if it isn’t.. I’ll now get on with the enjoyable business of writing.

2014-10-23 16.22.07

Scotland is, in places, not at all far from Ireland – luckily for me I live in one of those places – in Tarff, near Kirkcudbright, on the south-west coast of Scotland some 56 miles from the ferry across to Belfast. Lucky: because I will be travelling to Ireland fairly frequently to be with my Irish grandchild and family; and in so doing get to know Ireland. Two weeks ago I took the car for the first time.

2014-10-23 16.25.53

I’d often wondered what lay beyond the slopes of the beautiful mountain, Slieve Croob ( one of the Mountains Of Mourne) on which my daughter now lives, near her new family. It has been as though – on previous visits – I had ridden the crest of a huge wave of welcome that had crashed up against this mountain and subsided peacefully down the slopes into the valley where Dromara lies, twinkling. I have seldom met such lovely people as this Irish family and their wider circle and community.


The view from the ridge (see previous post) the night before had tantalised me with misty hints of massive vistas. I drove up the mountain with the light quickly fading. Is there anything more exciting than setting foot (or wheels) on new ground? Troughs and peaks rising and falling. A great big dipper of a mountain range ahead. Any one of the roads to be taken – sublime, vertiginous, terrifying. But so inviting.

When you visit a new land or landscape, meet new people, meet a new baby who is a part, not just of your family but also a part of you – the whole of your world has changed; transformed. You will never be the same you again.

2014-10-24 15.18.23

Maybe it’s these amazing mountain landscapes that have me talking to you as though I’m Gandalf and you’re Hobbits who need convinced to battle the Orcs. But I, at least, could do with remembering that life is one big dipper. Life is not a film, it’s real. One hell of a ride.

If we’re lucky.

The Big Dipper


About largelyhelen

Designer, photographer, writer.
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