Tag Archives: adventure

Perfected by the Sixteen Men of Tain


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Ah, Glenmorangie. Ahhhh, single malt. Like any fresh convert to its splendours, I’m a gusher.
Unfortunately, I was introduced to Glenmorangie Nectar D’or, which spends the last two years of its life resting in Sauternes casks. It’s extremely rare and difficult to find. I have been known to drag hapless family and recent friends around liquor stores in search of it, to no avail.
So today I thought I might try the sherry ripened kind – not a fan of sherry, me, so I’ve avoided it til now. But tough times call for tough measures…
So I’m gazing at the box and saw the tag line, “perfected by the sixteen men of Tain” and couldn’t help a wee fantasy nip to hobbit land. Who are these noble sixteen men? Why sixteen? Why not eighteen or twelve or fifteen? I can visualize them, muscled men in leather jerkins, joking as they work, sharing a cup at the end of the day, heading home to thatched huts where they grab their women and…well, never mind.
Is it warm in here?
Alas, the Glenmorangie site isn’t really clear on the mystery of the men of Tain.They mention that traditionally they’ve employed sixteen men to make their whiskey. Any further explanation is missing. In fact, there isn’t even a leather jerkin to be seen, let alone a thatched roof house. I don’t care. I have my fantasy…
I have to say I love the mystique of single malt. I love the secretive traditions, the special glasses, the careful instructions about drinking techniques.
The taste, well, that’s nectar of the gods.
The Lasanta will wait til the sun dips over the horizon and I’m suitably ready for an imaginary wander through Scottish moors.
I really think I should travel to the distillery and try to clear up the mystery of the sixteen. Maybe one of the men has a secret dream about a short roundish middle aged Canadian girl….nah, probably not.
Still, maybe there are free samples…
Of the whiskey! Whatever were you thinking?

Taking flight…


I’ve been working on a little story for a while now. It originally was a story from the fantastical 3DayNovel contest – dashed off in a pile of sweat and handwriting over three days, painstakingly typed into my computer over the next day or two. I was thrilled that it survived the competition, made it to the top twelve!

I was so proud of it.

So then I thought, gee, maybe I should send it somewhere else, see how it can cope out there in the big bad world. So I’ve been working on it, toiling now and again, thinking about it. It’s not an easy story to place, being a bit odd and perhaps a bit offensive to some, though I tried to write it with love and affection throughout.

I had wonderful friends who read it, helped me catch errors, helped me make it clearer, less of a three-day panic attack (though I HIGHLY recommend that contest!). Thank you and kisses to HJ, PH, JP. It’s a shinier thing thanks to you.

Now it’s all grown up, ready to leave the nest, ready to face the cruel world. In fact, it HAS to leave the nest. I’m entering it in a contest and the deadline is so close I can smell its breath.

Of course, it’s heavily laden with my hopes and dreams and such things. Which tells me immediately that I’d better get some more submissions out there so the poor wee thing can fly without having to drag my entire psyche with it.

So fly, little story. A part of my heart goes with you. It’s time for you to connect with others now.

And now, back to work…

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Guidance, divine or otherwise….


Where is a good self-help book when you need one? Too many of them seem more like the books on the right side of this bookshelf…

I’m searching for a ring for my finger than says “think think, think!” just like Winnie the Pooh would say.  I want it large enough that I can read it so that, at the moment of decision-making (something I find a wee bit impaired with my MS of late), it would remind me to take a moment, chew things through, maybe reconsider.

It’s not that I’m making bad decisions, exactly. It’s just that I distrust my judgment.

Part of it is being an orphan.  My parents died so long ago I barely remember what they would say to any of my brilliant schemes. They were already ill with cancer when they were my age.  This would, no doubt, change their perception of what was important, much like MS has changed mine. I miss their advice, though.  Often it would make me mad or frustrated or guilty or sad, but at least I had something to test my ideas against.

Right now I fall back on the old Tarot card reading stuff – not that I believe in it, but if the cards say “don’t do this” and I argue I need to deal again, I at least know what I want to do.

I’m on my own a lot, too, with naught but a parrotlet for company.  She’s cute but prefers to dance along when I sing along with sad songs and not offer solutions to my problems.  So I rely a lot on books – “helpful books” – to gain experience and thoughts about life, the universe, and everything (okay, perhaps relying on Douglas Adams wasn’t such a good idea). Ideas that seem distinctly brilliant and doable in my solitude show their cracks and duct tape patches in the searchlights of friends and family.

And, while I struggle with my own issues, there are so many people around me also struggling, and I have to rely on my imperfect knowledge to try to provide solace. Advice is hard. I feel like we are lined up like those Betta fish, each in their own little cup. No one has the same fishbowl as anyone else – the best we can do is peer through our own glass and try to spot them through theirs.  Sometimes we can see the cat’s paw approaching, but most of the time it’s just murky. On both sides. Maybe if I just waggle a fin in support?

I’m heading into a big decision time. Well, at least one.  I find myself feeling that layer of excitement that you feel creeping over you as you ratchet up the slope on a roller coaster for the first time.  Not sure how the ride will be, excited to think about it.

My friends are split with their advice. My mind is also split. So I look at the ring I’m wearing – one with purple amethysts, the stone of dreams, and think, think, think. And hope for guidance, divine or otherwise. And also hope that those I’ve stumblingly tried to help haven’t been too damaged by my heavy-footedness, that perhaps some of what I know came through the murk.