The last few days were fun filled; London exploring, tube hopping, credit card decimating, crazy people seeing and a lots and lots of eating kinda days. We had one full day to initiate Joelle to the home of 9.2 million people and we went hard.
We rode the District line, Piccadilly line, Circle line, Bakerloo line, Jubilee line, Central line and the Victoria line….yes, all within 6 hours yesterday.
Oxford Circus’ Lush got most of my money, but H&M comes in a close second. Though I think Joelle rather liked the overcoat that was vommitted on by a unicorn she found in H&M…but left it on the rack in the end. 😉
We saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Thames, Piccadilly Circus, the V & A Museum, and the museum of Natural History.
But Abbey road was a highlight for me because I had never been. Left my mark too!
So now we sit…waiting to board our plane for Canada, fighting for our little piece of free wifi. Sad to go, but excited to see our families. See you soon, on Canadian soil. xx
And then there were four.
I left these girls at the foot of Arthur’s seat, during crazy wind, to walk myself back through Edinburgh before my train to London.
They climbed to the top of the world and I hobbled through ancient history and Marks & Spencer and paid a visit to my favourite little store, Crabtree & Evelyn.
I arrived to the train stocked with food for a 4 hour journey, and what was supposed to be 4 hours turned into 5 due to a wee laddie on the train who needed medical attention.
“Is there a nurse, Dr or paramedic on board?” Being heard overhead on holidays can set a nurses heart to flight. Basically 14 people showed up, and I turned to the nurse next to me and said if someone needs to deliver a baby I’m in coach E! (No one needed a labour nurse in the end!!)
I arrived at Kings Cross station, loaded my Oyster card and hopped on the tube. (Hopped is the wrong word…there is no hopping on this foot). Well lickety split I was at Marnies with supper and a cup of tea and ice on my foot.
Now, three are headed to Ireland and one is catching up with me here in London…I’ll update ya later once we connect again!
The second day of the conference was another fascinating one.
Our system in Canada is so different in that the majority of our deliveries are attended by physicians, in the UK midwives primarily attend birth and Drs rather act as consultants. But the way women birth remains the same and the passion behind birth workers is just as evident!
We heard from a scientist regarding the neurobiology of babies being born to connect and from an obstetrician about the perineal trauma that can occur at birth. Ina May Gaskin ended the conference telling stories of her 50+ years of delivering babies as a midwife.
We said our goodbyes and connected with many over Facebook, IG and Twitter and then walked 1.4 km (at least that’s what Google maps said) to only have to ask 2 people along the way if the train station was any where close. (All in 1.4 km lol)
We arrived and celebrated with selfies and candy!!
So now here we sit in the train. All staring at our phones, soaking in the day…still not tired of one another to be honest, and still laughing ourselves silly.
Now on to The Worlds End… I mean Edinburgh… ok really I mean both, and for those of you who read Outlander, you’ll know exactly what I mean! 😉
Soooooo…tired… but tickled to be here!!! (Tired in Scotland is better than tired in Canada as far as I’m concerned)
…Hold this space… (for lots of coffee) … and for imparted knowledge…
Some days writing makes me feel like a mad scientist, mixing words with feelings for a reaction. Other days it makes me feel like a god, creating worlds and people inside of them for the sole purpose of worshipping the beauty of words.
Some days writing makes me feel like a midwife, helping birth ideas and stories into life. While other days I feel like a mourner, saying goodbye to what was and what will never be again.
Some days writing makes me feel like a physician, passing out elixirs in words to alter well being. But it also makes me feel like a patient, waiting on a cure, for that unceasing ache, that comes in the presence of beauty, sensuality, under the hands of love and lust.
Whatever it is, whatever role I play, I know it’s here, I’m meant to be; carving out a life that fulfills, that brings me both meaning and pleasure. Letting me be found, as a chemist, a femme-sage, a curer, an ailer or even a griever.
Letting me be all of these, simultaneously, unapologetically, so I can just be me.
That’s what writing does for me. This is why I write.
After 3 days in the feral highlands we primmed and propped this morning to arrive at our obstetrical conference in decent condition for civilization. We had a small clue about where this conference was and managed to wing a bus for a quick ten minute ride to our location.
The conference is being held at a Racecourse and occasionally throughout the day we heard screaming seagulls, being so close to the ocean as well. The atmosphere friendly, coffee inviting and the host phenomenally full of spirit and humour we begun the day changing gears dramatically from our first few days here in Scotland.
I kept my ankle elevated while the girls tried out some of these cool birth supports.
The day was filled with some phenomenal speakers. One speaker from Australia spoke on the ongoing debate and research surrounding home vs birth centre vs hospital births. It reminded me that although many of us come from other countries, the barriers of certain attitudes towards birth have many similarities.
We interacted with others on our coffee breaks, met a few others from around the world and even got a little artistic with henna! (Joelle is truly an artist)
The highlight for my day was listening to, meeting and talking with an obstetrician named Dr Andy Simm. About nine months ago, Dr Simm performed a gentle cesarean for a woman at her request, and a video of this woman’s birth went viral. Many opinions were voiced, as you can imagine from both ends of the spectrum, but hearing the man speak about giving the woman choice for her c-section and what it all involves had me buying in quickly. (Moved to tears actually…but are any of us surprised?) I find it profoundly impacting when I see health care providers care about more than just the bottom line of mortality and morbidity alone; when they can move into the realm of considering the experience of the woman, her partner and her infant as part of the whole process of a well birth. It just makes sense. And as a woman who had 4 cesereans, yes, I would have 100% of wanted this if the conditions had been appropriate.
And besides, it was fascinating enough just talking about differences in obstetrical practices between England, where he practices and Canada (ok at least Manitoba) where we work.
Here’s us with Dr Andy Simm! (Did I mention he had a delightful accent?!? 🙂
So basically we are full to the brim for today. It was a magical day in a whole other way than the highlands, but just as worth the quadrillion of hours it took to travel here to this amazing country!
Ok…we needs a nap!! Shhhhh…
Because every day in Scotland should include a highland coo
Our last day with our tour guide led us north travelling higher elevation near the highest road in Scotland. The day was filled with tales of Rob Roy, William Wallace (the true version as opposed to the Hollywood version) and the Frasers of Lovett. We saw mist and mountains and the road where they filmed a portion of Top Gear. (See!!! Mist and clouds)
We were dropped off at the train station and only had a few teary episodes surrounding saying goodbye to our brilliant guide Ally from Kilted Coastal Tours. (Nooooo I never asked him what he wore under his kilt!!! MANNERS PEOPLE!!) … but I did catch him unawares with the picture below…and it serves him right, he took one of me bending over when we were getting ready to pose hanging my arse out straight in the middle of the picture.
We said our goodbyes…
And now are off to Ayr by train… gonna go have some lunch. xo
Not all selfies are about the people
My cheeks are cold from the labile temperatures and sore from laughing. We have had snow, sleet, rain, sun, and overcast…and it all seems to cycle inside a 28 minute pattern. We have visited standing stones, a castle, ate an incredible lunch and mortified our tour guide Ally by talking nursey talk. (Not everyone can stomach blood and guts apparently.) We’re off to eat… and probably to take a hundred more selfies!! 😉
Ps. Today I learned that there is an island off of Isle of Skye that is infested with black adders. So let’s be clear. If there’s a really great deal on a house in Scotland remind me not to buy it, just in case it’s on that island and they are trying to off load a house full of venemous snakes… apparently there are only 4 houses on that entire island and each house keeps antivenom in it. Jesus Murphy people… WHY DID I NOT KNOW THIS?? (Yes I still love Scotland…and I can’t imagine with all the snow today any snake would even venture out…SNAKE POPSICLES). JESUS!! Ok panic attack done.
We are fucking delirious… landed in Gatwick overtired, overhungry but sweet enough looking to let us pass through customs! We have a short layover in London before getting on another plane to Inverness! The UK doesn’t know what’s going to hit them 😬