Friday, 12 March 2010

Life in Fife

The biggest part of ME self-help, in my humble opinion, is mood maintenance. You have to look after your head. Depression, apathy, cynicism and a load of other nasties are out there to trap the unwary. A good environment is part of the process. When I'm counting my blessings, the fact that I live in rural Fife is well up the list. I'm surrounded by beauty, peace and quiet. The idea of enduring ME in an urban setting appals me. The bustle, the vehicle fumes, the noise, the absence of sky and the grey, closed-in look of a city would destroy any inner balance I might have found.

I live in an area with that special ight you find in proximity to the sea. I have green nearby hills, and distant snow covered mountains in view. At night, I can see The Milky Way, and sometimes the Northern Lights in the absence of light pollution. Each season brings its own special features. Just now, it's snowdrops wild in the woods, chevrons of geese overhead, soaring buzzards. My hens are coming back into lay after a cold snap, and I've been able to go out without my jacket zipped up for the last two days on the trot now.

Fife's good. This was a view famously held by one of my heroes, Johnny Cash. Many years ago, he found himself on a long flight sitting next to the hereditary Keeper of Falkland Palace in Fife. He learnt that "Cash" was a Fife name, still evident in the names of farms and roads in and around Falkland. He further learnt that the Cash family was descended from King Malcolm of Scotland. As a result, members of the Cash family are regular visitors to Falkland. I think that's a nice story, it always reminds me of this song, a great reflection on family life and loss.


  1. Richard - Your area sounds beautiful. I also love nature and the outdoors and am soothed by the peace of it. So glad that camping season is approaching again!

    I've often thought the same thing about having CFS and living in a city. I've had brief visits to New York City since getting CFS (one of my doctors is there), and while I love to visit the city, I can't imagine living there with CFS - I need the quiet peace of looking out the window and seeing just trees.


  2. I'm not good at inputs either. I love my music - but I can't endure noise for long. I love to read, but the concentration won't hold. I love company, but I tire around people, and struggle to keep up with conversations.

    So the retreat to the quiet is good.

  3. I've always loved Johnny Cash and, recently, have discovered Rosanne's music. Here's a story I tell in my book about her (I hope the editor doesn't want to omit it!). I heard her interviewed on a public radio show called Fresh Air in October of 2009. Rosanne had been forced to put her career on hold for several years because she had to have brain surgery for a rare but benign condition. The interviewer asked her if she ever found herself asking “Why me?” Rosanne said “no,” that, in fact, she found herself saying “Why not me?” since she had health insurance, no 9-5 job that she might lose during her long recuperation, and a spouse who was a wonderful caregiver. Her words had a profound effect on me. Now, on a day when I start to sink into that “Why me?” mood, I turn it into “Why not me?” I, too, have health insurance. I, too, did not suffer financially when I had to stop working, other than having to tighten our budget. I, too, have the best of caregivers. So, why not me?