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Some basics about me:

I was born a long time ago in Old Hamburg, the most beautiful city in the western hemisphere (I think!). I travelled the world, but couldn't visit each little point on the planet. But I saw plenty of pretty villages and hamlets as well as fantastic towns and cities, glittering and sparkling like champagne like Funchal/Madeira, Barcelona, New York, Sidney, Venice, Las Vegas, Milano, Kopenhagen, Lisboa, Paris, Munich, Perth/Australia and Scotland, Macinaggio/Corsica, Phoenix/Arozona, Palma de Majorca, Zuerich, Pisa, Cairns/Queensland, Innsbruck, Edinburgh, Brisbane, London, Freshwater East/Wales, Verbier, Lech and St. Anton/Arlberg, Jever, Chicago, Canterbury, Coimbra, Lyon, Bozen, Brixen, Wichita Falls/Texas, Corte/Corsica, Kalgoorlie/West Australia, Portree, Dallas.........

As I now have found MY PLACE - my HAVEN - on the MISTY ISLAND (SKYE) I gave up travelling and enjoy a quiet life in the wilderness and total solitude. The more I grow older the more I am becoming a hermit. Only sometimes I go to the view point near my house close to the lovely Lealt waterfall, where tourists from all over the world come to marvel the beautiful view over the Raasay Sound to the Isle of Rona and on the horizon the hills of Torridon, Wester Ross, and Applecross on the mainland. I used to walk my dogs there, but now that I am over 80  I stay on this side of the main road with the mountain ridge of the Storr, the River Lealt, meandering through the valley, the crofts with grazing sheep always in my sight. How peaceful is this land with the Skylarks singing early in the morning, and all the other birds in the pines and firs surrounding my little house.

I started to make little videos of my surroundings and still find places I haven't seen before: have a look at the small rapid in the River Lealt which I found on a bright summer day some years ago: https://www.youtu.be/9cibn0MF7RQ


I have a list of words which are important to me:


...and now I found another important word - at the moment it's the most important one in my life: BALANCE. I realize that I've been craving for balance all my life, but only now I see the very importance of a well balanced life and - how fragile it is, how very hard to maintain. I find the balance only in myself - perhaps that's why my destiny let me find this little house in the great solitude on The Isle of Skye. I live in peace and harmony with nature, with the animals on the crofts and in the sky, with myself and with my rescued BorderCollie, who was born in Sptember 2009 (now 13 years old = that's 91 years in a human's life), he lives with me for 12 years and is getting old with me, but is a lot stronger than me.

The times are gone that I wanted company, that I offered roundtrips to tourists or invited people to stay with me. Perhaps it's selfish, but I need to be on my own now, need this balance and it takes a long time to recover it after an unsettling incident.

So I realize that the learning process never ends.

I was born under the star sign LIBRA (no wonder that I need my balance) and when I came to this world it was said that I was an Angel of Peace (the world  hoped for peace after the conference in Munich on the day of my birth, the 30th of September 1938).

In the Chinese Horoscope I am the TIGER, and the Tiger says:

I am the lovely contradiction

The whole wide world is my arena

I break open new tracks

I strive after the unattainable

And try the never tried

I dance to the music of life

Cheerful and unrestrained

Come with me onto the merry-go-round

Look at the countless colours

The flickering lights.

Everybody is jubilating at me,

The matchless acrobat


(not really, as you can see, it's me and my 3legged Greyhound friend EBONY, who lived with me for one year)

In April 2011 I lost my Ebony (read the incredible story further down) but then I could end the ordeal of the beautiful Border Collie SWEEP who had been tied to a fence all his (puppy)-life, because he didn't obey the crofter, he couldn't be trained to be an obedient working dog - you see: something bad happens (the kidnapping of my Ebony) and something good comes out of it (the rescue of Sweepiedo). People say: "He is a dog with his own will", -  and I am a human being with my own will - so we were meant for each other!

Have a look at my Border Collie and myself on my Golden Wedding Anniversary on 3rd July 2011:

...and here is the KING himself: 

There exist uncountable photos about Skye and in June 2012 I could take one STAR picture of the Loch Fada and the Old Man of Storr. Have a look:

 If you want to contact me I'd be delighted to hear from you: k.h.ipsen@btinternet.com

...and if you want to see what's happening in front of my house, you can watch a little video at

https://youtu.be/F1z0p6HyktQ (more on my youtube channel Karin Schmidt, UK, Isle of Skye)

At the moment we experience something we never thought would happen: It's March 2022 - the Russians invaded Ukraine and that is totally unbelievable. I can't watch the news about the bombings of Ukrainian towns - I have to cry, because the sirens are the same tone as 1943, when Hamburg was bombed to rubble, our house was bombed and we had to flee - I was 5 years old and remember very well our way out of the city, when nobody wanted to take us out because we were too many (mother with 5 children was to much for many bus drivers). I can't watch the news with these scenes - people fleeing their homes....

As if the times were not bad enough: we had the Corona Virus entering the world 2 years ago, turning it upside down, only for me there was no change - I went on staying on my own in my solitude. In Portree during the first days of the Virus there died 12 elderly people by the virus and I decided NOT TO GO there (my place of shopping!) - for me it was too dangerous, the virus was there and I didn't want to get it.... and I got through the whole thing without vaccination. But my years got me: my left leg was most of the time hurting, but I could walk quite well. My car was due for the MOT and I was told, that it would be expensive this time - £ 600,oo or more. I would have paid up to £ 200,oo to get it repaired, but £ 600 was too much for only driving to the StaffinShop for my groceries. In addition: my body was aching more and more, it was difficult to get into the car, and so I gave it up, and since 1. November 2021 I am without a car and have to coordinate my helpers. I could do it easily, although in October I wouldn't have imagined that I am now "really" old and fully dependent on others. But Simon from the GLEN VIEW HOTEL and my daughter Carina bring me my supplies and I found a wholemealshop in Portree, who bring me fresh vegetable etc. This is all possible with the internet. for which I am SO HAPPY that it exists. Without telephoning (which makes my dog cranky and bonkers) I order my groceries via messenger and my friends bring me my boxes. I am SO THANKFUL for this arrangement and could go on and on forever...

But now: Mr. Putin... I am waiting for somebody to assassinate him, that the Russian people wake up and "fire" him - but this is wishful thinking of a child - that I am, hoping that not a 3rd world war breaks out - although I'd like to throw a Bomb on the Kreml.... what will become of our planet - it's anyway going down by climate change.... we live in a very dangerous time and the only thing we can do is HOPING AND PRAYING!

So I am thinking of MY PAST:

I'd like to tell you something about my life, because it is filled with so many miracles, that I HAVE TO talk about it.

The first miracle was that a sperm found an egg in New Year's Night of 1937/38. My mother had given up on my father after his adultery, and she was not happy when she realized that she was pregnant again, because she had already 4 children without really wanting them. Those were the days without "the pill".

The next miracle was that I was really BORN, because my mother had tried everything to abort me, in those days the normal woman didn't know what to do... but she tried, e.g. she jumped from the kitchen table, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) I resisted and was born nine months later.

Next miracle was, that we stayed alive in July 1943, when the Allied Forces were undertaking the Operation Gomorrha - bombing Hamburg into ruins, killing about 75.000 people. Destroying German Cities was the only possibility to end the 2nd Worldwar.

My mother was strong - we found a roof above our heads in Langstedt, a tiny village near the Danish border. She made dresses for everybody in the village, had an allotment, where she grew vegetables, had rabbits and pigs to keep us well fed.

My 4 years older brother and I had a good time in the tiny school and in our free time we picked dandelions for the rabbits and played in the lush meadows and the forests surrounding our village. Everywhere was ADVENTURE, and my brother invented stories, telling them to his classmates, but first of all to me. I was the "star" of his tales, and I loved it to hear about leaving our home again and again ... striving after foreign adventures ...heading for unknown places ... being free as a bird and going away away away.......

In 1949 we could return to Hamburg, serious schooling there, best reports, writing was my strength, and I wanted to become a photo journalist. But sadly my parents said: a girl doesn't need a higher education - she needs to cook and wash, because she'll marry anyway.

To get somewhere near my dream I started an apprentiship in a small publishing house in the city of Hamburg, Ballindamm 38, dreaming of changing later to a newspaper proprietor, to start as a volonteer for editorial work. But before anything like this could happen I met at the age of 20 THE handsome young man, fell in love and got married in 1961. Until 1963 we had no own home, but I liked to be free, travelling wherever my lover/husband roamed. He was a jetpilot in the German Air Force, in the beginning of his career moving about a lot - I was doing "my thing", working in different companies, living in Hamburg and Munich, until our first child was born and we at last settled down (for the moment) in Memmingen, a lovely little town in the Allgaeu/Bavaria.

One miracle happened on the 12.4.1963: I was staying with my parents in Hamburg, expecting my first child. The due day had passed by, but at 10 p.m. on 12th of April  I felt some stomach ache, waited until 1 a.m. when it had been like a wave of coming and going pain. I grasped my bag and tiptoed out of the house into the darkness of the night - thinking of going to the next call box to order a taxi. After a few steps a taxi approached me. I waved to stop it. The driver opened the window and said "Sorry, this taxi is not in service"... I said: "But the contractions come now every 2 minutes!" He jumped out of the car, took my bag, let me climb on the backseat and drove back to the city center to the clinic FINKENAU, carried my bag and helped me politely up the stairs into the building, where my daughter Carina at last was born at 6:05 a.m.

At that time I didn't think that my Good Lord had sent that man in that moment to that place, I was only happy to be lucky... now after a long and eventful life I KNOW that my Good Lord is watching over me, helping on the tiniest occasions, when I NEED help

I am torn if I should go on labelling events as "miracles", telling my life chronologically, or only talking about events just as they come to my mind.

The thing is, that I have lived a few very different lives: as a child, then the learning years, being a married woman and mother, working in different professions, leaving "normal" life behind me to live freely in different countries (Spain, Great Britain).

By the time my two daughters had left to live their own lives I lived in Hamburg, where I had a nice flat which I had found miraculously after leaving Friesland in 1983. I couldn't earn money there anymore after having been a language teacher at an evening school for 13 terms. I had left my husband, had bought a modest bungalow in a small village in Friesland, but people didn't have any spare money to pay for evening- or morning classes anymore after the recession of the early 80s. I had tried to sell the house to buy something new in Hamburg, but nothing really worked. Looking for a new place for my daughter Sylvia, born in 1966, at that time (1982/83) still living with me in Friesland, and me - we were standing in front of an apartment block in Hamburg Lerchenfeld, where we knew was a flat for sale, which we couldn't afford. Young people went in and out with lots of boxes, and they told me, that somebody moved out of a small apartment and that I was free to have a look at it. Walking through the empty flat I was told, that another (bigger) one on the same floor was to be let. I got a telephone number, called the owner and four months later we could move in. Sylvia could attend a nearby domestic science school to end her first education. I found a good job as a secretary in an estate agency near the Aussenalster and near my place, so I went to work on my bicycle. In 1984 I even tried to become an estate agent myself, but for that business you have to be a bit greedy and heartless, and that's what I am not in any respect.

In 1988 Sylvia left for Munich to work in her profession as a beautician, and I was FREE to do all the marvellous things I had dreamed of. To go to dances, to buy an old VW Bus for extended travelling, to find a nice boyfriend - and I started dating... An extremely good dancer, living near my place on his own, 2 years older than me, very polite and understanding, seemed to be sent from "above". He made beautiful Tiffany lampshades day and night - and I was gobsmacked when I saw his exhibition. In my mind I saw us living together in a big house, where we could have enough space for ourselves, and where we could have a big room for his exhibition and enough room for our dancing. I terminated my tenancy and found the ideal house in Halstenbek, at the north edge of Hamburg. To make a long story short: it didn't work out, because my partner was manic depressive, what they call bipolar nowadays. And that means, that the person is insane during the manic period. I had invested time and money to make good catalogues, and we were lawfully registered with our handicraft business, but he often wrecked orders with going up and down with our catalogue prices, customers got annoyed about his behaviour, and I broke down completely because of too much pressure: I worked fulltime as a chief secretary in a company, promoted his lampshades in my free time and for the dancing I was too tired. "If you can't dance anymore, I'll look for another partner" - so I danced!... and broke down on 28.2.1990. It was a break point, because after staying in a clinic for 6 weeks I realized, that something had happened to my head. I couldn't work in an office anymore. I asked my partner to leave, enjoyed my own handicraft producing - which I had learnt in the clinic - and lived for a while alone in the big house, making money in selling my creations on markets. But it was too little money to provide the high house- and living costs. I had to look for a new place, but couldn't find any.

Making a Christmas Market in Hamburg a nice man came to my stall and asked "what can I do with the lampshade I bought last year from you, but I'd like another one in a different colour instead". That was not a problem for me, and I invited him to come to my house to find a new lampshade. He came, liked 3 lampshades, and I said he could take them all to his place to find the one and only correct colour to match with his amethyst druse. He was astonished about my "generosity", but I laughed and said, that we were closing down here, and that I only had to find another place to live. I dreamed of a log cabin in the forests of Schleswig Holstein, and it turned out, that he had one for himself in the Natural Park in Aukrug. Again I have to make a long story short: I found the log cabin of my dreams and miraculously I was able to buy it with the help of my brother, a few more good people and a bank manager who believed in me.

The problem was the big house in Halstenbek. I still had my license as an estate agent, got stationery printed, advertised the house on behalf of the owner, and after a nerve wrecking time I sold it and earned 20.000,-- DM on brokerage - the whole thing was a "string" of miracles.

In the early times of our relationship we had been dancing in a nice club in Hamburg, where I often saw a lady in a red dress, who danced marvellously. We never spoke a word with each other, but smiled and I felt a connection between us. 

In the time that I was looking for a new place my former partner and I had become friends, and we went for a dance in a nice place, and through the door came the blond lady in the red dress. We smiled, and when I went past her table I gave her a note that read "how nice to see you here again. Will you please call me, because I'll have to move away". So she did and we talked about our lives. I told her about the big house I was living in and that I had to find some one to buy it. She asked about the rooms and said "my son has been looking for such a house for 2 years!" He and his beautiful fiancee came, we drank lots of hot chocolate and were friends when they left, determined to buy it. They still live in it, are married and have a son.

So everybody was happy: the owner was pleased with the price I had got for his house, the buyers to have got it at a not too high price, their parents were happy and myself the happiest of all, that's quite natural indeed.

It was hard work to put up a big stall, to decorate it with all our handicraft, to stay overnight in my VW bus, bought for my business - but it was worth it - I lived a free life with my dog Bustle, a German Shepherd/Collie mix. My daughter Carina and her husband wanted to emigrate to G.B. and couldn't afford to pay for the quarantine - and the wonderful dog would have died being 6 months locked away in a kennel. So I had adopted him in 1989/90.

In 1995 the Germans didn't have a lot of spare money to spend on things which were not necessary - and my things weren't needed. They were bought to make other people happy. Again I earned too little money, although I worked very hard. When my income decreased from month to month I had to think about a radical change in my life, and when I realized that I couldn't go on any further I advertised my log cabin, sold it with a good profit, stored my household and went on a trip in my VW van through Europe - how many years had I dreamed of a journey like this - with enough money and with unlimited time. I had nothing but 3 boxes: 1 for kitchenthings, 1 as my "bathroom", 1 as my "office" with my wordprocessor, dictaphone, lots of paper and a Canon Eos 1000 - so I did something similar to a photo journalist, although I never published anything - I was my own writer and reader and enjoyed my not so bad photos - all by myself. My bedding was an old sleeping bag, an old airbed and some blankets, which were for me as well as for Bustle.

We looked for cheap houses in France, Haute Savoie, stayed at a camping site on a farm in Jourdrain, looked around in the mountains surrounding Annecy, but for little money you only could get cow stables. So we drove on and on, until suddenly we were in Barcelona, where we boarded the ferry to Palma de Mallorca, and for me a good omen was, that I "met" the Spanish Queen Sofia strolling through this beautiful city like me and lots of other people. Passing by we looked into each others eyes and smiled.............

I lost my purse and my keys, but always found help... lived in 3 different places in St. Pere and Betlem, had to go back to Germany to sell my 1st house in Friesland (at last - the tenants had refused to leave it when I had needed it one year ago, but it HAD TO BE THIS WAY, to force me into my journey of a lifetime)... and I found miraculously a 4 story townhouse in the center of the ancient village of Arta/Mallorca.

I didn't have lots of money and for several months I couldn't find anything affordable to buy. At last I resigned and started to look for something to rent. A young woman showed me around, but firstly we met at her house in Sa Sorteta No. 9. All the places she showed me were not suitable for me. During the day she told me, that they were building a house in the countryside and her mother wanted to sell the house she and her family were living in. We climbed up onto the roof, where I had the vision, that THIS WAS MY HOUSE. The owners were desperate to get their hands on cash. We negotiated, and on 31.3.1997 we were signing the contracts at the solicitor's. It was again hard work and nerve wrecking. A little refurbishing had to be done, a small mortgage had to be granted by a nice bank manager (after negotiations with a nasty and stupid one), and in July 1997 Bustle and I were in our new-old house.

A stomach ulcer broke open, I relaxed on my roof terrace and got over it, looking after myself, my house, my dog - and friends came to have their cheap holiday in my spare room. Beside that I drove friends and friends of friends to and from the airport in Palma in my posh Audi GT Coupe, which I owned... but that is another very funny miracle story.

Before I go on you should see the log cabin of my dreams in the most beautiful surroundings in Schleswig Holstein. It was really a miracle that I found it and that I could buy it, but another miracle happened when I had to go to the solicitor to sign the contract of purchase - his office was in a very very busy part of Hamburg. I had to drive in my van through thick traffic, I even had to bypass traffic jams. Everybody seemed to be on the roads and streets. I thought I'll never be at the place at 3 p.m., and never would find a parking space, but I drove on, clasping my stirring wheel, sweating, and when I arrived at the spot there was a fantastic spacious parking place DIRECT in front of the entrance. I ran up the stairs and was in the office at 2 minutes to 3 ! In those years I hadn't realized yet that my Good Lord was watching over me and helped me always - down to the smallest detail.

Here is now the story about my posh Audi I drove in Majorca - The one I earned money with by driving people: 

One day my daughter Sylvia called me and said, that her dad wanted to give her his silver Audi GT Coupe - she could sell it to get some cash for her first own little car. He had bought that posh vehicle when I had bought my first modest little house in Friesland, after having saved all my salaries to get a Government contract, which was established for not so well off people. You could save your money on it and get at the end financial help from the Government to buy a property. On top of it I had to take  a mortgage - understandably my monthly costs were very high. Although I had left my husband we were still friends (until today!!!). He had lots of money in his current account and didn't really know what to do with it. I said "you could invest it in my house, so I'd save a lot of interest - I'd rather gave it to you - and with the Government contract the house would be paid fully and free from debt in 11 years' time." He thought a while about it, but then decided, that he wanted rather the newest Audi GT Coupe, a silver one with 130 h.p.. So be it, I thought grumbling to myself and worked hard to pay my bills. You see: The Good Lord always knows best. 

Twelve years on my husband was tired of that car, standing in his garage, because he had bought long ago a big motorhome and for normal travelling they used the car of his partner. How nice of him to offer the Audi to our daughter.

I couldn't sleep that night, imagining that this marvellous car should be in the hands of strangers - it was so well looked after and shone like a new vehicle. Although I didn't have lots of money I asked my daughter, what she was expecting to sell it for. I told her, I'd give her a little less and would buy it myself. She agreed. I went down to Munich by night train on a one-way-ticket, and couldn't sleep that night either because of hundreds of Swedish holidaymakers, who enjoyed the German beer.

In Munich we attached the transitional registration plates, which I had in my bag, and off I drove in this fantastic car - 180 kmh on the Autobahn made me feel on top of the world - and singing loudly I drove through Bavaria to visit friends who were just celebrating a significant birthday for three days......

It was hard to get through the years, to get everything done with the emigration to Spain, but THERE I could see the heavenly picture - I had sold my van in Germany, and in Spain I earned half of my living with the AUDI GT COUPE, and although it was meanwhile 15 years old it even SMELLED new and the people I drove around on Majorca loved the space of the boot and the comfort of the journeys.

What I learnt with this happening: Never grumble about things that don't go YOUR way - our Good Lord ALWAYS knows better, has the better overview!

Have a look at me, my dog and my car:

...and have a look at my log cabin, a life long dream had come true in the beginning of 1993, but I had to leave this wonderful place, because I couldn't earn enough money to survive - the Germans didn't have any spare money anymore in 1995 - and the things I was selling at my market stall nobody really needed - it was handicraft to buy for giving away to loved ones or keeping and enjoying them oneself.  

Summer 1995: In the garden we bid fare well to my log cabin - to make it easier we drink some champagne...

Most of his time my partner made Tiffany lampshades - day and night - like some sort of therapy...

After moving in together in August 1988 into a big house (I had dreamed of, because I wanted a large room for the lamps' exhibition and enough space to dance) we worked "a little bit" to get the lamp business "up and running" - and now I see, that our Good Lord gave us the right place at the right time..... and it makes my faith so strong. Believe me: Everything will be alright in the end. We have to be patient. What is meant to happen will happen when the time is right. Que sera sera!

But in-between the good times we can have horrible experiences, we can be completely in despair, being disappointed, depressed, even suicidal, but we should never forget that there is hope - as long as we are able to fight there is hope... and everything will be alright... until the next catastrophe occurs. I think that THIS IS LIFE - there are ALWAYS ups and downs - there is ALWAYS something to learn, and that makes us ALWAYS stronger and stronger. It's only a little, silly home truth, but nevertheless really true: What doesn't kill us makes us strong!

Now have a look at our Tiffany lampshade exhibition......

....and this was my Christmas Stall in Hamburg Eidelstedt, when the miracles of 1992/93 started to happen

In August 1995 I left everything behind and started the trip of a lifetime - again a lifelong dream became true: I had always dreamed to travel through Europe in an old VW van with no comfort - only the least things I took with me (airbed, sleeping bag, camping stove, but most important of all my dog Bustle, a typewriter and my new Canon Eos 1000) This trip was so educating - I found the most moderate life was the one for me - you need so little to be happy...

...on our way to new horizons... Bustle and I arrived in Majorca at the beginning of September 1995 - the heat was almost unbearable....

I am thinking about my miracles - sometimes it seems that they happened very often, but at the moment I only can remember a few - one miracle was, when my Good Lord sent Lassie... Before Bustle I had never had a dog, in my family pets were not allowed - nowadays I can understand that, because my mother had enough work with her 5 children... But after I had adopted Bustle I realized, how good it was to live with a dog, He was my best friend, and I was dreading the time, when he would be old and would die. I said "Before he dies I'd like to have another dog like him, perhaps even a son of his, who could live with us for several months"... But what do we know how the future will be? So we lived happily together in the log cabin and later in the big house in Majorca. The years passed by, and Bustle became old and rather stiff, so that in the end he couldn't climb the many steps to get to the roof terrace.

In the house opposite lived a family who had a white dog called Lassie, who looked a lot like my Bustle. The people often were not at home for days or weeks, and Lassie didn't get any food or water then.

Some years ago I wrote a little story about "how Lassie entered my life" - and here I'll tell it again :

....every now and then the eldest son of the family came for a few nights, and when he left the house in the morning poor Lassie wanted to go with him. But he pushed her back with his foot and said "al corrall". There were nights, when Lassie was howling and yowling for hours, so that I couldn't sleep. I imagined that she was hungry and thirsty, because for several days nobody had entered the house. At midnight I took some water and dry dog food and entered the house through a window (the family did the same, because only the father had a key). Beneath the window was a big old table. I was sitting on it and Lassie was jumping up like mad, barking and howling. I managed to give her the water and the food and she gobbled it up greedily. Poor thing!!!

I could open the frontdoor from the inside, put a string around the dog's neck and went with her to the almond groves, where she could do a tiny little poo. Nobody in that family had ever walked this dog, and I imagined how she was living in all that rubbish and filth in the house. The "corrall" was incredibly filthy, filled with rubbish (wrecked bikes, motorbikes and other garbage) Every night when Lassie was barking I entered the house, fed her and walked her - even during the days I did it, but it became more and more complicated to put her back into the house of horror. On the 3rd of July 1998 she rejected to enter her house, but jumped into mine. It was my 37th wedding anniversary and - despite I had left my husband 19 years ago - I always had my little celebration with smoked salmon and champagne (it's not a big deal in Spain to buy BRUT CAVA, and after all: once upon a time it had been LOVE!). That day I was sitting in my patio, smelly like a wet fox, picking more than 200 flees and ticks out of Lassie's fur. No wonder that she was so wild! Thanks God I had bought the day before some remedy for ticks and flees, because Bustle seemed to have parasites - "No wonder" I thought when I saw the disgusting population on Lassie's white fur. I cleaned her, shampooed her and put the wildly protesting dog under the shower.

I called friends, who lived on a finca with huge grounds, where they always had more than 20 dogs and cats, because they rescued the animals who lived in horrible circumstances. They invited me for a meal in the evening. After having a shower myself and a change of cloghes I felt like a human being again, and we were sitting in the garden, eating grilled specialities and drinking sangria. How wonderful was it to be with these good people, chatting and laughing, and viewing over Arta the illuminated castle and cathedral. After that exhausting day it was a wedding anniversary celebration I'll never forget.

As soon as I could get hold of my neighbours I asked each member of the family if they allowed Lassie to live with us in my house - and they said YES!

After 4 days Lassie came in heat and - although Bustle was 14 years old - all chaos broke loose. I again called my friends and they brought Lassie to the animal hospital and they paid for the operation, because they knew that I didn't have much money. I rewarded them with a lot of Tiffany lampshades, handmade by my former partner.

When Lassie came home I was shocked about the wounds. But they healed very well - I dressed them with a clean kitchen towel, Bustle calmed down, and we enjoyed the summer and autumn, walking through the almond groves and huge fields. Bustle became more and more slow, but Lassie was running and jumping for joy, teasing the old dog, hitting him (playfully!) but he shrieked out loud and limped slowly and sadly.

In January he slimmed down a lot, and I was expecting him to die. One day he broke down on our walk, layed in the grass and couldn't get up - only after a long long rest I could lead him home. I called my friends who told me, that one of their old dogs was just dying on cancer. They were waiting for the vet to give the dog the ultimate injection. They said that I could come over and Tom would dig a bigger hole, so that we could bury both dogs. I managed to lift Bustle into the car, and at the finca I took away his collar. The two vets wanted me to let Bustle walk. He could manage some steps and the vets said "with vitamins and a remedy for arthritis this dog can stay alive". But they also said that it was MY decision. I felt terrible. Thinking of being cruel to let my friend die or to let him live. What was the proper thing to do? I put the collar back around Bustle's neck, lifted him into the car, drove unknown roads through the land where the almond trees were in full blooming.

I bought the medicine, but Bustle was weak and sad. Four days later he died naturally in my arms. I had layed him on a sheet, so I could pull him from room to room. He was lying on his side, too weak to move. Sometimes his breathing stopped and I thought it was over. But then his beautiful head jumped up and he took another deep breath. I was having my breakfast and tried to give him a lump of liver pate. But even his most beloved treat didn't help. Lassie was sitting nearby, yowling quietly. And when Bustle did his last breath she cried - and she was moarning for several days. She never again was the gay young dog, and I thought, that Bustle's soul had found its way into Lassie.

You see, that my Good Lord had known my wish to have a similar dog like Bustle, and he gave me Lassie. When my daughters visited me later they thought, that Lassie was Bustle.

We buried his body in a shadowy place beneath bushes and trees. He was wrapped up in a white sheet. Days later I saw on TV that the king of Jordan had died and was buried - also wrapped in a white sheet.

I had thought that it would be easier for me to walk only ONE dog. It was actually easier, but I was not at all happy - and I thought "perhaps I try to find another dog - perhaps a black one - to look nice with my white Lassie."

Four days later my friend got a tiny little skinny puppie, which people had thrown away together with two siblings. My friend asked me: "Do you want this little rat?" I never wanted a puppy and never wanted a SMALL dog. But Lassie played so lovely with the little one that I asked my friend: "Do you know its name?" "No," she said "I just got it!" I said "It's name is BUSTLE", and my friend had tears in her eyes, hugged me, said "I love you", went to the supermarket and bought puppy food and two bottles of champagne. We drank the bubbly liquid and baptized the little skinni fellow, who lived with Lassie and me for 11 years!

Have a look at the old Bustle, the white Lassie and the little skinny "rat":

Long walks at the mediterranean shores of north east Majorca with my friends

The old wolf is tired! January 1999

Lassie after her operation...

Above: We often visited Bustle's grave under the trees.

To avoid pee and poo in the house the little skinny rat is always under control - but he gets a good training and it takes not too long that he is clean :-))

A box, fitted with my "best jumper", was a fantastic bed for him, carried about from the desk to the fireplace and to my bed, where he slept next to my head, so that I could easily wake up every 2 hours to take him down to the cosy patio, fitted with a shower, for his "business". My daughter had just given birth to her 3rd son (MIchael) and had her nights also disrupted every 2 hours to feed the baby .............. it was so good to share the mouning ;-)

Here Bustle is sitting in the basin in my bathroom............

The very convinient and very cosy patio in the back of the house.

Best friends: always playful and funny!

Little Bustle had been thrown away by some evil people in winter, which can be very cold even in Majorca - so he loves to enjoy the warmth of the open fire

When I was away for too long (remember: I had to work and earn some money for our living) the little black devil caused havoc - but I laughed and mended the couch which is still in use to date.

My garden on the roof terrace with all sorts of flowers and.......

...the view over to the PARROQUIA and the FORTRESS...

....between the flowers we love to relax.

....especially the dogs....you know they work so hard ;-), watching over the traffic in our street!...they need their rest!

Part of my income was the letting of my spare bedroom to friends who had low-priced holidays with everything included, e.g. evenings in front of the fireplace - drinking Spanish Rosado....

...or warm summer nights on the roof terrace, dreaming and chatting along under the full moon.

Here I am on my friends' finca out of Arta. They rescued pets and rehomed them, but had also about 20 own dogs. They had paid for Lassie's operation and  helped me to bury old Bustle. I visited them on the evening of 3.7.1998 to celebrate at last my wedding anniversary, after I had cleared Lassie's fur from hundreds of fleas and ticks. In the background you see the church and the "fortress".

Please forgive me: I am jumping back lots of decades and show you a picture of my mother, born on the 16th of December 1899. Her life should have been told, because she experienced not only the 1st world war, the recession of the 20s and 30s but also the 2nd world war with the bombardments of Hamburg. She was an extraordinary woman, unbelievably strong and yet so weak after my father's death. But my Good Lord had given me the idea to break free from a job to find the free time for consoling her in her loneliness... 

This miracle happened long ago. From August 1983 I had worked as a secretary in an estate agency in Hamburg for a rather small monthly salary, and when I saw the free co-workers (estate agents) going in and out of the office as they pleased to get their hands on properties to sell, and when they sold they got a good percentage of brokerage from the company's "big boss" - I decided to be a free estate agent myself, paid a lot of money for my license and started to earn real money (as I hoped!!!) I got a certain district in east Hamburg to acquire properties from people who were looking for buyers - but the best thing was, that I was free to leave the office when ever I wanted.

In "my" terrain my parents lived in a block of flats, and in January 1984 my father died suddenly. My mother was devastated - although they didn't have a happy marriage they had stayed together - helping each other - my mother looked after the household, my father went shopping etc. My mother became thinner and weaker, and I felt so very sorry for her - to be alone after almost 60 years of marriage. When I was trying to find properties to work on, I always visited my mother. We were sitting in the tiny kitchen, talking or I was telling stories about anything and everything to make her laugh, to make her forget her loneliness.

In those days I thought: what a lucky chance that I was not anymore "imprisoned" as a secretary in the office, but could go and visit my mother. Now I see the whole picture: I had to try the estate agent business to help her, to ease her mind (my sisters, who didn't have to work in offices brought her meals and helped in different ways until she had to go to a nursing home, where she died peacefully 6 weeks before her 90th birthday).

I never became a real estate agent, quit the job before I got too deep into debts, but the whole thing was not in vain - 8 years later I used my license to sell a house for somebody who lived far away and couldn't do anything to find a buyer. So you see: everything was (or IS) intervoven. My good destiny runs through my life like a thread - it seems to be a very strong thread, because until now I get help when it is urgently needed - but I have learnt something else:

The miracle we are WAITING FOR, doesn't happen.... It's better to be patient, to have HOPE, not to wish, not to challenge our fate... We can try to make dreams come true, and perhaps finally they WILL somehow come true, but mostly in a very different way... as I just experienced during the last years - about those events I'll tell you later. I should talk about my time on Majorca and how and why I left:

For several years Bustle and I (and later Lassie) lived in our house in Sa Sorteta, enjoying especially our roof terrace, the friends who were visiting us and our long walks. But the summers were very hot, and to the beach we had to drive by car several kilometres. Oh yes, I am a "spoilt bitch" - I got tired (especially of the hot summers) and wanted to move on, to live somewhere else, and I heard from my daughter Carina - who was living in Essex at that time - that she would love to have me near her for some help. She was exhausted. Bringing up her 3 sons with no help from her husband, who was always too "tired" to do anything - so she was working as a childminder to earn money for their living - and I thought "I'll help her".

In 1999 I started to prepare my dogs for G.B. - at least I TRIED! The law was very strict, although it was a relief that the quarantine had been abolished. My vet in Arta started with the vaccines for rabies etc. After a certain time blood samples had to be taken, but they were not good enough. I had to wait another year. The vet vaccinated again, but the blood tests were not ok either. I had settled down on my roof terrace nicely. Had found many friends in the lovely village. I provided the Airport Service for friends and friends of friends, helped to rescue and rehome cats and dogs, who often lived in horrible circumstances, I let my spare bedroom to friends from abroad, found my life somehow complete and gave up thinking of moving to England.

Then - in the beginning of 2002 - a string of events happened to make me move on: In January 11 sheep were bitten to death during one night, and the owners let me feel that they thought "it could have been YOUR dogs". I was furious, because everybody knew that my dogs were never roaming on their own. I was so angry and went straight away to the vet to start the vaccination etc. anew. I was fed up with the behaviour of the sheep owners - and it really was terrifying how the police handled this event. I heard that they took away two dogs from a German family who lived on a great finca near Arta. The dogs were never seen again. I wanted to leave and after some weeks of waiting the vet told me, that the blood samples of both my dogs were ok. The whole procedure to get animals ready for G.B. takes 6 months. They not only have to have the correct blood analysis, but also have to be tagged with a Microchip and 48 hours before entering the U.K. they have to have treatment for ticks and worms. All that had to be acknowledged by an official vet of the Government in Palma. I thought I never get it done, but both the vets in Arta and their assistants were so helpful - they bought the kennels for me and helped with all the paperwork and the last signature from the official authorised vet in Palma.

The removal lorry came, the flights were booked, friends came to help with the dogs and the huge kennels, and on 20. September 2002 we flew to London and from there to Edinburgh. This is said in one sentence, but don't ask me how exciting and nerve racking it all was ....... perhaps one day I write it all down in detail.

At the moment I am thinking of all the people my Good Lord has sent to help me - actually throughout my life.

For 3 years I had (lazily !) tried to sell my house in Arta to be free to roam, but as it didn't HAVE TO BE, slowly everything went into hibernation - but.....

One morning in March 2002 I saw a young lady walking in my street, looking into ruined houses, obviously searching for something. In the afternoon a friend of mine was standing in front of my house, calling for me. I looked out of the window and saw this young lady standing beside my friend. They were asking, if I could translate a text for them: A cat had vanished and the young owner (called Anita!) wanted to put up searching ads everywhere in the village - naturally that was better done in Spanish. Anita entered my house and was somehow impressed. "Oh, this is a nice house!" ... and I answered "Yes, but sadly I'll have to sell it, because I am going to live in the U.K. I only have to find a buyer." "What price are you thinking of?" Anita asked, and I said without hesitation the price I had thought of 3 years ago, not thinking of the current real estate market - I had heard that prices had gone mountainhigh - I couldn't believe it, found such high prices irresponsible. But for Anita MY price was music in her ears - what I didn't know: she was not only searching for her cat Milly, but also for a house and had heard only about terribly high prices. We became friends and decided, that she would buy my house - and in mid July 2002 we signed the contract at the solocitor's. My friend MariCarmen had a restaurant on the "High" street in Arta, which was actually closed on that particular day - but she opened it for us and we celebrated with sole y vino blanco.

"Millions" of boxes had to be packed and I went on a "tour" to visit my friends, taking photos of them, saying "Adios" - and not to forget the "business" to get the dogs ready. I was more than busy planning my new life,  decided not to go to Essex, but to the Isle of Skye, which was the place my daughter loved most in the U.K. I planned to buy a big house and Carina said "every 6 weeks during our school holidays we will be visiting you" - so far so good, but things never turn out the way you plan them. Carina - on holiday on Skye in April 2002 with her family - realized that she would never get any help from her husband - her love had died slowly - it was more than 20 years that she was the "man" in the family - and standing at her kitchen window, looking at the grey walls surrounding her - she had the vision, that there should be something better in her life - she thought of the green hills and mountains on Skye and gradually she came to the conclusion that she at least should TRY to live on her favourite island.

It was kind of coincident: she was sitting on the memorial stone for Seton Gordon, a Scottish writer and naturalist, who had lived in Kilmuir Heribusta. It was a still and peaceful afternoon, and she called me on her mobile. I tried to relax on my roof terrace, but down in the street the cars and motorcycles were rattling and roaring so wildly, that I got a headache and I almost couldn't hear what Carina was saying. It only occurred to me, that she was in a peaceful and quiet place, watching the sunset over the sea - and I got an incredible heartache, longing and yearning for a place like that - I think in that minute I became homesick - longing for a place I had never been before.

Our destinies were well planned IN HEAVEN: We found a quite spacious house in Heribusta (not far away from the Island Museum and the Seton Gordon memorial stone), which Carina rented not having seen it. She gave me the address and one windy, dark and rainy day in November 2002 I drove over the north route via Flodigarry from Staffin to Heribusta - frightened to get stuck in the mudd beside the one track road - it had been scary enough in bright daylight to drive with my van these small roads. It was pitch black when I turned left from the "main" road into an even narrower road. I had been told that it was the 5th house on the right, but it was so dark that I couldn't see ANY house - no lights at all. Clasping my stirring wheel I turned round a cemetery, went on hill-up and down, sometimes it seemed that the road ended, but no - I drove on and was very relieved to see a passing place and nearby some light in a house. My knees were wobbly when I stepped out of the van, slowly walking down a dark drive way, finding the front door, knocking, opening it, calling out "anybody there?" and then getting an answer "yes, Karin, come in!"

The young couple with their little son showed me around, and I thought: Wonderful! This is the right house for Carina:  3 bedrooms, big kitchen, dining room, lounge with a fireplace, 2 bathrooms, utilityroom, and the whole flat was furnished. Casually the young man said "upstairs is a small flat, would you like to see it?", and I was flabbergasted to see a flat complete with lounge, kitchen and diner, bathroom with shower, bedroom and a small spare room - like a flash I saw myself, my dogs and my furniture here - I didn't say anything, but for the next days I visualized us - Carina and her 3 sons downstairs and mum + dogs upstairs - living in Heribusta Kilmuir on the Isle of Skye. It took some time to get the ok from the owner, and on 17.11.2002 I brought my bits and pieces as well as my dogs to the new place, where we firstly slept only on a matress - waiting for the big removal lorry with 80 boxes - and in December Carina and the boys came after a long long drive from Essex in her old car and her husband drove a van with the most needed things - those were the toys for the boys.

We lived there for more than 4 years, had good and bad times, Carina worked her socks off in up to 5 jobs (mainly being a childminder) - and when she was away I was looking after the children. This is again only one short sentence, but it was more than 1.500 days and nights, 36.000 hours, 2.160.000 minutes and 129.600.000 seconds in which many things could happen and happened - adventures, betrayals, laughter and grief, a car accident and a hurricane, power cuts and lots to learn about people and about ourselves, learning about life.... Perhaps one day I write about these years in detail. For now I'll stop, because another miracle happened - but THAT is another story, very complex and hard to believe. Heaven had created a story of love and wonder, intertwined with friends and new people who came into our lives.

Luckily this accident only wrecked my little car, but as "always" something good came out of it....

Carina wanted to learn everything about crofting and went to evening classes, which were held by crofters and vets in Dunvegan. Her car was VERY old and not as reliable as my little Polo. On a cold, windy and snowy evening short time after the hurricane  she asked if she could use my car to drive to her crofter course. As always I said YES, and off she drove - leaving me worrying what could happen in this hostile weather - but meanwhile I had learnt not to bother Carina with my worries - she was grown up and had to do what she wanted ...... It's the best way to learn for life, isn't it? 

The accident happened in a bend on a patch of ice.  The car side-slipped and it was only good, that the banging on several signposts stopped the car from skidding down a slope, where nobody would have seen the wreck or my daughter, who scrambled somehow out of the car and to her feet. She felt the bruises, but walked on, reached the road and saw a light in some distance. She knocked on the door and found helpful people. The man, called Peter, said "I have to go to Portree anyway to pick up my daughter. I'll take you to the hospital!" So they drove along, talking, and Carina recognized him as the boss of one of her friends, called Murdina.

Some time after the accident Murdina told Carina, that they had far too much work in the office, and Peter should employ somebody to relieve Murdina. Carina suggested that SHE could do everything that was asked (she had worked for different companies in Germany and England) and that she would be very happy to get another job. Peter asked her to come for an interview and she could start work the next Wednesday. So you see again how things happen in our lives. There had to be the accident to get Carina another (quite well paid) job. She liked to work in Peter's office with nice people around her.

I had to buy a new car and was looking for another VW Polo, not knowing, that "somebody up there" had already started to set in motion the right events. I tried 3 different cars, but they were not for me - I needed a second hand car which was not too much run down but also not too expensive. One sunny morning (after a disappointing test drive) I was talking to a junior VW trader on their ground, which was packed with cars, but so far not a VW Polo at an economical price that suited me and my wallet. The young man said "we've just got another one, which is newer, but a bit more expensive" and he showed me a rather new red car, blinking in the sun, and when I saw the registration plate SB51 EJK I jubilated "THIS is MY car" --- straight away I got the keys for the test drive. I was satisfied that the price didn't shock me too much, the car was in best possible condition and it was MINE for almost 10 years - until I had to buy another one, which was also a gift "from heaven" ;-) ! 

People who don't believe in miracles will smile about me disdainfully when I tell you now what the letters and numbers on the red Polo meant to me. When I met my husband in Garmisch Partenkirchen in 1959 my friend and I wanted to be "inkognito". We went dancing and my nickname was Susi. My husband called me Susibaby, which stayed with me for a few years. Look at the SB in the registration plate, which was for me "Susibaby".

Later in my life, when I lived in Majorca, I learnt from different young women something about the numerology, and when I realized what it was all about I studied privately a lot and found out, that the numbers 3, 6, 8 and 9 were significant to me during my whole life. My number "is" the 6 - which I had as my lucky number all my life, not knowing anything about the numerology. You see: SB51 IS MY number - and the EJK are the initials of myself, my husband and (almost) my maidenname.

It would be great if you washed away your scornful smile from your face. I know that it sounds rather mad, but if you are a BIT imaginative or spirituell somewhere in your head, heart or soul, then buy books about the numerology and find out incredible things. I have friends who don't see anything in this science - that doesn't matter, I needn't talk about these things with everybody - I don't want to persuade anybody, because everybody has the freedom or chance to explore themselves in their very own ways. When I first heard about the numerology I thought "ok, let them think and feel their way, I'll have my own way". I bought the book "What number are you?" by Lilla Bek and Robert Holden. You can have it in English and German. Then I found out amazing things....

It's the same with astrology. If you don't believe in it - leave it, but it's as incredibly exciting as numerology. I've been always interested in astrology and when I met people who were extreme in one way or another or I could connect with them seamlessly, I thought by myself "he/she could be a Gemini". Later I asked them when their birthday was, and most of the time I was right with my thoughts. I am a Libra and the best matches for me are Gemini, Aquarius and Sagitarius - as with the numerology it isn't ALWAYS correct, but most of the time you can count on it. Later I'll write more about these sciences, which are thousands of years old. As it is ALWAYS with the humans there are all sorts of believers and nonbelievers - so everybody must find out for themselves.      

I'd like to tell you about another miracle I mentioned earlier - that involved different people and places.

When my daughter lived in Essex she was not only busily working as a childminder but had also several good lady friends. One of the best was Mandy, an artist with twin sons and a difficult life. She moved to the Shetland Islands about at the same time as Carina moved to Skye. As almost everybody she tried to find a partner on the Internet. One of the young men she contacted was John, who lived in England and was looking for a partner after some disappointing relationships. He loved working on cars and had put together a landrover "from scratch". The photo on the dating site was him, sitting smiling in his car. When Mandy told Carina about this man and Carina saw the photo she thought "another man who loves his car more than anything" - those were the experiences we had with her father who REALLY loved his cars more than his wife and children. Remember how well looked after his Audi GT Coupe was when he offered it to my daughter Sylvia.

John and Mandy e-mailed each other and he resolutely made up his mind and drove to Lerwick. There he helped Mandy in many ways and was a great comrade for her sons. But sadly she felt no LOVE for him. She told Carina about this marvellous, good-hearted man and said "he is so much like you - you two together would be the perfect match, because you are both such kind people". John went back to his job, which let him work in many different parts of England and was very challenging. He had been born in Wales, and his dream was to live in Scotland. Carina and John started e-mailing and talking on the phone, but Carina was not ready to start a relationship - she was in love with a man who betrayed her and was an "old hand" at lying.

John came to visit my daughter on 14.1.2006. He was kind and helpful, very polite and respectful - a true gentleman as you will seldom meet. They went for walks and visited restaurants for nice meals. He worked for 3 days to repair Carina's old car - and we couldn't believe that such a wonderful person in reality exists.

He drove back and Carina more and more enjoyed the cheerful telephone conversations they had - both sharing the same sense of humour. John told her "whenever you need me, call me - day or night - I will be there for you"! When my daughter realized how betrayed she had been by the other man she e-mailed John in desperation, and he soothed her and came straight away. 

They got married on 5.9.2007 in the Outer Hebrides, where they lived in several different houses during 3 years. They both worked hard, and when John got a good job on the mainland they moved house again and could buy their own at last in 2009. For my daughter it was a lot better to live on the mainland, because she can't be on a ferry, when the sea is rough. So she was very happy to leave the Outer Hebrides, although it had been a great experience - there are these fantastic white and empty beaches - playground for the children - and they found also good friends, but the Outer Hebrides are best for holidaymakers during the summer season, when the sun is shining from the blue sky... During their stay in Benbecula I visited these islands myself - enjoyed the beaches, where my dogs could run around without leads...........

In the beginning of 2008 my landlord in Heribusta gave me notice that I had to leave the house in April. I had known for quite a while, that he was to sell the big house. but only now I started to look for another home. I put up signs everywhere on the Trotternish Peninsula that read "old age pensioner with 2 dogs is looking for a small house to rent". I was shocked that 2-bedroom-houses should cost £ 600,-- a month, plus heating, plus power, plus counciltax. As I have only £ 600,-- old age pension and have to pay from that my rent, car, food and everything, I knew that there had to be another miracle. Was I frightened? I can't remember. For 3 weeks I packed my boxes and investigated possibilities to store everything - I thought I could buy a van and live in it - I had done that before, and I was not afraid. Summer would come soon, and things would be alright in the end. My old (lady)-neighbours in Arta had taught me that TODO SALDRA BIEN, that everything will be alright in the end. On many occasions that proved to be true. My lovely neighbours now have died during the last years, but I remember them with much love in my heart always.

One evening in February 2008 a woman called me. She had heard about me from another woman who knew what I was looking for. She explained that she had a bungalow in Lealt, on the east side of Skye. I went there the next morning and I KNEW, that THIS would be my next home. I was concerned that they would ask a rent I couldn't afford, but they were not greedy - and so I ordered the big removal lorry and moved in on 1.4.2008 - and I hope I can live here happily ever after.

My Good Lord had to create an unbelievable scenario beforehand: This bungalow had been inhabited for 30 years by a lot of different people, long term tenants, but also holiday makers. The owners live in the Outer Hebrides - so they always had to employ people to look after the house. At last they wanted to sell it and found a woman from Ireland, who bought it. She wanted the house emptied, so the owners gave away the furniture and all kitchen things and bits + pieces. The removal lorry brought the lady's furniture, but then something unforseeable happened. The woman didn't have the money to pay - I think that she had wanted a mortgage, but this is a kit-house, and no bank gives a mortgage for that. I can imagine that the owners were furious, the Irish lady devastated, and the removal lorry had to bring the furniture back to Belfast. The owners started to redecorate the house, to buy new kitchen things, and thought they had to let it again to tourists, but then somebody told them about me and my search for a small house. Do you see the heavenly pattern? I needed an EMPTY house and I got it. Unbelievable but true.

The icing on the cake was, that my landlords allowed dogs in the house - they live with dogs themselves. I had viewed several houses before which were mostly too expensive or too run down, and nobody allowed dogs.

Finding this place happens to be the greatest miracle of all, because I live in the most beautiful surroundings here - the Storr Ridge on the horizon to the west, green crofts with grazing sheep around me, from my window I can see the Raasay Sound to the east, the Torridon Hills on the mainland, and from my back garden I can see the open ocean. In my dreams I had also wished for pinetrees and firs, as I had those long ago around my log cabin in Schleswig Holstein. Now my wild and big garden is surrounded by pinetrees and firs. I had not known that such a beautiful landscape exists - and I LIVE IN IT. Deep in my soul I had wished to live peacefully in solitude, but never could decide what I preferred - I always loved the sea, but also the mountains and forests - so you see that my Good Lord knew it all and gave me the best of all places. I hope I can stay here until the end.....

But as always there are good and bad things - it's always YING and YANG. I had dreamed of a life in solitude, but it's not easy to be alone - it's the same old story: Illusion never turns into reality. I am often very lonely. I tried to find friends, but that's not easy, because everybody has their own life with partners and friends. Nobody really needs me - I don't want to bother my family too often - they also have their own lives, sorrows, plans and they work very hard - I am utterly happy when they come to visit me, but that's not very often.

On BBC Radio 2 I heard on GMS Aled Jones talk to somebody about the Quakers. I'll try to go to a Quaker meeting. I found on the Internet that there is a group in Portree. As I see it, there will be a meeting in about 2 weeks' time. As I understand they have no churches, they don't patronize other people, tolerate other religions, and during their meetings they often keep silence - but everybody can speak if he feels like it. Perhaps that is the one place I can bear people. I had searched for a place where I could be together with thoughtful people, but would be left alone in a way - where nobody told me how to live or what to do with my life - - -

2 weeks later I went to a Quaker meeting in Portree. There I met really nice people, but they in fact are sitting in complete silence for 60 minutes. After that they talked... and I thought "I'm living in the middle of nowhere like a hermit and have silence at all times - I actually don't need to go anywhere for silence and meditation. I don't know how these people live at home - perhaps they have to get away for peace and quiet? Who knows...."

In May 2009 I felt SO lonely, that I was looking for an institution where I could work as a volunteer, do good deeds or whatever, but everybody gave me lots of forms to fill in, so I abondened the idea - but I had found the AM FASGADH, where I was kindly invited to come along whenever I wanted  as a member. There I met a very very lovely lady, called Joy, and she IS PURE JOY, and she became a wonderful friend to me who is really nice and understanding. If I lived in Portree I'd go there more often, but with these incredibly high petrol prices I try to "restrict my mileage" --- On the other hand I am always afraid to get onto the nerves of people who I like to be with - that I talk too much, and I don't want to get on the nerves of these kind employees at the AM FASGADH - they are all warmhearted, trained social workers and I think they know in their hearts, that everybody needs love and understanding.... 

The bad thing with me is, that I don't like to be contacted by people I don't know. I like to be the one who starts talking. I am afraid I am far too difficult for any relationship - but on the other hand I KNOW people who like me and vice versa. Life is so difficult - it has always been difficult, but with God's help I could solve any problem. I try to do whatever I can to meet somebody - but I can't force others to like me - so I have been praying "please Good Lord, send me a HUMAN BEING" - in the past, when I was in deepest despair, He has sent me people who helped me.... and that's what I'd like to talk about now: the people my Good Lord has sent me to solve problems of any kind....

First of all there is Joy - who was sent to the Am Fasgadh to bring joy to everybody - she is the "kitchen queen", and everybody can have her great meals for little money. For me she is an angel, we hug so often and say "I love you", she is so young and beautiful and - as I said - a real JOY.

I am so happy to have found Joy, but over the years there were more God sent people. At the moment an American lady, called Vicky, comes to my mind. It was in 2004, when I had not so merry times with my daughter and her sons. I was very down, because I was sad that the life I had imagined didn't turn out the way I had dreamed of. Meanwhile I have learnt that my family also had (and has) the right to live THEIR very own lives. But back then I couldn't understand, that the boys were sitting inside the house, watching TV, and outside it was a bright and sunny day. I had to go out with my dogs, because I couldn't bear to see the boys wasting this opportunity to play outside, where they had their own forest for their sword battles and a huge lawn for playing football 

Not far from our house I saw a lady and a young man looking at the irresistible highland cows, taking photos, and enjoying themselves. I started talking to them, who were mother and youngest son - visiting Skye. I had the wonderful feeling that we had known each other for a long time and invited them to have some tea with me (as I often did and do!) - but sadly they didn't have time, because a flight was booked and the plane had to be reached in time. We hugged each other, exchanged the addresses and parted.

We wrote letters by snailmail, and when I got my laptop we e-mailed, but with the years we drifted apart. Somehow we found each other again during the last years, and I am so happy that we are still best friends. Perhaps she will visit Skye again if she is healthy enough for a big trip. Our Good Lord will decide.!..and he did let it happen

On that sunny Aprilday in 2004 Vic had been sent to me, to brighten up my heart and soul, but very often people were sent to help me physically.

When I drove people around on Majorca, one day on my return from the Airport a massive Ford Galaxy crashed into the back of my car. The driver had looked to the right, where we (many many cars in a row) were overtaking a motorbike. In front of me the cars slowed down and stopped completely because of a skydiver who was sailing above the busy road. I never take my eyes from the traffic in front of me, so I could stop immediately - but the driver behind me crashed into my car at a speed of 100 km/hr. As my car was not new the insurance didn't pay any repairs, but only the present value - which was ridiculously low. For my Airport service I needed a car, and a friend of mine wanted to get rid of her Peugeot, which she had bought but never used. We agreed on a price, and I bought it. With all this trouble I had to visit Manacor, the next bigger town (by the way: it's Raffael Nadal's hometown!). I travelled by bus, had spare time and was wandering around aimlessly. In front of me I saw a tall and slim young man, dressed completely in black, who was looking curiously at the buildings around us - like a stranger does. I had the intention to ask him if he needed a guide, but didn't say anything - because I often approach people who perhaps prefer to be left alone. Near the bus stop at the main road is a cafe, where I sat down - tables, chairs and benches were put on the pavement, so that visitors could enjoy their cafe con leche in the sunshine. After some minutes the young man came along and asked if he could join me. We realized that we both were Germans, and I asked him straight away, if he believed in another world, in a "higher" world beside the one we were living in. Yes, he said, I've been in the other world. And we talked and talked until the bus arrived. I invited him to have lunch with me in my house, because I had cooked the day before a great big Spanish meal. We were sitting on my roof terrace, talking about our lives and believes. We stayed friends, and when I had to get rid of my damaged car and register the Peugeot I couldn't have done the necessary trips on my own - one person for 2 cars - impossible!!! But there was Dierk to drive the Audi. I was in front of him in the Peugeot, and we were on our way to discard the Audi. I thought: "I could give this car to Dierk and he could drive it until the licence/registration expires." I stopped, he stopped, and I asked him "would you like to have the car for yourself until the registration is really due to be cancelled?" He was kind of flabbergasted and said YES!.......... We occasionally met over the years, and when I left Majorca he wanted to help me with the transfer of my dogs, kennels and luggage. He also took many of my things from my previous job in Germany, e.g. the market stall and bits and pieces, so he could start his own little business...

On the day when I had to catch my flight from Palma to London he actually turned up, but I saw that he had a massive hangover - he had attended a party with old friends - so I sent him away. Maybe somehow I'll get to know what became of him. His life is much more interesting than mine...but for now: have a look at the slim, tall young man in the next picture (this time not dressed in black):

Years before these events another slim, tall young man had helped me to be courages. Let me tell you the story:

After I had attended the Inlingua language school in Augsburg/Bavaria for one year I got a job at the University of Augsburg. My husband climbed the career ladder and got a higher position in the Airforce in Jever, South Northsea, Friesland. I wanted to leave him and was looking for something somewhere to live with my 2 daughters, but I didn't find anything - and I became very ill. I had massive back problems. 5 different doctors couldn't help, and I was nearly paralysed. How could I survive when I couldn't work and earn money? So I went with my husband to live in Friesland. But already through the removal I saw how wrong it was. He had promised to change, to be a better husband and father, but he yelled at my daughters, scolded that they were too slow (unpacking and carrying the boxes!), and I said: "I should've known that you never change. I should've left you." Cynically he said "you never REALLY wanted to leave me!" This was the beginning of the end!

We settled down in a "party"house with open fireplace and swimmingpool. Round the corner I found the doctor and therapist who cured my back problem. But I wanted something to do and went to the Kreisvolkshochschule Friesland, thought that at least I could do more for my languages and was asking for evening classes. I didn't know, that the young man I spoke to, was Peter Ley, the manager of this school. He could offer only beginner classes for English and French, and I said, that those classes were no good for me. Suddenly he asked: Would you like to be the tutor in an English beginner course? I had never thought about such a possibility and was very reluctant.

The pilots from different air bases in Germany often came to Jever, and as I had a car and free time I drove them around or invited them for dinners or evening  meetings with friends. One of these pilots was Diethard, a friend of ours for many years. When we drove in my car I told him about Peter's offer and he said "DO it Karin!" He told me about his time as a teacher and said "always be well prepared and you will be fine!"

So I started to teach English in February 1977, and it was a huge success, although I was always worried beforehand - I worried so much that I got stomach cramps, but when I was in the classroom I calmed down and when the first evening class was over, the students gave me a big hand. I was teaching  adults for 13 terms, not only English, but also French and German. It was the best job in my whole life. I learnt so much for myself, and I went to England and France to learn more. I thank my Good Lord that he had sent Diethard at the right time to support me. I am certain, that - if I had asked my husband "shall I become a teacher?" he would have said "you are too stupid for that". 

It was almost really spooky how people were sent to me at the right time. When I had decided to leave Majorca, I was in my early 60s and the Germans get the  State Pension at the age of 65. I sent the application form to Berlin, but got it back, because (as they said) it was too early. As I couldn't know where I would be at the right time I didn't know what to do.

One day I drove a young lady, who visited a friend of mine. I collected her from the Airport, and we talked about our lives. She was an employee of the Bundesversicherungsanstalt Berlin, where everybody has to apply for their old-age-pension. My papers were ready, but I couldn't send them yet. I argued that it was kind of silly not to keep my application forms in Berlin until I had the right age. The young lady, called Birgit, said "I'll do that for you!" So I gave her, when I drove her back to the Airport after her holidays, the thick envelope with the signed forms. She gave it at the right time to the right department, and my pension (very little by the way!!!) was secure.   

Now I jump to the present:

My dogs Lassie and Bustle sadly died during the winter of 2009/2010. We had been living in the wilderness of the Isle of Skye for 7 years, and my German passport was going to expire in April 2010. I was thinking about what I could do to get a new passport - I would have to go to Germany or to the General Embassy in GB, because this time my fingerprints were needed. I had never left my dogs alone for a longer period... Constantly I was musing about possibilities how to get away for several days. I didn't know that my Good Lord had already made his decision to give me freedom to travel. His decision was perhaps cruel, but it worked out alright.

In September 2009 a lump appeared on Lassie's head, growing fast - she seemed to have no pain. The vet said that he couldn't operate, and in December the lump was really frighteningly big and Lassie looked so sad.

At this stage the vet advised me to put her to sleep, which we finally did on the 5th of December. It was heartbreaking, but she was at least 13 years old and had had a good life for 11 years.

My little Bustle had also health problems. 1 1/2 years ago he had started to cough in an alarming way, disturbing our night's sleep. It went on for weeks and I was worried. Went to see the vet, who diagnosed a heart failure. We got good medication (Vasotop), but Bustle couldn't run anymore - walked slowly like an old grandad, and I had to carry him home on my arms. Once he tried to run after a mouse, but abruptly broke down - lay there like dead. The vet gave me another pill (Fusecare) and after taking that Bustle had to let water 5x in an hour, peeing and peeing, and the next morning he was his old self - running up and down the hills, chasing mice. What a relief! But during the winter his state worsened again. I doubled the medication, but his body got thicker and thicker - he was full of water and the vet again advised me to put my little dog to sleep. I had hoped that he would die peacefully and naturally, but the vet said that would be too CRUEL after all. On the morning of the 16th of January 2010 Bustle was so poorly, that I called the vet if he could give my dog the injection. So it happened, and it was high time. The water had also gone to his legs, and he died in my arms - this little chap had never complained, as Lassie had neither - the roses I had bought for them kept fresh for a long long time, and I have still the feathers which sailed down on me from nowhere - it's good to believe that they are my dog's souls. I have still one rose which was beautiful when it dried, so that I can't throw it away.

Have a look at the roses and at my Bustle on his last day:

...the last rose (after many months and now after years) looks like velvet........

How empty and silent was the house when I came home with my bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine... but the following weekend I realized that I was free to roam ...

I had never been to the south of Skye (because of the dogs), and so it was my first outing of many, to go to Armadale by bus, to explore the surroundings there and for some weeks and months I roamed the whole island with my camera, my rucksack, my old ski-poles and NOT TO FORGET my old peoples bus passport. One morning I woke up and felt, that it was the right time to go to Edinburgh for my new German Passport. There I stayed in a jouth hostel in the High Street, found the Embassy, got the right photos taken, the fingerprints as well, enjoyed some sightseeing, and headed back to the peace and quiet of my home on Skye.

It was before Easter, that I began to feel lonely. I missed my doggies and started to look for new fourlegged friends, but couldn't find any. I even went to Munlochy, (out of Inverness) where they had 32 homeless dogs, looking for new owners - so I had read on the internet. It was a long trip (by bus and on foot), but they were not very welcoming. I travelled on a Monday, but when I got there I saw on a sign "open Tuesday to Friday". I rang the bell on a private looking house, but the lady told me, that she had to go to the vet soon and I should come back another day. Even my long journey from the north of Skye didn't impress her much. She would come to Skye one day to inspect my house, she said. From home I called this rescue center several times, left messages on the answer machine, gave my telephone number, asked for the time they would come to Skye, but didn't get any answer. I was quite frustrated, but - as I later realized - it had to be exactly this way  - because a threelegged Greyhound was meant to be my new companion. I never had wanted a Greyhound, but friends urged me for weeks to go to the Retired Greyhound Trust on Skye. On Easter monday I felt desperately lonely. I found out the telephone number of the Trust, branch Skye, and talked to Mandy, the woman who manages the kennels near Glendale. We talked for half an hour, and she agreed, that I could come straight away to have a look. It was not easy to find the kennels, hidden away in the hills. Mandy had a laptop on her desk, and I saw on the screen a black dog rising to her feet from some sort of bed. Mandy told me Ebony's sad story: she had been a racing dog. Won only 3 of 10 races and was given up. One day in the kennel she seemed to be in terrible pain with her right hindleg, which she dragged behind, couldn't walk properly. The vet found out that the ligaments at her knee joint were ruptured. In the animal clinic in Glasgow they tried to mend the ligaments, but it didn't help. Ebony was in pain, dragging the leg behind her. So the whole leg had to be amputated and Ebony was under surveillance 24/7 - with a CCTV camera mounted in her kennel and her movements to be seen on Mandy's laptop.

That was my first view of my wonderful dog, who was living with me then (2010) for several months. That Easter Monday I didn't know what to do. There were at least 10 of these adorable dogs. I even walked two of them. Was sitting in front of Ebony's kennel, asking her silly questions... went home, slept a good night's sleep, and the next morning I had the feeling, that I HAD TO TAKE THIS DOG.

A whole month went by, because the wound broke open and Ebony had to be transferred to the vet's clinic in Broadford, where I visited her every second day to take her for short walks - she was very thin and very weak, and after her poo and pee she headed back to her kennel, exhausted but happy laying down to have a rest.  On 30th of April I got a call from Mandy, that Ebony was ok for rehoming. I had the passenger seat in my little car removed, made a nice and cosy bed on the car's floor, so Ebony could lie down comfortably and off we drove home. Slowly I guided her through my little house, showed her the garden, which is huge and wild and well fenced in. I started to walk her on the road too, every day a bit further, until she was strong enough to go to the viewpoint on the other side of the main road. We love to walk there, because we meet people from all over the world who enjoy (beside the stunning view) my beautiful dog - they come from far away and most of them have pets at home - they are longing for their fourlegged friends and Ebony feels their kindness.

The ViewPoint near the Lealt Waterfall - at least once a day we go there to meet people from all over the world who not only enjoy the stunning view but also like to cuddle my dogs, because they left behind their own ...

I think we were meant for each other, don't you agree?! (Foto taken on 3rd October 2010, when we celebrated my 72th birthday)


Before I come to the very sad present I'll tell you about more miracles in the past, about people who were sent to help me:

When I unpacked my boxes and installed my furniture in the house in Sa Sorteta No. 9 in July 1997 I couldn't set up my pine-double-bed because special long screws were missing - so the boards were lying about in the master bedroom and I slept on a sofa in a small spare room. One day a couple knocked at my door and told me, that they were friends of one of my best friends in Hamburg (from 1956), who had told them, that I just had moved to Arta. So they thought it funny to be my first visitors. I showed them around and apologized for the boards lying on the floor in the bedroom. The man is a DIY "artist" and saw what kind of screws were needed. We went to an iron monger, he bought long screws and an iron saw to cut them to the right length - he and his wife were a "well trained" DIY-couple, and it was almost in a flash that they set up my great bed.

I was so very very happy and thankful for their help, but didn't think at that time, that they had been sent from heaven.


For my daughter there is also very often help from "above"...

When I was in Paris, studying French at the Sorbonne in 1979, she was in London to brush up her English. She should've gone back to Hamburg to stay with an auntie, but I had asked my French landlady if my daughter could come to Paris and stay with me in the Foyer International Carrefour.

I had exams when Carina started her journey from London via Brussels to Paris. The French train drivers were on strike exactly that day, and instead of 13 regular trains there were only THREE. My brave 15-year-young girl had lots of difficulties, at one point she broke down and cried, but helpful people were sent to ease her mind. Especially very nice African-American men helped her immensely, and eventually she arrived hours after the normal time at the Gare du Nord, where we fell in each others arms and cried tears of relief and joy. We had a great time, strolled together through the wonderful city, visited museums, were standing awestruck in front of the MONA LISA and the Venus of Milo and other originals, and Carina even could take part in some of my courses.


Other events took place which not necessarily included people, but in hindsight I can see that they were designed by a heavenly power:

When I couldn't earn enough money for my living in Friesland in 1982 I tried to sell my humble house, but it didn't work out - so we emptied it and let it firstly to holiday makers (with newly bought pine furniture I had always marvelled) but after people almost wrecked the house we emptied it completely and let it to young families on long term.

At the time when that happened I was very down, because I needed money - but now I see that it had to be exactly this way. The last tenants didn't react to my notice of termination, because it was not lawful - it's a very complicated procedure, which I had to learn. Firstly I was furious - I couldn't believe that I had practically no right on my own house - but I got help from a lawyer and the lawful notice of termination got underway - I only had to wait for one whole year, to get my hands on my own property. I remember very well my anger. I had sold my log cabin and was practically homeless! Not to worry - I see clearly now, that it had to be exactly this way, because I could store all my belongings in Kiel, had the old VW van from my market business and could go on the trip of a lifetime - I actually was pressed to do something I had been dreaming of for a quarter of a century: a journey through Europe with as much time as I wanted and some cash.


Another mysterious path of destiny happened in 1975. When I had finished the Inlingua language school in Augsburg I got a good parttime job at the University of Augsburg, where I worked for Professor Oerter - doing research for him and typing his manuscripts. I wanted to leave my husband and got the promise by the Professor, that I could work full time for him as soon as my family affairs were settled. Unfortunately I couldn't find cheap accomodation, and in April 1976 I became very ill - I was almost paralysed and couldn't see how I should work and provide an adequate life for my daughters. I was so ill, that I even couldn't drive my little car. Five different doctors couldn't help me, and at last I had to drop my plans of independence and go with my husband to Friesland where to he was assigned because of promotion. He said, that he would be a better husband and father in the future, but as it turned out - it didn't happen ..........

But to me another miracle happened: not far from our house in Grafschaft I found the doctor and the physiotherapist who healed my tortured back.


Another catastrophe comes to my mind: In 1990, on the 28th of February, I was burnt out (how they say nowadays). I worked for a lawyer in a big company and it was VERY challenging - I like a challenge very much, but beside that I had my (bi polar) partner at home, the big house had to be cared for (he didn't help a lot, even the garden was too much for him - he pointed that out when we separated, that the work load was certainly too much for him, who was at home 24/7 !), and he wanted to dance several times the week. There were other nerve racking events and in the evening of that February day - after a hurricane had cut down 7 of the pines and other trees in our garden, I broke down completely. I tried the next morning to go to work, but my boss had beside other loads of work more loads of work for me, because she had to fly to New York for a meeting with the rulers in the head quarter of the head company. I was not able to do anything. Trembling and crying I was sent home - and at the end of the year it was obvious, that I never could work in an office again.

My nice and compassionate colleagues were very angry about how the lawyer (my boss) had treated me with an overload of work - but I said smiling - after long months of recovering and eventually living in my logcabin with my own market stall, that it must've been made up in heaven - because I was FORCED to leave the normal employment contract, to end the slavery of working for others, to start my very own business........

Again a catastrophe had happened and something good came out of it.


I like to meet people and talk to them about their lives. Often it is so, that they also believe in miracles - and we feel kind of connected by our faith - no matter what their faith is - the main thing is, that we believe in the power from above.

A very impressive young man I met several years ago when he came to the Isle of Skye to learn English. He was "fostered" by the church, and residents were asked to accomodate him in turns. He lived with us for 6 weeks. We found that the minister took advantage of him, who was from Thailand near the border of Burma and had difficulties to adopt to our rough climate. He was often sick, but the minister urged him to work for him on his private croft - to carry big stones for the building of walls - even in the coldest winter weather. When the young man fell ill, he was sent to the hospital to get antibiotics. When he came to stay with us he was very weak and had puss abscesses on his legs. I normally heal with herbal remedies, had a look at my books and found out that camomile could help. I heated the herbs, wrapped them in a cloth and put them on the abscesses - they broke open and the healing process could begin. We stopped the minister to let the young man (BoonChu) do such hard work in the snowy and icecold weather and nursed him back to health through herbal teas and a sensible diet.

BoonChu belongs to the people of the Karen, who live in poor circumstances in Burma, Thailand and other parts of the world. The church helped him to learn English to become eventually a pastor and missionary. After years we found him via the Internet. We now get his e-mails, telling about his hard life. I'll try to tell you about his miracle - how he became a believer!

When he was very young he was pursued by armed Burmese soldiers - he fled - running through the jungle and fell into a pitfall, got his leg injured by a pole, but was sitting there, hidden away from the pursuers. He saw his end coming and thought of Jesus Christ, who he had been told about in a Christian school - he prayed "dear Lord Jesus Christ, if you really exist, please help me to escape, to get out of here"... and he escaped... unfortunately it's too long ago, that he told me his story, so I can't recall the continuation - but he is now married, has a little son and daughter and works very hard as a missionary in the north east of Thailand. I just got an e-mail from him: how he has to fight against all odds - torrential rain, that washes away the poor houses of the villagers, makes roads impassable, lets his old van break down, makes his children and wife sick, but he always thanks God that they are still alive and can spread God's word - that he can bring nonbelievers to the Christian faith. I sent him money so they could build a watertank in one of the villages, but I think there should be done more for these poor and pursued people. It is a shame that so many rich people never think of the poor.

If you are a good person and willing to help you could e-mail this young man: christsert@yahoo.com - - - he doesn't know that I am writing this, so please ask him about his life and how you can help. You can also find information about the Karen people on the internet and I hope that we can manage to make the world see that there is another forgotten nation somewhere who fight for their survival - hidden away in the jungles of Thailand and Burma. Their website is www.karen.org  


Now I have to jump a bit,  I have to tell you something very sad but also a new miracle.

First things first: I hope you remember my 3-legged dog Ebony.  Her toe nails were growing very fast. Last August I had them clipped down by a vet, who charged £ 11,00 and didn't cut much (I thought, but learnt later, that you can't clip away much, because they then start bleeding). One day I met a woman with a Greyhound (there are now many of them to be seen on Skye) in the park - her dog had fantastically short nails - I was really envious and asked her, how that had happened. She has a friend, who is a crofter on Raasay, and she keeps looking after those nails. I thought "what a pity that I don't have a friend who can help me on that matter". I had tried to find somebody to help me, and one day my son-in-law John said "Come with Ebony and I'll do it". I drove down to A. (1 1/2 hours), he got out his clippers and tried to treat Ebony. She is a very strong dog, and if she doesn't want to be touched she refuses vigorously. I  myself tried to file her nails, but she shook me off. So I called on Sat. 16.4.2011 the Retired Greyhound Trust on Skye, where I had found my dog one year ago. Mandy, the manager there, said that she doesn't have time because she hasn't got any help. She has to walk the 12 dogs, who are at the kennels at the moment. On Sunday I thought "I'll go and help Mandy to walk the dogs". The Kennels are near Glendale in the middle of nowhere. It's hard to find the way. On one occasion I lost it, and arrived at the kennels only at 13:00, told Mandy that I came to help her walking the dogs, but she said, that she had done that already early in the morning at 9:00, what I couldn't know. Then she looked at Ebony and was furious about her condition. The toe nails should be photographed and published in a book about animal cruelty, and the joints are swollen as big as golf balls. Over and over she scolded at me, took photos of the wrists, always saying the same things - that Ebony was surely in pain (which she wasn't, because she loved jumping and racing, and no dog with any pain in the legs would be so happily jumping for joy when going out). I left, let Ebony walk a bit (she prefers to walk on the grass beside the road, now I learnt that walking on the tarmac would keep the nails short), we drove home, I visited a German friend of Carina's to get the horrible experience off my chest, walked Ebony in a park and went home. There the telephone rang - it was Mandy, asking where I had been, and she told me that she had sent the pictures on the vet's (Alan) computer and he was as upset as she was and wanted to see Ebony first thing in the morning. Mandy said, that she would come the same evening to collect my dog - and so it was - she and Cheryl came with the big Greyhound van, Cheryl led Ebony at once away and let her hopp into the back of the van, where a big cage was standing - that was the last that I saw of my Ebony. Later I thought, they must have been afraid of my freaking out when they take away my dog. While Cheryl took away Ebony Mandy and I were standing in the kitchen and she told me to sign a paper (which I didn't read) to allow the vet to put Ebony down if she had bone cancer. All the check-ups they did (x-raying, biopsie - cutting out a piece of bone) were all INCONCLUSIVE!!! - she doesn't have neither cancer nor arthritis and they want to torture her further on. I'll write down the email I got 2 days ago from Mandy - that left me speechless and devastated.

Here is the e-mail I got from Mandy on 30.4.2011: ...."Alan (the vet!) did take a bone biopsy from Ebony and sent it away, it came back as inconclusive, he then sent away the x-rays and it was thought she could have hypertrophic osteopathy, which would mean there may be a mass in her chest and the lumps on her wrist were a secondary thing. She was x-rayed again yesterday in her chest and belly which was clear apart from an enlarged spleen. She's now going to Inverness for an ultrasound, and if need be her spleen would be removed. As you pointed out to me the other week, you did sign Ebony over to the trust so she is no longer your dog. Hundreds of pounds have been spent on her and more still to come. This all should have been done by you when you saw her wrists were like that instead of ignoring it. As Ebony is no longer your dog you will have to stop phoning Alan for information. I said I would let you know but once again you have phoned down for information on a dog you don't own. I don't know what the future is for Ebony but it would be unfair on the dog for you to see her. I hope you can respect this."

This was the sad story about my dog and me - all my animal loving friends are upset - but what can you do? 

At the moment (for 2 weeks exactly) I am asking my Good Lord why this had to happen. As I have experienced so many times in my life, that something unbelievably bad happens and only later I can see the deeper reason. Then yesterday a wonderful little miracle happened.

I was crying a lot, when I thought of my dog lying on the special bed in the kennel, full with pain killers and antibiotics, bandaged and helpless, perhaps thinking of my little house where she could lie down where ever she wanted, during the nights sleeping at my feet, warm and happily. The nights were still freezing cold, and I had to forbid myself to imagine Ebony in the cold - I was afraid to get insane. I had to make myself busy to forget. I went by bus to A. to see my family, travelled to Inverness for good German smoked sausages, stayed in a hostel, went back to A. but couldn't stay any longer, I was yearning to be home, although it is rather difficult to be in an empty house when you've lived with dogs for more than 20 years. But it was exactly the right thing to do, because the 1st morning at home (1.5.) 3 young lads from France called me. They had wanted to hire bicycles, but it was Sunday and they couldn't get any bikes. Matthew from the Hostel in Portree heard them discussing what they could do - because there are no buses on Sundays on Skye. He gave them my Tel. number, they called me and we met at 11:30 at the Square - and we had marvellous 5 hours together. They were utterly lovely, polite, funny and understanding, they are my kindred spirits. I showed them my little paradise and they praised again and again my way of life, the simplicity of my home and the  beautiful surroundings. They even said, that I had found the secret of life and they would never forget me. They will send their great pictures to my computer. They want to stay in touch with me via e-mail. It was sooo comforting to meet GOOD people, and I said again and again "thank you my Good Lord, that you sent me these lovely young people". On the last stretch of our round trip we were singing - they love the same music as I do (Joe Dassin, Charles Aznavour). They wrote down for me their names and D.O.B. and I was delighted to see, that two of them (Faustin and Florent) "are" the 9 in the Numerology and beside that Sagittarius and Gemini astrologically. Martin had just had his birthday on 29.4. This year they will all be 21 - and I wish them ALL THE VERY BEST for their future.

Do you see the design of this little but comforting miracle, that helped me forget my sorrows for a day: I had to come back home from my trip earlier than planned, and they had to realize that there is no bike hire and no bus on Sundays - on my way back home from Portree, alone in the car, I had to cry heavily - it's often so, that I have to cry when something GOOD happens to me.

Another wonderful miracle happened to my eldest grandson. Last year he moved to England - Carina and I helped him to get along when he lost his first job - Carina advised him what to do financially, and somehow he started to go to the Synagoge in Manchester, where he started to learn the Hebrew language and where he met a young lady, called Jessica - they were kindred spirits, became friends and fell in love. I wish them all possible happiness in the world - he proposed and they are planning to have a big and joyous Jewish wedding in 2013.  I thanked my Good Lord for having rescued my grandson. They both had a Christian upbringing but as grown ups they were interested in Israel and the Jewish faith. She was born in Belgium, speaks several languages fluently, studied diplomacy and is all in all beautiful, not only in her looks, but also for her common sense, humour and being herself. They were meant for each other - and you see again the design that was made up in heaven. In my books I found that they are the best match you can wish for... Thank you Good Lord!

Especially for me it is such a wonderful miracle: When I was very young and I realized what the Germans had done to the Jews, I was ashamed to be German. In my family they were all trimmed and trained by Hitler to hate Jews - when I was a kid I didn't know what that was all about - and I must admit, that I don't understand my parents and older sisters up to this day. I feel that the love of Dirk and Jessica is a reconsiliation, a comforting outlook to the future...

I'd like to show you the last photo I made of Ebony - resting on my sofa as she loved to do - I made the picture the day before they came to collect her (16.4.2011) 

...and some more photos from the happy year we lived together: 

Look at the above picture HOW SHE LOVED TO STRETCH HER LIMBS on "her" sofa 

 What I was thinking: Her joints were always a bit swollen (I had shown it the vet in November 2010 and he wasn't worried then) - That bloody Sunday she had been lying on the back bench of the car for quite a while when I was driving the long and bendy road to the kennels. It was rather hot. Perhaps these 2 components had let the wrists swell more than normal. If I only had known the horrible consequences carried out by Mandy and the vet... but we sadly can't change the past... only hope for something good to follow!

On 7th of May I got an e-mail from Mandy in which she said "...Ebony had her heart, chest and belly scanned. Unfortunately Ebony does have cancer. There are secondary tumours although small on her liver although the primary source was not found and abnormalities on her bladder neck. As long as Ebony is comfortable and pain free we need do nothing. She might live for a few months or maybe a year on the other hand she could deteriorate quickly nobody can predict......" Ebony was ALWAYS COMFORTABLE AND PAIN FREE when she lived with me. Now she had to live in the Kennel, and the nights were still freezing cold. I mustn't think about that, because I always have to cry. Let me show you a last picture of my dog - look how comfortably she is sleeping on my bed: 

When it was three weeks that they had taken away my Ebony from me I had asked my Good Lord why it had to happen and I was hoping that something good comes out of this tragedy and gradually I see the heavenly design - look for yoursekf:

For the last 18 months or so I had seen a Border Collie cub in the neighbouring croft. His name is Sweep, and he has been always tied to the fence - not very cruelly -  with a chain and a long rope. When I passed by with Ebony he barked and jumped about. Later he was replaced to another spot in the croft, still with rope and chain. He didn't bark anymore - and all the time seeing the poor puppy, I felt so sorry for him. When my Lassie + Bustle had died, I had asked my neighbours about the plans they had for Sweep. They couldn't say anything - it seemed, that he was not good for being a working sheep dog as the others on that croft. Now being without a dog I went down to the poor soul, gave him cuddles and treats, and we were bonding marvellously. One day I unchained him, put on an old dog lead and walked over the road to my house and garden, brushed his fur and let him sniff everywhere he wanted.

I asked again my neighbour what their plans were for Sweep. She couldn't say anything and told me, that her husband has his own mind. Thanks God some days later he came to my gate and told me, that I could have the dog. I called 2 dog groomers to give Sweep a good wash etc., but they couldn't help. So I started the "rehoming" on my own although  I won't be able to lift the dog into the bath tub. I could clean Lassie 13 years ago, but then I had the patio with the outdoor shower and I was a lot younger. I'll do what I can to give Sweep a good home. I am reading in the "Complete book of the dog" how to train him, to make him a pet who can live with me in my house. You see: I never give up hope, and perhaps this is the GOOD that comes out of the kidnapping of Ebony....

I took first pictures of Sweep, have a look: Isn't he simply gorgeous and worth to be a loved pet in my house? 

On 19th May 2911 he had turned himself on his back while I was brushing his fur and I could cut away all the clay crusted hair on his belly and let him into my house. Before I had asked Jock the fencer to make the gate secure, so that Sweep couln't slide through the gaps, and in the house he has his own blanket, squeaky toys, balls and treats. It was not easy to civilize him, and the training went over months - but he reacted very very well to NO, SIT, STAY, COME HERE, and he knows his place in the household. During dry days he loves to be outside - he had to be tied to the picknick set during the first days, because I didn't know if he would jump over the fence (how his brothers, the working sheep dogs, do). The table is ideal to give him shade when the sun is too hot (not very often on Skye!!!) and shelter when it rains. We had horrible gales, hail storms and heavy rain, and then my dog enjoys to be in the warm house and not anymore in the open field, where he had dug holes under the fence, which were filled with muddy clay. He looks great with his shiny fur, and when we play in the garden he is the happiest dog you've ever seen........ So I again see:

I had to lose Ebony for the sake of Sweep - his ordeal was over!...and after a few weeks he was roaming freely in house and garden. He is very strong and loves to jump and catch the squeaky American rubber football, which my friend Vicky had sent from Oregon. I throw the ball for him, which is a good training for an old woman, and in the evenings we fall into our beds - completely happy - and that's what we still do although I am now soon 83 and a VERY OLD WOMAN, but HE KEEPS ME GOING!


It had to be this way for the sake of this fellow. Have a look at my new partner: 

Above: Sweep on 19th of May 2011, his first day in my house. 

A little bit of "old times" -  19th September 2011. Sweepiedo still loves curling up in the grass for a nap - in all weathers. We live our very happy lives for 4 months together now. He also loves to chase sheep - so I have him always on the leash. He escaped 6 x and a furious crofter said: one more time and he will be shot. I don't believe that my dog will harm any sheep, but I am cautious! You never know!

Some miracles still happen: I meet friendly people, show them around on Trotternish and we become friends. This summer was gorgeous, and we enjoyed plenty of sunshine - there are still blue skies above Skye... This IS paradise!

A few more miracles happened: It's the 7th of November 2011, Sweepie escaped 3 more times - luckily THREE DIFFERENT Crofters found him - each of them furious and willing to kill him the NEXT TIME - it was always exhausting for me, running miles and miles over boggy hills, over streams, falling into mudd holes, but my dog somehow eventually came back to me - muddy and stinky, but unharmed.

Carina applied for a new job in the Primary School of Auchtertyre, didn't tell anybody the date of her interview and - called me in the afternoon, happy and over the moon "I've got the job!" I had prayed and begged my Good Lord to make Caraina's wish come true, and he let the miracle happen - Thank you so much! She will work now FULLTIME in two different Primary Schools as a Learning Support Assistant - it's great for her to earn some good money, because there are things she would like to install, but doesn't want to bother John - e.g. a special kind of heating system - a big "operation" and rather expensive, so that John rejected to buy it after gathering all the information and the costs. They would be more independent with a Raeburn in the kitchen, that would be working with wood, coal or gas, would heat the whole house and provide the hot water. Carina is dreading the next winter (me too!) - so let's hope it's not as cold, long and hard as the last two - and next year she'll let install the new system.

We've had horrible rains and gales, but for the 3rd day in a row it's pleasantly warm, sun from the blue sky, and we realize again and again how dependent we are on the sun.

The winter of 2011/2012 was horrendous with hail, rain and gales - my daughter even said I should move away from here, because the hurricane-force winds could blow us over when walking on  the road - so we did the dog walking in the sheltered garden - and at last spring came with sunshine.

Sweepiedo is now living one year with me (May 2012) 

Time flies, today is the 11th of March 2013: Sweepiedo and I are still enjoying our happy lives, and another wonderful miracle took place.

My grandson Joey (19) likes to work with wood. He had left school 2 years ago, began an apprentiship as a joiner and loved it. Sadly the small family business went bust because there was no work at some point. Joey went back to school, where a boat builder from Ullapool led a course for boat building on Thursdays and Fridays, which Joey attended with gusto. In the summer of 2012 they finished a beautiful boat, and it was launched (have a look) in June.

Highschool was then finished for Joey. He took driving lessons, got his licence, worked as a helping hand in a Hotel kitchen to earn money, and bought on e-bay a little car.

During the year they heard that the boat builder was looking for a new apprentice - to start an apprentiship in April 2013. Luckily in time they came upon the correct website with the application form, and on the last day possible Joey could apply for the job. There is only ONE position on the mainland Scotland, another one in the Outer Hebrides.

We prayed and hoped for weeks and months, and after the most important interview and some nerve racking waiting time JOEY GOT THE JOB! He'll start on 15th of April 2013, will earn a good salary, will live in a caravan in Ullapool from Monday to Wednesday, go back home until Sunday, and work with Mark Stockl, the boat builder, on the course that will take place again on Thursdays and Fridays in the Plockton High School.

You can see the pattern now: The joiner apprentiship had to be cut off (and what heartache it had been at the time!!!), Joey had to join the boat building course at the Highschool, to realize that THIS was what he WANTED TO DO with his life, he had to get his driving licence and his own car (very important now for this job!), and in 2 years' time he'll be a boat builder and will start his own business - THANK YOU LORD!, and thank you, Joey, that you are such a deligent, determined, active, busy, and sensible young man.

Today is the 5th of May 2013 - stormy and rainy, but thanks God no snow - as we had last week, and the poor newborn lambs as well as my daffodils suffered a lot!

Meanwhile another wonder came to a happy end (that is "for the moment being"). Do you remember the story about my eldest grandson (baptised Steven Alexander 22 years ago, changed his name by law to Dirk Hibberd, left home and lately changed his name to Emet Shahar). In Preston he was friends with Jessica and they fell in love. Both converted to Judaism and moved to Manchester, where they visited the Synagogue and found good friends - the Jews are a great community, it's like living in a family. Now the big day came on 28th of April, that the two young people got married - it was a beautiful event, full of joy and harmony. The couple wants to emigrate to Israel to have a completely new life there - and so they did. (but that's a completely new story):

Many years have passed, many things have happened, Sweepiedo and I still live  in Lealt - in Carina's family many things happened as well - the "boys" are grown men now, have had own lives with ups and downs - but as I said before: completely new stories!!!


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