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Braewick Beach Walk

Braewick Beach Walk – Eshaness, Northmavine, Shetland Islands 

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There are many accessible walks and endurance levels to explore in the Northmavine area of the Shetland Islands.  A great place to explore the outdoors by land or sea.

There are many spectacular coastal walks, hiking or rock climbing.  If you are a kayaking, sailing or hiring a jetski then the sea stacks, coves and, geos=inlets (Shetland word) are all equally breath taking too

Here are 2 links for more information on Northmavine: 



I love that Northmavine is on my doorstep and after a 20 minute drive I am bang in the middle of a wildlife haven.  It is peaceful and the summer meadows of chirping birds and insect life is the best sound to encounter for your ears

A great place to unwind and tune into nature and if you are camping even better.  I recommend staying at the Braewick caravan site or stay in one of their wig-wams for the fantastic views.  A great location for exploring the Northmavine area. 



The landscape is a great place to draw inspiration from that being photography, writing or sketching.  

In terms of walks I have always wanted to explore the Braewick sandbar beach.  It is located in front of the campsite and it looks over towards what is called ‘Da Drongs’ (local dialect).  


‘The Drongs’ are three sea stacks protruding from the seascape.  Last summer I was excited to see a pod of killer whales making their journey across the bay.  Sadly, they were seen by using binoculars only but it was still great to see them jump out the ocean with their black and white markings.      


What I love about Northmavine is the way the light changes the sea and landscape at different intervals throughout the summer season.  The sea at the sandbar can turn a vivid dark green against the red sand and cliff face.  At a different time with some sunsets the landscape is silver and gold in places.  I don’t think any amateur or professional wildlife photographer shall ever get bored here.  There are colours everywhere with the different coloured geology, flora or fauna too. 


Another great feature of island living are micro showers.  I was once in the cafe and one table of tourists were surprised to see on one side of the building getting bashed with heavy rainfall and then the other side the view was all tranquil.  They said they never experience that again as they lived in an upbuild urban environment.  

Whenever the weather is like that it is best to have your headlights on as it can get very dark driving through a micro shower.  Once through it you get blazing sunshine again and then you need to grab your 😎

Braewick Beack Walk   

As a lymphie walker I have access to many easy going coastal walks.  If I can’t walk I take in the views like the many coach loads of tourists. There are many visiting cruise ships that take harbour in Lerwick the capital of Shetland.  This year I was determined to reach the sandbar beach of Braewick.  I set off down a gentle slope on a sunny calm day and then I reached the freshwater pool of water.


I am not completed sure if it is freshwater as I have seen the sea waves go over the narrow sandbar.   When I made it down to the sandbar it looked very wide but I guessed it was low tide.  Next was the beach walk but it was near impossible as Tirricks (Arctic Terns) started to dive bomb.  The best thing is to ignore them and keep walking.  The previous week I watched a nature documentary where a polar bear was getting a bloody nose as consistently pecked by several Arctic Terns.  Tirricks behaviour is normal as their nests are on the ground very near coastal shores.  One thing I forgot to bring with me was a bag to collect rubbish but there wasn’t any rubbish I could see which was good.  After this walk I ate at the cafe and chatted to folk I hadn’t seen since last year.  It was a sunny pleasant day out and a pleasure to walk despite the tirricks display of aggression.  It is a good sign to see them as their numbers are on the decline or so I read and been told.  

Maybe reason for arctic tern decline are manmade?  Here are some photos I took on a walk at Stenness, Eshaness in 2015.   

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Knitting Distractions & Wellbeing Tip #3


I started knitting this yesterday to take my mind off my ongoing lower backache.  The major problem I find having Secondary Lymphoedema (like many lymphies) is coping with the summer heat.  A swelling time for many frolicking in the sun but I am inside mostly keeping my limb out of the sun rays! 

‘Suggested Wellbeing Tip’

Keeping cool tips are varied and the latest one suggested to me online is to buy a dog cooling mat.  

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I recently ordered this product off ebay.uk.  A buy one get one free offer.  

‘My Wellbeing Tip #3’


My wellbeing tip is to use Organic Aloe Vera gel (200ml by Aloe Pura Laboratories £4.70 ebay.uk – you can get after sun products too).  

It is best kept in the fridge so as extra cool when applying onto the lymphatic limb and simply switch on a fan.  

The floor fan I have is huge and I only ever use setting one out of three.   If on setting three the room becomes a mini tornado with stuff flying wildly around.  Less dramatic on one!   

Anyway, if your a lymphie or non-lymphie and want to cool off in summer indoors it is a good tip.  There are not many humid evenings in Shetland, Scotland but with the latest heatwave in the U.K it is very good to help keep the lymphatics cool!   

‘WordPress App’  



This is my first blog post using a mobile WordPress App’ so, hence shorter in length.  I find this app helpful if I see a grammatical mistake or needing to quickly update information.  All my photos are updated only through using a laptop computer.  My mini-review:


* * *

Coming soon a few blogs on my summer so far.  Here is a photo of wild flowers taken from a recent walk in Eshaness, Shetland Islands ✍🏼👣🙂





Pandere Shoes for Unique Soles

‘Pandere Kickstarter Campaign’

Three women entrepreneurs have started a unique shoe business called Pandere.  When I read about Pandere shoes I was only too happy to blog about their Kickstarter campaign.  I encourage you to visit here:


‘The Three Founders of PANDERE SHOES’


The three founders from left to right are Celia Crossett, Laura Oden and Ayla Rogers.  Pandere’s founder Laura Oden has *lymphedema (*lymphoedema -uk) for over forty years.  A fellow lymphie!  Laura observed a gap in the market and along with her founders came up with one of their following patents:  


This patent design expands 1.5 sizes in width and volume, giving more comfort.  Laura observed there are millions of people globally that have swelling limbs and feet due to a variety of medical conditions. They are mainly edema (chronic oedema), diabetes, pregnancy, arthritis and a host of other conditions that can affect one or both feet to swell. 

 We believe at Pandere shoes will restore dignity, comfort and mobility to people with hard-to-fit feet

Like Laura, myself and millions of individuals that have problems with lower limb swelling buying suitable footwear isn’t always easy.  

That stress of finding suitable footwear is taken away and replaced I believe by the PANDERE shoes 

In terms of my personal experience I know from working in the summer months I need to change my shoes as my limb would expand with higher temperatures.  That means two different shoe sizes to cater for one limb.  A PANDERE shoe would expand for me and my needs and, therefore a great product to purchase!    


That is the aim of Pandere shoe to put the wearer first and to help give a more stylish look as well as keep you on your happy feet longer! 

‘Pandere Aims and Future Plans’

The aim of this campaign are to raise funding for more expansion.  So far the shoes are aimed at women only but they have future plans to expand in order to cater for other genders and age groups.  That is what attracted me to Pandere shoes because I like millions of individuals worldwide need suitable shoes to live.  To order or show your support press link here:


 Only available on KICKSTARTER press link for more information:


Images from Pandere & Pixabay.com




The Cellulitis Bubble

‘Bank Holiday Bubble’

My bank holiday started by dreaming of a bank funnily enough.  It was like the one in the Harry Potter film all fortified and filled up with greedy looking miser elf’s.  I kind of went in and blew it up with lots of bombs.  Then I woke up and realised I was coming down with a cold. Strange dreams are caused by fevers and that was one of them!  Now I am on the mend and back to blogging on the tail end of this sunny or rainy (depending where you are) bank holiday weekend.  

As I started to write this blog this morning I noticed the prompt word from somewhere on WordPress was ‘bubble’.  Hence notice the overall theme is bubbles.  Anyway, I wrote out 300 plus words then decided to delete it as it was purely cathartic.  It was pure crap for a good reason.  I wrote again another 400 words and when it came to publish the opportunity had closed.  Mmh, well it is maybe not meant to be perhaps another time…     

‘The Cellulitis Bubble’

The one thing I can publish today was the toxic bubble of cellulitis I endured over four precarious days.  

I started to recover slowly but my lymphoedema leg became a celestial map of red hot drawf planets. I could have played a galactical spot-to-spot game. 

To be honest I was out of it with the fever and then the medication gave me side effects I didn’t anticipate…

What is it?


Day 1 & 2  thought I had caught a cold.  This was my first time and hopefully the last.  The chills are the worst!

From my own experience the first thing about having cellulitis is that I wasn’t fully aware I had it for the first twelve hours.  Initially I went to bed feeling the chills last Thursday night.  A series of strange dreams as mentioned before and then I woke up with a higher temperature and feeling nausea on Friday morning.  It felt like flu, but it was different.  The whole day of Friday was a wash out and I couldn’t do very much.   Then when I saw my red hot spotty lymphoedema leg around 4.40pm I immediately called for a prescription.  The chemist shut at 5pm and it was the weekend the next day!  I wasn’t in a fit state to go anywhere.  However, my partner retrieved my meds in time and I was so glad he did it!   I knew if he didn’t it would require a sixty mile round trip to the local hospital and that wasn’t where I wanted to be on that day.  The cellulitis symtoms of chills, nausea and high temperature are horrible.  I just wished I knew earlier in the day but I felt no cellulitis pain that came the next day…


Day 3 & 4 Pain and then some more pain

On Saturday morning I stood up and it felt weird and uncomfortable.  I had to use my walking stick to get about.  My lymphoedema leg was very warm and it was more swollen than usual.  It felt like my leg was filled up with warm to hot potatoes with needles sticking out when I stood up.  It felt heavy, hot but as soon as I was horizontal all the pain went.  On all four days I never put on any compression garments as advised by Lymphoedema literature I had to hand.  

In this bubble of convalescent I pondered and chatted by text to a friend about the causes.  I knew I skimp on mosturising a little and all my compression garments were clean.  I was mystified why it occured. Then it was an eureka moment and I told my friend why it occured the way it did.  I shall come back to this in another blog in the future for now it is not important to mention.   

On Saturday night my sleep was very poor and I woke up my partner many times as I ran to the bathroom trying to vomit up but nothing ever came.  It was the antibiotics they can play havoc with your stomach lining.

On Sunday morning I felt like my stomach had been in a boxing ring. My partner looked like he hadn’t slept (he hadn’t) and he slowly went off to work not noticing he had put on a dirty jumper.  A slow-mo of a morning.  The only thing I did notice that morning was that I was wearing the same colour as to what I was eating.  A splash of yellow and a healthy bowl full of bananas, honey and natural yogurt.  I may have look like a ray of sunshine but I felt like I had been sucked into a black hole and spat out again.   

In conclusion my friend said I have now officially made it into the cellulitis club!  Oh, sweet Jesus.  




The Awesome Theraband

Wellbeing Tip #1 – ‘Dry Brushing’ & ‘Gravity is your friend’ – see blog link:


Wellbeing Tip #2 – ‘Theraband – Resistance Exercise’

A theraband are latex bands or tubes that are used for physical therapy and light strength training exercises.  They are also commonly used by athletes but also people who are looking for a low-impact strength training workout


Since mid-February I have used this method of resistance exercise to help with a tennis elbow and strengthening the lower leg calf muscles.   The tennis elbow is mending slowly and the reason for the lower calf exercises are to help avoid limping.  Any limping isn’t good for the posture in the long term.   

My long term goal is to walk more effectively despite my lymphoedema in my whole leg  

my-legoponics & life-tinkin 

I have lived with lymphoedema for four years now and the important thing is to do something active every day.  The purpose being to improve on flexibility and mobility and for me to get from A to B without using a walking stick.  All exercise helps lift your mood too.    

G R E A T   F O R   U P P E R   L I M B   E X E R C I S E S 


L O W E R  C A L F – E X E R C I S E S  


I bought a couple of therabands online as suggested by my physiotherapist.  These therabands are simple to use and very effective to help strengthen muscles and to help lose weight too.   

Pin Interest board for specific usage of the Theraband


This is a great wellbeing tip for all types of individuals to do at home.  A gentle way to help tone, lose weight and strengthen your core and limbs effectively.  Pilates greatly use this method of resistance exercise.    

‘Happy Feet’

On a personal level the theraband resistance exercises have helped with a specific problem caused by wearing open toed compression stockings.  The next picture you can see the difference between open and closed compression garments.


The opened toes are a long term favourite of mine as they are great to wear with sandals in the summer time.  However, personally speaking the open toe garments can help build up lymph fluid directly under the toes making it uncomfortable to walk about.  In seeing a qualified physiotherapist my woes were gone in one day!     

I was amazed that a simple calf exercise made a dramatic difference and very quickly too!  I went from limping to walking normally (as i can) in one day!  

I still get bad days where I can’t walk far but I am improving as the theraband exercises increase.  I am very grateful to my current physiotherapist based in Lerwick, Shetland.   Her service has helped me regain my confidence to be more mobile and to have use of my arm too. All images see Welcome to…page. 

Thank you for reading (:




‘Winter to Spring Puckles’

This week there was an abundance of spring snow showers.  The kind of snow showers where the snowflakes are super chunky and fall gently like a feather.  I love watching snowflakes in the very early stages it is both mesmerising and helps turn any dull landscape into a winter wonderland


However, in early April it is all too short-lived and the snowflakes melt as soon as they hit the ground.  Only on the higher grounds and surrounding hilltops keep a little white dusting of snow.  

The dark brown peat hills look like an overbaked chocolate cake with white icing sugar sprinkle on top 

If the snow is still there the next day I know it is colder than usual and my heating goes up.


Springtime in April to my observation plays the game of hide and seek with the weather elements.  For example, it can be blazing hot and sunny in the morning and then turn icy cold in the afternoon.  There are days when the heat in the home is unbearably hot or when the heat is needed it is low to very cold.  A couple of nights ago I stupidly turned all my central heating down.  The next day I was wearing more woolly garments inside than what I would wear outside!

On another night it was unbearably hot, and I forgot I left my window open during the night.  It was about four o’clock in the morning and I woke up frozen stiff!  There is never a happy medium and thankfully all my central heating is getting replaced this year by the local council.  It might not make any difference as the weather is always changeable never consistently one temperature in Shetland.

All this hot and cold malarkey plays havoc with my sleeping patterns.  Lymphoedema and warmer temperatures are not the best of bedfellows


Lastly, what are puckles that I mentioned in the heading above? Puckles are basically what I call hailstones.

According to the 2014 Edition of ‘Shetland Words’ the word puckle is defined as ‘a single grain of seed; a small quantity.  Okay, I didn’t know that until I looked it up!  

Haily-puckle is the specific definition of hail-stone.  I like many locals still call hailstones puckles only

In an odd way calling spring hailstones puckles is like saying they are like the seeds of springtime.

A puckle proverb:

Mony a puckle maks a muckle

(Shetland Words, 2014).  In English, that maybe translates into, ‘many seeds make more’.  In conclusion, I think that is very apt as it is now officially springtime in the UK.





‘Island Travel Patient II – seeing RED!’

To travel down to the mainland Scotland is a straight forward procedure be it flying or ferry for the island patient traveller.  You get your tickets and organise yourself to get from A to B.  Many patients from the northern islands like Shetland and Orkney usually go to the ARI hospital in Aberdeen city.  The ARI ‘Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’ is one of the biggest hospitals in the NHS Grampian area.  It serves a wide geographical area for the north of Scotland.


In terms of flying and arriving at Aberdeen International Airport patient travellers need to catch a shuttle bus to get them to their specific destination.  It is the (BRC) ‘British Red Cross’ charity that supply this shuttle service to all NHS patients.


BRC symbol

Depending on your fitness upon arrival to the airport you either walk, limp, use crutches or be pushed in a wheelchair or pushchair (child) and, head towards the entrance of the airport.


Seeing RED?

On the way out from arrivals there is a man or woman in a bright red BRC fleece jacket holding a clipboard.  They are waiting specifically for you to approach them.  Hopefully their clipboard shall have your details on it.  The BRC workers have the job of ticking your name off and giving you clear instructions to find the shuttle bus outside.

It should be simple but, it can potentially go wrong.  Looking for lost individuals in a large airport or hospital within a time schedule is no fun from what I have observed.  The BRC have a schedule to keep and like air stewardesses or stewards they need you to be on time.  Prior travel information is usually given verbally by travel booking staff when you pick up your tickets.  There is also paper information with your tickets explaining too.  

 Your only input is to listen, read and be aware of these arrangements.  If you don’t you are in trouble and, it be all your own fault for not paying attention! I know.  Why?  Because I fluffed it up four years ago on my first trip down.

On my recent trip from Aberdeen airport I got chatting to the BRC driver.  I asked him if everything was going smoothly on this trip? 

Well guess how many walked past me today?  I guessed four tops!?  He sighed, no! double that it was eight people walked pass me.  I’m wearing a bright Red jacket with a Red cross on it! They still walk pass… No one reads those little pieces of paper they give you  He continues:  ‘I could be dressed up as Santa Clause in bright red with a flashing light on my head and their still walk pass me, guaranteed!…he repeatsGUARANTEED!’

I understood clearly and then I admitted my shenanigans four years back.  I was meant to be somewhere, and I wasn’t.  I learnt from my mistake and ever since that day I have MUCH respect for all the work they do.  In a busy shift it must be stressful and bewildering trying to get up to thirty people maximum in various capabilities to and from their destinations.

Towards the end of my shuttle lift he asks,

Do you want to hear the funniest story that happened a few years back?

His story was a funny and one he repeats with glee, but no names or exact locations are given.  Long story short a patient got mixed up and ended up thinking the airport was the hospital.  In fairness they had an eye problem and could see the funny side of it but not something they would admit to others back home.  Despite that the person in question got to their appointment in time and got home with humorous embarrassment.  

I thanked the BRC driver and hope he had a good day and that no more folk just walk pass him when he is only doing his job!

My acknowledgments and thanks to BRC Press for the logo and weblinks and the BRC drivers of Aberdeen City and their fab work with NHS island patient travellers.

 http://www.redcross.org.uk/  Images see Welcome to…page(:





‘Lymphie conversations & wellbeing tips’

It is a sunny and crisp Sunday morning here in Shetland. The blackbirds and little sparrows are chirping loudly from a neighbours bird feeder.  The odd squawk from a distant seagull


Since I started this blog a week ago conversations about the lymphatics in general was interesting.  Apart from the few friendly enquiries and supportive chats one conversation stuck out from the rest.  I asked the person in question for their permission to blog.  They preferred anonymity, so I shall refer to them as Robin.

In a light-hearted and humorous way Robin texted

I was born special’ and, quote having double Legoponix in both legs

 (Awesome typo 😊 so used it as heading).  It was news to me and I never guess Robin had this condition at all.  Robin agreed with the quote from my first blog, ‘…a ‘common delayed diagnosis’ under the heading ofDiagnosis’.

Robin points out,

I was undiagnosed for ages and working self-employed on my feet for up to 14 hours a day…I got super chunky’.  Robin goes onto explain, ‘the NHS investigated but it was Macmillan nurses that picked up my case

 Instead of primary or secondary lymphoedema Robin had a very late diagnosis of Primary Lipoedema. Links: http://www.lipoedema.co.uk/

Briefly, primary lipoedema is a condition that you are born with and it can run in the family.  It can miss a generation but can be passed on by genetics.  Lipoedema can be easily overlooked and commonly individuals are forever dieting and watching their weight but it never goes.  Getting an early diagnosis and correct treatment is important.

After Robin was diagnosed,

I then had two rounds of cellulitis’.  Upon asking me if I ever encountered it I confirmed never.  Robin answered, ‘you haven’t lived it’s a barrel of laughs!

I can’t imagine and hope to never encounter it but the likelihood is a higher percentage than non-lymphies.  Oh well, my attitude is all you can do is be prepared.  In both lymphie conditions the skin gets tighter due to swelling of limb/s and can cause the deep layers of skin to come out in painful cellulitis if not properly maintained.

I can’t imagine what it is like but after reading some recent posts from various social media groups it is plain nasty.  Flare ups look painful and from one post I could see an individual was hospitalized.  The LSN Network provides a helpful leaflet called ‘Management of Cellulitis in Lymphoedema’.  If you sign up as a member you can order specific leaflets and DVD’s for your own specific requirements.  I keep my leaflet in storage for now hidden from sight.

Then I got it…


‘Wellbeing tip: Skin Care’

In the last four years of having Lymphoedema I find dry brushing is great.  I fully recommend it if you are lymphie or non-lymphie.  The main benefits are;

  • reduces cellulite (very awesome)

  • improves circulation

  • releases toxins

  • brightens skin

  • improves digestion

  • lastly soothes the mind


In the early stages of brushing I don’t agree with the last part of the list, ‘soothes the mind’.  I remember a few expletives at first and how I persevere to get through it.  

Usually, I am not that hot on health kicks but, this dry brushing really is the deal.  Once you get through a few brushing routines it is an added bonus to any self-care routine

Remember to buy a good quality dry brush specific for body brushing or else you shall waste time and money on something that doesn’t do the job.

FACT:  The skin organ is the largest and the amount of skin cells we lose in a day is staggering. In one year, you’ll shed more than 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of dead skin (from howstuffworks.com)

  • To dry brush properly is to use specific brush stroke movements as seen in the image below.

Dry brushing image

‘A ‘wee’ wellbeing tip’

The last *wee tip is from Robin who advised me to raise my bed (feet end of course) by 4-6 inches.

It helps with limb swelling. Quote, ‘you’ll be amazed the next morning and lastly, ‘remember gravity is your friend!’

Cheers Robin (:

*Wee is used alot in Scotland it means ‘little’ so don’t be offended it just Scottish slang.