"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

All material on SHIMMERCASTDREAMS copyright of Marie Bruce and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Monday, 24 April 2017

MUSICAL DOLL; Right Here Waiting...

Some of the most beautiful songs have been written about the act of waiting...waiting in the bittersweet space between the dream of love and its reality, where yearning lyrics couple with haunting melodies, these songs can melt even the coldest heart...


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

CLASSIC BOOK NOOK; Romeo and Juliet

"I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore wash'd with the farthest sea,
I would adventure for such merchandise."
Romeo and Juliet

Someone once asked me if Romeo and Juliet had a happy ending which really made me giggle...I suppose it depends on how you look at it.  Yes, they both die in the end and it is technically a tragedy, but they are also together forever in eternal love.  Forever young and in love, never to disappoint one another, let each other down or tire of each other.  To me, that sounds like a happy ending of sorts, because the deepest, strongest, truest love is worth dying for.   

I tend to read this play each year as the summer months loom into view - the balcony scene is perfect for the lighter, warmer nights.  It reminds me that love is always unexpected - and sometimes it can be downright inconvenient!  It knows no bounds, or prejudices; it breaks all the rules; it is a headlong dash into the unknown, with someone you hardly know, yet trust automatically.  Love lingers in the ears long after the lips have spoken. As Juliet says;

"My ears have not yet drunk one hundred words 
Of thy tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound.
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?"

It is a remembrance and a dream; a waking thought not easily shaken off; a rekindling of hope and a healing charm to soothe the 
heart, lost in its chamber of solitude.  It may never be more than fantasy; reality might prove too complicated for the dream to be fulfilled - yet, the dream lives on in the mind, of whispers in moonlight and what might have been.  When Love's little arrows are lodged in your heart, it hurts a little bit. 

Despite the tragic ending though, Romeo and Juliet is my favourite
Shakespearean play, because it is still so relevant to modern life.  It can be tough to read if you are not used to the language, but Shakespeare designed his work to be seen, not read.  He wanted people to watch his plays, so if you prefer to watch one of the film versions or go to the theatre, rather than read the play, I'm sure he would approve.   It has inspired works of art, modern re-tellings and pop songs "for never was a tale of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo".  It is certainly well worth reading.

"A thousand times goodnight...
Goodnight, goodnight! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow"

Saturday, 1 April 2017

BOOK NOOK; Beauty and the Beast, movie tie-in novel

A novel of the film

"What if I'm too late? What if I never get to see the Beast again?" She knew that if the Beast was gone she would have no one to blame but herself.

Against all the odds, the Beast had shown her true beauty. He had shown her it was okay to be different. He had shown her it was okay to feel lost and made her realise how desperately she wanted to be found.

Last month my mother and I went to see the new movie version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and it was a fantastic film. It was the kind of film that stays with you and you are reluctant to leave behind at the cinema, so when I saw there was a book of the film out too, I just had to get it.

I have spent today reading this beautiful, romantic, novel length fairytale and it has kept the movie fresh in my mind.  What has taken me by surprise though is that I found I could relate more to the Beast than to Belle!  Like me, he has a temper and he can be easily provoked.  He doesn't always know what is good for him and he has to be gently persuaded to give Belle a chance.

I can relate to his wariness, because I am the same and when those little arrows of love hit me, my first response is to snarl and growl and scare them all away.  This means I scare away the very thing I need most. It means I lose my temper with the wrong people, when someone else has provoked me.  We can all be beastly at times. 

Like the Beast in the fairytale I just need someone brave enough to see past my tantrums, to soothe the fear that lies beneath.  I need someone who won't give up on me and who will keep trying to coax me into a gentler mood and a more playful attitude.  I need someone who can calm me with a soft voice and a bit of patience, until my trust is gained. Because sometimes a rejection comes from fear, not disinterest. 

Belle and the Beast initially reject one another because they are both fearful.  They bicker and snipe at one another, but deep down, they have much in common.  They get to know one another through a mutual love of books and the library in the film is truly breath-taking. Any book worm would love to spend time there. 

Eventually they come to see each other as allies, rather than as enemies. Once they understand that they are on the same side, love blossoms between them, though there are a couple of false starts along the way...barely even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly. 

Because if someone really is on your side, they will fly right back to you like little arrows, giving you the chance to turn the beastly curse into a spell of love and friendship.  Maybe there's a happy ending in second glances and second chances?

If you like tales as old as time you will enjoy this novel, available from Amazon here and the theme songs below...

It was a kiss full of apology, full of thankfulness, and full of deep, deep love. It was a kiss full of enchantment...

Wasting in my lonely tower...waiting by an open door...

Friday, 31 March 2017

MUSICAL DOLL; For GI Blue Eyes, Louisiana USA

Hello, GI Blue Eyes...
I know you like Britney Spears, you being from the same home state as her of Louisiana and
when it comes to military music parody videos, the UK has nothing on you guys...(I blame the English reserve!)...the USA military has this genre totally nailed - and I love them for it! Enjoy; love and blessings to you and yours...stay safe, wherever they send you...
...Love and kisses from Marie xoxo

Wednesday, 1 March 2017


My beloved cat Pyewackett died today.
He was my faithful friend and familiar for eighteen and a half years and I felt the light had gone from my life when it left his beautiful green eyes.

He suffered a stroke this afternoon, and even though my mother and I rushed him straight to the vet, there was nothing to be done for him.  He died in my arms - in the arms of the only real mother he knew, as he and I were inseparable. I was his mother and he was undoubtedly my baby.

I kissed his little head and told him I would love him forever and his spirit was always welcome in my life and home, wherever I am. Then I said a blessing and asked Bast to receive my precious feline back into her eternal care.

He will be cremated and his ashes will be returned home to me, where he belongs.

Of course I am inconsolable and heart-broken, but I knew he was struggling as his age caught up with him and he began to feel the years weighing on him. I was prepared, but it still hurts so much.

Strangely enough Pye was making my Mum and I laugh hilariously just last night, when he was bright as a button and trying to steal the fresh cream out of her chocolate eclair!  Then today, he died.

He has left us with some wonderful memories and he will be much missed. The void he has left behind is hard to face up to, but I just feel so privileged to have had him share half my adult life. It has been an absolute pleasure to love and care for him for the past 18 years. He was the truest friend I ever had.

Merry Part Pyewackett, until we Merry Meet again. 
My love goes with you as you make your final journey to Bast. I will look for you in the Summerland.
Blessed Be

Friday, 24 February 2017

BOOK NOOK; SAS Who Dares Wins

Image result for sas who dares wins book

I never thought that I would be the kind of person to read military books. Its not that long ago, while in a bookshop in Oban, that I stumbled across the military section, pulled a face at it and walked away!  Now though, they are fast becoming my favourite books to read and I like nothing better than taking a soldier or two to bed with me in the evenings for a spot of adventurous bedtime reading!

This book is my new go-to manual for motivation. Co-written by the four ex-SAS soldiers who made the TV series SAS Who Dares Wins, this companion book to the series is full of information and tales of high risk adventure.  Not only does it give details of how these men came to be in the SAS, but it aims to teach civilians how to think, act and persevere like an elite soldier. In short it is a cross between a collection of biographies and a self-help manual.

I had some fun Tweeting with the authors during the show and they all seem like nice lads.  Colin Maclachlan has even emailed me tips and advice on how to deal with anxiety, telling me to identify the situations that trigger a hyper-sensitive fear response and to remember that no-one else can make me afraid - only I can do that to myself by allowing myself to panic.  It's good advice and it was his emails that made me want to buy the book, just to see what the other lads had to say as well.

I wasn't disappointed and there are some cool stories used as examples of how to remain calm under pressure, control one's emotions and how to be the 'grey man'.  I've read the book three times now and so when someone recently said that he didn't know me at all after 18 months of working together, I took it as a compliment and a sign that some of this book must have sunk in, because I am learning to keep my cards closer to my chest.

As my college course has become something of a battle-field lately, with the pressure piling on, I need books like this one just to get me through these final few months of my diploma!  Because military books are not just for those who serve in the Armed Forces - everyone can benefit from reading them.  SAS Who Dares Wins is a great introduction to a new way of thinking, reminding you of your capabilities and that you can push yourself to even greater achievement if you just keep going and don't quit. This is exactly what I need to hear right now!

The book has chapters on mission planning and delivery, avoiding and deescalating conflict, identifying strengths and weaknesses, knowing when to retreat, gaining respect and establishing command, decompression, how not to quit and handling responsibility.   It aims to teach readers how to be 'an army of one' so if you are like me and you prefer to be independent, or if you lack a support network, then this book could well become your new best friend.  It will give you motivation when you need it, remind you of your achievements, skills and capability and steer you in the direction of leadership and personal responsibility, helping you to better yourself along the way.

My one gripe with the book is that there are a few football analogies used to explain something.  I'm a woman. I don't get football, so these explanations went right over my head. I can just about cope with the military lingo (because there is a glossary at the front of the book), but football is beyond me!  Still, there is a nice selection of glossy photos of the authors in their uniforms so I can forgive the football references. Boys will be boys! 

The book is available in hard copy and Kindle on Amazon UK, just click here
You can Follow me and the boys on Twitter too, here are the links;

Sunday, 19 February 2017

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Will You Remember Me?

I feel no fear tonight
 I feel no pain
I don't know what I feel
Or hope to gain...
Will you remember me?
Dannii Minogue - Disremembrance
One of my favourites from her greatest hits album.