November Birth Flower:

November Birth Stone:

Local Group News:

Don’t panic that you’ve missed the month of October. We have decided that the blog should match the month it’s posted in. Just like your favourite magazine. 

It’s sad to think that we’re heading into another lockdown situation to try and combat the rise in cases of Covid19. Please be safe and follow the guidelines whatever they may be.

OMG ! We’ve been a busy bunch with all our crafting activities this month. Have to say a big thank you to Eileen and Samantha for contributing craft articles and Irene Goodrum for the updates on how she is getting on with the CBD patches. The blog would be empty without your help.


Members Posts / Local Discussions:

In last months blog, we had posts and comments from members on the subject of CBD and relative products. A few of us had tried the CBD patches and had commented on how we had found them.  So continuing on from last month, below you will find more comments relating to our CBD adventure.

John Bell:

I’m going top of the arm tomorrow. Just moving the patch about to see what’s best. So far on top of the right shoulder as it’s directly on a painful site.

Irene Goodrum:

On my wrist it picked up a huge amount of dirt!
I’ve found that my right arm is best for me……I’m using biotene mouthwash cos don’t like the taste they give you….I’ve not changed any medication yet, my pain is better, not gone, but more bearable than without. For me my left arm seems to be a problem….I had my muscle biopsy there and the original cause of my ongoing health issues was a reaction to hep b vaccine, which was administered several times in that arm…..I might try my abdomen, but there’s a heck of a blubber there to penetrate!
I think they’re worth the money. My appetite is still suppressed….I always sleep well and there’s been no change there.

John Bell:

Well so far so good, had a strenuous day last Tuesday and on Sunday, the CBD does seem to have an effect at keeping the worst at bay. Shoulder is less painful as well which is a major bonus as that’s bugged me since April. The spray I take 3 shots at night and usually get a better sleep. Still wake up but seems a bit more restful. Now to the cream, I’ve used it on sore joints and it really works but the major issue I have with it is the smell. I’ve got Hypersensitivity and the smell really gets to me. Have most days halved my pain medication so another positive.
Will keep going and keep you all posted. Xxx

Irene Goodrum:

Day 12 of using patches….
I’ve stuck with using a full patch….still have funny taste in my mouth….I change my patch mid afternoon and find it easier getting to bed and more markedly, getting up in the morning. In general, I’m not so achy….not pain free, but much better. Tonight I’ve cut my evening solpadol from 2×500/30mg capsules to 1×500/30mg capsule and 1×500/8mg capsule…. see how I go….other pain meds left unchanged.
I’ve also had a busier week and don’t feel I’m suffering for it…well yet anyway!

John Bell:

Well that’s another week gone. Haven’t been using the patches everyday, just when I need them. So today the pain down my spine has been horrendous. So patch was put on also 3 sprays of CBD and after 4 hours I’m kind of back on an even keel. Next couple of days will tell if it really works. X

Irene Goodrum:

I’ve just about to use my last patch from my first batch of 32. I have used them daily and have noticed some difference….nothing major or life changing, but enough of a difference that I’m going to continue to use them. I change mine in the afternoon and I’ve found this gives me maximum benefit around getting to bed and getting up, my most active times really. It’s been easier to take the dog out too and my legs have been much less painful. I also don’t think I’m as restless a sleeper and have had way less disturbing night jerks. I always “sleep” between 8-10 hours, but usually aware of coming to many times a night. Now it’s two or three times a night. After saying that, I still feel like I haven’t slept at all most days! I’ve also have been able to cut my evening dose of solpadol to the lower dose and have only taken an additional dose during the day a couple of times. I’ve also lost 6lbs as it’s turning out to be an appetite suppressor!
So whilst I’m not planning on signing up for a gym membership or dancing along to strictly, I do feel there have been enough benefits for me to continue.

So we’ll leave this topic here for a few months and we’ll come back to it in the New Year.

Eileen Sangye Longworth: Buddhist Deity.

In Langholm there is an arts facility called Out Post Arts. During lockdown they prepared an Art Journal Project which was open to anyone who wished to join in. It was developed as an aid to confidence, social activity via the internet which would be an aid to loneliness and hopefully improve mental health in some way. The idea of having a book/journal to use for the course interested me as it would be a physical reminder of what i was doing during this time. The course was supposed to be 8 weeks but it turned into about 14 as folk had other commitments, children at home, home working etc which took their attention and time. I found it a wonderful way to allocate time for just me. Nothing to fix, nothing to do, just create some form of art. So each week there was a different leader for the module, artists in their own right who made wee instruction videos for us all to watch and gain help and inspiration from. I found the continuous line drawing particularly engaging. It made me concentrate on what i could draw rather than trying to replicate the item almost photographically. There were modules on watercolours, acrylics, collage, drawing with pen, pencil, charcoal, and oil pastel. To be honest I did not really like the oil pastel or the charcoal because they are so messy, I was more bothered about getting fingerprints in the journal rather than the actual practise of making art. For the exhibition at the end, which was totally optional, it was suggested that we provide a piece which was the culmination of the project. I struggled with this to be honest, as some of the media did not appeal to me to carry on with. So I decided to work on a picture of a Buddhist Deity called Green Tara. I have previously undergone instruction with eminent Tibetan Thangka painters learning the precise way to develop the grid system for each drawing of a deity. As this art journal project was linked with mental health I decided to use Tara as ‘me’ and use the way that I have drawn and painted her to reflect my state of mind during the lockdown.

So the drawing is partly as per instruction and partly freehand; partly perfect and partly left out; partly the correct colours as per Tibetan instruction, and partly my own representation; some of the colours are metallic and there is red nail varnish on her nails. These are to show that I as a person began life as a perfect wee babe, but throughout life I have used myself well, or not used myself well; that I have rubbed out bits and drawn them again as it were; I have gilded the lily at times, and tried to project an image of sorts. The bits which are left out are purposely done as I still have life left to live.

The most important difference to a usual Tara Thangka is the lightning strike in the centre of her body. This is from the throat chakra through the heart and solar plexus to the sacral chakra. It represents trauma which has happened in my life. Like an axe strike through my very being at times. The black and blue in that area is replicated in the black and blue of the robes which are wrapped around her left leg. This is to show that trauma, hurt, worry, sadness, suffering is always there but I am trying to keep it at bay and not let it overtake my whole being as I have done at times in the past. The right leg on Tara is always positioned to be ready to step out to spread compassion, I try to be as compassionate as possible to any sentient being I come across in my life.

By the way Thangka is the Tibetan word for depiction of deities or other important aspects of buddhism. I can include a pic of the grid system to give an idea of how the pictures are developed. The grid system is different for each deity, the unit of measurement would have been the width of a finger or a piece of stone or wood that the original painter had to hand. In Tibet there were no inches or millimeters. The purpose of depicting these deities etc is as an aid to meditation. Each aspect of the thangka has a representation…eg the right leg ready to step out to spread compassion. Some parts of the thangkas are symmetrical which is purposely done as it is thought that we unconsciously strive for perfection, for symmetry in our lives so the way that aids to meditation are depicted should be as perfect as possible. The colours used in the old paintings are made from ground up crystals and stone, or pigments from nature around the Himalaya Region. Some people still use these types of colours, but generally they are done in gouache these days.

More of Eileen’s work:

Cushion made from some old Reid & Taylor fabric and Yarn to Yearn off cuts.

Paul Thompson: Silk painting on card.

June Randell: created a snuffle rug for a members pet.


Mary Gillespie: Loves to colour in different images then laminate to put up around the house.

Angela Marshall: Birthday card painted with watercolours.

Samantha Fitzsimons Borrows: Paintings

I turned to Art in 2013 when I was pensioned off work on ill health grounds. The work itself was very amateur at the time looking back but I was so pleased with it. It gave me such a boost and brought a sense of self worth back that I had lost with my job. I then decided to study art and design and finished my HND in 2018. Study at the College was challenging but worth it. I have to say the Tutors there were very understanding of my condition which helped no end. Today I have a studio in Dumfries and it varies as to how much time I spend there health permitting so I do not have public opening hours. I could be there for one hour a week to 10 hours a week and frustratingly at times I can not go at all. I am lucky to have it and I know its there for when I need it so that keeps me motivated. I currently work mostly in Portraiture and figure painting (my favourite) but from time to time experiment with abstraction, I call this play time. I have to tell you that art for me like so many others is a therapy. It is so easy to lose yourself in your work and the end result is a real sense of achievement. I am not always happy with my work but it is a learning process, every mistake is a development. Anyone can create art, it’s not a skill, it’s in all of us. I hear so many people saying they can’t draw. Rubbish! everyone can draw, it’s just mark making. Art is mark making and a learning process. Every Artist has had to learn their trade, either self taught or otherwise. Why not have a go yourself. Samantha Borrows.

Lesley Grieve:  First attempt Cyanotype Prints.

Selina Laurie: Hard at work on her very first lace scarf and just finished a foot throw.

Mary Murdoch: some of the online Jigsaws she has completed this month.

Thank you all for posting up images of what you’re working on at the moment. I’m sure there will be a lot more to come with Christmas not far away now.

Wendy Fleming put up a post regarding how our pets become our companions and some times the reason we get up or go outside. Other members also posted images of their pets. 

Craig Woods asked what everyone had been watching recently. Looking for any recommendations to keep us entertained during our low times and to keep safe during Covid.

Finally a great post from Selina Laurie regarding Scottish Halloween Traditions.


Fun Posts From This Month:

Dates For Your Diary:

Meetings – All physical meetings are cancelled until further notice due to Covid-19. In the meantime we are holding virtual meetings to members of the Network and our Facebook page every Thursday for about an hour from 2pm using Zoom Meetings. Zoom is available by app for smart phones and tablets, and in your browser or by app on PCs, laptops and Macs. We find it works best on PC, laptop or Mac, followed by tablet, as there’s more screen space to see all participants. The Zoom link and password is available on our Facebook page or you can get it by emailing

The meetings have proved popular and it’s wonderful to see members from further outside the Dumfries and Castle Douglas areas who we’ve not had the chance to ‘meet’ before. We now have the ability to continue with them after the pandemic is over. Come along and say hello, bring your questions, your concerns, cheer and banter.

See Upcoming Events for details of meetings with discussion themes or guests.

When we return to our monthly meetings in Dumfries, click here for our video on how to access the new venue: the meeting room at Turning Point Scotland, 22 Newall Terrace, Dumfries.

Articles / Blogs:

NICE & SIGN announce latest rapid Covid-19 guideline will address Long Covid

Doctors with long COVID

Health and Wellbeing Survey 2019

Coronavirus: Specialist ‘long Covid’ clinics to be set up in England

What is post-viral fatigue syndrome, the condition affecting some COVID-19 survivors?

News & Comment: The Long-Covid Crisis and £10 million on NHS Specialist Clinics for Post-Covid Sufferers

Could Post-COVID-19 “Brain Fog” Be a Sign of PTSD?

Scottish Guidance Around Graded Exercise Therapy.

Long Covid can last at least seven months and come in four types that ‘hit brain and body’, study finds

Long Covid The Debilitating After Effects

Have We Been Thinking About Long-Haul Coronavirus All Wrong?

Could cold water hold a clue to a dementia cure?

Join #MEAction’s Campaign to Tell those with Long COVID to: Stop Rest Pace

I have all the symptoms of a Covid-19 long-hauler — but I’m hesitant to identify myself as one

Covid-19 pandemic may actually help ease seasonal affective disorder symptoms for some

COVID-19 Can Make Patients’ Immune Systems Attack Their Own Bodies, Study Shows

Early Growth Response Gene Upregulation in Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV)-Associated Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

ME charity adviser says Scotland lags behind rest of UK in providing help for long Covid patients

Long Covid: Summary of discussions