Wednesday 26 June 2024

A Journey

For someone who used to 'commute' for 6 months of the year to my other life in New Zealand I find it strange to have to accept that I now find the idea of flying to Edinburgh and staying in a hotel for a couple of nights to go to a wedding quite stressful. Have I got everything I need in my kilt bag? I know I've got my kilt but..... It's not the flying and I'd be okay if it was Glasgow Airport. Edinburgh Airport was always a nightmare even in the long ago days when I attended many meetings at The Scottish Office in Edinburgh. Even my son who is used to international travel on a scale I never even dreamt of can't stand Edinburgh Airport. Ho hum. Time will tell. I'll be on my way to Stornoway Airport in 40 minutes.

My hotel is in the centre of Edinburgh very near the wedding hotel. I'll be going in on the high-speed tram from the airport to the centre of Edinburgh. 

A kilt is very heavy when you are carrying it.  Highland dress is hot and heavy when you're wearing it. Here's hoping for a cool day tomorrow....and a dry one.

I'm back on Friday and my New Zealand Family arrive on Saturday. 

It's going to be a busy and enjoyable few weeks ahead.

Hopefully at least I'll have something interesting to blog about.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Awake with a Memory

I woke this morning at 5am. I lay awake for a few minutes and was just about to turn over and go back to the Land of Nod when ideas suddenly started flooding into my head. All sorts of ideas about all sorts of things. It was as if my Memory had suddenly been turned on. Now those of you who have known me for years know that I was born with a very poor ability to remember things. Facts and lists and information just don't stick with me which is why I loathe quizzes with a passion. I am totally hopeless. The children of my New Zealand Family loved them and were always trying to get me to take part (my other pet dread was Monopoly).

Having a good memory is regarded as one of the things that equates to intelligence. When I was reading for my first degree at University I was told by my course tutor that if I ever did any post grad study then do it by dissertation not exam. I was good at essays and research and always got A to A++ in my written work submitted (except for a notorious economics paper where I got a C and caused a laugh when I said that understanding economics was, for me, like going forward in reverse gear.).

My entire adult life has been a matter of lists and notes to remind me 'to do' 'to remember' etc. If I do not have my diary then I am lost - totally. If I didn't have my diaries going back to the year dot then I would have no memory - just memories. There is a subtle difference. The brain is a strange and wonderful place.

So I am sitting at my laptop at 5.20am feverishly trying to make notes and recall the ideas for blog posts that I was thinking about when I woke.

I love Blogland and blogging but life at the moment is so full of living that I've not actually been participating in commenting or writing blog posts. I have been reading where I can. I can do that on my phone when I'm waiting for someone or something but, as most people will know, trying to comment on a phone involves signing in every time one wants to comment which is a pain.

I can't promise to get up at 5am every day (or ever again for that matter) but at least at 6am I have had two coffees, fed the birds and the fishes and still have 6½ hours before I'm meeting my son for lunch. 

Tuesday 4 June 2024


Today is my 80th Birthday.

It's a Marmite Day. That is to say one either loves it or hates it.

A friend recently reached that age and refused to acknowledge it.

I want everyone to know and I shall be celebrating. Nothing extravagant: just coffee with friends in the morning at The Woodlands. In the evening Gaz and Carol are taking me and my sister-in-law (who is staying with me at the moment) out for dinner.

The reason I am celebrating is not just for myself but in thanks to our wonderful NHS without which I would not have lived much past my 16th birthday. At that age I had a disease that still kills people today. However by a stroke of good fortune I was referred to a specialist who (and there were long waiting lists for some operations even then) removed much of one of my diseased lungs.

Since then I've lived with cancer since my prostatectomy in 1997 because some cancer cells had already escaped elsewhere my body. However every time so far that the cancer has started to show signs of asserting itself the medics have found a way to stop it. The last, and currenet, treatment started about 7 or 8 years ago with a drugs trial which proved very successful for me.

I had a heart attack in 2000 and had 6 stents inserted.

I could go on but I think that's quite enough evidence to justify my grateful thanks for the wonderful people who work in our National Health Service.

Thank you one and all.