Thursday, August 14, 2014
The house I grew up in was 200 years old. Built by the man who owned the house next door and although meant to be a weavers cottage at one point even served as the jail. By the time my parents bought it, a few months before I came along, the windows had been enlarged enough to encourage some sparkling patterns on cold days. The windows were deep set, enough for the window sills to serve as seats.
I had a picture book about Jack Frost painting on window panes during the night, in the morning I would sit by the window and with my fingers I'd melt my own drawings in to the designs.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Despite reasons for independence for Scotland far outweighing those to stay with Westminster calling the shots there are still far too many voters too scared to take the leap.
It is something that has weighed heavily on my conscience over the past few months. So much so that, for the first time in my life I actually volunteered to help the Yes campaign. A decision I will be happy to be known for. In the face of relentless negative press and media, the unbearable viciousness over wanting to see any and all Yes voters beaten down, I can say I stood up for what I believed in. I let myself be counted, be open to ridicule because of my desire to live in an actual self-governing country. Not an add on referred to as a region.
There are many reasons but mostly Trident, House of Lords and land reform - none of which will be dealt with while we are still part of the UK. I'm not particularly bothered by oil, I'd rather not have a currency union or for that matter, the Queen. If we give up this opportunity then how can anyone say they are proud to be a Scot? We either have the collective balls to manage ourselves or we slink back in to the corner to grumble and whine every time Westminster pass down yet another decision that affects us.
My dilemma. Having seen the way some No voters conduct themselves, an aggressive smugness that is all about squashing the opposition rather than putting forward a positive vision of the union - if they win then how can I continue to raise my sons in such a society? I don't think I can.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The weather might have turned distinctly Mediterranean, the sun might be shining on Scotland but despite the light that old familiar darkness has come creeping in.
I can hold it at bay, I need to withdraw further than I already am (isolation is luckily a talent many only children possess). I shall sit in the sunshine, absorb that good Vitamin D while avoiding the burn. Quietly, assuredly I will hold my own counsel as I always do.
The flavour of this darkness is irrelevance, I feel irrelevant to all except my sons. Well I am irrelevant to all except my sons but the trick is to remember that. I keep my head and heart focused on that one thing that keeps me from being overwhelmed and swallowed completely. I don't matter to anyone but them and that has to be enough.
Sunday, June 08, 2014
Each boy is asked to talk for 30 seconds on one subject so if someone says ticket all you are allowed to talk about is tickets. It's harder than it sounds.
One lad was given the subject "trees" and came up with this
"You can make trees from wood..."
Indeed you can. Son 2of2 doesn't get why I find that so funny but maybe it's just my weird sense of humour.
Saturday, June 07, 2014
Yesterday the Western world took pause to reflect on the 70th anniversary of D-day. It was, considering the way of the world now, a respectful event. In particular the memorial held in France.
I particularly loved the report than an 89-year-old man, told by his care home staff he couldn't go, snuck out and went anyway. Good on you mate and shame on the care home staff forgetting they are dealing with adults who would rather risk an all important journey like this than sit vegetating.
Read today that the actor who played the original Scotty in Star Trek was shot six times, losing part of a finger in the process. He was part of the Canadian forces. There have been so many humbling yet amazing stories from heroes who never thought of themselves as anything other than ordinary young men doing their duty.
My own thoughts yesterday - the men known cruelly as the D-Day Dodgers. Fighting an equally brutal battle in Italy. I think my dad must have been stationed in Bari with the RAF at the time. He had plenty of tales of his own, rarely recounted but devastating when he did, therefore I know the places he went (Burma, North Africa, Italy) but the only one I could possibly put a date on was that he was in North Africa when the Italians capitulated.
He recalled lying in a ditch with some of the crew while a large part of the Italian army stationed there marched past. They didn't know the Italians were going to surrender so spent the whole time thinking that if they were found that would be it. To experience such things as a teenager and then a young man - he was only five years older than my sons are now when he signed up.
Friday, April 11, 2014
As a good part of it is spent on holiday and all routine is thrown to the wind, this does feel like an odd month. Stranger still is that I realised today there is not going to be a point any time soon when I walk down to the town and don't still expect to go to my mother's flat.
I pass by even though I should turn left and through the automatic doors, greeted by the smells of food from the kitchens as we trot upstairs to the little flat after first checking to see if she was in the common room.
Routine has all gone and things are uncertain.