Wednesday, December 28, 2005
My own family has been dogged by this illness with both my grandfathers, my father and father-in-law, myself and young brother all having suffered the agony of coming to terms with it. There has been a varied amount of success in tackling the problem. Both my grandfathers died through the results of over-indulgenge, while my father-in-law went from a high-flying civil servant to the gutter, literally. I have not had a drink now in over three years and count myself as being fortunate to be having a good recovery. My young brother is still coming to terms with his condition and like Charles Kennedy is a little in denial as to the full extent of his illness. I can't do anything to help him just now because he will not accept it but believes he can defeat it on his own. That, for me, is not a good sign but it's one I have to accept as it is the course of most alcoholics. I just hope he seeks the help if it is needed.
There is the future as well. Will my children become alcoholics? I don't know but I again can't stop them drinking if they choose to. I can advise and lead a live that is alcohol free and show, by example, that you can lead a happy and fullfilled life without the use of mind altering substances.
My biggest wish in all of this is that we can get societies to acknowledge that alcoholism is an illness, that it is not a choice to be an alcoholic and that you can recover if you have the ability to be thouroughly honest with yourself right from the start. That should help extarct the amount of hypocrisy that exists on this topic
Monday, December 19, 2005
The knock on affect of this incident is how it has been taken by the whole family. Both my brothers are now more attentive than ever, especially my older one who is trying to offload his guilt at not seeing her too often by smothering her with help that she doesn't want or need. She is not an invalid she has had a setback but will recover. It does emphasise to me though the great influence a strong mother can have. She has been the mainstay of the family through all sorts of illnesses to my dad, my older brother and myself. She has helped look after both my sons and now my daughter and asked for nothing in return only shown unconditional love. She is a mother in a million.
As a little postscript to this, because I started this a couple of days ago, I have seen my mother today, Christmas Day 2005. She looks amazing and in fact, better than she has done for a while. She is calm and has started to make a full recovery
I know that she has many more Christmases ahead of her but we should never take it for granted
Monday, October 03, 2005
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
I am getting tired of hearing the phrase; " Oh she's been doing that with me for ages!" Meaning that I am obviously more aware of what your child is capable of than you. Or " I think she prefers to do it this way because she does it this way in my house!"
What is the purpose of these sentences? Are they to cause hurt? Don't think so. Are they to try and be helpful in a non selfish way? Don't think so. Are they in anyway constructive? Definitely not. They are, in my opinion a way of trying to make others sit up and take notice of what a wonderful child rearer you are and how you must have been the only person to have thought how to get a child to perform. For performing is what it is. I always remember by best friend's mother talking of the arrogance of a TV child phsycologist who had just brought out a new book on how to bring up children!" What!" she said, "how can you have a set of hard and fast rules in bringing up children?Are they not individuals who deserve to be treated as such."
This woman had brought up 5 boys, virtually on her own, and each one of them has been successful in their own ways, from a Civil Engineer to an Artist, a Musician, Trades Union Official and a very successful businessman. I think I would listen to someone like that rather than self-important TV personality.
This was an article I read recently by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and it made a lot of sense to me althought the first sentence took me back a bit. Nevertheless there is much truth in what he is saying
Sunday, August 21, 2005
There are two things that stick out for me over the last few months. One is Kate's 2nd birthday on August 14th and the family holiday in Tuscany. Two wonderful occasions that I will treasure.
Kate looking gorgeous on her second birthday
Kate making her birthday wishes!
The holiday in Tuscany was quite an adventure mostly because of the dynamics of the family. Having two teenage sons at 16 and 14 plus a little girl aged 2 makes for interesting, not to say imaginative holidays. It was a great success though and I'm proud of all of us in the way we could give and take in order that everyone got something from the holiday.
View from the house in Metra di Carpinelli
The family outside the Duomo in Barga
Saturday, April 16, 2005
I love Kate to bits but I find myself just wishing she would be old enough to look after herself and let me get on with my own things. The truth is though I probably would waste time and look for other excuses to "not do". Kate deserves a father who can keep up with her and just now I can't. I can't remember what I was like with the boys ( well I can but don't want to!) I drank then and that exhausted me even more. Not drinking now does give me more energy and ability to finish tasks so all I can put it down to is age. Christ, I'm only 49 and my mother is 80! She manages whole days with Kate and she never complains. Caroline is only one year younger and manages most of the time! So if it's not drink and it's not age then it can only be my HEAD!! Now that is not a comfortable place to be sometimes. I need to get my act together and start being positive. Start enacting some of my theories rather than thinking about them. Actions definitely speak louder than words, I just have to look at Kate.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Well, I've had my 49th birthday, Celtic are in the Scottish cup final and Caroline and I have managed some time together. That is definitely different! My birhtday was OK although neither Caroline or the boys even got me card! Now if I was a sensitive soul I might have taken real umbridge at that. As it is it really doesn't matter as long as they get me two cards for the big one next year! Caroline did take me out for lunch when we visited the Oran Mor to see the lunch-time play, The Prisoner. We both enjoyed it even though the writing is a little pretentious for my liking. It was not like a play but more like a William McIllveaney novel being read out. It really was just nice to able to talk without the interruptions of the children,big and small.
The main debate of the week and the thing that is giving me the biggest headache is whether we are going on holiday this summer. We had such a brilliant one last year in Portugal that I feel we must . However I don't really want to go back to Portugal but would prefer to keep that memory of the country in tact. Cowardice maybe but experienced, definitely.
I want to go to Italy and Tuscany holds many happy memories for me but that was nearly 25 years ago! Round Florence looks and sounds wonderful. It's not cheap but I think we need a holiday in somewhere hot and sunny topped up with a bit of culture. Italy's the place. My plans have started and I might just present it as a fait a complit or whatever that is in Italian. I shall go to bed now and dream of those beautiful rolling hills, the pasta and the coffee! I'm almost there!
A very late Addendum! After writing the above I sat down and was having a quick word with Caroline. Quick because she was watching the last part of a series (period drama). Anyway the doorbell rang and I thought "who's that at this time?" I got up and answered it to find my Mother-in-law on the doorstep. She had left about an hour earlier! "What's wrong?" I asked." I've bumped the car! It's not bad, just a flat tyre." Well it was a flat and a buckled wheel caused by "hitting one of those sticky-out pavement things". One hour later the RAC arrive, change the wheel and she is off again. Why is she allowed to drive? She is a liability! A fucking loose cannon and someone will get hurt one day. While the wheel was fixed there was nobody to fix Caroline's bad mood. I tried, but when it comes to her mother, it's a waste of time. Tommorrows another day !
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
My mother was sad to see the Pope die, she has met him three times and often talked of his serenity, but when a new one is announced she will turn her attention to him and show the same love and loyalty. Why?
In many ways I'm jealous of my mother. She has had a pretty hard life, especially in her younger years. She watched her father beat her mother resulting in my gran being commited to a Mental institution for 40 years. She had to deal with her father's alcoholism and subsequent death leaving her a virtual orphan by the age of 13. Then moving into a flat at the age of 16 with no help from her brothers, who had all abandoned the family by that time. How did she manage to stay on the straight and narrow? How could she still be such a good person with no baggage? Being married to my father, who she loves dearly, and bringing up 3 boys was not easy but she did it with love, care and attention. There were never any poor me's or thoughts of running a mile. Her family were and are her life. Except for the one constant through her WHOLE life. The Catholic Church. If there was ever a problem or life was getting too much, she would turn to the church for her strength. The most amazing thing is that it has always come through for her. This has always given her the ability to hand things over to a higher power, in her case God. What an amazing way to be able to live a life. Total acceptance of what is and what will be. Never a question of why! Some people look on that as weakness. For me it is immense strength. That strength has carried her through into her 81st year now and there are no signs of slowing down, indeed I see another 20years at least! She couldn't have live so long and be weak.
Oh to have some of that strength! Is it her faith? I don't know but I do know she will be at Mass on Sunday praying for the whole family and for whoever the new Pope will be.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
This supposed easy week had me running Fraser and Adam all over the place. Fraser had a string concert in the Tramway on Thursday which we managed to get to unlike Tuesday's rehearsal were we had to turn back because of traffic. The concert itself was long with some interesting parts to it. I thought the Bach double was well played by the soloists, especially the viola, but the cello section was too big for them, thus upsetting the balance. The intermediate strings were good and I thought their choices of music was excellent, especially the Sibelius Tone Poem. Other parts were not so good and I don't think the senior strings are ready yet to launch into the big musical arrangements. This really requires a lot of sound and fine playing. That is something that is especially lacking in the violins. Maybe one day!
Adam had to be taken to the orthodontist to have the second part of his brace put in. OUCH! Painful! The top one was also tightened. I hope all this is worth it in the end. I have my doubts. Bloody cynic!
This is a week I'm glad is over not least because it has reminded me that I will not have anything like an easy week for a good number of years and that life is relentless. Having said that I could be a sad middle aged git sitting in front of a TV screen shouting at it. Or down the pub, solving the world's problems over a large number of pints, getting myself worked up over the stupidest of little things and feeling ill to boot.
Nah. Life is relentless but there is a quality as well. That is something I wouldn't change for anything
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Today Liz and Harold came round with their girls and we spent a good couple of hours catching up. There is still a chance we may go on holiday with them again this summer. Hopefully to Italy. They are such an easy couple to speak to and the kids all get on.
The only work I have had to do was to set up Caroline's mum's computer. It has been in storage for nearly 2 years and so it took quite some time to get it working but I got there in the end. She still doesn't have an internet connection but I'll go over tomorrow and set that up.
It's Adam's birthday tomorrow so I hope we can have a good day. I also hope he likes the Chick Corea CD I bought him. I think he will.
It does feel strange with the clocks changing forward an hour. I still, even after all these years, take about a week to adjust. An early night may help
Friday, March 25, 2005
It's a busy weekend this Easter. Adam's birthday on Monday, David and Susan over for dinner tomorrow. Mum,Dad and Joy on Monday for dinner as well. Phew! I'll be glad to get back to work on Tuesday.
God, when I read these posts I sound like a right miserable bastard. I'm not! I'm a very lucky person to have what I have in my life. I do sound like a grumpy old git but my glass is half full not half empty. I must keep reminding myself of the good things in my life. Maybe I need to get away from my head. Inside of heads is where the damage is done. I should think of a no entry sign or a one way system out!
I'm going to take Kate out now it's a lovely afternoon.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Before I knew it Caroline was home and my morning had disappeared. Shame really but that's life in Scotstoun today. Feeling sorry for myself, I thought what can I do this afternoon. So Safeway beckoned! Oh joy! I hate it now it's Morrisons because the quality is crap. Anyway I finished a huge shop, made my way to the checkout and proceede to load my shopping into the trolley. Just behind arrived a big family of two adults and 5 kids all between the ages of about 1 and 8. They were obviously foreign and probably asylum seekers. This was not a problem for me but obviously the woman at the checkout didn't feel the same. Her attitude after serving me suddenly changed and she was overtly rude and unhelpful to them, treating them like second, no, third class citizens. Why? Was she a racist? Would she have had the same attitude to a Scottish family at a busy checkout? No way because she would have been pulled up for it. Why do ordinary people who don't seem to have much themselves react with such disdain to someone she probably had more in common with than she would have with the likes of myself? Newspapers and television have a lot to answer for. It certainly left a really bad taste in my mouth.
When I got home poor Kate had just thrown up her lunch and so it was to continue through the rest of the day. 5 times she's thrown up today and mostly tonight round dinner time and bedtime when of course Caroline had shot the 'craw to go to work. More self pity ensued! What a self-centered bastard I can be!
In between all this I took Fraser to his youth theatre group and saw his premiere piece of public acting. I was most impressed! I would be I'm his dad. He has really enjoyed it this year and I think it's done him a lot of good. It's something he doesn't have to live in Adam's shadow with.
Speaking of Adam, when we got home he had bought a new computer on E-Buyer for £106!!
It has been posted with the wrong price but none the less he will get it for that price. It's £2000 of equipment! I won't believe it until it arrives at the house and is set up and working.
How can so many different things happen in one day! "24hrs.!! What will happen tomorrow?? Mmm
I am trying this too see if it works. I suppose it should be used if I’m away and want to urgently post something that will bring the world to its senses. That would then lead to everybody wanting me as their leader! This in turn would make cello lessons compulsory and the playing of scales every morning at 7.00 am an edict!! Oh the power I would have to sort this sorry world out with a quick rendition of D Major!!
Thursday, March 17, 2005
It hasn't made me rich overnight so it can't be any good!. Seriously tho', people will comlain no matter how good the budget has been. Not enough....too much..... too middle of the road. I just accept now that there will never be a really radical budget or government in my lifetime. America has too much power over peoples lives for it to let others interfere. It rules the roost just now and everyone is playing second fiddle.
Stamp duty has gone up to £120,000 and inheritance tax threshold has been risen to £300,000 which might just get us out of the threshold for Joy's house. Some people can be really ignorant down south as was demonstrated by the moron complaining that London house prices were far more expensive than anywhere else. The new Stamp duty threshold will only be effective outside London were in places such as Glasgow the house prices are much cheaper! Cheaper? I don't know where you would get decent property for less than £120,000 here in Glasgow but obviously he can't see beyond the green end of his nose!
This has been a busy week, with Caroline being in Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow I have hardly seen her. It's straight home from school and straight into looking after Kate and cooking for the boys. I'll be glad when this week is over and Caroline goes on holiday as from next week.
I must get to my bed now as I feel gibberish coming out from my fingers. I want to sleep!!!!!
Monday, March 14, 2005
I've finished delivering all the new instruments to the various schools and am very happy with the job Bob has done on them. They play very easily and have good sounds. I don't know if that spurred my rush of enthusiasim when I asked for dates to do a joint concert with the combined primary schools this summer. That will entail a hell of a lot of work on my part. I just hope it's worth it. I must tell myself it will.
For my own cello it's been a bit of a bummer. It has developed a buzz and I don't know if it's the new G string or whether it is the actual cello. I going to take it to Neil and see if he can see anything. It will no doubt cost me money but not too much hopefully. It's a great shame as I was really pleased with the sound after I put the new strings on. Positive vibes that it's not too bad.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Sunday, March 06, 2005
I also managed to swap the computers round which took me longer than I thought. Why is that? Why do i never learn these things. Well, at least they are both working so I can congratulate myself.
Mother's day today and thankfully my mum loved the card I made her. The photo of herself with me and my two brothers nearly brought a tear to her eye.
Taught Nina this afternoon whichI enjoyed. She is very quick but also musicalso she is easy to teach. Caroline's mum went off to Malta today as well. I hope she takes care.
Finally got some time to myself to do this so I'm a happy bunny!
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Kate goes WHEEEEEEEE!!!
This was Kate enjoying a day out with myself and Caroline. A great visit to a park we hadn't visited in 10 Years!! Doesn't time fly! The last time, Fraser came down that shute and ended up with a huge egg on his forehead. I was trying to stop him at the bottom but didn't remember I had a very big, heavy camera round my neck. I felt your pain Fraser!
Monday, February 28, 2005
I hope it doesn't affect his guitar playing on Thursday. I think he is starting to panlc a bit. He'll be fine.
I've managed to dig a bit deeper in the Parry family. I have added down to my Great-Grandmother on my grandmother's side. the names I'm delving through now are McGrath and Carmicheal. Hope to get on with the Steele part very soon. It is very time consuming.
I'm off to bed now.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Work has been pretty busy despite the Half-term break. We had an interesting in-service with Kodaly specialists which was really informative and fun. Unfortuneately there are some very narrow minded instructors who can't nor ever will see the benefits of Kodaly in developing not only musical skills but also the child as a whole. They are dinosaurs who won't be got rid of until they become extinct. I wish it was soon!! Next week I'll start to collect the instruments I bought. Bob received them today and so this whole thing has happened in about three weeks, which is amazing. Things can be done when people are willing and there are not too many cheifs to put their oar in. I looking forward to getting theses instruments out ot some new children. I hope also that we can fix up a violin teacher soon. I'd love it to be Christine but she will cost money and the Secondary don't seem willing to part with any despite SIPS investing £25,000 in this project. I don't want one ofthe blinkered dinosaurs coming in and putting children off. I'd rather struggle on myself . We'll just have to wait and see. Saturday tommorrow!! Yeah!!
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Saturday did pass without too much stress but today was a bit of a bummer. I dropped my camera and have bent the lens. Whether it can be repaired or not I'm not sure. I've now realised how much I use the camera so will have to look into it soon. Could have done withoput it but never mind!
Oh, One other piece of news was from Joy( Caroline's mum). She has to go for a culdoscopy soon due to bleeding from the old rear- end. I hope it's clear.
I'm not working tomorrow, thank god, so hopefully we can all go out for the day. It will depend on how everybody feels. Tomorrows another day.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Not been a really busy day although kept going. Adam's Maths result sent me crazy. A 4/3 is worse than I thought it was going to be. Nobody in his class passed which is unbelievable. Adam is not stupid by any consideration so why so bad? I will make an appointment to see the headteacher next week and see what they will offer in way of support.Also want to find out why there has been no communication with us from the school if there has been a problem. Not one report in a year is not acceptable. We might have to consider a private tutor but why should we. It should be getting taught properly at school.
Anyway, I'm tired goodnight.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Fraser got a really good report and I'm very proud of him! Good Night!!
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Kate's been a doll tonight and went down early which I was grateful for. I don't know how she managers to keep going so long with the amount of energy she uses up. Still off to bed for me, I'm knackered
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Adam is still not well and with swollen glands the spectre of glandular fever raises its ugly head. There is already on of his friends who has it. We'll just have to hope it's not serious.
Teaching was a little slow today with a curious atmosphere in the department. Don't know what is going on but it didn't feel comfortable today.
I had a good meeting tonight but was very surprised to see Ian, considering it's only three days since his wife's death. I hope he keeps close to his doctor and takes plenty of advice.
Kate has now got her bandage off her arm and the wound looks amazingly healthy. God, babies heal quickly.
Tomorrow is another day and I hope that Julia doesn't try and make any snide comments about my timetable being light. I don't need it and I certainly don't deserve it. People should learn to keep to their own jobs and leave others to get on with theirs, then we'll all be happy.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Adam was taken ill at school today but thankfully it wasn't one of his migraines. He seems to have picked up a stomach bug. Hopefully it will pass in a day or two. He has told us that he failed his SG Maths along with the rest of the year bar three!! Something is wrong in the Maths department for that to happen. It's too good a school for so many to have failed. Adam has had 1's in every other subject so why maths? I will phone the school if I can get through because I expect it to be busy with all the other parents!!
Sangita was having a dose of the "poor me's" at her lesson today. It is not a good situation with her not being well and cooped up in that small flat with a baby. I think I'd be having the "poor me's". I'll stay in touch this week. Off to bed now and hopefully Kate will sleep through the night.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Caroline is the only one who has had a shitty day. Sunday rehearsals and concerts are really not good news especially as there is no more money for it. She has had a typical Trades House concert. All the big wigs in their DJ's and chains. Sounds quite kinky really!! It does fuck up a family Sunday, which is a pity.
I made a desicion about buying new cellos/fiddles. I'm going to ask for more. It will cost an extra couple of grand but it's not their money so who cares! I've costed it and will put it to them tomorrow, so here's hoping. Must stop now and get to bed. Monday tomorrow AGHhhhhhhhh!!!!!
Saturday, February 05, 2005
I'm thinking I should have asked for more money with regards to buying the new instruments but can I justify it? I believe I could and it would stop them buying so many of those bloody awful keyboards. I'll give it a bit more thought and decide on Monday. Procrastination should be my middle name!
Poor Ian's wife, Bunty, died today. Sad but a relief it was over as quickly as it was. That's been about 2 months since she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Better that she died peacefully instead of dreadful pain. I must send a card.
Caroline is meeting Robert's new girlfriend tonight after the concert. No doubt I'll hear all about it later on. I'm going to have an early night, PROMISE!!
Friday, February 04, 2005
Adam's math's are bothering me and I don't want to jump in with both feet and accuse the teacher of being lazy, but, it's Adams future we are talking about and so maybe feelings don't come into it. I'll think on it over the weekend.
Adam also informed tonight that he will be staying out at Natasha's(?)house and won't make his piano lesson tomorrow! Haven't told Caroline yet and I don't think she will be pleased when I do. Am I too soft or am I just scared to rock the boat when it comes to falling out with Adam. I don't know but I think he plays on my vulnerability. Anyway, the main thing is I hope he's safe and he doesn't spring these decisions on us so late. Kate has been an angel again to day, where did she come from? Coffee calls now and must say hello to C.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Adam got a letter from the English department at school, praising his writing and calling him the new Shakespeare for the script of his play. That's both Adam any Fraser being lauded by the English Department. As for Fraser's report, well, you can't get much better than excellent for everything!! Well done him.
Caroline is confused over what will happen with Adam in 5th year. I don't worry enough maybe but would it do any good if I did? Adam is a very clever boy who needs to work harder and he will sail through SG's and Highers.
Kate has a few years to go yet and we will probably have Zimmer frames by then!! Probably it will all be virtual exams by then with classes held like video conferencing. Just you wait!!
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
When told today that I should do some supervised practise with the pupils, I laughed. Why should I spoon-feed these children when they will do nothing for themselves. Also being told my timetable is light made me think quality rather than quantity. Getting some more cellos to teach with might be a starting point but that is too much for some people to comprehend.
Anyway Kate had a good day with my parents, especially my dad in spite of the fact he didn't feed her, and the boys endured school. Caroline's mum is feeling a little better so hopefully things will settle down and Caroline can rest a bit.
I'm getting frustrated with the boys and their lack of communication, especially when it comes to computers. They want the computers as long as they don't need to do anything to help fix them when needed. I mustn't let it get me down and take it out on Caroline which I am capable of doing despite my good intentions. I have to work harder on my state of mind. The little things are often the one's that set me off. How childish is that? Right off to apologise for being a pain!
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
The Depute Head in Knightswood thought I was French Teacher when I went to see him today. These people are so ignorant of who they have working in their schools.
Fraser played well at his audition and should have a good position in the Glasgow Schools Orchesta. Aged 13 the future looks bright. Adam found his Standard Grade Maths exam difficult although he has said this before and come away with the best mark in his class, so we'll see.
Caroline continues to be constantly knackered but that's the way life is at the moment; for both of us
Monday, January 31, 2005
Sangita was looking well today despite the bad news of her MS. Quite devastating to be given such news especially having such a young baby and herself being so young. The new cello I let her try was far superior to the one she hired and it really angers me that Biggars can charge rental on such a piece of crap. I'll have to see if Bob can do anything with it! Burn it maybe!! Got a group meeting tonight but I won't be volunteering for any duties this month as both Caroline and myself are just too busy. Maybe next month. Have to stop and feed my face, I'm starving!!
Sunday, January 30, 2005
kate does take it out of us, more than we realised before she was born. Getting old, 49 next birthday. Christ, I'll be 60 by the time she starts Secondary School. Poor girl. All her friends parents will be in their 20's and 30's we'll be in our 50's!! Got to stop feeling sorry for myself. Right time I did some cello practise. That will get the bigger buggers up! Bye