Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Alcohol is very much the flavour of the month in Scotland just now, deaths from cirrhosis are now at an all time high with the ever increasing episodes of binge drinking. The resignation of the Liberal Democrat Leader, Charles Kennedy, over his admission of an alcohol problem has further thrown the limelight on the dangers of excessive drinking. The problem is what to do about it. I don't have a magical cure, nobody does, but as long as our society, in general, is in denial over the seriousness of this illness we have no chance of making things better.

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

Mothers are not indestructable

That dreaded phone call came at 3.15 in the morning. Confused and still half asleep I answered the phone. Who was this? My father told me that mum had had a funny turn ( as he put it!), that he had phoned for an ambulance and could I come to the house and the hospital with them. I couldn't quite take it in. My FATHER telling me my MOTHER had had a funny turn! Wait a minute I thought that is suppose to be the other way round. You are the kidney patient, you are the one who has had 16 good years out of a kidney transplant, you are the one who is supposed to get unwell suddenly in the middle of the night. NOT my MOTHER! She is 81 years young, looks after our 2 year old, does her Tai Chi, eats all the right things, doesn't smoke, hardly drinks and SHE's the one who has had a heart attack.

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

Peace at Last Posted by Picasa

Definitely not like a Bank Holiday in Blackpool! Posted by Picasa

Happy Cousins Posted by Picasa

In Inca Mode! Posted by Picasa

A Weekend in St Andrews

In Russian Mode!

All the above photos were taken on a weekend trip I had recently with my young brother and his daughter Sarah. I took Kate along for the ride and what a laugh we had. Great weekend that must be repeated!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Using children to score points.

It might seem a strange title to give a post but its what I have been witnessing and experiencing recently with my family.

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

Quite a while but two occasions sticks out!

It's been quite sometime since I posted here last and so much has happened over the last few months I don't know where to start. Friends have died and babies have been born. Disasters have happened and miracles have occured. Too much really to try and catch up in this post and when I think of it, the extraordinary events of the last few months are not that extraordinary but are rather common events that happen most years but they still make the news and still reinforce in me that I am but one small cog in this giant wheel called life. I matter and would be missed if I wasn't there but my influence on the big picture is so infinitesimal that all I can try and manage is my own life.

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

Am I too old for her?

My back hurts, I'm tired, my brain is weary but I feel guilty! Kate has brought me to my knees this week. Her mother has been working very hard with the orchestra in which they have given four concerts all in different venues. Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and finally Glasgow. It seems a ridiculous schedule to impose on an orchestra which really, gets paid a pittance. Days that start from 12 and finish at 12 or sometimes 1am are not family friendly. The truth of the matter is though that I feel resentful for having to look after Kate all the time when I am supposed to be on holiday. Resentful is probably a bit extreme but I've had a good dose of the "poor me's". Kate is very demanding in a lot of ways when it comes to physical activities and I am expected to try and keep up. Not only that but making meals for everybody, including myself takes a lot of work and time. I refuse to give in to convenience foods and so I have to cook. It's really for my benefit as the boys would eat carry-outs and frozen pizzas all the time if left to it. I can't, because my diabetes won't allow it. I also prefer my own cooking. So that's a dilemma.

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

Another week passes!

It's a full week since I last wrote anything here and I can't decide what, if anything, I should write. Has a lot happened or has the week been slightly different that I can't remember it all?

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 and the Pope

There will be thousands of bloggers writing down their thoughts on the passing of the Pope so why should I be different. How will the Pope's death effect the world? I suppose there will be a void for a couple of weeks and then someone else will take over. For myself it doesn't mean that much but for others, like my mother, it will mean a lot.

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

Musings over a supposed easy week

It's been a week since I last posted and I thought would be in for a relatively easy week. In actual fact It's been a long week. I have felt tired and my diabetes control has not been great. I still don't understand my diabetes sometimes. I can eat almost the same thing two days running but have totally different blood sugar levels. I know it can depend on the amount of exercise I do and I know that if I am looking after Kate at night my blood sugar drops quite dramatically. Just when I think I have that sussed it does something different and the levels can be too high or too low. It was 1.9 last night, after putting Kate to bed and really should have been blacking out! It's a strange condition.

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

Easter weekend

What a good weekend it's been. From a social pariaha to a social animal. David and Susan came round last night for a meal as Adam and their son Euan tempted fate with a birthday party in their house. Thankfully fate looked on them kindly and no damage was done. Quite exceptional for a house full of excited 16year olds! Anyway we had a lovely meal and the best piece of roast beef I have ever tasted. Both David and Susan were in good form and it was great to see them after such a long time.

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

Quiet beach Elie Posted by Hello

Down by the harbour Elie Posted by Hello

Thoughts and Elie

It's Good Friday. I'm on holiday for four days. Unfortunately we will not get away this Easter like last year. Last Easter we went to the East Neuk of Fife and over to Elie. A beautiful quiet, picturesque area of Scotland. I think of that area a lot and wonder what it would be like to live there permanently. It's very quiet and to a large extent cut off from the luxuries of big City life. On the other hand are they such luxuries? At my age and given the state of my social life I don't think so. I can pass a lot of time doing nothing! I suppose the main reason I couldn't consider it seriously just now is Caroline and the children. Caroline is a real city dweller and the boys school is at a crucial time for them. Kate has no worries just now so it wouldn't bother her. There's my mum and dad and Caroline's mum. All in all it's a non starter. Maybe when I retire it would be a possibility. We might have some money then! I suppose I can just enjoy it on holidays, mmm, except this year!

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

Long mixed day

This morning seemed quite normal with Caroline taking Adam and Fraser for their piano lessons. taking Kate with her too meant I had a couple of hours to spend on my own. Usually I can get somthings done like cello practise and making some bread or cakes. This morning I couldn't do any of these things due to pure tiredness. I messed around on the computer and started a new cello quartet arrangement but found my concentration waning very quickly.

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

St Pat's Day

Well March 17th,St. Pat's day. My mother will be dancing in the streets singing Danny Boy, not bad for an 80 year old! Also the day of the latest budget from New Labour and Gordon Brown.
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

Another week goes past!

I don't know what it is but time is flying past at a rate of noughts. It must be my age! I'll be 49 in 3 weeks and it's going to come and go in a flash. Adam will be 16 in two weeks and Caroline ? in 2&1/2 weeks. They must have been good summer holidays those years.

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

My Rusch cello Posted by Hello

My new cello!

I put new strings on my cello tonight. I didn't realise that it was so overdue! Thanks to Ellen and Cellos2Go I received the new ThomastikC&G strings along with Prim A&D and wolf killers all the way from the USA, cheaper and more efficiently than I could in this country. Sad but true. I've played with the new strings on and it's sounds like a new instrument. Happy bunny am I!!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Busy weekend

It's been hectic this weekend! Caroline has been working all weekend, leaving me to look after the fort and fit in some teaching. Saturday was the piano lesson run which I enjoyed as it gives me time to talk to Adam and Fraser and find out some of what is really going on. Thankfully Kate went to my mum's so going to Beanscene was not a major trauma. Talking to Adam over a coffee is really quiter revealing. I forget how grown up he is now and just how clever and sophisticated he can be. His views on politics are much more detailed than I realised but the really encouraging thing is just how confident he is in his own skin, with no pretences and affected angst. Fraser is also a confident boy who is so much more grown up than I give him credit for. Also, his humour is really dry and quick. I don't know if they are embaressed to be with their father and if it's more so than other teenagers. I hope not but would I have gone to a coffee shop with my father at that age ? I think not! I must be doing something right.
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

A day in the park

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!Posted by Hello

Monday, February 28, 2005

Monday Night.

Been a long day! Poor Adam got grommits in his ears today. i think he is a lot of pain but hopefully it will ease off tomorrow. Why didn't we have it done when he was Seven? I suppose we just followed the doctor's orders and thought he could do without them. Now, ten years later!! Oh well.

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

Nearly two weeks

I can't believe nearly two weeks have passed since I last posted. Time just seems to pass by so quickly. Where can I start. Life is busy with the boys and their various activities. Caroline was off work for a week because of the bad colds that are going about but she didn't get much rest really. kate has become a little mummy's girl and insists she does everything with her. I don't mind but I can see Caroline gets tired by her. She is still the most wonderful baby ever and this strong personality is developing all the time.

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

The weekend

Missed an entry yesterday because of various things. Caroline's not well and seems to have the same as Adam did last week. Kate a little under the weather and so I'm doing a lot.

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


On holiday for 4 days now. Yehhh!!! I'm still tired but the break will be good.
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


Knackering day today. I have run around like the proverbial! First of all teaching till eleven then up to hand in the final quote for the instruments being bought. Next it was up to the Diabetic Clinic to get checked out. Blood sugar was not great but cholestoral was good as was weight and blood pressure. Then off to collect Kate to take to my Mums before going back to teach for a couple of hours. Finished that then off to shops for food, up to my Mum's to collect Kate, who had fallen asleep, back home and the made dinner(phew). One hour later I took Fraser to his orchestra, back home to tidy up before my mum arrived to let me go to the 2nd year parent;s night. Finished at 9.30, got home at 9.45 to take my mum back home. Finally sat down at 11.00 to write this!!!
Fraser got a really good report and I'm very proud of him! Good Night!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Feeling really tired today. Lack of sleep is catching up and my blood sugar has been too low. To add to it Caroline has been away in Dundee all day and so it's been a long day. Adam is still not well and will miss his class trip to Edinburgh tomorrow. Faser really pissed me off tonight by being really un helpful. I know he's a teenager but I don't think that is an excuse for being rude and grumpy! I will have to speak to him and find out why he should be allowed to be lazy and unhelpful, considering everything that is done for him.
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


Well, apparently the news about the maths exam was just a load of bollocks!. Only 3 got a 1,1 the majority got 1,2. Why were we given the wrong information? Adam's maths teacher should not have given out wrong info before all the results were out. What a plonker. I just hope Adam does better in the real exam.
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


Bit of a mixed day today. I put the estimate forward for the new instuments which was passed without the bat of an eyelid. I am now convinced they have much more money than they're letting on. Still, I'm happy to have got what I wanted. I think????

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


I'm starting this quite late so I musn't be long. I've had a good day today. It's been busy but with enjoyable things. Kate was a star in the park today. I don't know where she gets her personality from but it really is BIG!! She will talk to anyone and is totally fearless. Fraser had another trip to Edinburgh with Archie, Sam and Ewan. A good time was had by all. Adam seems to have had a good day as well, but where does he get the money to lunch in Pizza Hut? Never mind he enjoyed it.
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


It has been a strange day. I haven't done that much but feel that I haven't stopped! Maybe I need to organise a bit better. Always going off on detours from what I am supposed to be doing so not quite acheiving the goal.
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


It's been a good day for work today. Just been given a few more thousand to spend on new cellos and fiddles along with accessories. I'll be the talk of the steamie!! I hope Bob can deliver on the instruments. I enjoy my Friday schools and its good to see them continuing to keep faith with me. I must be doing something right.
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


Another long day! The biggest story of today for me has been this mis-guided believe that some people can lead a normal life while using heroin. What a dangerous message to send to people. I've seen too many people suffer from this terrible drug and the turmoil it causes in their lives and their families. If there are people leading "normal lives while using it must be a case of the "yets".
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

Wednesday already

The week is flying past and still a lot to do this week. I've put in the estimate for the new cellos and fiddles and hopefully that will be passed quite quickly. I do fully intend to start my own Primary schools string orchestra, then I'll know what is going on.
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


Life is too busy! After staying up late last night to complete some cello arrangements I was wakened at 6.00am this morning by Kate. She is coping well with her scolded arm although she keeps wanting to pull the bandage off.
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


Well traffic this morning was not as bad as I thought it would be considering they have closed a main access road to the Kingston Bridge. Closed for eleven months seems a bit excessive but never mind. Teaching today was ok but Bannerman is a waste of time. The two girls in Swinton are pretty clueless and I'm wondering "can I keep this up?"
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

Myself and Kate Christmas 05.  Posted by Hello


Well 11am Sunday today and the boys are still asleep. Caroline has taken Kate out to shops and I'm trying to get on with my morning. I don't know if I should be sitting here or help tidy the mess Fraser left with his pals last night. Bugger it this is my time! I'll be teaching Nina in a couple of hours and then cooking dinner for everybody so why should I feel guilty about sitting here putting down my thoughts. I sometimes wonder if I am selfish enough. Maybe I should take golf back up and spend the whole day chsing a little white ball. Should I start drinking and going to the pub? Nahh! That is a waste of time.

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

christma 2005 Posted by Hello