Painfully precious times

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Try a seven year old...

Try a seven year old…

You assume you will remember every moment because it just seems impossible that you won’t. Each night when you watch them sleeping it feels as though you have never seen anything more perfect, marvelling again at their nails, eyelashes, breaths. This doesn’t seem to diminish; I am as incredulous when I look at my nine year old sleeping as I was when he was a newborn.

Knowing that one day it will be unseemly and probably inappropriate to stand and stare at them as they sleep I wonder if I should take some pictures. There is no hesitation after all when they are babies; they are snapped in our every idea of a compromising position – legs akimbo in the bathtub, messily slurping spaghetti, wearing a fetching cardboard box as a hat- you name the activity I’ll bet it’s been set down in digital history.

This morning I looked at my littlest lying top to tail with my husband and mourned the fact that one day he would be as big, as hairy, as manly as his dad.

Going by the fact that my love is as strong as it ever was I suppose it is safe to assume it will always be so. So perhaps it is grieving the lessening dependence on me. The way my suggestions of outfit, news topic or game are rebuffed, rebuked even.

My nine year old now casually comes up sideways on and leans into me, his body language belying his coolness. It is all he allows himself, but it is something. My middle one enjoys the game we play at school drop off when I try to catch him for a kiss and he skips out of reach. I have learnt to enjoy the game itself though for it’s own intimate joke between us. He though appears every night in our bed, climbing in so stealthily that we fail to wake, until he belts one of us in the tummy with his starfish ways.

Sam de Brito, whose column was a highlight of my weekend, wrote last weekend on co-sleeping (http://www.smh.com.au/national/sam-de-brito-my-baby-in-bed-20151006-gk261i). Though sleep quality would no doubt improve and cricked necks would be fewer, it will pain me beyond belief when my boys truly grow out of coming to snuggle in our bed. To echo a fantastic journalist lost too soon, especially for his little girl, I find the semi-wakeful cuddle is when I feel more a mother, “more human, than any other time in my day.” Cherish these precious times, live fully in the present, live well. RIP Sam de Brito.

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Time is Big

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Sophia Loren is credited with saying “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” So what happens when child becomes children, then another one joins them, and your husband is working so hard he relies on you, whether he admits it or not, to get to that office every day in clean clothes and with enough energy to sustain the pressure he is no doubt under?

Before long, if you are not careful (assuming you manage to add in the thinking required for that), your own thoughts are buried so deep under those about your family, along with the corresponding pile of laundry and lists of things to do just to keep the household functioning, you forget they are even there. The hamster wheel becomes all, habitual; movement simply from one meal or load of washing to the next, chores interspersed with good intentions to nag, cajole and even pay the tribe of dependants to help before giving up and doing it yourself.

How others saw you, what you were or perhaps still are away from the cauldron, prior to becoming this provider of everything domestic bears no relevance when you are in the midst of family dinner time (very important for social skills, after all, where else will they perfect their aim of the pea-into-cup move, the hilarity of show-me-your-gobful-of-masticated-pasta-and-I’ll-show-you-mine? Just my family? Right.). The warm fuzzy glow of preparing a beautiful dinner (or more likely the hot flush from a G&T drunk while stirring the failure of a sauce) will quickly evaporate on being met with dubious looks despite your reassurance that it’s a Nigella/Jamie/Bill recipe or ________’s (insert their best friend’s name) absolute favourite and that you got the recipe from their mum especially. After ‘the look’ they will remind you that they do not, and never have in fact, like whatever it is you have just put in front of them, at which point you can either choose to remind them that they ate said thing only last week or make them some toast and feed the dinner to the dog.

It often takes an accident, or unintentional nudge from a friend, book, article to help you scale the virtual walls of the pit of drudgery. Sometimes you have to wait, enduring a prolonged floundering at the bottom as, in desperation, you reach for short-term fixes which do no more than lift you temporarily and then dump you back in the murk.

The short-term fixes are illusory. Good friends, quality time spent with family, exercise, reading a book, walking barefoot on grass or sand, meditating, taking a yoga class with an inspirational teacher, listening to an uplifting Ted Talk, picking or arranging beautiful flowers, eating a delicious meal, cooking a delicious meal, talking to a child about what is important to them, these are fixes, these feed your soul. These represent time well spent. And if you think you just don’t have time for these, try this, it works:

Time is Big.

Our belief that we don’t have enough time is false, We have all the time there is to have. We just fill it up with too much. Today when you feel rushed, say aloud, Time is big, and notice yourself relax.

Riding for the Feeling

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Beautiful and brave post from Hannah Richell.

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Sometimes I play a stupid game with our iPod. I put it on shuffle and ask Matt to send me a song. I know it’s ridiculous. I know ‘shuffle’ is a piece of apple software – an algorithm – rather than the ghostly hand of my husband reaching out to send me a sign. I know in these moments I’m a mad woman clutching for evidence of something beyond death. But it’s surprising how often something meaningful comes up.

Of course it does. It’s our iPod. It’s full of music and memories. What’s a little more strange is the raft of new albums Matt bought in June last year, just days before he died. He never mentioned them. Just downloaded them and left them there for me to find.

This morning I played the iPod game and the track that arrived was Bill Callahan’s ‘Riding for the Feeling’ from the Apocalypse album. It’s one that Matt…

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Boy(s), am I grateful for Mother’s Day…

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Today I read a feature article online that made me profoundly sad and actually rather cross. It was a first person piece that documented a seemingly very disappointing Mother’s Day. The description of the tantrum thrown by the writer (“BECAUSE IT’S MOTHER’S DAY!” I yelled irrationally.”), reminded me of my five year old on his birthday; when asked to finish the bowl of cereal he had poured himself he wailed “But that’s not fair, BECAUSE IT’S MY BIRTHDAY.”

The writer derided the breakfast-in-bed efforts of her three children. Shame on them for failing to provide freshly squeezed juice and organic bircher muesli, instead presenting the best breakfast THEY could imagine. Honestly, how thoughtless.

I totally get her desire to relax for longer with the papers, to escape from the daily grind, but, as parents of young children we have to accept that we are there to do the looking after, not the other way round, whatever the day.

We all, however saintly we try to be, experience bouts of irrationality, it’s only human. But to expect our children to be able to predict this, or temper their behaviour according to our expectations (especially an expectation based so much around commercialism) is quite often a guaranteed recipe for the exact opposite to eventuate. For the record, our Sunday was peppered with frequent missives such as ‘no fighting, it’s Mother’s Day!’, ‘stop pulling your brother’s hair, it’s Mother’s Day’, ‘Mummy will be very sad if she sees you doing that on Mother’s Day (8 yo to 5 yo stuffing my scarves into my shoes…).

Presents were another element of damnation, the writer having received soap (greeted with sarcasm), a cheese knife (which garnered the non-verbal exclamation “?!”), and a “cute little jug”. I think her children did well, but then all children do well in their own way. The fact that they have made a self-motivated choice should be enough, no matter how right or wrong they may have got it. They have tried their best, and isn’t that what we are always telling them is the most important thing in life?

The words that sprang to mind when reading the piece were ‘spoilt’ and ‘ungrateful’, definitions which, I am sure, do not describe the author at all. I wonder how her children would feel were they to read this description of their day together though? Pretty sad that their noble and loving efforts had fallen on such barren ground I wouldn’t wonder.

There is a strong movement around for keeping a ‘gratitude journal’. Imagine our notes within this compared to those, say, of a refugee or mother in a war zone. I can’t imagine they have any sort of Mother’s Day to speak of. Let’s try to keep life in perspective and minimise the First World moaning.

P.S. For anyone who’s interested I got some eye-wateringly sweet strawberry and cream truffles, chosen because of the gorgeously-girly pink box and the 6 year old’s sweet tooth, some self-tanning lotion (with the hilarious comment, ‘sorry Mum, I didn’t read the box properly’), handy for winter no?, and a divine bunch of crinkly pink carnations teamed with gypsophila that I wouldn’t choose for myself in a million years but, with the heart-burstingly proud smile that accompanied them may well have been the finest bunch of flowers I’ve ever received.

Everything in moderation

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I have never been very good at being told what to do. In fact, the chances are, when/if told to do something, I will choose to do the direct opposite. Call me obstinate, you wouldn’t be the first. I grew up hearing that I was destined to learn everything the hard way, and in some things so I did. But I like to think it has given me a certain confidence, finally, to make the right decisions (mostly), pursue those things I think will challenge and engage me and ultimately bring me fulfilment (full-time motherhood, writing, yoga, wine with friends).

This also extends to my eating habits, as reflected by dress size very stubbornly refusing to shrink. I signed up for Michelle Bridges 12 week something or other (can’t even remember now), in February and by the end of the month was joyfully singing ‘Done done done done done done we are done,’ as I deleted email after sarcastic email which said things along the lines of ‘uh-oh, looks like you’ve forgotten something…’ I am astonished at the popularity of such a programme when it employs a patronising tone such as this.

Another incredible dietary development I read about today is the new health star rating scheme being brought in by the Australian federal health department, currently voluntary but possibly mandatory within four years on all packaged foods. Please, are we all to be treated as such imbeciles and made to feel guilty to boot?

Of course there is a need to address and hopefully lower obesity levels. I understand the requirement to educate consumers, but surely there has to be a better way than this, by slapping a huge healthy/unhealthy label on things. There is a huge push in most schools to educate children in healthy choices which is fantastic and I’m sure a grass roots approach is the right one.

What I think is worrying, and becoming ever more endemic is food shaming. I will put my hand up here and say I buy my children Coco Pops, and even Fruit Loops (though the smell of them is enough to make me hurl so it’s a good thing it’s only ever at the weekend and in the holidays when they get their own breakfast as I laze about being a bad mother). I can see a day coming (after June) when a covert bad-cereal-buying operation will have to be launched in order to avoid the looks and tuts of other shoppers, ‘Really, wow, I didn’t, you know, actually think anyone really, you know, bought them these days, especially after seeing that film….’ The closest I’ve actually got to the whole quit sugar movement is the Katering Show’s take off of it and it’s got everything I need!

The thing is, I think I must be old fashioned. I still believe that, fundamentally, if you use more calories than you consume then all will be well (I know that is basic but surely it ultimately is?). I talk about balance with the boys, healthiness and providing your body with the things that will make it work to the best of its ability. I do also say that a few bowls of the ‘wrong’ cereal is fine if it is run/jumped/wrestled off!

Everything in moderation, where has this got lost?

In search of zen

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I am, once again, investing time and energy into living a healthier and happier lifestyle. I’m trying to do this without propping up the local heath food shop where I once spent close to $100 with only some activated almonds, biodynamic organic no added flavour (but animal shaped) biscuits for the boys (who would prefer chocolate fingers) and some spirulina-himalayan-mountain-moss muck that tasted like pondwater. All this contained within the organic hessian bag ($15); a must in order to let everyone know you are becoming healthy. Going next door for a bottle of gin would have been cheaper (and the bags are free).

So this time I am keeping it simple, sticking to real, old-fashioned actual food. Un-activated (rather than de-activated?), seasonal, local where possible (mostly I’m happy to say here in Oz). Finding pleasure in food can be challenging when life feels like a constant merry-go-round of lunch boxes, spag bol and weetabix. Thankfully the boys are getting pretty adventurous and last week gave the thumbs up to silverbeet – and the thumbs down to two sets of muffins and my homemade muesli.

The other major change is to the mental balance, which can be so easily sent out of whack with the craziness of juggling family, work, school commitments, social commitments. Burning the candle at both ends used to feel exhilarating, now it’s just exhausting. To combat this I am re-discovering something from my sixth year days (general studies anyone?).

That something is yoga. I forgive you if you are laughing. One friend almost fell off her picnic rug she laughed so hard when I shared this. I was concerned for her breathing ability. Andrew is enjoying the opportunity for new teasing and the boys regularly sit still when I enter a room and say ‘om’ in a very zen-like way (a side benefit I had not anticipated). I am loving it. Being a good Scot I decided the best value and chance to really check out teachers, styles and philosophies was to sign up for the one month new yogi pass at Yoga Sivana. This is what next weeks schedule looks like:

My Schedule

Day Time Share Class Teacher Web Reschedule Cancel
This week at Yoga Sivana
Wed 11/03/2015 6:30 pm
Foundations / Wellbeing Yoga
Em Cruickshank Yes Cancel
Thu 12/03/2015 9:30 am
Foundations / Wellbeing Yoga
Dagmar Feldmann Yes Cancel
Thu 12/03/2015 6:30 pm
Yoga Flow
Lyndsey Benn Yes Cancel
Sat 14/03/2015 5:00 pm
Yoga Flow
Jo Grooms Yes Cancel
Next week at Yoga Sivana
Sun 15/03/2015 9:30 am
Yin/Restorative
Kath Mair Yes Cancel
Tue 17/03/2015 9:30 am
Mind-Body Hatha
Dagmar Feldmann Yes Cancel
Honestly, I might be a little addicted, it’s definitely my kind of exercise where I’m encouraged to lie down afterwards with a lovely big cushion, blanket and eye pillow, and give in to mindful relaxation. Or at least it was until I signed myself up for yoga flow and found myself wondering if I had stumbled into a parallel universe populated by beings that look like us but who appeared to have no bones. I should have taken the hint when the teacher asked, ‘have you done flow before?’ then patiently listened to me fumbling through my reply of ‘I think so, maybe, I’m not really sure…’ To her eternal credit, she was patient and encouraging even when my tree pose resembled a sapling in a force ten gale.

I have borrowed a little light reading on and around the subject which, when I can just find a moment, will no doubt enhance my practice no end. Now, just to find that moment.

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And I will fully admit to not being quite there yet – this is me more often than not! I am working on it though, one practice at a time.

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Leave and return

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There is a readjustment required after a hiatus in our Sydney existence wherever we go, be it the Southern Highlands for some country air or a long weekend in Palm Beach courtesy of friends. There is a specific pace of life here, an urgency and business that I have known nowhere else. The difference felt in our recent trip to Scotland for five weeks was stark, the differences extreme and the readjustment accordingly tricky.

The contrast could hardly be greater: hectic urban centre to peaceful (some would say snail-paced) rural idyl. The focus of life revolving around long hours in the pressurised corporate arena, pounding concrete between one blank meeting room and another or early starts in muddy environs to feed the hundreds of beings dependent of your husbandry. The boys noticed the difference between their dad’s job and that of their uncle, thinking the latter lucky to be able to wear scruffy clothes and spend so much time with animals.

The sheer physical differences between one country and another require a change in mindset even upon waking: What the coming day will bring? Discomfort due to humidity or the sensation of your fingers and toes beginning to freeze; long hours of light allowing for outside play or a dreich day spent indoors in front of the fire with comfort food and games; avoiding having your lunch pinched by cheeky mynah birds or seagulls or enjoying the antics of the many garden birds reliant on our feeding them during the sparse months of winter? All are enjoyed, all are the norm now, simply a different part of the same life.

Given that at least one of the boys hates to wear trousers there was some concern over the sartorial differences required but all three took to vests, snow-boots and beanies happily, not to mention the snowsuits required for sledging. The first morning back here in Sydney there was a panic when only shorts could be located – the acclimatisation had obviously worked one way but needed a few more days before the change back was made.

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Silly things remind you of the sudden change wrought by the bizarre interval that is long-haul travel such as flicking on the windscreen wipers on when going to indicate, madly trying to change gear when slowing down only to put the car recklessly into reverse, answering my mobile with my parents number (if ever you imagined landlines were going out of fashion think again!).

But the most palpable difference, the one that rises above weather, TV programmes, foods, sports, social life and geography is without doubt the most important. The people. Those individuals you get used to being around. We missed friends here when we left, incapable of imagining not sharing the trifles of everyday life we all share, the bugs going round at school, the expense of parking at Balmoral (and the difficulty), Woolworths vs Coles vs Aussie Farmers. How surprising it was to realise we had quickly adjusted, transferring our discussions of children’s health, changed traffic systems in Kelso, Sainsburys vs Lidl to those people we were with, our family and friends in Scotland, as familiar as ever.

We got back reeling, felt our souls rent asunder, frustrated again at the time difference and noticing once more the cultural dichotomy. But Old Father Time worked his magic quickly. Him, and our wonderful friends who welcomed us back with arms stretched wide.

Therein lies the nub; it’s all about the people, on both sides of the world, that we are so blessed to have in our lives.

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Therein lies the heart; it’s all about the people, on both sides of the world, that we are so blessed to have in our lives.

The New Regime

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 The New Regime

Yes, I agree. We’ll pull ourselves together.

We eat too much. We’re always getting pissed.

It’s not a bad idea to find out whether

We like each other sober. Let’s resist.

I’ve got the Perrier and the carrot-grater,

I’ll look on a Scotch or a pudding as a crime.

We all have to be sensible sooner or later

But don’t let’s be sensible all the time.//

No more thinking about a second bottle

And saying ‘What the hell?’ and giving in.

Tomorrow I’ll be jogging at full throttle

To make myself successful, rich and thin.

A healthy life’s a great rejuvenator

But, God, it’s going to be an uphill climb.

We all have to be sensible sooner or later

But don’t let’s be sensible all the time.//

The conversation won’t be half as trivial –

You’ll hold forth on the issues of the day –

And, when our evenings aren’t quite so convivial,

You’ll start remembering the things I say.

Oh, see if you can catch the eye of the waiter

And order me a double vodka and lime.

We all have to be sensible sooner or later

But I refuse to be sensible all the time.

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It is time, after a very jolly, sociable school holidays, for another new regime. I don’t actually know who to apply Wendy Cope’s ‘we’ to – me and Andrew or me and a certain couple of friends…you know who you are! Andrew and I implicitly understood each other when we both said ‘Right!’ with great emphasis on Tuesday morning.  Very uncharacteristically, for me it only lasted a few hours until that evening when the boys and I enjoyed one last little children’s supper with great friends. I thought of Wendy Cope as the second bottle was opened.

But now the boys are back at school and I am determined to apply myself more vigorously to some great pieces I have lined up, uni work, not to mention being determined to get fit before the swimming season kicks off properly. Thankfully only the children are mad enough to brave the water at the moment leaving us to sit supervising while enjoying a nice cold glass of….water? Not quite the same is it?

It seems like ages ago that I completed a three month HSM (Hello Sunday Morning – I even bought the t-shirt, which I now can’t wear without feeling like a complete fraud, especially if I’m wearing it on the morning-after walk to collect the car from Neutral Bay, Beauty Point, Balmoral…). I didn’t drink let a drop pass my lips for four months and one week (I could add the minutes and seconds but then it might look bad). It actually wasn’t that difficult once I got going and I did enjoy the endless days of ‘wellness’ but I was definitely the quiet one on nights out, and regret hugely not dancing with a dear friend at her 40th (she also thinks it’s regrettable; she’ll learn as soon as we’re out and there’s a dance floor that it is in fact, not at all).

So this new regime is going to be, as Wendy suggests, not all a full time undertaking as that really is pretty dull. In fact, tragic though it is, a timetable was drawn up only last night to pin down family activities and, very importantly, upcoming nights out. So far there is a kindy mums night out (tomorrow), Mexican feast at friends (Sat), Sydney Media Drinks (me next Wed), Year 2 book club (me next Thurs), a 5km walk followed by drinks (Andrew is a team leader so it would be rude not to, next Sat), a very glamorous and seriously non-sober 40th b-day dinner (Sat 25th), Friday night cricket (at which wine and beer are available, thank you brilliant Mosman Cricket Club, so civilised) every Friday from next week…..and that is this month covered I think. Not full time. At all.

But still, I am going to try, in this tail-end of 2014 to be what I would so love to be, which is just a little bit less last minute, a little more organised and a little more on top of things instead of feeling like life is lived on one of those awful rides at the fair which swing you from one side of a big dip to another and you worry you might lose a bit of yourself in the middle.

So, a list of resolutions:

Stick to the designated ‘drinking nights’, then on non-drinking nights I can do things like this, and talk about it (and text friends to talk about it and see if they are being boring too or they aren’t or if they wish they were, or not…)

Get used to cooking without a glass of wine to hand, and for that matter find some recipes that do not necessitate the opening of a bottle of wine. Or serve sushi more often.

Forget that Pimms exists. Or remember that it is, despite all evidence to the contrary, an alcoholic drink, not just a fruit salad with juice. Is it just me that thinks ‘Pimms’ when the weather starts improving? Nikki Gemmell put it brilliantly in her column about the stresses of the life/work/school term time balance in which she admitted to a 4pm Pimms. She was a heroine of mine before but then, wow!

Try not to overreact when food is dropped on the newly cleaned floor – and remember not to serve tacos for supper on the day of cleaning.

Keep up to date with the washing so that no boy has to go commando out of necessity. Edward will be quite devastated.

FILE. Just that. See photo. On my desk just now among all the works in progress and stacks of homeless bits of paper there is a pair of school socks (owner unknown, cleanliness the same), a disgustingly sweet half-sucked lollipop that I confiscated a couple of days ago (saving for emergency), some bits of a Bob the Builder game – waiting for the other bits to join them, about six half-finished loom bracelets currently resident on pens and pencils, seventeen magazines mostly unread but all vital for research purposes and the usual other junk.

My to-do list is as long as Sam’s longest ever loom band endeavour (from his bedroom to the front door) but you have to start somewhere and what better way to procrastinate than to write about it? If I get distracted from being the new me I can always remind myself that I am, in fact, simply fulfilling my student potential and go and make a salad.

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Couldn’t resist a little more Calvin and Hobbes – this boy is a person after my own heart! I’ve handed on my C and H books to William who loves them, such fun.

Calvin and Hobbes New Year's

Home alone

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I cannot remember the last time I spent a night by myself.I have written before about leaving my family and them leaving me for school and pre-school, but I tonight I am absolutely and totally on my lonesome. It’s not the same I’ve realised as having time to yourself knowing your children are in bed down the hall, available for spying on and sly kisses as you feel the need (that’s not only me is it?). Nor is it the same as leaving them and staying with friends and family. Being at home, which is usually a cauldron of noise, emotion and testosterone, today is very very quiet.

So, they’ve gone camping for the first time. I have always bloody hated camping. I remember doing    our Duke of Edinburgh bronze expedition and managing to scrape through thanks to the cajoling of the Sessions cousins.  The rest of us wanted to phone Vicky’s dad who’d told her if it got too tough to let him know – exactly the point of D of E of course!  By the time we attempted a silver trek even Mr Davey the teacher was finding it hard not to laugh.  But we had done our community service (Oxfam for two hours every wed afternoon, Hannah and I were the best kitted out six formers as a result), physical activity for which I chose trampolining; I remind the boys of this frequently as my pelvic floor and I try to keep up with their bouncing records. This is the first ‘first’ I can remember missing.

I realised though this meant I could do anything I liked.  No limits, no curfew, no expectations. I could go clubbing, if only I knew anyone who did that anymore. I thought about going to the cinema, I thought curling up and reading, but it was just too quiet, and odd being at home by myself. I got a dinner invitation, thanks Hannah for this evening!

It’s funny how much we take for granted the level of vibrancy at which we live our lives. Our family life is highly vibrant and highly visible whether at home or out. I know some families exist at a lower frequency, and I am envious in many ways.  But my three boys, loud as can be, are growing up to be the life and soul of groups and gatherings, long may that confidence continue. I miss them!

sam jeffrey lionGratuitous use of a child’s drawing I know, but I love the happiness!

Head not heart Scotland

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Head not heart Scotland

There have been countless occasions and times I’ve wished I’ve been back in Scotland but oh my, I wish I was there now.  What a responsibility everyone (16+) has got. From the rhetoric reported here and from what I’ve read it has become so terribly divisive I worry for Scotland on Friday whatever the outcome.  Surely the weight of the ‘No’ vote has hit home though?  The threat to the healthcare system, taxes, Scotland’s ability to defend itself, the threat of the loss of the pound….I admit I have always been a ‘No’ supporter but I am also a passionately patriotic Scot and if it made any sense whatsoever then I would be more appreciative of the romance.

On my wall throughout my school years was a page torn from my Scottish Rugby Magazine (subscription an annual Christmas present, thanks Dad!).  It was an advert for Famous Grouse that read ‘I Support two teams: Scotland, and whoever’s playing England.’  Funny though this may be in sport – there are those who argue it’s no laughing matter – in reality the common bond we have shared for 31 decades is too important, too dynamic as the UK, too iconic to give up on it.  Alex Salmond and his henchmen may as well have played repeats of Braveheart on a big screen in George Square and Princes Street Gardens for all the depth of their argument. Had Mel Gibson not been otherwise tied up you can be sure the SNP would have paid them half their budget to parade about in his tweed and blue get-up.

Passion. Honour. Pride. Patriotism. We all feel this already do we not?  How would this increase by seeing our wee country struggle as it gets trampled by its European neighbours, among whom it will be a laughing stock (let alone on a world stage).

Let’s stick together Scotland, accept the help from whence it comes, give thanks for what we’ve got and move forward in unity.

Lang may yer lum reek, whatever your vote, wherever you are.

We're offski!   Seem familiar?

We’re offski!
Seem familiar?