The Last Post?

Not really….I hope it isn’t my last post to the blog before Christmas, but I felt I had to have my fix, before the festive season.

At work, we normally leave the last week of the work-year relatively free from non-important appointments so that we can deal with emergency patients…..and this year was not exception….we were choc-a-bloc! The rest of the staff were of course, also very busy, so we did not have much time to relax. The presence and consumption-of sweets and biscuits from grateful customers, and suppliers, did help to make this last week a bit different!

Thick fog, general dampness, filthy vehicles, packed shops with over-worked staff, cold hands, overly-decorated houses with hundreds of lights, dangerously-excessive spending in the shops are all present at this time and can be a bit depressing; on the other hand we are at the turning of the night/day ratio so daylight will get a bit longer, there is a brightness in children’s eyes, a willingness to give to Charities not always seen at other times of the year, and a chance to stop and look back over the past year.

2007 is a year for us (as no doubt for many others) which has caused much anguish with our move to another Church, the health problems of both Son and Daughter, financial instability within our profession, being amonst the bigger worries, ……and yet,….. and yet, we are all still here, we are still a strong family and things do look to be getting better.

So as we pause at the Nine Lessons and Carols  on Sunday afternoon, and the Midnight Service on Monday evening, we all have a chance to reflect on what we have done and what we have not done, to make someone’s life a little brighter or more hopeful.

May the Season make you alla little happier.

It might well be a Happier Christmas!

Glad to report that the pains which Son has had to suffer appear to be abating, or are more controlled….still don’t know which. One of the medications has the associated problem of affecting the joints of the hand, and this is now certainly evident. However he has been feeling some relief, and has had a go at a short bit of driving… important to the male of the species….with no obvious immediate side effect.

The Young Lady of the House, and I had planned long ago to see in the New Year in Cyprus and had been having to re-consider. However with the help of Daughter (who is a very good organiser) and our next door neighbours (who have offered meals), this should make the break possible. 

We will be at the Midnight Service at the Cathedral on 24th, have our Christmas Day meal, care of Daughter (no dishes to wash!), and head off for Paphos in the early hours of 26th, leaving the house to Son. The freezer will be filled for the time we will be away, so he won’t starve!

If I am not blogging before Christmas, can I wish everyone a Happy and Blessed season.

Buono Natale

S’no very warm outside!


The weather forecast was right today! We got the first few flakes of snow, in amongst the rain! The cloud-base was so low that we couldn’t see the top of the Campsie Fells (if you don’t know where they are, look up an atlas!), so perhaps they will be covered by the morning.

Why is it that we love the snow at Christmas-time, and especially Christmas Day?

Logically, it is a nuisance for travellers, costs us more in heating, can be dangerous for folk walking on pavements, and makes the birds look about for food. On the other hand it makes the days seem longer and brighter, by reflecting the available light, provides amusement for younger children, and not-so-young children, on sledges and skis.

It gives us the chance to see the wealth of wildlife in the gardens as we feed them and see their courage as they hang upside-down under the pea-nut feeder or fat-ball.

It also has the wonderful ability to cover over all those weeds which we should have pulled, and even the piles of unused flower-pots take on a strange architectural beauty, which the eventual thaw will uncover, and make us feel guilty about the jobs undone!

So, let’s hope that we have enough snow to provide entertainment, but not too much to call major inconveniences to those travelling about.

The worst car  I ever had for driving in snow was, believe it or not, the Swedish Volvo! My old CRV is great in snow and ice. It has just had the 100,000 mile service so is good for this winter at least.

Even if there is not a particularly pleasant lot of weather over the next few weeks, …..’can Spring be far behind?’

Good news for a change!

A visit tonight to see the Consultant at Ross Hall, about Son’s problems with his hands. It was one of those meetings which you dread, not knowing if the news will be good or bad. It turned-out to be like the curate’s egg…good and bad.

The prognosis seemed to be that it was not Wartenberg’s Neuritis, but some other form, of unknown origin. It also seems to suggest that it will ‘ burn itself out’, but no time scale was mentioned or offered.

But the pains will still continue for some time, and the number of pills will increase to try to control the pain which is incessant (except when sleeping).

So all is not yet right, he is still desperate to get back to work, and feel that he is again contributing to the business.

 …..however, there is an end, if not in sight, then at least just santaover the horizon. Maybe this year, Santa will be kind after all!

So thanks to all those lovely people who have passed-on their good wishes, their prayers, and, in some cases, their experience…we will keep you informed.

Power corrupts…..

Firstly, let me say that I am not a political animal. But…..

  • As a business person, I have views on how we should be released from some of the administrative burden we are forced to carry;
  • as a car-owner, I am perplexed by the future of our travelling freedom, as petrol rises, roads become more congested, and parking becomes impossible;
  • as a house-owner I worry for young people trying to get on the housing ladder;
  • as a parent I care about the enviroment, and the inexorable ‘replace-and-dump’ attitude which is occupying people’s minds, and filling great swathes of our nation;
  • as a peace-loving individual I am concerned about the growth in local, national and international violence;
  • I am concerned over hospital waiting lists for those who have a genuine need, while self-inflicted afflictions from drink and smoking take up an inordinate amount of the nation’s hospital beds,
  • and last but not least I have concerns about the spiritual state of our nation where ‘I’ always comes before others.

If I am only one rather insignificant individual, expressing such worries, why can we not have politicians who might just consider serving the nation who appoint and pay them?

But the newspapers are just full of the recent revelations regarding party-funding, and the television interviews consist of criticism of the ‘other party’ or excuses about ‘not-knowing what was happening’!

Why are we paying them for this when they should be earning their money dealing with the real problems affecting us all?

One of our friends once said that anyone who aspired to becoming an MP or MSP, or local councillor with the intention of achieving POWER should be automatically barred! We could get enough politicians, with probably equal capacity, by appointing people from the voters’ roll or off the street.

Maybe he was right!