I’m still young, honest!

I can’t really believe that our younger child is almost 40. In my mind it seems relatively recently that a fair-haired young lad would join his older sister to affect our lives so much. Both grew up in different ways to be excellent adults of whom any parent would be proud so no problems there.

However, there is a parallel, in that wife and I had a joint 40th when we reached that age, in our house, and we can still remember it well! There are also many photos from that time to remind us how we have changed.

And yet, and yet, I still feel young, even with increasing  bodily decrepitude, at least until I look in the mirror! The other strange thing is that I used to look upon older people as founts of wisdom. I now realise that we may have more information stored than  we had 20  or 30 years ago but we do not always have more wisdom.

We obviously wish him well for the future , and hope that he and his contemporaries have as great a life as  my wife and I have had. The party will hopefully be as good as the one we had. But I think I will resist the temptation to compare the photos with those taken when his Mum and I were his age.!

Fabulous four-some!


I recently posted a blog about how bad things come in threes.  Well, luckily, the third never came! In fact we should be pleased that things seem to be going so well just now.

  • I’ve been (un-expectedly) elevated to Fellowship within my profession
  • A nephew has just become engaged to a lovely girl
  • We had a super meal with our daughter at the weekend
  • Our son and his fiancee are enjoying themselves down in London training for a new career

There are some other happenings which look exciting, but I don’t want to tempt fate.

The only one bad thing still in the forefront of our minds, is that we have had to close down our shop dealing with disability aids after only three years. It served the community well, but  many people now come in for free advice and just go on the net to hunt about to look for the cheapest bargain. Then if it is not suitable they come and see what we can do about it!

We’re not alone as many large and small businesses in our area have folded, leaving vacant premises and the whole urban landscape is becoming very depressing.

And of course behind every such closure lies much heartache for employers and employees alike. However we will fight on for as long as we can….and, hey, the next Government will be able to put everything to rights.

Meanwhile we will be happy with our good news!

I’ve been having a rant!


Our son, and one of our friends, seem to compete as to who is the more verbose ranter. Start either of them off on some subject close to their heart, and only a yawn or a mechanised nod or shake of the head will be possible as your contribution to the discussion!

The subject can be about politics, the media, religious beliefs, education; in fact the subject doesn’t really matter! Give them a chance and off they go on a verbal rampage on any nearby ears! It is only when a burst of laughter permeates the air from one of the listeners, that the spell can be broken.

So why am I blogging about this?…..I don’t normally rant unless I find idiocy around, mainly in our political leaders!

I started on a letter to our local newspaper recently, about the dramatic upset to local businesses (including ours) because of continuous disruption to traffic flow in our area. They are in the middle of the construction of a link road to a motorway, and I have pointed-out  many times that this will drain local potential cutomers to the large shopping malls.

The letter got longer and longer and eventually covered two closely-typed A4 sheets. The editor was delighted when I sent it, and they did an editorial piece based on it.

I lambasted the local politicians and executive who are prepared to give us the pain, but without any foreseeable gain, with their senseless wasting of money on worthless, inconvenient or over-priced  projects. I await to hear if there are any replies, either personally or via the Letters Page.

It doesn’t really make any great difference to the present state of affairs, as the money has largely been spent, but perhaps it might make them sit-up and think a little more before they rubber-stamp the spending of hard-earned money…which is ours, after all!

So, I have succumbed to being a ranter……….what do you rant about?

All change….

This weekend our world changed….

Our son, who has faithfully worked along with us in our business, through good times and bad for many years, has taken another very large step along a new career path, where he will be much cleverer than his Old Mum and Pop. This is not peculiar to us as most parents want to see their children well established in life.

We always hoped it might happen, we always knew it would happen,  and when it did happen we rejoiced with them. Daughter, many years ago, established herself in a profession to make most parents feel proud, and it has proved to be so. Son has taken longer, but no less thoughtfully.

It will be strange not having him to turn to for technical advice, but as our tenure in business is slowly coming to an end, we will just have to manage.

His genetic background is full of those who have taken risks in life with many who were self-employed and entrepreneurial in spirit and action, so he will no doubt have the same worries and disappointments as we have had over the last 26 years. But if he has as much fun and excitement as we have have had, then it will be worthwhile.

An Honourable Member?


We have been involved with a couple of politicians over the fast few days. They were different in every way; one is a middle-aged male local councillor whom some would say has a reputation for using his physical presence , incisive questioning, and vocal power to get things done; the other is Westminster’s youngest lady MP, demure, quietly-spoken, inclined to listen a lot, with a disarming smile.

The first was chairing a meeting on the effect of various roadworks on our local economy. During it all he defended the office-bearers and paid members of the local Council, and he also accepted that he as one of the elected councillors must take the rap for any gross errors. Now why can’t others be prepared to make that statement….and maybe a few Bank Directors and Chairmen!!

The young lady MP in question was on a fact-finding mission, visiting our two shops (amongst other places) this morning. Son has known her during his political dalliances. They had not met for some years but she still remembered his name and even where he lived. She showed a genuine interest in our businesses and asked intelligent questions. She had a good knowledge of life in general but it was still amazing to think that as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, she might be responsible for such a tremendous responsibility come the next election!. It was a thoroughly-enjoyable meeting and I hope she took away a number of opinions which might help to mould her future thinking!

So, two quite different politicians from different parties,who, in their own way, have a passion about politics……but, I believe, for the benefit of their electors….who are after all paying the piper!

More power to their political elbow!

‘Move along there, please’

Son has just picked-up the keys, following the purchase of a house…whoopee! One would think that with the housing market being what it is there would have been no hiccups….but life is never simple!

Trawling the internet for the house agents and looking at the multitude of houses available did not make the job easier…the amount of information out there is overwhelming, and deciding price, location, schools, transport, number of bedrooms, size of rooms etc must have been a nightmare for him, as it spilled-over to his mother, the Young Lady of the House, with her finely-honed computer skills, flicking from one agent to another.

Views to several houses, disappointment over one property, the eventual decision, and anxiety over whether the purchase would go through, caused some sleepless nights. The relief when agreement was reached was palpable, but only lasted briefly before the logistics of moving from his flat had to be addressed.

Then the garden will need tidied-up before winter, and all the other small jobs you find needing done, so it won’t be easy over the next few months.

However, maybe this is the move which will get the housing market going again, and not the efforts of the Government!

Getting back to normal?

I’m looking forward to tomorrw night when Young Lady of the House, and Daughter, return from their sojourn on the sun-kissed beaches of Cala San Vicente, no doubt tanned and relaxed.

I managed to get a lot of work done in the garden when the weather was hot, and the normal cleaning and hygiene necessary in any household was carried-out to normal male-standards…but I have a feeling that they may be subject to some criticism. I never really came to terms with the vast amount of thinking and physical work which the household requires.

I ate on three nights with Son, and two kind families offered hospitality so I did not require any great cuisine to keep body and soul together……thanks are due to them!

So it will be with joy in my heart that I welcome the ladies of my life back to the fold. Not just because I love them both to bits, but I am happy to hand over the reins of the household again, and Daughter can take away Benji the hamster to his own home

My last day of freedom (or solitude if you wish) will be a trip to the beautiful area of Tighnabruaich in Argyll, and then last minute shopping and tidying before heading to the Airport.


It’s only a week….!

Daughter and Young Lady of the House are off this weekend, for a week in the sunny north of Majorca leaving me to look after myself…..I say ‘look after myself’ advisedly and the house and larder have been prepared for this break, by tidying-up and stocking-up respectively. Along with this, numerous pieces of advice (nay, instruction!) have been given, to make my very survival possible.

Young Lady is an excellent planner, and tremendously-well organised, so that no shirt is un-ironed, no surface un-scrubbed, and no phone-call un-made, before they set-off. Ergo, I will still be alive and ready to receive her back into the bosom of the household on her return. 

Daughter is similarly gifted and no-doubt her dwelling will be as clean as a new pin, and not a single dirty item of clothing will dare to be in the wrong place!

I will muddle by, consuming some of the pre-planned food in the fridge and freezer, but no doubt, along with Son, sampling some of the local ethnic food, with little thought for any calorific intake. In other words I will be enjoying myself in my own way…..the only difference being that I will have to get up in the morning and get to the office (possibly bleary-eyed, and woozy after too much rice or pasta), and still appear to be very professional and totally in control of my life. 

I hope they have a nice time, but it really will be good to see them back, and hopefully I shall not get too much hassle, if anything is out of place, or some food un-eaten!

Male retail therapy?…surely not!

Son is obviously getting a bit better as he has decided to trade in his old Civic for a BMW. Like me, and my father, (and probably 90% of the male population!) he has always had a passion to have a nice car, and this is his dream. It has been snowing today, so I hope he can enjoy a run in it, without the inherent dangers of this weather.

Safe driving!

P.s. It corresponds in time with an increase in business after a year of worries, so is well deserved.

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…..so 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