By Yon Bonnie Banks …

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond

I love that song, it reminds be of my childhood and singing it at family parties …

But please please please save me from that Runrig version that often gets played at weddings .. it’s absolutely awful.

Kind of ironic that its played at weddings ,  when the full premise of the song is that “me and my true love will never meet again”

So there’s the blushing bride and handsome groom in the middle of a circle formed of all their family and friends belting it out .. missing the point completely.

Bit of a bad start to the old wedding nuptials if you ask me!

The song was written in 1746 by McGregor of Glen Endrick while in Carlisle prison awaiting the death penalty for his support of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Uprising.

The message of the song is that his spirit will get home by the spiritual road,  the low road as he tells his friend to take the physical high road and he’ll be back in Scotland afore ye.

Last night,  with the sun shining over Glasgow it was too good an opportunity not to head up to Loch Lomond and the place that sets my spirit free. Continue reading “By Yon Bonnie Banks …”

Not Nightswimming!

I am the smile on your face
And the sparkle in your eyes
I am that tingle down below

I am the whisper in the darkness
And the warmth in the night
I am the one who makes it slow

You are the passion in my thrust
And the pleasure on my lips
As we snuggle in the afterglow

You are the fire in my breast
And the pride in my chest
And where you are, I will surely go


Deserves a quiet night.

Love this tune ..

Near Death Perspective …

Isn’t it strange how people react to grief?

A couple who hated each other and were determined to cause each other as much pain as possible only a week ago,  have now let that go and called a truce in the interim,  wrapping their arms around each other,  consoling themselves in each others heart and hugs rather than trying to score points and playing pointless mind games.

It’s all about perspective,   it’s easily lost but something as sad as losing your child tends to give you clarity and the old wounds don’t really matter.

I’ll spare the details as that’s someone else s privacy.

But I was pleased to see my friends comfort each other and put their differences behind them,  even if it turns out only to be temporary.

Sometimes when death comes calling,  you need the human touch to feel alive.

I kind of figured there was a renewed closeness at the funeral mass,   each of them within the others personal space,  the stolen glances,  the joint public face, their warmth masked but obvious.

Later,  after everyone else was away,  running them back to the hospice, chatting, having dinner and getting drunk,  cos what else are you gonna do on a day like this?

I was pleased to see them wrapped around each other,   reminding themselves of the love they shared,  their shared loss and the love for their other kids they have to cherish.

But it’s not only direct involvement in death that lends a sense of perspective,  It’s being close to it that reminds us what’s important in life.

My daughter Claire is currently busy with her exams for her final year at high school.   She’s a manky wee so-and-so and at this moment her room is a bit of a disaster.    She uses her studies as an excuse,  even although I know full well that she’s on the web chatting to her friends.

Last week, I gave her a bit of a telling off,  because of the state of her room.

This week,  I couldn’t really care less as long as it gets sorted.

Don’t get me wrong,  the mess isn’t being tolerated,   words will still be spoken,  but I’d rather have my girl and her little bit of mess than not at all … perspective.

Yesterday when Claire arrived home from her mums,  my hugs were just a little bit longer.

Experiences or Things?

Do you remember when you were younger and you wanted the latest toy,  or as a teenager or in your 20s you wanted the latest fashion?

Maybe you’re still like that,   Having the latest thing,  clothes, phone, car,  etc is a statement of who you are. 

Personally,  and it may be an indication of where I am in life,  but I prefer experiences to things.   Concerts, holidays,  football,  time spent with friends and family are much more valuable to me than the latest thing which will be outdated within the manufacturers sales cycle. 

Interesting article below and my favourite quote on the subject ..

Experiences or Things?

Count your blessings …

5am and awake when I should be sleeping. 

Today is the funeral of my good friend Ian’s 14 year old daughter Megan. 

Megan suffered from severe physical and mental disabilities since birth and needed constant care and attention  from Ian and her mum Gillian. 

Technically Ian is not Megan’s dad,  well not in a biological sense but he’s been the only father figure in her life since he and Gillian got together when Megan was aged two. 

Even since the family divorced a few years ago,  Ian has continued to look after,  care and pay maintenance for young Megan.     Everything that a proper dad should do. 

I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s a huge difference between being a father and a dad. 

Sometimes the amount of constant attention that Megan needs has been to the detriment of their other kids when he can’t take them on holiday or the movies as Megan isn’t able to go. 

But that’s what families do,  sometimes your situation isn’t ideal but you get on with it,  do what you need to do and make the best of everything you can.   Knowing that Megan’s time was limited you just try and appreciate them while they are here and do your best for them. 

Today will be unbelievably sad,  it’s against the natural order for any family to bury their child. 

The messages being put out by both Ian and Gillian are that Megan is now in a better place,  im sure that there is some relief that she is no longer suffering.   Then some guilt for even thinking of that relief. 

God bless Megan,  the purest of hearts,  if there is a heaven she’ll be there. 

As a father of three healthy kids,  all 3 at mine last night,   loving, funny, occasional pains in the ass. Sometimes you just don’t know or appreciate how blessed you are. 

Hello Pluto .. Meanwhile on Planet Earth …

Somewhere out there right now Voyager 2 is closing in on the planet Pluto and has started sending back images better than can be captured by the Hubble Telescope.

The last time the probe passed a planet and sent back some imagery was of Neptune in the late 1980s.

To put that distance in perspective,  currently,  Voyager 2 is 115 million km away from Pluto,  equivalent of the distance from the Sun to Venus,   but it will cover that distance between now and July.

So can you just imagine how far is Pluto from Neptune?

Isn’t it amazing that we can push something that far out to space and communicate with it so remotely?

However this communication is far from ideal as passing a radio signal from Earth at the speed of light takes over 4.5 hours to reach the probe.

Hello Pluto .. wait 5 hours .. yes?

To put that in perspective,light travels at 180,000 miles per second,   the distance from the Sun to Earth is 93 million miles, 146 milllion km.

The light from the sun takes just over 8 minutes to reach Earth,  providing us with life,  food, energy and a healthy tan!

I find that incredible ….

However, meanwhile on planet Earth …

There is a global economic recession.

In the UK,  one of the worlds richest countries is in the tail-end of an economic crisis,  people are suffering,  going hungry,  the demand for food-banks offering free food to the needy is increasing.

Tonight there is a collection at Celtic Park organised by the club to mark the birthday of its founder Brother Walfrid for the people in need.

Does it matter what the people who claim that they need to use these facilities circumstances are?   If some are abusing it?

Do you think that because you pay your taxes excludes you from contributing or donating what you can?

I don’t think so.

“Are there no work-houses?” as the Ghost of Christmas Present quoted back to Mister Scrooge.

The spirit finally reveals to Scrooge two emaciated children, subhuman in appearance and loathsome to behold, clinging to his robes, and names the boy as Ignorance and the girl as Want. The spirit warns Scrooge, “Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom unless the writing be erased.” The spirit once again quotes Scrooge, who asks if the grotesque children have “no refuge, no resource,” and the spirit retorts with more of Scrooge’s unkind words: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”

The fact that we need these places at all is shameful.

So although,  I love science,   love how mankind has moved on beyond its beginnings to view other planets.

I’d like to think that if it was a mission to Pluto was proposed today rather than back in the 70s then it would be shelved in favour of feeding the hungry.


Code Of A Killer

Did you happen to see the fantastic drama-documentary Code Of A Killer on ITV over the past few nights?

It’s a dramatisation which tells the true story of Alec Jeffreys’ discovery of DNA fingerprinting and its first use by Detective David Baker in catching the double murderer Colin Pitchfork for the murder of two schoolgirls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in 1984.

I enjoy crime thrillers but don’t watch a lot of tv.  This is a fantastic,  informative real life drama and can’t recommend it enough.

Its available on the ITV player without the ads,  which is trims each episode to just over an hour from the broadcast length of 2 hours.

Catch up is the way to watch tv.

Right back to the research,  new job in  Glasgow / Edinburgh starts tomorrow.

Informatica Master Data Management whatever that is!!