Family Isn’t Always About Blood. #Scotland

Just had a fantastic weekend starting on Thursday night with a visit to Balmaha on the shore of Loch Lomond then a trip to Ardlamont Point south of Tigbnabruich with its fantastic views to the isles of Arran, Bute and The Mull Of Kintyre. 

There’s just something fundamental about wild camping,  no electricity or running water that brings you back in touch with nature and makes you realise what is important in life. 

The most important thing in life isnt money, clothes, music, concerts or everything that city life in Glasgow or Edinburgh provides.  All of wlich I enjoy to one degree or other. 

But it’s about having friends and people that care about you.  Having them around doing all the basic things like cooking together, helping set up tents, finding firewood,  sitting chatting about life rather than watching tv. 

It’s very grounding. 

New friends and old friends including  Jim and Tommy, my two best pals from childhood. 

People that know you from your earliest age,  like having another two brothers that know you inside out and will back you or give you it straight as real friends should. 

I love my 4 real brothers but family isn’t always about blood. 

A few pics below.   

How beautiful is the west coast of Scotland?

I count myself very blessed to have been born here. 

Balmaha Bay   
Loch Lomond


The Rest And Be Thankful   
Argylls Secret Coast – Kyles Of Bute


Ardlamont with Arran in background   

 Portavadie Marina


FREEEEEDOM!!!!  ūüôā  

The Lessons in Failure 

Today across Scotland,  150,000 kids recieved texts or opened envelopes containing their exam results.

According to the SQA,  the percentages of passes is up on last year.

My daughter Claire was up all night waiting for her text to come in and texted me when her arrived at 6am.

Last night in the kitchen, ¬†I tried to talk to her about it, ¬†but she was so anxious that she didn’t want to discuss.

After each exam, ¬†I’d asked her how she felt and she wasn’t feeling confident.

Which may be true, ¬†but is difficult to gauge because like lots of other kids, ¬†she’s her own worst critic.

Last night in the kitchen, ¬†I aware of her anxiety and didn’t really want to discuss either, ¬† I just gave her a hug and told her that theres no point in worrying about something that you can’t change, ¬†that’s already done and is out of your hands.

Whats more important is to deal with the consequences.    Not that I actually said that.

I told her that no mattter what,  we would deal with it,  good or bad.

Fortunately her results were good,  AABB,  and she has entry to the degree course she wanted.

i’m delighted for her, ¬†proud of her, ¬† it’s another bridge crossed along her path.

But what if she had failed or her grades weren’t good enough as will have happened to many other kids?

Disappointing yes,  but you deal with it.

As a parent you put your disappointment second and help them deal with it.

It’s their life, ¬†they don’t need to be reminded that they failed, ¬†they know already, ¬†they’ve seen their mates pass and although they are happy for them, ¬†they wil be gutted for themselves, ¬†they don’t need us giving them a hard time.

Failure is part of life, ¬† it’s a crossroads that leads us to two paths.

The first path is we learn from our mistakes, try harder and take the test again.

The second path is that possibly this road isn’t for us or not at this point in our lifes.

Academia isn’t for everyone and just because a child failed an exam, ¬†doesn’t make the child a failure.

If you happen to have a kid that didn’t have the best results, ¬† I’m sure you’ll provide all the support and guidance they need.

They have their whole lifes ahead of the and everything will work out okay in the end.

10 years from now, none of these exams will matter.

Continue reading “The Lessons in Failure¬†“

Work Stories – Progress?

Thought I’d share this today ..

It’s a beautifully graphic read and although the outcome was predictable, it still had me a little choked.

Fathers and sons, sons and fathers .. It’s a bond that will always remains special, that is unless the guy is a selfish d1ck who leaves his family, sons or daughters.

I love what that man gave to his son was an informal education, a lesson for life. He was stuck with a horrible job and wanted something better for his pride and joy.

Continue reading “Work Stories – Progress?”

My Mothers Shin-guards?

When we were wee, my brother Duncan and I played football every day.

My dad used to play amateur football (junior) and would take us to various games, Celtic, Scotland and some local junior games at St Ants and Benburb in Govan, Glasgow.

To clarify, Junior football isn’t for kids, it’s full of guys who either didn’t make it as professionals or are ex-pros from smaller teams on the way down.

Some of these guys are cynical or embittered that they never made it to the top.

So It’s a hard game, much dirtier and unregulated than the professional game with scything tackles and regular punch ups.

Shin-guards are a must.

A gum-shield would probably come in useful too.

Aged 10 and 8, Duncan and I played over at Elder Park with our pals.

Sometimes it would be a full on game, 20-a-side with jumpers for goalposts.

Sometimes there were only a few of us and we played 3 and in, taking turns to be goalkeeper.

This was Govan, you always had to be aware of some bigger guy coming along to steal your ball.

Coming home without the ball and getting a hiding off your dad for not putting up a fight means you learn fast and didn’t lose another one or not without coming back with a burst lip.

Then he’d go sort it out.
Continue reading “My Mothers Shin-guards?”

The Greatest Love Of All? #success

How do you measure success?

Health and happiness are a given. But we are taking that as a basic. If you have these then you’re already half way there.

Is it money in the bank? A big house? A fancy car? Designer clothing? Foreign holidays twice per year?

Personally all that material stuff is pretty meaningless.

Don’t get me wrong, they are nice-to-have, but only as long as the things that really matter are taken care of.
Continue reading “The Greatest Love Of All? #success”

#Family – That’s What Life Is All About.

Last night was the 25th anniversary of my extended family’s annual Christmas party.

I honestly can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be with, my dad, kids, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and all their families.

It was just magic .. Humbling .. Uplifting.

You don’t get to pretend with family, they know all your faults, all your history, all your triumphs and tribulations.

It was a pretty special night, loads of old photos from the original night 25 years ago, loads of pics from earlier family outings when my Granda would hire a coach and take all us kids down to the beach for the day.

“25 Pie suppers, 4 fish suppers and a bag of chips” .. And the fryers jaw dropped.

Family legend .. You can’t beat it.

Last night, I bathed in that healthy glow that only being with such close family can provide.

Today, I feel refreshed, invigorated, ready to face the world because no matter what life throws at me I know I’ve got the best back up that money can’t buy.

So come on 2015, bring it on.

Oh yeah, a link to some of the best blogs of 2014 .. Some great reading in there.

Pride Has To Be Earned!

Last night .. Home from work at my usual 7pm, feeling a bit tired and weary.

But to my surprise, my younger daughter Claire had dinner waiting on the table ..

And a hot mug of tea.

Hhhmmmm …,

My brains thinking … What does she want?

To giver her some credit,¬† I’d forgotten that it was her parent teachers meeting and my meets started at 8.

But her report card was fantastic so I wasn’t too worried about that and I’m sure she had no reason to bother either.

So that wasn’t it.

Turns out it’s her school dance in two weeks time and she wants a new outfit, dress, shoes and her hair cut and coloured.

Going to be expensive!

The PT meeting went well as expected, glowing report, both academically and also that she was growing as a person with increased confidence and leadership qualities.

It’s a private all girls school and some of her classes only have 6 kids so it would be hard not to do well academically.

But what I am most pleased about is the growth in her confidence and her ability to go out and meet the big world soon.

That sixth year really makes a difference from her being a wee girl to a young woman.

I’m very proud of her and told her so.

The thing is,¬† the private school has been making the best of her abilities,¬† but you can’t¬†buy pride, it has to be earned.

As we ate dinner,  we were chatting about music as we both play piano and she showed me the following link .. some band doing lots of popular songs in the same chord sequence.

Now I already knew that,  for example Back For Good by Take that uses the same 4 opening chords as Beneath Your Beautiful .. ie D, Em7, G, A

But this is fab.