Television

I grew up in a house that always had the TV on. My Mum knitted, professionally, and the TV was the back drop to that. As she was working, she preferred things that she maybe didn’t have to pay close attention to, so Saturday afternoon movies became a staple, as did cricket and Formula One, anything that didn’t need to be watched 100% of the time. Of course I wasn’t knitting so I did sit (I don’t have the patience for such things) and watch these things, the movies, the sport, and have fond memories of sitting on the old round brown rug, resplendent with white Claddagh, as the screen flickered through lazy Saturday after lazy Saturday. As I grew …

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Technology

10 PRINT “Hello World!” I can’t remember if it was a birthday present or a present from Santa, or if it was from an Aunt or Uncle, but I can still remember the first time I used it and the mild awe I experienced when I got it working. The present was an electronics starter kit; a little circuit board with LEDs, switches, a speaker and other bits and bobs on it, and lots of little wires and spring connectors so you could wire up circuits and I can still remember the fun it was to create something like that, something magic. Push a switch here, and an LED lights up over there. It came with a set of instructions …

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work life balance

Work

Amongst the many internet trends – the commercialisation of happiness, the quasi-religion of productivity approaches – there is one phrase that makes my toes curl and my blood start to simmer. “Do what you love.” It’s a distillation of a thought first offered by Confucius “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” and the sentiment is a noble one yet for many it is largely unobtainable. I used to love my job, I loved the busy nature of it, I loved the different areas of helping build a product, and for many years as I progressed through the company, getting more senior roles, I truly thought of it as doing …

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Wedding party dancing

Family

A couple of months ago, in the midst of my sisters wedding, I looked around the room and took in all the faces there. I saw many familiar faces, some of whom had been at my own wedding, many years ago, and I saw too the gaps of those no longer with us. It’s been years since she passed, but the face I missed the most that day was my Gran. Ohh how she’d have loved it. I spent a lot of time with my Gran when I was a child. My Mother’s mother, she looked after me a lot in the pre-sister years, weekends spent in in the big house in Rutherglen, my Uncle’s old warped snooker table in …

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Mugdock

Nature

The air is cool as it moves around us. Under foot, crimson leaves lie fallen, their work done, and far above our heads the empty branches whisper in the wind. Decades of stories are whispered back and forth, as we stand below them, looking up as they sway and talk, telling their tales in a beautiful language. On we walk, enjoying the crisp air on our cheeks, our hands warm in gloves, feet swathed in socks and boots. The path changes to gravel, then grass, and back again as we meander our way through the forest. Mushrooms peak from fallen logs, fir trees stand vibrant in the morning glow, in the distance a burbling stream tumbles its way to meet …

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food pyramid

Food

It took ten minutes of chopping – carrot, celery, onion – plus a bag of yellow split peas and some vegetarian stock, add salt and pepper, some more water and, after slow cooking for several hours the kitchen was filled with the wonderful aroma of split pea soup. Thick, creamy, utterly deliciously. I’ve written about food here before, although I’ve stopped reviewing every restaurant I visit, and used to write even more when I was an active member of the local Yelp community (that got closed down, a fact that still annoys!). It’s such fun to write about food, trying to find more and more ways to describe a flavour, or a texture, or that wonderful combination of both in …

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Failing

Do, or do not, there is no try. The challenge was to get from the outdoor centre to a specified point a few hills away, and back, before anyone else. Four teams were assembled, all going to different points on the map that only they knew, and we all set out at the same time. I was the leader of the squad and I did not like to fail. We set off and all was going well, we reached our turning point, where one of the organisers was wanting for us to confirm we’d made it there, and we were heading back, wary of the time as it zipped past, all the time wondering where the other squads were. Were …

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Trying

A Saturday morning alarm set for 6.45am. I try to fight the urge to hit SNOOZE. I succeed (!) and rise from the warmth of my bed. I have a plan. Once ready, I head downstairs, eat a slice of toast and rouse Dave, one of our dogs, from his slumber. As ever he gets up and stretches, sleepily padding his way to where I stand in the hall, lead in hand, waiting. I fasten the clips around him, double check my pockets; keys, poo bags, phone. We are good to go and head out in the brisk morning air and start our walk. It’s early so there are few souls to be seen and those we do encounter are …

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Recollection

It’s probably set in the kitchen in my parents old house. Habitat (?) wallpaper, and a wall mounted set of scales with a dark blue bowl. I think that’s where it’s from, or it’s entirely possible that old photos have further blurred my increasingly bad memory. I can remember one Christmas morning, before my sister arrived, leaping on to my parents bed and opening my He-Man presents. Again, there is a photo somewhere of that moment which might be why it sticks in my mind so vividly, and this matches most of my memories that can be traced to a photo. Mind you, for some reason it is Christmases that loom largest in my memory, so perhaps there is a …

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