The Terror Times

I successfully defended my Doctoral Thesis on Friday.  It signifies a personal and professional ‘crossroads moment’ in my life.  It concludes my more than thirty year long journey across the fields of activism with and advocacy for marginalised children and young people and commences a new chapter in my life.  As with all my crossroads…

When the wind blows

Autumn is here, but there is an uncertainty to it. The winter geese arrived some weeks ago.  The rowan berries, early and abundant as they were, have almost gone.  The Virginia vine is yet to turn the crimson red that heralds the equinox and the shifting of the families of sparrows who slumber amongst it…

Tours, Tails and Taxidermy

Up in the Highlands last weekend our first stop was Invercauld.   The big house, which has recently changed hands, has some quite fantastic beasts in its grounds – a Henry Moore style [perhaps even by the man himself] sits on grassland to the side of the house and a life size horse made of…

Big or small, all empires fall

Neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire (Voltaire, 1756)                                                                                                                                        Empires give legitimacy to the actions of the autocrat; silence dissent; encourage, and indeed create, internecine warfare and turn visions and visionaries into grotesque caricatures of their former selves.   Voltaire’s quote vis the Holy Roman Empire is as  apposite today as it was in…

Aw jenny wren’s bairns

I spotted this new arrival a few days ago.  A busy wee thing zipping in and out of the eaves and gutterings, gathering bits and pieces for nest building. I wondered how the flock of speugies that live in the ivy beneath my bedroom window, and keep me amused with their constant chatter and squabbling,…

Obelisks

Being the Easter holidays, I had the two oldest grandchildren staying over this week.  The bold Nancy looks forward to their visits, what’s not to like about extra leftovers, the odd bit of cake on the fly and attention all day long?  For the Gracie it can be a bit overwhelming, she didn’t have the…

That ship called dignity

The recently published House of Commons Committee Report: Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities has me thinking about dignity and respect this morning.  The Deacon Blue song – A Ship Called Dignity – comes to mind.  The song is basically about a street sweeper who dreams of the day he will have…

So it goes

Searching for some weekend viewing, we stumbled upon Netflix’s Russian Doll.  At less than thirty minutes long, each episode gives just enough to puzzle its meaning and wonder what the next one will bring.  It’s a roller coaster of a watch but even so we are rationing consumption to  Saturday evenings.  Last night we reached…