There are a few subjects on which I may have plenty to say. In recent years, having got that old work:life thing into perfect balance, I have been exploring those things that are important to me, a process that seems to be part of ageing. I made a conscious decision, a few years ago, to pay my dues and to join those causes that matter, rather than let life drift pass, unremarked and unremarkable. Time it is now, to participate, and to follow those desires.
In no real order of any priority it is my intention to share some thoughts on some or all of the following subjects:
Literature – covering books and writers
Politics – primarily in Scotland
Other Hobbies and Interests, including:
Whisky (and whiskey); Cycling (recumbent); Pollok Juniors (my football team); and Evolution
But more than anything I need to sit down and to write. It is a craft to hone. A year and more down the line and these pages are evolving and some update to these introductory notes is long overdue:
Grasshopper Towers sits in a rural idyll, with views, when the weather is fine, of Arran’s Goat Fell to the west. That open expanse brings with it uninterrupted wind, sufficient at times to mean replacing two sets of French doors though thankfully the hedging has now become established. There are two little Urchins, the Elder and the Younger; two of thirty-odd pupils at the local seat of learning, central to a tiny but thriving community. Chickens range freely and cats roam, only one of which is qualified to call this place home.
Most of my slow cycling is done locally, on single track roads largely traffic free; roads shared with horses, which have a natural fear for high-viz clothing and a flag-flying ‘bent, and tractors, which fear nothing and own the roads. But I’d rather have the tractors than suffer my occasional forays on the A-road where lorries, vans and cars breenge past at high speed leaving a fog of dust and diesel fumes. It is something I have to suffer only when getting from one wee road to another.
Books; I collect them with a passion and devour them and catalogue them. It’s not all about travel writing and the reading too evolves as the years pass. So I’ll talk about books, the ones that I enjoy and I’ll keep updating the Literature page. I’d be delighted to hear what others are reading, and think may be worth a place on the Bedside Table.
And politics has changed too and is changing yet, for we now have the right to a say in our future, a right denied to us for years by London-based parties with London-centric interests. There will be a referendum and the people will decide. Interesting times lie ahead. So I will address these unique times over the next couple of years, but perhaps not thereafter. For, whatever the outcome in 2014 – September 18 is the date, Scotland then has to pull together and drive forward, and I hope we do not do so looking over our collective shoulders saying, if only, if only we’d been braver, for our children and grandchildren.
Oh, and as I get older so does my cynicism increase; I think it’s one of the qualifications to become a fully paid-up Curmudgeon. My occasional scribblings are beginning to find an audience, and competition pieces to find the favour of the judges. So, you’ve been warned, there will be more. Stick with it, if you may. Draw your chair up to my kitchen table, join me for the ride. You’ll always be welcome.