Saturday, March 25, 2017

A sunny day in Glasgow

We've had some cold weather this week and as you may imagine it has been a tough week as we held my fathers funeral a few days ago.  I'm still a bit tired but getting on about as well as expected.  After snow just a few days ago it is very pleasant today with sun in Glasgow.  I didn't need a jacket when I was out earlier.

I bought my mum lunch in a posh local hotel.  She's been spending some time in the garden and she's trying to catch up on sleep.  She's looking better.  Looking after a loved one as they die is hard.  I'm glad I'm close to home.  I started this blog when I lived in England over a decade ago and I made a clear decision to return to Scotland to be closer to my parents.  I'm glad I made that decision now.

Adult life involves a lot of responsibilities and balancing things.  Some people just walk through life avoiding things but that doesn't always work.  Duty is important and if your parents have been good to you, you should be good to them.  My mum needs space for her own grief but it is important to be nearby if she needs me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

putting together bits of a life

I'm thinking a lot about my dads life now.  He did a lot of stuff.  He worked hard in some areas and he achieved a lot.  I have learned more about him over the past couple of weeks and some things about my mother too.  I wish he was still here and I had a chance to ask him some questions.  None of these questions would have been life changing but it would have been good to have talked more.

We often don't talk enough in life.  It's often down to personality.  Sometimes people can talk too much and share too much.  Like most things you want to get somewhere in between.

There are many viewpoints on a life.  Many people have different opinions on how things have been and on how events happened.  In truth we are all unreliable narrators thinking we are movie stars when we are really just bit part players in the world.  We pick our own truths.  That's probably OK when you are remembering your dad but maybe a bit less OK if you are the president of the USA.

We've done most of what we need to do to prepare for the funeral.  Hopefully we will give him a good send off.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


My dad won prizes for art and poetry at school but he never did anything with it.  He was offered a place at a prestigious training institution in England but he didn't take it.  He had potential that was at one time almost unlimited and with the years all those possible bright pathways narrowed down to the one that was his life.

That in itself is not a bad thing.  He had a good life.  He travelled a lot.  He saw much of the world.  He spoke 4 languages.  He was able to spend time reading.  He had a son and a wife and a house and careers.  He achieved a lot of good stuff.  I think he helped people too.

We all make mistakes in life and none of us are perfect.  We can all, always reflect and we often realise that we could have been better or done things differently.  We should not regret though.  If you must regret something, it is better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done.  The space between thought and expression can last a lifetime.  I'm mixing the wisdom of the Butthole Surfers with Lou Reed but both are true.

I miss my dad.  He wasn't perfect but he was my dad.  He had some gifts and some talents.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Trainspotting 2

I went to see the new Trainspotting film today.  I remember seeing the original film in the cinema when it came out.  I had read the book as well.  I've attempted to read some of the various sequels and prequels to the book but the film Transpotting 2 is really its own beast.

It didn't really capture the adrenaline buzz of the original film but it still had something to say.  It's a film about growing older, regrets, death and family.  Given the death of my father earlier this week some of those themes really hit home with me.  He liked watching DVDs and I think he would have liked to see this film.

I'm glad I saw this in the cinema although I'm not sure I'll rush to see it again.  Great soundtrack from Young Fathers amongst others.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


My dad died a few days ago.  He had been sick for a while.  He had suffered while he was sick so in a way his death was a release but it's still sad.  I wish I could have made him better or got him out of hospital or somehow fixed him but all of that was impossible.

His health care was varied.  Some health care professionals were good and kind.  Some were ignorant, dismissive and borderline cruel.  I would not want to be admitted to the initial ward he was on.

I got time with my dad in the last 6 months.  I was able to talk to him a bit and say some things to him.  I didn't manage to say absolutely everything I would have like to say but I probably said the most important stuff.  I would have liked my dad to have been around for longer.  I'd have liked him to see me buy a house with my partner, I'd have liked him to see me get married and I'd have liked him to be a grandfather.  Sadly those things will be missed by my father.

My dad gave me a lot in life.  He gave me a great early childhood in many ways and I had many opportunities that other children do not get.  He encouraged me to learn and read and seeded many lifelong interests in me.  He protected me and my mother.  He was not perfect but nobody is.  I will miss him.