Friday, June 23, 2017

The Robot and The Humble Man

We are finally getting our attic converted. Hoorah. 

It will be a 'lofty' office for Francis's  music making, and the kids will get a bedroom each. They are now 8 and 7, so it will be good to give them their own space to colonise with Lego and Monkeys, before they turn into teenagers and hide away for years at a time.

One of the builders was asking Hugh what he might be when he grows up.

Maybe a doctor or a lawyer?

Hugh shrugged his shoulders and said sincerely -

Eh, no. Maybe just a humble man...

Here's a 7 second video of The Humble Man trying to communicate with a robot. One day this particular robot will be the equivalent of that first computer game kids used to play: one blip of a 'tennis ball' and two scroll bar rectangles, pinging it back and forth. 

One day we won't be able to tell who's a robot and who's just a humble man, or humble woman.


Monday, June 05, 2017

Where am I?

You may well ask. 

On Twitter is the short answer. When I started Twitter, I didn't like it. It was like a cockpit dashboard, all flashing and busy and I didn't know which buttons to press, where to look first.

Now, I find I'm slightly addicted to it. It's so instant, so real time. I 'meet' new people and writers, I find new poems/books/articles to read and appreciate. I laugh out loud at the Twitter feed while watching Question Time. 

Have I posted this before? I'm getting deja vu. Lost in a twitter vortex.  @CiaraMacLaverty is where you'll find me.

Meantime, here's a picture I tweeted of our kitchen window seat. Life may have small regrets, but the window seat is usually not one of them.  Trees help everything, I find.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Down The Mineshaft

Every evening I tell myself I will watch TV or read a book. Every evening I end up on the web, searching for any crumbs of political hope.

I will admit, I'm out of my comfort zone trying to write about politics - I've no real history of it, and who wants to invite a fierce trolling? 

But the older I get, the more I see that the wee wife-y (or old man) in the supermarket who says, 'I'm not really political' is wrong. We are all political by action or inaction. So we might as well stand by our views as bury them.

Readers, I have never in my whole life felt more on the losing side of politics. Daily I am aghast by the world's march to the right in Tory 'UK' and Trump's America.

I don't know what I am going to do on June 9th if we have another Tory 'death' sentence - for that is what it feels like to me, politically.

Nicola has a mandate for a second Indy Ref and Theresa says no. Not now, you pesky kids! Never mind that the majority of Scots are appalled at being dragged out of Europe against our will.

I even feel deserted by the BBC. Nowhere are the news reports capturing my deep political frustrations, or those of thousands of other Scots.  

I read Bella Caledonia  and The National and George Monbiot at the Guardian  and Lesley Riddoch but these feel like the margins. The mainstream has changed so much, it can make me feel physically drained and utterly despondent. 

Meanwhile, I've been reading The Secret Seven stories to the kids. I feel like I'm trapped down an old mine shaft with Scamper the Dog. We are powerlessly waiting on a goodie to come by with a rope. I keep looking round, bewildered, thinking - there must be some escape from this darkness. There just must. 

Vote Monkey and be Scottish, European and Funky 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Right, Politics Then.

Oh, Blogger - you have me on my knees. 

I just spent an hour trying to write a blog about politics - on the importance of standing up for your beliefs and being true to yourself, even at the risk of being trolled or judged; about my despair at what Tyrant Theresa is doing to Scotland and Europe.

Guess what? I managed to delete it with one random click and can't retrieve it. Readers, you will have to wait.

Women Tell Each Other They are Gorgeous at Moniack Mhor

It’s like we have been starved of each other,
though we have only just met
and we are keen to make up for lost time,
leaning our stripy-topped bosoms on the table,
slapping our hands on its long wooden expanse
and agreeing with each other in shrieks
(Lana laughed enough to pish her breeks).

You’re gorgeous though!
No, you’re feckin gorgeous!

We can’t talk enough
about family, sex and death,
breach labour, Nicola Sturgeon and the NHS.
It’s not every day you wait a decade or two
for a faux medieval candelabra
to shine down on your face
and make you feel like, at last,
you’ve found your rhythm,
your got-it-now place.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Best Scottish Poems 2016 - What Corkers!

I was lucky enough to be included in Best Scottish Poems in 2006 (eek) and I love to read them every year.

It's exciting to see so many poems from new friends and poetic heroes this year. Click here to enjoy.

I am spoiling you. x

Friday, March 31, 2017

Writers Go Crazy in the Highlands

You know that thing, when a photo of a sunset, is only 1% as good as being in the actual sunset? And even a good photo can't convey the whole ravishing shebang of it?

That's what being at Moniack Mhor is like. It's been a wham-bam treat of a week, whooping and laughing with new friends; cutting to the chase in every chat. 

And the countryside! God-dang, I hadn't realised I missed it so much. How calming it is. It's grassy smells and fresh breaths. Highland coos chewing and the rat-tat-tat of a woodpecker.

The cottage itself has a farmhouse 'hug' - slate floors,  heavy wooden tables, fresh herbs, wood burners, sofas to sink into.

I have read plenty and written some. I will share in later posts. Big 'shout out' to the Scottish Book Trust. Meantime, here's a couple of iphone snaps that won't do it justice.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Watch out Dunoon.

Kids who don't want to go to bed will spin out any story or excuse to lengthen the goodnight chit-chat. Tonight Tess was asking to go on holiday and I reminded her of the time we went to Dunoon. 

The weather could not have been more face-slapping-ly horrible (bitter wind and rain - it was February; I was deluded). At the time, aged 3, she declared that she never wanted to go to Dunoon again.

As I tucked her in tonight (aged nearly 7) to stall me, she rambled on that she had a very important job to do:  shutting down Dunoon forever. (Sorry Dunoon, it's not personal). Right Mummy, she said - these are the things I will need to do this job. Can you write them down?

A motorbike that shoots out fire
A gorilla and two monkeys
Chopsticks (for poking people)...and
Donald Trump.

Dunoon, I will defend you.