Thursday, August 04, 2016

Buckets of Tenderness

My favourite poet, Paul Durcan, has a poem about a stay in hospital, where the nurses are,

Emptying buckets of tenderness over your head. 

Don't you just love that?! I experienced such nurse-y dedication and kindness this week, (+ NHS gratitude), along with an op to remove an ovary and a cyst that was causing pain - thank goodness that's over (-y).

I've still got one left and a woman of my tender age, should manage on that. I suppose I've nothing much more to say on the topic other than quiet praise for my gender, these women on the ward, getting on with it: a girl much younger than me having a hysterectomy after scary test results. Eighty-one year old Violet in for yet another op and still making jokes.

She says - my husband always said I should get running shoes, and I says, naw, they're for the young, and now he's dead and buried and here's me with ma trainers! 

Whereupon she guffawed, stuffed her thin ankles into a pair of new Nikes and shuffled off merrily to get changed into a surgical gown. Oh, the human spirit.

I'd like to thank the garden for being there to welcome me home. And the family.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Day upon Day of this Wandering...

So, there was great fun to be had at the Royal Albert Hall with Stuart and the rest of B&S (who are always kind and welcoming, I have to say.)

 I liked Stuart's story about walking back alone to the hotel, through posh Kensington. He wanted some night air and took a detour down a leafy lane, saying hello to a woman walking her dog. She said hello back....and then -she called security on him.

If it were me, I'd be 'but but but-ing', telling her I'd just played the Albert Hall, thank you very much, but I'm sure he kept that fact to himself. That's what I like about him.

The next day I visited museums and generally took in the London vibe. I loved The Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge.

Friday morning, I woke to the shock of Brexit. I walked about expecting there to be a tangible frisson in the air, but everyone just looked the same as the day before - Londoners eating blueberry waffles in upmarket cafes, good-looking teenagers (from Europe!) taking photos of St Paul's Cathedral, guys in suits on the tube scrolling down the Telegraph on their i-phones. 

I had to wait to get back to Scotland to get stuck into the political chat.  I don't pretend to have the answers. I just hope Patrick Harvie and Nicola can grab the oars of the lifeboat.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

June Know?

June. June know it's my favourite time of year? It's raining today but at least it's mild and light for about 18 hours a day.

I had a good night out on Monday - I met my Clydebuilt mentor, Liz Lochhead in Tinderbox, where she urged me to have the courage to aim for 'emotional plain speak' and not get tangled up in my own metaphors. What, like a trout riding a skateboard, skim-reading Poetry for Beginners?

It's good advice though. Aim for truth and the metaphor might be lurking around the corner. After our chat, I rushed down to the GUU to see my old pals, Belle and Sebastian do a wee belter of a gig.

It's always great to feel the love for them in the room. I felt like a student again and I always get glassy-eyed at Nobody's Empire.

As if that wasn't enough, I have booked a solo trip to London next week to see them in the Albert Hall (ooh, Missus). This doesn't sound like my life at all. These are my garden flowers though:

And this is my salt and pepper hair, after a year of saying 'beat it' to the hassle and expense of hair dye. Call me crazy. Call me a silver sister. Mind you, I still like to frequent the sun hat.

Lastly - There was a charity collection at school this week. Tess asked if she could bring in 'a Dalmatian'. Thank goodness it wasn't 101.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Alphabetti Spaghetti

Readers, if you are out there, I’m still here.

It’s a fact of life that the quaint ol’ Blogosphere has been replaced the Twitty-Sphere and The Face Place. Mea Culpa. I hang out in the latter and leave the wee blog gathering dust like a roped-off room in a museum display.

Okay then. Let’s try the Alphabet. Free association. Short. Whatever comes up. First take?

A – Asthma, Tess’s. Hell last autumn. Currently stable. Phew.

B – Balance in life. Crucial to stay well. IMHO.

C – Cake. I’m still attempting to eat less of it.

D – Days lengthening. My favourite time of year.

E –Endometriosis. I might have it. 

F – Francis, aka Nice Man. Still the main man.

G – Green Party! Just sayin’. And Grey hair. Nearly there.

H – Hugh. My boy’s getting handsome.

I – Islay. Islands. I still have the odd pang.

J – Justice. Social justice. We need more of it.

K – K. The Letter K has a Seventies feel. 

L – Love. For the kids. Doesn’t it amaze?

M – MacLaverty. I finally like my name.

N – Nuts. I eat them daily.

O – Over half my life done. Oh my, oh my.

P – Parents. Appreciate them more each year.

Q – Quality of life. A crucial quest.

R – Roller skating. Still fun after 30 years.

S – ‘Seriously?!’ Our kids’ favourite question.

T – Thank you. Always worth saying.

U – Ullapool? I’ve never been.

V – Vera. My sister calls me Vera.

W –The only letter with three syllables. Why?

X – Xtreme thanks for bearing with me.

Y - Youth. Make the most of it.

Z – Zzzz. How I love sleep. Really. 'Seriously'. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Inadvertent Poetry - a Happy Life

Och, sorry to be a soppy parent but I have to share a note I found underneath my desk. Written by Hugh, 7, it says:

Top 5 things I want to happen

1) Wach Angry birds movie

2) Go on an easter egg hunt AT SCHOOL !

3) Trade marballs with Lois (marbles?)

4) Have at least a good time at Tess's party. 

5) Liv a happy life.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sweet Poems

Tess (5) has written a 'book' of poems. Translations beneath. 

'Swet Poyims'                      

Sweet Poems

The sno is                            
soft and wit                       
like bed kwvrs  

The Snow is
soft and white
like bed covers                    

and the psychologically insightful:

Sum Chilchrin                              

Sum chilchrin r sad                        
and wun thy r sad it                        
maiks othr peepo sad                     

Sum chilchrin r happy                    
and wun thy r happy it                    
maiks othr peepoo happy       

Some Children

Some Children are sad
and when they are sad it
makes other people sad.

Some children are happy
and when they are happy
it makes other people happy.         

Tess Macdonald

I guess I'd better raise my game on the old poetry front.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ten Things to Love about Celtic Connections

1) It is to January what Christmas is to December.

2) You can go to a gig on your own.

3) Even if you don't know the singer or the band.

4) Especially if you don't know the singer or the band.

5) It will never fail to disappoint. In fact, it'll be heading towards life affirming...

6) So you have to share this fact with the old bloke next to you, who comes every year from England for four nights, because he   already knows it. (He's brought his own biscuits).

7) You'll feel glad you went.

8) You'll feel you've found a hidden treasure.

9) A hidden treasure you have to share.

10) And then you want to go back for more.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

― Albert Einstein

Gig listings here -

Just Do It.