Mercy

1978 IT came as quite the shock when Sheila traipsed through the front door with a succession of kittens in her mouth. Her fourth brood no less and such a mixed bag, all short-haired except the grey one that looked like a proper little Persian. My favourite, he was the plucky one that rummaged intoContinue reading “Mercy”

All Ears

During the COVID pandemic it has become more important than ever to look after our mental health. This means having the right support network in place and someone to talk to when things get too much. When we are called to support someone in emotional distress, it can sometimes be as clear as mud whatContinue reading “All Ears”

Daddy’s Girl

1978 I BECAME more forthright in my opinions of my father’s behaviour. As far as I was concerned, he had lost any moral authority over me. Besides, it was a good way of overcoming my discomfort at sitting on his lap and keeping him on the back foot. If I was really lucky, he mightContinue reading “Daddy’s Girl”

The Silver Crown

Just finished rereading The Silver Crown by Robert C O’ Brien, which I first read in 1979-80. Can’t make up my mind whether to review it or not, since I’m way more interested in how the symbolism influenced my moral choices at the time. Turns out it’s the missing link I didn’t know I wasContinue reading “The Silver Crown”

Water’s Edge

3 November 1974 DINNERTIME. He should have been home by now. Sent out to look for for my little brother, I checked out his most likely haunts, asked around, until I found myself tiptoeing on the edge of the Old Pier thinking the worst. The tide was high, only a foot or so from theContinue reading “Water’s Edge”

Company of Me

MANY people are facing their demons for the first time. Those of us who have had a head start in this department can be thankful that to a degree, we were prepared for the solitude, anxiety and soul-searching that lockdown inevitably entails. I guess this is why so many fight tooth and nail for theContinue reading “Company of Me”

Splash!

1973 AS A family, in those days we sometimes did fun stuff. Occasionally, we went on day trips to places like Dunvegan Castle or Armadale Castle. School summer holidays usually meant going further afield to Glasgow and Inverness, the former to see relatives, the latter to engage in a grand shopping spree for clothes. ThisContinue reading “Splash!”

Big

1973 MY hair still hadn’t grown back. The scabs itched like hell; I couldn’t but claw at them like I had nits. At least I didn’t have to wear those horrible bandages any more. Until now Daddy used to take my little brother and me to work. The road to the quarry at Kyleakin wasContinue reading “Big”

A Toddler’s Tale

1968-1972 MY EARLIEST memory is of crying for my mother from a cot in a dark room. She never came. My second is of having crawled under my parents’ bedclothes and becoming trapped. Only this time my cries were heard. The third is of batting a faded green plastic telephone off the side of myContinue reading “A Toddler’s Tale”

NATIVIDAD: Chapter Six

IT IS 1961. Tensions between Cuba and America are at an all time high and an Englishman and his heavily pregnant Cuban fiancĂ©e flee New York for their lives. The Cubans just want the baby. The Feds just want the Englishman. Who knows what the CIA want … I’ve written this ‘modernisation’ of the NativityContinue reading “NATIVIDAD: Chapter Six”