The White Witch

Summer 1979 WITH sunshine levels at least theoretically on the up, visiting season was once again upon us. What little joint social life my parents still had continued to revolve around dragging my brother and I to relatives, what few married friends they had, or to pubs. If they could visit friends and drink, thenContinue reading “The White Witch”

Deep Impact

Broadford, Spring 1979 MRS BAILEY was a saviour of sorts, though on first sight she hardly looked the part. Clearly retired, her tendency to overblink created an illusion of timorousness. Her enthusiasm as church organist was infectious, even if I found myself stiffening with every bum note. She must have been in Broadford months toContinue reading “Deep Impact”

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”

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”

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”

The Slippery Slope

THEY told me I was too small. Too loud. Too quiet. I was eating my food all wrong. HE told me that’s just human nature. It’s a dog eat dog world. He told me I wasn’t aggressive enough. I had to toughen up. And yet, he told me to tell no-one. SHE taught me IContinue reading “The Slippery Slope”