A little boy aged six or seven and his teacher, on the train.


Boy: Do you have an upstairs, where you live?

Teacher: In my house? Yes, I do.

Boy: Do you have a dog?

Teacher: I have three dogs.

Boy: I want an upstairs and a dog.Share this post:Facebooktwitterredditlinkedin


Yesterday I attended a conference in Glasgow called “Making Scotland the First ACE-Aware Nation”.


ACEs, if you are not yet ACE-aware, are Adverse Childhood Experiences and if you have four or more, you run a greater risk of a range of health conditions as well as certain addictions and incarceration. I learned a lot and was left with more to think about.


But that’s not what I wanted to blog about.


I was alone in an audience of 2000 people which gave me plenty of scope to observe how the mainly Scottish crowd interacted. This is my reflection:


I talked to several people at different stages and everybody was perfectly friendly. I smiled at people and they smiled back. I watched over someone’s bag while she was at the toilet, for somene else, I found out at which table we were meant to register. I chatted to my neighbour in the auditorium and helped someone find her way on the train. To me, these interactions ended a little abruptly. There was no effusive ending, as would always be the case in Colombia.  The people for whom I had done little favours thanked me and returned to their concerns.


The interactions were transactions not micro-relationships. I felt a little pang.Share this post:Facebooktwitterredditlinkedin

A moment of truth

A couple of days ago I got the opportunity to visit some of my possessions which have been boxed up since 2007. I took this box of CDs home with me for a joyous reunion with the music to which I listened before I went to Colombia. Now before you say, “But didn’t you have it all on your computer, too?”, I did, but when I changed from a PC to a Mac I found the music files were incompatible. (And I know there are ways of converting files but I could never get them to work.)


But I realized with a pang as I cut the tape that with which I had sealed the box as a naive, hopeful, novice missionary all those years ago, “This means it’s really over.”


I had scarcely thought of these possessions all the time I was away, absorbed as I was with everything that was going on there. I knew that when I was ready to settle in Scotland again, I would retrieve them (and perhaps ask myself why I had gone to the bother of storing them!). That moment has now arrived but in the case of the CDs, I am thrilled to see them again.

I found the soundtrack of the film that got me started thinking about returning to Latin America and to which I listened constantly for a couple of years.

I found this CD, a gift from my first Colombian friends when they visited me some time, by a musician who became a good friend and member of our mission.

And this one, which I bought on my first trip to Colombia on 2006 which has all the typical rhythms from the all over the country. Also much-listened to, but I am not ready to listen to it again yet!

So I am going to start listening to this one which seems like a good bridge between my two realities.Share this post:Facebooktwitterredditlinkedin

It’s July!

And that means I’ve finished all my travels and talks for now.

I’ve had an amazing three months travelling the length and breadth of the country, even getting to fly over it a couple of times.

I got to see the Callanish Stones…

…and the Avebury ones.

I caught up with old friends…

…and made new ones.

And everything was green and lush and lovely.




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A Merry Dance


On observing the wind in the trees at Clarkston Station: 

The wind leads the leaves a merry dance.

Tethered, they must wait ’till autumn to fly.

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June Dates

Hamilton Baptist Church – Wednesday 6th June at 7.30pm.


Glasgow City Free Church – Sunday School, Sunday 10th June at 11am.


Helensburgh Prayer Group – Thursday 14th June at 2pm.


Kilmallie Free Church – Sunday 17th June at 5.30pm.


TCM Baptist Church, Lincoln – Ladies’ Conference, Saturday 23rd June


Nairn Free Church – Thursday 28th June at 7.30pm.Share this post:Facebooktwitterredditlinkedin