Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This is a photograph of where we lived in Lenzie. Described as a town house, it’s said that the building, along with many other properties in that district, was based on designs by the architect Greek Thomson (1817-1875). Shortly before we left there in 1983 there was an article in the Scottish Field by the broadcaster and writer Maurice Lindsay about Greek Thomson with a photograph of our terrace as an illustration.

Our neighbour on one side was Thelma Barlow the actress who played Mavis Riley in the TV soap “Coronation Street.” She was very pleasant and we always remember that, when Jean locked herself out, she came to her aid by supplying a ladder and a friend to climb in an upstairs window.

However, our relations with the folk on the other side didn’t have a good beginning. It was Jean who first met the husband, a retired Army major, at that time a Conservative Party agent, who complained that my piano-playing was upsetting his wife. (No funny remarks, please.) In fact they turned out to quite nice folk and our family continued with the music - piano, organ, guitars, recorders, viola, clarinet and bassoon!!!

The house had many advantages. With 7 apartments, our 3 girls each had their own room and we were just a few minutes away from the bus route and the railway station.

There were disadvantages however. With no garage, the car had to sit out on the road, and parking could be difficulties on Saturdays and summer evenings when the nearby bowling green was open. The biggest problem was the fact there we didn’t have central heating.

And so we moved from a house which was more than 100 years old to our present home built in 1977.


My new blog SCOTTISH TALES FROM THE OTHER WORLD began last week-end. The second story “MacCrinnoch’s Lament” will be posted on Friday 6th November.


This is a remarkable video of a young American organist Cameron Carpenter playing the Stars and Stripes March by Sousa. As an ex-organist, I think it’s a bit of a mess, but what he does is quite astonishing. The main theme he plays on the pedals with his right foot while his left foot supplies a bass. The fancy piccolo part complete with trills he plays with his feet, and watch out for him playing on the middle manual with his left hand while the thumb of that hand plays on the bottom manual. The trombone-tuba theme he plays on the pedals in octaves!!!


Last week I came across something  interesting that appeared in a magazine in 1931. Good Housekeeping published a budget for a family with an annual income of £410.
Rent, rates, etc £80. Clothing £66. Food, light, fuel, laundry £152. Education £30. Holidays, entertainment, car £30. Insurance, savings £35. Incidentals, doctor, dentist £17.

Remember that the average annual income then was £170!


I’m still in the 1930’s for my FORGOTTEN FAVOURITE. This is real nostalgia - Henry Hall and his Orchestra with vocal by Les Allen. Not only that, you get STRICTLY COME DANCING!!!!



Haiku often point out a contrast or an inconsistency, as in the following

at the cottage door
a canary in a cage -
sparrows on the ground

the other birds flee -
a squirrel and a magpie
at the bird-feeder

in the gutter
a bouquet of flowers, still
in wrapping paper

For haiku archives  -


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