Music and Smiles

Our neighbour’s son was one year of age a few days ago. There is a fundamental beauty about the smile of a baby: first there is the impassive look before a smile spreads across his face. An unrestrained smile, elemental and pure, unaware of the world around him, making an innocent connection with a relative…… Continue reading Music and Smiles

Thursday 15th January 2015

I have neglected my blogs for far to long: I fully intend to post something here every week or two, starting early in the new year of  2015. Stuart Heritage in yesterday’s Guardian promised himself that he would be more optimistic from now on but that there was a flaw in his proposal: that the…… Continue reading Thursday 15th January 2015

Jean Burnie Johnstone Etheridge (née Muir)

A lot has happened since I last blogged about my dear mother.  She passed away on 17th of August while Annette and I were on holiday a few hundred miles away in the north of Scotland: I wouldn’t have been able to get back home and see her in hospital before she died.  I am…… Continue reading Jean Burnie Johnstone Etheridge (née Muir)

John O’Groats to Land’s End Bike Ride

When Gethin asked me, a few months ago, whether I would like to join him and some other bike riders on a John O’Groats to Land’s End bike ride, my first reaction was something along the lines: “Are you crazy?  I couldn’t do anything like that, not with you club guys.  I’d be left far…… Continue reading John O’Groats to Land’s End Bike Ride

Training for JOGLE

This weather is so frustrating: I can’t get out on the roads to train for the John O’Groats to Land’s End bike ride.  I will have to make do with training in the garage.   When I told my nine year old great niece about training in the garage for such a long-distance bike ride,…… Continue reading Training for JOGLE

John O’Groats to Land’s End: July 2013

My good friend, Gethin Davies, is organising a John O’Groats to Land’s End bike ride for charity in July: I have been persuaded to be part of the small group of riders taking part.  I have ridden 100 miles in a day in the past, but not 100 miles per day for day after day!…… Continue reading John O’Groats to Land’s End: July 2013

At last, my mother has agreed to carer visits

Just before Christmas, my wife and I finally managed to persuade my mother to have a carer visit her every morning.  This is a real breakthrough and is something that we have been trying to get my mum to agree to for almost a year.  She seems so much better now that there is someone…… Continue reading At last, my mother has agreed to carer visits

How to take care of a frail mother

My mother is proving very difficult.  I am trying to persuade her to have care at home but she has a bee in her bonnet that this must be provided by Social Services.  I have never known such stress; dealing with a frail mother is a new experience.  

A Funeral in November

A few years ago, the wife of a colleague who I used to teach with when I was a secondary school teacher in the 1980s died.  My then head of department at the university where I worked when I left school teaching gave me time off so that I could attend the funeral.  It was…… Continue reading A Funeral in November