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My darling grandkids, again working on the assumption you all, one of you, may read some of these ‘bundles of words’, one day, I flag this one up for consideration.


In a few weeks I’ll be writing this ‘blog’ about an event to mark a fifty years anniversary, in memorial, to something that happened when I attended Ainslie Park High School, Edinburgh.


It centred around the tragic deaths of 6 young people who died on the Cairngorm Plateau in the Scottish Highlands.


More of that , when it comes round.


However, I have been thinking of the whole idea of ‘fifty’ years – as a milestone, as a force for reflection.
I’m 66 years old, born in March 1955. It’s end October today, November blows in tomorrow. 50 years out of that steals the rump of my life, my very, at least physical, existence, on the planet.
So many head nipping thoughts, so many sparks of recall. Maybe others are different but for me one recalled moment leads to many. I think too many. In fact, maybe for another conversation, I had filled a life up until fifteen years of age – so called adventures and journeys. Two at least – birth to 7 years of age and 8 to 15 years, but more realistically, 12 years, then another phase started. So much going on.


Following phases kicked in, now recalled by events, markers – leaving a children’s home, staying in foster homes, leaving Fort Augustus and the Highlands for Edinburgh, staying in so many temporary homes until we got our first ’own’ address via a local authority flat, bran new, in Edinburgh – Vive la Hawkhill Court . Me, sister Mhairi and Dad, leading the charge. He saved us, mum passing away at my age 7. Christ we were poor, dad holding down between 2 and 4 jobs at any one time.


As I say the next 50 years was right on, I would love to recall these stories one day, never dull. Overall, I am still in the game, grateful for these years, maybe too accepting at the time. Recently loads of illness and infirmity but getting by. In the 50 year period I’ve lost friends , peers in every decade, so I guess I’m lucky enough.
As is my sister, who is 2 years younger. Bless you Mhairi.


I don’t know how old you will be when you read this- in 1971 bob Dylan sang,


I see my light come shining,
From the West unto the East
Any day now, any way now,
I shall be released.


Did we? Would we?


I didn’t get Dylan for a long time – screaming hard rock was my lot, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple.


Was life better? Or less good than now? No mobiles, mostly technology free, houses were cheap, apparently, but council houses were for the working masses. Cinema too. We could stay anonymous, sleep more, work ‘happier’ for some. We were healthier – or were we? Maybe just different virus. Politics had some truth around it and it’s superstars. Plane travel only starting to poison the world. If you had a car, it was only one to the family, but a middle class pursuit. Huge earthquakes in South America, the Ibrox Stadium disaster in Glasgow, the United Nations came along, the USA gave 18 year olds a vote, Disney theme park opened – Walt had died in 1966, probably with the shock of England winning the world cup – hence the future fantasies. The UAE – Arab Emirates assumed independence from UK, and held the world to an oil ransom and tortured it’s residents beyond belief. Mariner 9 orbits planets, Fiddler on the Roof launched as a musical. Films- Diamonds are Forever, the still scary, scary Clockwork Orange – young McDowell – French Connection and music – 70’s was, is, the best decade kids – Rod Stewart and Maggie May, Stones Brown Sugar, Tony Orlando- Knock Three Times ,Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, Tie a Yellow Ribbon and other social club top ten singalongs. Bob Dylan, the Doors, James Taylor. YES, Pink Floyd, ELP, and Led Zeppelin 4, the album introduced Stairway to Heaven, of which much would be said an heard for decades ahead. Accompanied by hours of air guitar. India and Pakistan were at war, thanks to UK colonial behaviours and decimal coinage and maybe the intro of the digital age arrived.


And a thousand other things happened, and that’s only on one life!!.


Kids, when you are hillwalking don’t forget to stop and look at the view, 50,70,90 years on! The path just travelled. More blogs soon, consider yourself warned. Love Grandad. Xxxx.