October 20, 2009

My Family Story

So my family on my Dad's side was always straight forward until a discussion with Auntie Annie brought about some questions.

My surname is Neill which we obviously get from my Father, his father however was Alexander Westwood Neill. Now it turns out that he was raised by Janet & George Neill but he was not their son he was brought into the family after his mother died in Child birth. He was not legally adopted by the Neill family but was raised as their son and took their name, possibly for school and so as not to raise any questions but there was no secret within the family.

So the situation was that that we discovered that we were not infact of the Neill clan we were Westwoods and with no legal adoption there was some slight discussion about whether our name should have been changed. Legally I cannot take the Westwood name as I am second generation Neill registered and therefore it is my family name. But it raised the question of "Auntie Annie" and our cousins Willy and David, while "family" were we actually related and why was my Grandfather taken in by the Neill's.

Well this weekend I found out the truth, we were in Dingwall and we met up with Cousin David, he has become the family historian and has been tracing the family tree, he has got some branches back to 1630, he has found family in the states, Canada and New Zealand, family that has gone to England and Ireland, all over the world, some very tenous links but family that seperated within the 1700's but we are all linked in the ether.

So the discussion was around the family Neill and further back and while it was fascinating there was always the question does this actually apply to my family? were these people from the 18th and 19th centuries anything to do with me all. (this was not really going through my mind but it was a thought I had in the past).

Then David came out with the most recent revelation he had discovered, John Fraser born in 1810, John had 2 daughters Fanny & Margaret.

Margaret Fraser married Adam Moffat in 1871
They had a daughter Janet Moffat (1883 – 1943)
Janet Moffat Married George Neill (1880 – 1971)
They had a son George Proudfoot Neill
George Neill married Annie Dick in 1943
They had 2 sons Willy Neill & David Neill

Fanny Fraser married Alexander Westwood in 1875
They had a son Robert Westwood (1883 - )
Robert Westwood married Catherine Ballantine in 1908
They had a son Alexander Westood
Alexander Westwood married Roy Low in 1941
They had 4 children, Alexander, George, Robert & Margaret

So what happened in history was that Robert Westwood's wife Catherine Ballantine died in childbirth when Alexander Westwood was born (My Grandfather). Robert could not look after the new born baby for whatever reason and his cousin Janet Moffat took him in and raised him.

So George and Alexander were raised as brothers however they were in fact second cousins, my Dad and his cousins Willy and David were raised as 1st cousins but in reallity they were 3rd cousins. So we are still familynot as close as how everybody was raised but closer than suspicions might have been with the partial stories we were told when we were younger. So possibly I should not be a Neill but I am still a branch on the family tree that I have always known.

The connection is my Great, great, great Grandfather John Fraser, born in 1810 nearly 200 hundred years ago.

May 18, 2009

Bowling Update, week commencing 09/05/09

Have decided to update the Bowling on a weekly basis rather than after every game, as I can play quite a few and do not want to bore anybody that may be interested in reading these posts.

Saturday 09/05/09 - Geddes Round 1
The Geddes is a singles competition first to score 21 shots, I won 21-17 a good competitive game, i was in a commanding position half way through and then my opponent pulled it back and it was a close finish. Round 2 has to be played by 08/06/09

Wednesday 13/05/09 (Afternoon) - Championship Round 1
The championship is the premier singles competition in the club, the winner of the competition gets, their name on the honours board where it will stay forever. I won the first round, I was never really winning the game but i dominated the last 3 ends and managed to win 21-16, my opponent had 2 bad ens which allowed me to card 4's at the 3rd last and last ends to sneak the win. the second round has to be played by 08/06/09

Wednesday 13/05/09 (Evening) - Water of Leith 1st 16
Forth league match of the season and we lost again, as a rink we have only won 1 of our first 4 games, we have played quite well but not good enough to win. As a team we got beat 3-2 and currently sitting mid table, we must do better. Next game vs Juniper Green 20/05/09

Thursday 14/05/09 - Edinburgh & Leith Bowling Association (ELBA) Rink Prelim Round
We qualified for this competition as we were beaten in the final of the club competition. There are 6 rounds and we went out in the first round. We were drawn against Portobello at Fountain Brewery, the green was terrible very difficult but we managed to scrape through by getting a shot at the last end and we made it through to the next end. the next round is played on Thursday 21/05/09

Friday 15/05/09 - West of Edinburgh 2nd 16
Second league match of the season for the second league we are part of. We won the match as a team 6-3, as a rink we lost by 2 shots, however this was probably my best performance from a personal level and yet we still lost. Always good to play well but would have been nice to pull off a victory from this performance, next game 22/05/09

Well until I have played next week's games.

Pain, the first part of making a change

I was at the dentist today, this is the first treatment I have had in about 7 years. I did not have a problem with Dentists just moved a couple of times and then never did anything when i moved, just lazy. I decided it was time to bring my life to some sort of order, i have been working on my debt and credit cards, cleaning up my finances and looking into my health. My teeth hurt so i thought about getting that sorted first.

I was there last week, i needed 1 filling and a new crown (lost it about 5 years ago) so the work started today and man I am in pain, the numbness sucks as a whole, the work itself was fine however my gums have been drilled to hell and the ache makes me feel terrible.

But i go back on Friday the 29th and my teeth will be fixed and all for the lovely price of £418.00, so while I have now got to the position of sorting my Teeth, my finances are again screwed, life goes in circles.

May 09, 2009

Water of Leith 1st 16 vs Colinton

Well it is a Friday night and we have been out in the League again tonight, third game and as a rink we won, yayy, we managed to win by 3 shots, we were struggling to stay in the game until the last few ends when we managed to make it past the opposition. The team were 3 rinks up one down, however they had a better shot difference in the one rink up so the final score was 3-2 to Currie.

We have now played 3 won 2 and have 8 points from a possible 15, not a terrible start but we must get better if we want to challenge.

Anyway better go on that short note as i have the first round of the Geddes trophy, a singles competition see how i get on in that i do feel that I am getting better as the games progress but i must be careful and concentrate.

10am on Saturday We will see how this goes.

May 07, 2009

Bowling an explanation

I will probably be posting a lot about bowling and as marius has asked for an explanation, I will see if I can explain for the non-player.

Bowling is played on a green which is a square of grass which is flat (or supposed to be). The version I play is known as Lawn Bowls, there is a slight variant known as crown bowls, the real main difference to crown bowls is no rinks, a rink is explained below.

A bowling green


The square is surrounded by a ditch, which is usually about 2 inches deep and lined with stones or carpet.

The object of the game is to get closest to the white or jack, usually a small ball about 3 or 4 inches in diameter and the bowls are about 7 or 8 inches in diameter you have between 2 and 4 bowls depending on the format of the game. The bowls are round and have what is known as a bias, this means that one side is weighted and the weights can vary. This means that the bowl is thrown out so that it will bend back to the jack. and travels in an arc, this again can vary depending on the flatness of the green.

Image of bowls and a jack.


You place the mat, a rubber mat about 2 feet long 1 foot wide which you must throw from. You throw the jack to the preferred length there are minimums and maximums but the minimum is 23 metres. maximum is 2 metres from the ditch which can be different depending on the green you are playing on. So the jack is set to the middle of the rink and you then take turns throwing the bowls to try and get as close to the jack as possible. After all the bowls have been thrown the closest bowl wins the shot and you get as many shots as bowls you have closer than your opponent. e.g. 2 bowls closer than your opponent 2 shots and so on.

When all the bowls have been thrown and the shots decided this is called an end, you can play to either a shot total or a prescribed number of ends.

Singles - one person v another person usually you have 4 bowls each and you play ends until somebody reaches 21 shots.
Pairs - 2 people v 2 people, 4 bowls each you play 17 ends.
Pairs - 2 people v 2 people, 2 bowls each you play 21 ends.
Triples - 3 people v 3 people, 3 bowls each you play 15 ends.
Rink - 4 people v 4 people, 2 bowls each you play 17 ends.

Sometimes games can be different such as 2 bowl singles, 2 bowl triples, 3 bowl pairs and 21 ends in the rink game.

League format, the leagues I play in is 4 Rinks, 17 ends 1 point per rink and 1 for the overall team score. Therefore you are playing for 5 points and the score can be split such as 3-2. Another league i play in is the same format but 2 points for a winning a rink and 1 for the aggregate so playing for 9 points.

The green is usually divided in to 6 rinks, this means it can be played north to south or east to west. The rinks are measured to mins and maxs but can vary per green. If a bowl goes outside the rink then it is a dead bowl and taken off, if a bowl goes into the ditch at the end of the rink then it is also considered dead. If the bowl touches the bowl then it is considered a toucher or chalker as it is marked with chalk, either a stick or spray. If this bowl then goes into the ditch it is still considered live. If the jack goes into the ditch it is considered live, if it goes out the side of the rink then it is a 'burnt' end and in most cases has to be replayed.

Therefore your league team is 16 players, divided into 4 rinks of 4, there is a prescribed order that is played in, always you bowl your opponent bowls, in the rink game there are 16 bowls on the rink in play.

The Lead - He is responsible for setting the mat, in the middle of the rink minimum 2 metres from the ditch and 23 metres from 2 metres from the opposite ditch. He also throws the jack to the preferred length a skill in it's own, he then plays first.

The second - he throws second and is also responsible for keeping the score card and responsibility.

The third - Can you guess when he goes? Of course after the second, he obviously has 8 bowls on the rink before he plays so has to be a more skillful player to navigate the bowls that are perhaps not that close to the jack.

The Skip - Last to bowl and usually the best player in the rink, he has 12 bowls to navigate and as he is last if not holding the shot might have to take action to sort this out, they are usually considered the capt of their rink. It is also up to them to tell the first three what they should attempt to do with their bowls.

As you can see it seems like quite a lot to take in, essentially it is a simple game about being closest to the jack at the end of the end you are playing and scoring more shots than your opponent. tactics can come in at the end of the game as you might be losing but your team is winning then it is important to make sure the aggregate score comes in your favour.

Bowling is played by men and women from 10 years to 80 years, but no maximum if you are fit enough to play. We will play in any weather as long as the rain has not flooded the green or that it will cause damage to the green. The leagues i play in are male leagues, but i am representing my club in the mixed pairs Scottish qualifiers, i am essentially 10 games away from being the Scottish champion in that game, but we will not get carried away still have to win the first game.

Bowls is played at club level, you can proceed to county when you are selected to play for your area, then there is the international level.

I have played bowls since i was 13 and as I am now 31 i have been playing for 18 years and I love it, my dad and 2 uncles also play, so a family game and the club is a community where you know people, there are fights and good times but it is a place to socialise, which is a big part of the game, usually a couple of drinks are taken during the game and a couple after where you and your opponent celebrate and commiserate together.

The best part for me in the league i a in I have played and beat Scottish International players and county players, they are better because they have the consistency to play well all the time, but sometimes you can beat them, everybody has an off day.

Bowling has for a long time been a game for the older generation, some of the babes that play bowls.


You also play indoor bowls which is played in the winter, same basic rules but you have no weather to contend with and you play on a carpet, which is like playing on a snooker or pool table sometimes, same game different sport altogether.

Well writing that was harder than i thought it would be but there is the game of bowls, i hope you now have an understanding of what i do every Wednesday and Friday fro 16 weeks every summer and will celebrate with me when I win and commiserate when I lose.

Any questions please feel free to comment and i will try and answer them.

Yours in bowling Andrew

May 06, 2009

Bowling, Water of Leith 1st 16

To try and get my head into more regular blogging i am going to give an update on my bowling exploits and usually give excuses for why i failed to win.

Tonight we were playing against Slateford a good solid team always there at the end of the season and they have won the league 5 of the last 7 years. We were at their green it was windy and raining for the entire game but it was an enjoyable social experience, we got thumped as a rink and as a team. We lost 4-1 over all, 4 rinks = 1 point for each game and a point for the aggregate score. We lost by 14 shots and this was probably a fair result, they were superior through out the match but they did have a touch of fortune when it mattered.

My rink is now 0 for 2 for the season and I have decided to step down to third and allow my third to skip on Friday, just something different see how we get on.

Next game - Water of Leith 1st 16 v Colinton Bowling Club

New begining

Well I have not posted recently, pretty much since my 4am dream experience and re-reading that just seemed stupid.

I seem to have a lot of ideas about what to post when no where near my computer, then when i get here always something more pressing to do, but no more going to try and post more frequently, so if you read this and want to follow you might find some random short posted but i will see how it goes.

I do not want to be just putting randomness on line, but you never know, will probably stay away from reviews but might start recommending things i like, books, movies and podcasts and see how that goes.

I also have to decide what i want from my blog so expect a post about that in the near future.

Well step one taken put a claim out there and see how long it is before it fails, lol.

Speaking to you soon


April 12, 2009

Strange dream

Just woke up it is 3.40 am and i had the strangest dream and i wanted to blog it, man this getting addictive to me, anyway the dream.

I was in a giant hotel and was with a woman, we were just out the shower and then something was said that upset me and i took a gun and went and shot a man in cold blood, this did not feel weird i had no emotion about this at this point. Then the woman came back and i told her what i had done, she slapped me and told me nobody messes with her boyfriend, she was then with somebody else in front of me so i shot him in the head as well.

I then spent the next part of the dream meeting senators and solicitors who were going to try and help me get off with it but i wanted to face the position i was in. Then i was out of the hotel in a silk dressing gown with a towel wrapped around me and i was running away with another girl, different girl, brunette the first girl was a blond, none of this felt weird to me.

Before leaving the hotel my Friends Mum is having a birthday party which is taking over the hotel there are guests i know mainly women walking about in dresses and carrying plates of buffet food and in the midst of this the impact of what i was doing starts to hit me. So many people telling me that they will help me if required and friends from school and before telling me not to worry and they will meet me in the pub later. There are many rooms including a poker table set up I also spent an awful lot of time hiding in my God Son's bedroom trying to not make too much noise so nobody would find me, but he wanted to play all the loudest games.

I then meet the families of the people I have shot and this is hard to bear but I know that i must face what i have done. then an older woman comes through the door and it is raining on her and she has a plastic wrap around her head to keep the rain off, as she un-does it i realise it is my Mum and i know i want to hug her, safest place in the world Mum's arms she will make it all okay, my mum is no longer here however this does not feel weird or throw me from the dream, my Mum tells me it will be alright i believe her but do not know how she can be correct. I then followed her through the hotel it was now 6am and they were preparing for breakfast and my Mum kept eating miniature cakes off of the platters that were being cleared away.

The girl with the towel got me to a dark alley street on a bend and a hill, thinking about it I think it is Dunfermline, Scotland. A convoy of vans come around the corner and stop and the sides open up and there are giant dancing puppets in the side of them and there is a song playing and they are dancing away. next thing my best friend in the world is coming around the corner at the head of a parade of cub scouts all hitting each other with rolled up posters and arm in arm I dance at the head of the parade with my friend, still technically guilty of double murder knowing i will be punished but now is not the time to worry about these things. We meet my Friend whose wife was having the party and he is like you cannot go through there it is a shopping mall which is closed but we say no and he runs ahead of us and loses his shoe.

Next we come out of the mall and i am alone it is early morning the streets are wet and I have the odd notion of a conversation of one of the managers at work leaving a message for somebody who he has failed to meet with saying that the money he has cannot be used for what she wants they usually reserve it for something ( he said a German name which has gone) but i got the feeling it was something regarding advertising on the back ground of films, in the sets. I then had the strangest memory of having been in that location before but could not identify if it was Glasgow or London and I started to panic but had the strangest feeling of de ja vu.

Nothing has made me not feel so correct in this dream until the end where I can see to the top of a building where Caprica Six and Sharron from BSG are having to escape, they have to connect to each other and roll down a human ladder and near the bottom they are caught and Sharron is stuck and the guy who caught her says something that he is allowed to do as he has caught her and hanging upside down she is helpless. Caprica Six hangs back I do not feel i am in the scene and this is when I realise i am on occupied Caprica and this then shows me it is weird and I wake up.

Morale, too much drink and BSG before bed, means even the worst dreams will go weird eventually, I woke up so convinced in what I had done in the beginning of the dream was real and i felt such guilt over it, one reason i could not murder or cheat on a girl friend, could not live with myself. Anyway here is the strange ramblings of my dream world, just felt a compulsion to write it down at 4 am for the world to read. This is the most detail i can remember about any dream and while it is very all over the place I did have the utmost feeling that it was all one story. If anybody has any thoughts on what it means, let me know.

Happy Easter everybody that reads this.

April 08, 2009


I have been pondering what to post in the last few days and I do not like doing reviews. Books I usually miss the obvious and films I either like or do not like. TV shows again are difficult especially half way through and then again I am either like or do not like. So a review....not likely, but I am currently enjoying BSG and enjoyed Madagascar 2 my reviews end.

I have recently realised I am a geek, or had it pointed out to me I am a nerd, unsure what is worse (or better). I have decided while I love Nerd Hurdles (check the podcast one of the best) that geek sounds better.

What is Geekdom, Geekiness or being a geek, until a few months or even weeks ago I would say a skinny guy with glasses (usually broken) with an interest in Computers. How wrong am I a Geek is somebody with an interest they take seriously and by seriously I mean to what others might consider extreme.

And why am I a geek? I take too many things too seriously I have my over large DVD collection Alphabetised and on a full and almost complete spreadsheet. I follow 151 people on twitter and listen to somewhere in the region of 30 pod casts and have 50 to listen to with over 1500 to catch up on. This is why I have been pointed out as a geek and i accept this.

Is there anything wrong with being a geek? I say of course not, our extremes are self contained we seek out like minded geeks and communicate and complain about the outside world but we have very few "real" friends (geeks will get that.) I say we keep to ourselves and in all honestly if we united and moved against the "normals" we would out number them. However too many Geeks do not recognise what they are. Come out we are here to be friendly to you (unless you are normal).

Anyway I think that everybody who reads this is probably a geek anyway (you are reading a Blog after all.) So preaching to the converted but please pass comment if you think the same or if I am totally wrong.

Speaking to you soon Andrew.

March 26, 2009

September 11th 2001

One of the most significant incidents to happen in modern history and one of only two events that i can honestly say that I remember exactly where I was when it happened, i had been on Night shift and woken up and put the TV on and the first tower was smoking watched it from there. The second event i Can place myself was the Dunblane Massacre it hit home mainly due to the fact that i live in Scotland and i was off during the day at that point working in the evenings.

i have to say at the time while I felt terrible for the people affected i have to be honest and say that it did not really affect me emotionally at the time. However I have since been to New York, (April 2008) and have to say that going to ground Zero was actually quite intense, they have the globe from the lobby in it's current state and you just wonder the hell that it must have been to have been there.

The reason I feel compelled to write something down was that last night i watched a documentary from the History channel called 102 Minutes That Changed America. It is un-narrated and is simply footage from that day, home footage and news films from all angles including the second explosion. All i can say that 8 years on i felt their fear for their lives and their loved ones. Also their admiration for the rescue services NYFD and NYPD and the ambulance services the work those guys and girls did in the cities time of need while must of felt like putting a sticking plaster on an amputated limb the fact that they continued to work to save those trapped and the injured and at the last to make sure that they got as many people away from the area at the end when the second tower came down.

I have to say that my respect for the resilience of the New york people is amazing and the only anger I have is that when you stop at ground zero they tell you not to buy pictures as they are simply hustlers trying to make a buck and it upsets me that people will try ans make money off of anything.

Anyway I just wanted to note that I have total respect for the survivors of 9/11 and the rescue service men and women that serve every day and if you get the chance it is a fantastic city to visit when given the opportunity.

March 21, 2009

Social Networking

What is social networking, too me it is meeting new people in a social situation, meeting people that you may speak to in the future. To me this makes me think, Pubs, Parties and through sports, either playing or watching. The media and majority of people seem to think that the only real way to socially network is online, through the Major sites, My Space, Face Book, Bebo, twitter and online Forums (Simply Syndicated FTW.)

Now I do not have a problem with these sites I actively twitter and have had all the other sites at one time or another and i have to be honest and say that I have met a lot of excellent people through twitter and Simply Syndicated. however the biggest problem i have with this id the fact that the media are pushing these as terrible things from one point of view and the greatest thing in another.

While the sites themselves used in moderation are a fantastic thing and should be used properly to get the most out of but they should not be used as the only way of meeting people or communicating with people.

I think that as long as it is not the only socialising you do then online social networking sites can be good for you, just remember what they were designed for and use them correctly.

On a final note and the main reason i only use twitter and online forums is the fact that the front pages become so overloaded with apps and you get bombarded with friend requests from people trying to build their friend levels, see who can have the most friends for no reason than the number and contact from ladies wanting your money. Also the fact that people follow or friend request so they can sell you something, what is the point if you have something i want i will find you or you can drop me a note and ask if i want to buy rather than just the random requests.

So in conclusion not for me on the grander scale but good for those that enjoy them.

February 28, 2009


I decided because 2009 has sucked royally for me so far, so I want a quick review before I put it all behind me.

21/01/09 As previously posted my Mum passed away.
24/01/09 My friends gave birth to a baby girl Isla.
04/02/09 Our wee dog Staffa went to the vet and never came home, she was 15 but still a sad loss.
12/02/09 My sister found out that she had a miscarriage.

So there you go a 3 week spell of hell in our family.

A period of time like this in your life teaches you many things about yourselves and others.

Myself - I have discovered that mentally and emotionally I am strong, some might say hard but more like composed, I have adapted and while not happy with the situation have come to realise that you have to play the cards that life throws at you.

Friends - I always thought of my self as not popular but well liked, I have to say when you have a period of time like I have had you really get an understanding of how you are perceived by others around you. I have to say that I have been blown away by my friends and work colleagues, the cards the phone calls and the flowers are so touching and while they do not actually change anything, they do let you appreciate that people are thinking of you in your time of grief.

Anyway that is my year so far, I originally started this blog to talk about things and not so much about my family and what happened to us, but there you go.

So hopefully as I have ended this year by reviewing it, so happy 2010 everybody and here is hoping it is a better year.

February 03, 2009

Thank You

This is a note to thank everybody for their kind words and thoughts on the passing of my Mum.

To all those who commented on my Blog and passed their thoughts via twitter, the 120 cards we have received and the nearly 200 people that came to the funeral service. It is amazing the feeling when you see all of these people come to remember someone you love and to be with you in your time of grief.

The line up while hard, to stand there with people you know and don't know coming towards you and giving you their thoughts and yet if I had to do it again I would, it makes you appreciate however you feel about people or yourselves you very rarely really know how well you or others are regarded.

My Mum always worried she was misunderstood, she could not be bothered with fools and could be harsh when required but never nasty. Boyfriends and girlfriends of my sister and I never met her standards and they always seemed to dis-like her, but then what person can match the expectations of a mother for her children. But on Saturday she would have seen that she was well respected by friends, family and old work colleagues, she would have seen that all of her family were very well supported by their friends and old and current work colleagues. She will have seen that while she is gone her friends and family are not alone.

The last thing this has made me appreciate is that for others in their time of grief I am not as good as I could be, I will endeavour to be as supportive to others as they have been to me and my family.

January 26, 2009


People have said this before and I have to agree waiting for anything is horrible, usually the waiting is the worst, however in my position the waiting while bad, the actual event will be worse, the funeral of my Mum.

As per my previous post, the funeral still has to be confirmed, the waiting is hard, the body has not been realesed to the mortician therefore we cannot book the crematorium, without a date and time, we cannot book a hotel for the wake.

Also on a personal level the waiting for things to happen is stressful but honestly it will not be as bad as the day, whenever it arrives. As a family we feel in limbo not moving forward, not getting a chance for things to settle, just waiting....

January 21, 2009

Death in the family

At 2am DST UK, 21st January 2009, Myra MacDonald Neill died, my Mum.

While suffering for the last few years with illness due to Chronic Lymphasitic Leukemia, she had been doing well, better than well, looking to the future, something she had rarely dared to do in the preceding months, she was to become a Grandmother, Grandma as she would tell us daily.

As per my previous post, Tuesday morning i received a call asking me to come home from my Dad, the fear of that call has nothing on the calls i have since taken since that call only 36 hours ago, while writing this.

The collapse was brought about by Septicaemia which moved in to Septic shock, so rapidly Dr's with many years experience were shocked to hear that on the previous Evening she had been in a well and fit state to the point that she had been out with friends and driven home, and had a lively discussion with myself and my Father. Going to bed at 12.30 that night.

The essentials are that her illness of the last few years had resulted in her having her spleen removed, therefore reducing her immune system to zero and meaning she was reliant on a daily dose of drugs to maintain her health. The illness which took her has been so violent that her system was overwhelmed and within an hour of collapsing she was hooked up to several monitoring machines and a ventilator to help her breathe.

Having spent most of the day and evening at the hospital with her and my family we came home for the night as there was nothing to do. Just before 1am the call I was dreading without realising it came through and true terror from a very nice nurse was known by me. We were all dressed and at the hospital by 1.15 and the Dr gave the news that the only reason my Mum was still alive was purely down to the massive amount of drugs and the several machines she was on. The prognosis was that her kidneys had failed and that without the machines she would go in minutes and we should consider turning the machines off, truly a concept that was far beyond anything i wanted to be asked.

For us as a family the decision was mercifully easy, we were all there and knowing my Mum she would not want to be kept alive in this state. at about 1.45 the machines were turned off and in 2 to 3 minutes she was gone, the speed with which it happened was scary but also easier to handle than a prolonged end.

The official cause of death was massive organ failure due to septic shock and the official time was given as 2am.

Through this tragic event there is the fact my sister is pregnant and is due to give birth in August and the fact my Mum has always wanted to be a grand parent she knew 3 weeks of pure joy at the fact this dream was going to be a reality and I like to believe that she died happy in this knowledge.

If anybody reads this and I appreciate anybody that does, this has been a selfish act on my part to try and bring some sense to the situation and i hope that it is read in this manner.

Soon to be Uncle Andrew saying good night.

January 20, 2009


Is when you are on your way to work and your dad phones and all he says is to come home.

The not knowing, my Mum is ill and and when i got home she had collapsed on the living room floor, my dad dithered and it is amazing the clarity you can have when faced with that clear terror, things slot into place. Called an Ambulance and it is just like 2 years ago on 21st January when my Mum broke her hip and we spent all day in the hospital.

So here I am sitting at home waiting and always the waiting is worse, what hospital, will she be okay...it makes me feel physically nauseous, can do nothing trying to keep busy.

Hope the phone goes soon.

January 19, 2009

The Police - my views

This is my thoughts on the Police, the arm of the government not the band, I don't like the band particularly. The Police on the other hand I quite like them and I think the real issues are the public and the bureaucracy that they have to deal with.

I was thinking about this today on the way home from work, in and around Edinburgh we have the Greenways, they are lanes of traffic for Public transport and you cannot drive in them at certain times of the day, I am sure there are examples of this all over the world. The rules are that unless you are a bus or Taxi you cannot drive in them at certain times. I pulled up behind a Police car tonight and it was funny as there were people that were going to drive past until they saw the police car and then they pulled in. What it showed me was that people are willing to break the law until they see the keepers of the law. And as I have been caught it was really good to see somebody get pulled over when they rushed past, if everybody waited then we would all wait for less time, supposedly.

I have had my fair share of run In's with the police and in all honesty I deserved what I got (basically just driving offences). Anyway my thoughts are that if we all behaved the Police would be able to take more consideration. The problem we have that as humans we always think that rules are there to make our lives harder and that if we can we will try and break them, I know I do. Anyway I know so many people that complain about the police and think they are out to get them.

I do think that the rules are made to make both the police and the people suffer. People feel the rules are wrong so break them, the police are then left with nothing to do but arrest those people, even if they don't agree with the rules themselves.

The best example on British television of seeing the Police in action is Road Wars and Street Wars, you totally feel for the officers some times as people are so stupid. Things like seat belts and mobiles while driving, there for your safety but people insist on not following those guidelines, they then kick off when the police stop them. There have been a few issues on these shows regarding violence, however the police do not know what people will do so have to act fast and make sure that nobody gets hurt.

Anyway this has been a bit rambling and is just a few thoughts on the Police.

Any comments appreciated Andrew.

January 17, 2009

First Post

Decided to start blogging and thought even if nobody reads it, and if you do, feedback greatly appreciated, that I could record my thoughts for myself.

They may be ramblings and they may not make much sense and it is also a very good opportunity for me to rant.

When I thought about writing this 3 hours ago away from my computer i thought I had a lot to say, now sitting here I cannot think of anything to say.

Anyway the thoughts i wanted o record usually happen in the Sauna at the Gym, I love the gym, well i love the pool, anyway I spend time in the Sauna which is beside the pool. Sauna's are great totally recommend them to anybody. From a health perspective if you have been in the gym the heat get's into the muscles and ease the tension. The feeling is like going in to a hot climate but the knowledge that you can cool down easily. The rush and the pressure if you can then brave the plunge pool or the clod shower, this opens the pores and gets the heart racing.

I love the fact that you can sit in the sauna and cleanse the body by sweating the crap from the system and down time to think and contemplate. There are also the people you can meet and talk too when in there.

So if you are ever in the Sauna and a big red head speaks to you have a chat it might be me.