The Beatitudes, 2017…



When Jesus saw the crowds, he retreated into the safety of his own penthouse suite and after he sat down his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the rich, because their wealth trickles down like warm syrup and everyone else feasts like ants on the mess beneath their tables. Through them the heavenly economy surely prospers.

Blessed are those who are properly focused on the things that matter and do not get distracted by weak sentiment.

Blessed are the strong as they reach out to smite the weak and unproductive. Their nation will be the most powerful on earth. There will be no end to the wealth they accumulate.

Blessed are those who can control the message and shape it to their own demands. Blessed are their spokespersons. Blessed are the forks in their tongues.

Blessed are those whose charity is sensibly directed only to the deserving poor. May their tax burden be greatly reduced in gratitude.

Blessed are those who are stuffed full, for they will never scrounge from the rest of us. Blessed are those who are content, because they are obviously hardworking, responsible, decent people.

Blessed are those who are white, male and rich. They can make the world as they wish. They can take what they want. Any hole is theirs for the filling. Any pussy is theirs for the grabbing.. They can exploit whoever, whatever, to ensure their own advancement.

Blessed are the warmongers, for they will ensure our security. They will make our nation great and our enemies tremble at our feet.

Blessed are those who take no shit from anyone. May persecutions be heaped on the heads of all the small people who dare to question or deride those I have ordained for positions of power and wealth.

May no small slight be left unpunished, lest the proper hierarchy of all things be questioned. For heaven belongs to the rich and to them alone. All else should consume what they can, according to the riches they are able to grasp. Let the fire of aspiration burn in your souls so that the Kingdom might never be compromised; so that the economy might never lack confidence.




New year. New House. We moved two weeks before Christmas- an experience much better viewed in hindsight. How we would have managed without all the help from friends I have no idea (thanks again… and again.)

Moving house is an interesting experience from a psychological point of view. We had lived in our old house for 14 years- it was the only one that either of our kids (16 and 21) could really remember. We had many happy years there. It was a wreck when we moved in- we gave it a new roof, rewired it, put in a new driveway and countless other renovations, often achieved on a budget, using our own labour. In keeping with the national obsession, we improved it and added value. Old houses are never finished however- there is always another job to do- sometimes repeats.

Once we made the (not entirely voluntary) decision to move on, we entered the twilight zone. Three years of almost-sales went by. Life seemed stuck in some kind of loop. Eventually however the house did sell. Frantic searches were made for an alternative, and here we are.

I was too busy/exhausted for a while to feel any kind of loss of what was, or to notice the impact on Michaela or the kids. All three of them seem to have had a harder time with the change than I have. Perhaps that is because I felt the pressures of maintaining the old one more keenly, but I suspect it has more to do with the fact that I tend to always have my face towards the far horizon. I am excited by the new.

What really helped Michaela was to mark the transition. On our last night in the new house we invited loads of friends (many who had worked so hard to help us move) to share a take away in the almost empty house. It was obvious that friendship was much more important than any pile of bricks and mortar.

Having said all that, I am never happier than when at home, and this new home has been good to us so far. It is warm, it is surrounded by wilderness- red squirrels, deer and owls. It has old oak woods for a garden, through which you can see out along the Clyde towards Ailsa Craig.

There is a real blessing in a created space to share with those you love- something that not everyone is able to experience. I am deeply grateful.


For the first time too, I have my own desk from which to write. Here it is;


Assuming I will ever deal with the distraction-