Happy birthday Emily…

Emily, canoe, holy loch

My lovely daughter Emily hits 19 today. Paddling off into the future…

She came home with friends last night and we had a late night laughing and playing games. These are the things that light my life, and I am so proud of her…

A couple more photos, including my very favourite (the last one);

My snow angel 1

William and Emily, Dun I, Iona

Michaela with Emily, some time in the late nineties, Keswick.

Happy birthday Michaela!

Michaela, journey

Today my lovely Michaela is 46.

We are away on the island of Coll with some friends… a few photos are required I think…

Happy birthday William!

William is 11 today!

We have just done the party. All the mess is cleaned away. Peace descends- apart from Emily playing some dreadful dancing game on Wii in the next room. After a long day (much of it  in a small room with the suits trying to decide what services to cut) I am ready for some peace.

But Will had a great time so it is all good. This year he had a ‘Detective Party’ with fancy dress and games like ‘pin the magnifying glass on the detective’.

And as ever- when kids are happy, parents have a special feeling somewhere deep inside. I think it is related to love.

Happy Birthday to me…

The blog has been quiet for a few days because I have been busy helping a friend fit a kitchen. But today I am taking a day to do nice things, because-

…today I am 44.

Thanks for your good wishes friends!

Next year things will be changing again- which is no bad thing. Quite how and when is unclear, but change they will.

This time last year I nearly finished the adventure at the age of 43- which brings home the blessing of the road ahead, uncertain as it will surely be…

Happy birthday to me!

So- today I am 43. Thanks so much to those who have sent wishes/cards/presents! I am a man blessed.

I share a birthday with some of my friends- Nick, Stacey and Stewart. And aparently Kim Jong-il, North Korean dictator. So best wishes to them all. I am not expecting a card from Kim.

And for those of a certain age-

(I was reading recently that tests have shown that kids who grew up watching Sesame Street out perform kids that did not in key indicators. I did not watch it as a child unfortunately- my mum thought that TV sent brains soft.)

Michaela and the kids bought me a days sea kayaking tuition! Which to some might mean they are trying to get rid of me- but I know better. It is something I have wanted to do for years. Can’t wait!

What will this year bring?

My friend Maggy gave me a book of Celtic daily prayer– and I read this-

We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide, and resist the terror of it’s ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanence, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity- in freedom, in the sense that dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Lord Help me now to unclutter my life

To organise myself in the direction of simplicity

Lord teach me to listen to my heart; teach me to welcome change rather than fearing it

Lord I give you these stirrings inside of me

I give you my discontent

I give you my restlessness

I give you my doubt

I give you my despair

I give to you all the longings I hold inside

Help me to listen for those signs of change, of growth; to listen seriously and follow where they lead

Through the breathtaking empty space of the open door…

Amen, amen.

Happy Birthday Emily!

My lovely daughter is 14.


We had a lovely day- a lazy breakfast, followed by present opening and telephone thanking. Then lunch out, followed by an afternoon of friends and a house full of teenage girls for the evening party.

Emily had a ‘masquerade’ party- everyone wore masks, and played a version of charades called ‘masquerade’. Then they watched a film on the big screen, and shouted and giggled a lot.

Bless them all.

And this prayer becomes ever more urgent, as our kids grow away from us, and into their own future…

Happy birthday Emily. You are special.