Posts Tagged ‘family’

Articles

Uncle Kenny

In Friends,Lessons,Life on July 24, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Life just took hold of me and thanks to work and moving apartments and a whole bunch of other stuff I have been sadly missing from this blog.

Today though I felt like I really need to put some words down on screen.

I want to talk about my Uncle Kenny McLachlan. Along with my parents he is the person who has inspired me the most to be who I am.

He died a number of years ago not long after his wife. He died of a broken heart. Every time I saw him look at my Auntie Isabel it was as if he was seeing her for the first time. The pair of them were amazing and I know how much it hurt him when she got Alzheimer’s – seeing the brightest spark dull is something no one should ever see.

Add on top of that the death of his son, my cousin, Kenny from cancer, and you have a lot of heartache. He treated me like a second son always telling me stories, making me laugh and being simply awesome.

He helped instill a lot of values inside me. He taught me to be good to others and to always do the right thing. He taught me to stand up and fight for what you believe and to ‘never let them get you’.

He told me a million and one wonderful stories from his time in World War 2 as a paratrooper to his battle with the Unions against the tyranny of Margaret Thatcher in 80s Britain.

He beat cancer when his wife was still alive but when she passed away he had no one left to fight for and died. There were over 500 people at his funeral. Family, friends, comrades.

I read a poem at his funeral about how we never lose people as long as we remember them.

He went one better and wrote a book before his death. I have it and I want to share it with you so over the next few weeks I’m going to post the whole thing.

Oh and one last thing. He was a communist. Not an Animal Farm style communist but a real one. He believe that everyone was equal and that people should be good to each other, look out for one another and all work towards the common goal of a better planet.

It’s called One Great Vision: Memoirs of a Glasgow Worker

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Articles

Neuromancer and Tron

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Social Media,Technology,Video Games on May 31, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , ,

My dad took me to see Tron when I was very young. We went to the local fleapit cinema in Dennistoun near Glasgow City Centre. I watched the movie in total awe at this strange world inside a computer.

The grid.

This place where information zipped and zapped itself around while people shared information and collaborated. It amazed me. Battles happened with the world and my life was forever changed.

Then in high school i was involved in the first year of teaching computing at my school. We had BBC Micro’s and I remember learning some basic but never felt the teacher knew what he was doing that much so nobody really learned much. I knew that computers would forge a future I just didn’t know how it would forge mine. 10 Print etc 😉

Around this same time I was told about a book called Neuromancer. I went and picked up a copy and sat down to read it. I stayed up all night and finished the book in one go.

I was mesmerised by the world created by William Gibson. The word cyberspace has stuck firmly in my brain every since.

It’s where I live today.

It’s where I work.

We may not be IN the Grid.

We may not be jacked into Cyberspace.

But we are there. Digitally connecting. Information sharing. Conversing and communicating.

For my talk in fourth year in English we had to do a talk about something and I chose Neuromancer.

I talked about how the world would be smaller. We would all be connected no matter where we were in the world. I told them about Cyberspace – this ethereal world where our other lives are led.

My teacher said she didn’t understand much about what I was talking about but that I seemed so genuinely passionate about it that it must be interesting. She gave me a high mark and that was the end of that.

I always wonder if she is on Facebook now. I wouldn’t mind just dropping her a line and saying…see told you it would work out 😉

The world as we knew it then has changed so much. Not always for the better. But it’s nice to see the future come to fruition.

Articles

Matriarchy

In Lessons,Life,Work on May 29, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , ,

I’m from Glasgow in Scotland. Most people seem to think that Glasgow is full of tough men who would beat you up in a second if you looked at them the wrong way, and it can be like that at times but behind every Glaswegian hard bloke is a Glaswegian woman who he is terrified of.

Their mums.

Most Scotsmen will not stand for ‘your mum’ jokes simply because you don’t make jokes about someone’s mum. It’s their mum for fucks sake. You do not do this. You show respect to mums.

You listen when a Scottish mother speaks. You do what she tells you. You do not provoke her anger for her wrath knows no bounds.

My great gran was the matriarch of our family (on one side not the other), followed by my gran (she ran the roost between her and her sisters/brothers) and I guess now my mum. Decisions are made by these strong women and men listen when the words are said.

But in business I have noticed how many men fail to listen to women and sometimes they dismiss them as if they don’t know what they are talking about. I’ve seen men in meetings with women talk to them like dirt. I’ve seen men sit with their legs wide open scratching their balls in front of women.

And in many occasions I’ve said something. It’s rude to treat women like that anywhere.

I treat women with respect because where I come from they are the bosses. If my dad was angry at me for something I was scared. If my mum was angry at me for doing something wrong I wanted to run and hide … forever!!

Everyone you work with should be shown the same courtesy whether they are male or female.

On another not I will say that over my years working I have noticed that some women will happily betray or backstab other women to get up the ladder which I find horrible. Not seen it so often with men but I have no doubt it happens also.

The point of this blog post? Don’t mess with Scottish women. They will fuck your shit up.

And the second point is that women are as skilled as men and the old guard need to start realising this.

Articles

Kevin Costner

In Life on May 28, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , ,

This is a pretty mental topic name for a blog post yeah? I mean Kevin Costner isn’t the kind of title you expect to see here on my wee blog right?

But you see Kevin Costner means a lot to me.

My gran was in love with him. Or lust. Or something. A few years after my grandfather died she kinda got obsessed with Costner.

She had posters of him on her wall and she would watch a movie of his every day. Every-time I would pop over to her house she would be sitting watching a Costner movie.

My gran was Susan Pullar but everyone would call her Cissy. No idea why. I think it’s a Glasgow thing. She had a wicked laugh and was a feisty, crazy women at times. She wouldn’t take shit from anyone but was honest, thoughtful, powerful, delightful, fun and adorable. She was honest with a temper a bit like my mum.

But she loved Costner.

She died of an aneurism of the brain in the middle of the street. I hate that. I hate the thought of her just falling in the street without any of us around.

But I love the last memories I have of her when I drove her home a few days before as she complained about my driving and I was winding her up. We laughed in the car that day and she said she would see me soon. I gave her a big kiss on the cheek and said goodbye. She wouldn’t let me get out the car to open her door or anything. She loved being independent.

Somewhere these is a family audio tape of a christmas party with everyone singing different songs. I can still here her beautiful voice.

A few months after she died I went to the cinema to see the new Kevin Costner movie “Message in a Bottle”. It’s quite a sad movie but at the end I broke down. I had to sit in the cinema till the place emptied because I was a blubbering mess.

I had been planning to try to get a signed autograph of Costner for my gran to go next to her poster of him she had on her wall in her living room. I never got it. She would have loved it.

Miss you Cissy (she would hate me calling her that).

Articles

Family…

In Life on April 3, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , ,

I live on the other side of the world from my parents but manage to speak to them at lest three times a week. I love my parents not only cause they are my parents but because they are two of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in the world.

They are very different people but both have incredibly strong core values that they passed down to me and my sister.

My mum is a worrier and very emotional. She has been through a lot in her life but like the majority of Glaswegian women she has a fight in her that astounds me. She would stand up to a giant to fight for what is right.

She was a nurse before she retired. She worked in an elderly ward and looking after the sick. She is wonderfully compassionate but didn’t take any crap when at work. How she coped with people dying around her I’ll never know because I don’t believe it is anything I could ever do.

Mum also has a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh. Whenever I picture her I always see her laughing and smiling. I’m a mummy’s boy at heart simply because she helped mould me. She taught me to stand up for what is right, to believe in people and to look after the little guys who have no fight left in them. She would have made an amazing politician. I love talking to her on the phone and hopefully this week she actually buys a computer so I can video call her!

Oh one last thing about my mum she calls Jesus the first socialist. Which I think is pretty damned cool. I’m an atheist but I like the thought of some guy going around 2,000 years ago just trying to make people more equal.

My dad is something else. He’s my humour. My wit. My charisma. He taught me the craft of telling a good story and gave me a huge part of my personality.

I should point out that I have about a tenth of my dad’s charisma. He has so many friends that I lose count. He tells stories that can last for an hour and have everyone in the pub putting their beer aside just to hear the tale.

He’s an engineer to trade. Spent his life fixing trains for British Rail before being made redundant and then worked for a number of different firms including Weir Pumps.

Everytime we would walk through Glasgow people would stop and shout “Bert’ and have a wee blether to him before heading off. His sense of humour is brilliant and terrible at the same time. One of the best jokes he ever told me is this:

“Two zombies eating a clown and one turns to the other and says ‘does he taste funny?'” Brilliant!

He played football (soccer) all his life up until about three years ago (he’s 65 now) and was a superb player. Again I have little of his talent which is a shame.

My parents met when my dad was an apprentice at British Rail and my grandfather met him and introduced him to my mother. They married at 21.

I love them both to bits and couldn’t wish for better people in my life. They have supported every single decision I have ever made and always give me wonderful advice – even though I don’t always take it.

There are other family members that I want to talk about but I’m going to leave that for another blog post…