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Timing is Everything – – –

Jack just gets over the line this time with the Wednesday blog post –

Wendy has always wanted a grandfather clock and we were gifted one by a local friend a few days ago. It now stands proudly in our library room.

But it got me thinking about time, both in general and in more specific ways.

I’ve always been interested in the way we experience time. When I was ten, then ten years was my whole life, but when I was twenty it was half my life. Now that I’m approaching eighty it’s an eighth of my life and the last ten years have gone in a blink.

All of this also brings to mind particular moments in time too – we have paintings and photos displayed around the house that are like time machines and instantly transport me back.

Up until recently our lives have been ordered by the days of the week but now, during lock-down I have real trouble deciding which day of the week it is. Mostly each day has the same shape to it and we go to some lengths to introduce some variety, but still – – –

We have a Zoom meeting every Sunday with friends here in the US and others in Scotland – here it’s at 9 am but in Scotland it’s 2 pm. Our good friend Liz Weir in Ireland hosts a massive on-line session every Saturday night with folk all over the world, but for many participants it isn’t Saturday night – for some not even Saturday at all!

Finally – we picked our first garden peas yesterday and I was instantly transformed to the ten year old walking home with my grandad from his allotment (victory garden) and eating peas from a freshly picked pod.

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Are the Times A-Changin’?

Jack is still covering for Wendy who is writing frantically to meet deadlines – –

The current concentration on equal rights and treatment got me thinking back to how I’ve related over my life with folk from different cultures and colors.

I grew up in a small town in Scotland which, when I was a bairn, had really only two minorities – Italians who owned the fish and chip shops and ice cream parlors, and Poles who ran the barber shops. There was one black guy called Gillette (a French name) and that was pretty much it. I don’t remember any anti-immigrant sentiments, although I’m sure they must have existed.

This is Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government’s Justice Minister.

Later as I entered adulthood the first Chinese restaurant opened and my ‘gang’ were regulars. We became friendly with the owner and staff and would often spend time with them after hours.

Even later the first Indian restaurant opened and the same gang became good friends with them too.

We were all mostly ‘folkies’ and sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ regularly, so that tells you something about our political sympathies.

But when Wendy and I married and she came to Scotland she abruptly saw things differently. She encountered a good deal of anti-Americanism and there could be many reasons for that. Regardless of the reasons, it happened and it wasn’t about color or even language!

It’s about planting fear of the ‘other’ in fertile ground. Here in the US it’s been about Poles, Irish, Italians, Hispanics, Catholics, Muslims and on and on.

But in Scotland twenty-five years ago – – –

I have known two Scottish policemen throughout the years; one was a bully all his life and the other was a perfect gentleman. So I don’t doubt that there are good and bad just as in society generally.

We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns – aye, maybe – – –

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