Family

Family is so important. Eid Mubarak to all of our Muslim families; I am sure you will have celebrated the end of Ramadan with many loved ones around you and perhaps reminisced with love about those no longer with you to share in the festivities. Likewise, the thoughts of those of us who have chosen this nomadic international lifestyle often turn to our families at this time of year as the prospect of meeting many of them over the long holidays for the first time in perhaps a year or two appears on the horizon. It is vital that we teach our children the importance of family and of respect for the older members of our societies. You may be aware that this week marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings; the single biggest seaborne invasion in history and quite possibly the most complex military operation of any kind ever. Here is something I wrote a while back about my grandfather, who was part of that operation but who sadly passed away of Parkinson’s Disease a few years ago.

Paralysis Agitans
“You spend years and years trying to become who you are…..and then you forget. It’s terrifying” Peggy Seeger

Was ever a man so perfectly at peace,
As my Wee Papa sitting on the stoop
Of his sunlit Glasgow council house, his pipe
In hand, mind drifting, smoke-like on some reminisce?
I recall ingenious “Black Prince” tales he told
Extempore, eyes bright with wit and mischief-
And the helpless shoulder-shake of his mute laugh.
But hands that bore his Sten aloft up “Gold”,
Now grip my arm with piteous desperation,
As side-by-side we confront the crossing, loo
To lounge. I count to counter the dyskinesia,
As he’s stricken by another stuttering seizure
“One- two, one-two”- mark time and then, on “Two!”
We lunge, as one, to seek co-ordination.

Steve Lang