Monday, 8 November 2010


Snow on the hills. Darkness falling at five o'clock in the afternoon. Wind and rain almost daily. The build up to Christmas now at full pelter. It must be November...

November is a month that has seen some notable things occur in the life of the Auld Reekie Ranter. In 1969 my mother and father went their separate ways and I left Cumbernauld with my mother to head to Aberdeen and some dark days. Two days after we arrived in the dungeon like abode that was to be our home for the next four years, my mother's father passed away having collapsed at work just a few days earlier. November 1969 was a very dark month indeed.

November 1979 was when I got engaged to the infamous Mrs Smith. She maintains I proposed to her over a three course meal complete with a bottle of the finest champagne Aberdeen's top restaurant had to offer and that I got down on one knee. Three decades and more can play havoc with the memory. My recollection is that it was a two for one meal offer at the local Wimpy, a bottle of Blue Nun and I was on my knees having dropped my wallet under the table...

November 1990 was when Mrs Smith and I moved to Mayfield in Dalkeith, the heart of Midlothian. As incoming workers we were offered a two bedroomed flat from what was then Scottish Special Housing. The rent was far more affordable than the rented accommodation we had in our city centre flat in Edinburgh - even though this did look on to Tynecastle Park, the home of the mighty Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

November 1993 was when we moved out of the SSH flat to our new three bedroomed mid-terraced house also in Mayfield, Dalkeith (the heart of - okay, you get the picture) £40,000 was a lot of money seventeen years ago and I had my doubts as to whether we could afford the mortgage. But we did and our move to the Lothians was complete.

November, of course, is the month of remembrance, when we think of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It's nearly a century since the Great War began and more than sixty five years since the end of the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in the two conflicts. We must never forget those who did.

November 2010. Who knows what lies in store. Life has a habit of kicking one in the teeth. All I can hope for is health and happiness for my family. And the strength to face whatever may be around the corner...


Adullamite said...

I hope this November brings you good things, and lots of them Mike!

Mike Smith said...

Thank you, my good man. And you too - the month has certainly started well!

miruspeg said...

November is a favourite month for me.
The warmer weather, longer daylight hours and lots of get togethers with friends.

May all your November be happy healthy ones Mike.

Peggy xxxxx