It's been a sad few weeks for the Auld Reekie Ranter. Separating from my wife of nearly 30 years has been, naturally, a painful process and the feeling of guilt lies heavily upon my shoulders. I moved out the family home three months ago and I've undergone a lot of soul-searching since.
I've caused hurt and pain and not a little bewilderment, not least to Mrs Smith who has understandably struggled to cope with the concept of us being apart. Reconciliation has been suggested, as has a marriage guidance counsellor. But, frankly, it's not going to happen.
Friends and family have been supportive. Daughters Laura and Michaela suspected all wasn't well for some time and, to their immense credit, they haven't turned their back on me as I feared they might. They both have their own problems to deal with and part of my guilt is me adding to their woes.
I haven't been adding much to the blog in recent weeks as I simply don't have much to say as I contemplate the future. I can't help but feel worthless and can't get away from the fact I have let some people down, one in particular who doesn't deserve the anguish I've caused her.
I usually feel melancholy on a Sunday evening and tonight I'm seeking solace in a bottle of brandy. The principal feeling I have is one of failure. I've hardly been the best father in the world and although I like to think I'm there for my girls, I suspect I'd be the last person in the world they'd turn to for help. Much as I know my grandchildren, Jack, Hannah and Ava love me, I feel I could and should be doing so much more for them. And my mother, bless her, has given me so much support both financially and emotionally in the last three months - I should be more of a dutiful son than I am.
Above all is my failure as a husband.
I know - self pity will get me nowhere. And I need to find the strength to carry on. With a bit of luck I'll find it.