Day 4/108: Mary and Launch


It seems like the right time to let you all know how things went on 2 visits back to Dundee. The first one was very important, as we were celebrating Mary’s BIG 50th birthday with a wee party in the Invergowrie Inn only a couple of miles from our flat. My long-time football buddy and publican friend, Colin Murphy, gave us the lounge for the evening and even laid on sandwiches and sausage rolls (delicious BTW). Mary was quite nervous about the affair but, as always, she carried it off with class and was the perfect hostess. Anyone who was anyone was there and it was brilliant to mingle with so many family and friends. Presents were in abundance and many of them are awaiting Xmas in Mary’s Mum’s house as we couldn’t take them on the plane back to Vilanova.

Does she look 50 to you?

Does she look 50 to you?

On that visit, we managed to fit in some time with both the grandchildren, Ben and Arry, and we saw all 4 of the boys as well as all of Mary’s sisters and brother. I managed to do some work in connection with the new book and was delighted when cousin Renée and husband Stef agreed to run things for me in our absence. Thanks guys! Sampling scotch pies, bridies and butcher’s meat seemed to take up the rest of my time and I’ve been working on my figure ever since. Scott introduced me to the wonders of working out with a big rubber band and I’ve been using it ever since we got back.

it was a bit weird travelling back to Dundee alone on 26 November to launch the new book but Mary just couldn’t get the time off her work. Not only does she do 2 evenings per week at the Times school on the Rambla Principal but on Wednesdays from 9 until 12 she teaches English to senior executives at a factory called Prysmian (which you will best remember as Pirelli) At least I seem to recall their calendars! This aspect of her work is particularly noteworthy and she recently was charged with polishing up the annual speech for the CEO, a speech he had to give in English at a World Prysmian Conference in Milan.

Fortunarely, with no-one in the flat, I was able to stay there for the 5 days I was back, although I spent the first night at Renée’s and the second at Gavin’s in Arbroath the night before the launch. On that Saturday, I drove back to Dundee (thanks a million Mary’s Mum for the loan of the car XX) and scrubbed up to meet the public. The actual event went really well, we sold loads of books and I really must thank all those who took the time and made the effort to come and support me with my work. You will not be forgotten! It was great seeing old school pals, the boys, ex-colleagues and many former pupils come in and buy a copy of one or both the memoirs. Waterstones we’re delighted with the day and called it “a great success!”

That Sunday I had a bit of a shock when I pulled myself up off the settee to make my morning cuppa. This was not what I had expected!

What's that White stuff?

What’s that White stuff?

I spent the next 2 days drumming up interest around Dundee before heading off for a night at Scott’ flat in Stenhousemuir then an early morning drive to Edinburgh airport. Thanks son for giving up your sleep to ensure Dad caught his flight. Since my return it’s been quiet over here but not so back home where Renée and Stef have played a blinder keeping Waterstones supplied with my books as well as catering for orders off the website – The weather over here during the day continues to excel although it’s a bit nippy in the evenings and we have the heating on in the caravan. But I must add I’m writing this outside dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and the sun is brilliant in the perfectly blue sky.

Just the 3 photos this time due to several factors but I’ll leave you with Gavin and Arry on the occasion of her 2nd birthday back at the end of August.

Perfect father/daughter shot!

Perfect father/daughter shot!

News flash


Socrates, the sprinting snail of Sorrento is now available with illustrations as an e-book on Kindle, Kindle Fire, i-Pad and other Tablets at less than £2 from Amazon. If you have already bought it or downloaded it for free, you will hopefully receive the updated version in the next few days as they say that’s what they normally do. I have informed them of the changes.

I am making good progress with the photos for “Wee Georgie” and have been playing around with placing them in the text. If anyone of my followers has a photo of Dundee taken between 1953 and 1965 especially around the Dudhope Crescent area and South Road area including Charleston and Early Menzieshill and Lochee, please send them to me for possible inclusion (but only a couple at a time, please!) Don’t forget to ask your families, friends and neighbours.