This beautiful short film was featured in Documentally‘s last newsletter. It’s definitely worth subscribing to.
I showed this video to my three children a few days ago; they were captivated, laughed at the end and we discussed it over breakfast the following morning. I love little moments like that.
I think about my dad a lot. He taught me a lot about being ordered and considerate in how I do things, the importance of finding a home for everything and putting it back after using it—something that was more important to him once his brain damage dug deeper and dementia started robbing him of his memories. Not surprisingly, he was an engineer. I often wonder what he could teach me now.
Yesterday the prog rock concept album Misplaced Childhood by Marillion (then fronted by Fish) turned 30.
Thirty?! How old does that make me feel?
I remember the summer that it came out. My cousins Alan and Colin were into Marillion, I recall, which is what put them on my radar.
During the summer of 1985 my family went on holiday to Guernsey in the Channel Islands. It was an extravagance and looking back my favourite get-right-away holidays while I was a kid: it was a fabulous experience. We were, I recall, in part celebrating that my dad had survived three brain haemorrhages in the spring of 1983 (“Beware the Ides of March!”).
I remember standing outside the John Menzies in St Peter Port gazing at a window display that included a large cardboard cut-out of the boy from the cover. The whole thing captured my imagination: the artwork, the title, even the name of the band (Marillion is a shortening of the Tolkien collection The Silmarillion).
It wasn’t until a few years later before I actually listened to the album. It’s still one of my all-time favourite albums, and by a long margin my favourite Marillion album.
I wish I’d discovered this exercise earlier. Last year we had a huge reunion down in the Scottish Borders where family from California met up with folks here in Scotland, some meeting for the first time. This would have been tremendous fun and a great way to share our stories and see where our lives interacted and if there were any common themes.
Remember those days before the world wide web, before social media when we were… well, actually social. We could sit in the same room with someone and chat with them in person rather than via Facebook or Twitter?
I appreciate social media and Skype, living here in the East Neuk of Fife which St Rule regarded as the western ends of the world. It helps me keep in touch, which is better than nothing. But I do love getting together with my friends in real life, which doesn’t happen as much as I’d like.
During this extended period of recuperation from viral meningitis, I have loved spending more time with Jane, Reuben, Joshua and Isaac. Long may that continue.
While I don’t think we’re a generation of idiots, I do think we need to put down our phones a little more often, step out from behind our computer monitors, and engage with the world face-to-face.