A brief history of St Colm’s Missionary College, Edinburgh

Chapel at St Colm’s College, Edinburgh

In 1963 my mother Rosalie Jean Brydon attended St Colm’s Missionary College, Church of Scotland in Edinburgh ahead of working for four years as a midwife in India. (You can read about her Indian adventues in her book Rosalie: In her own words.)

St Colm’s was a hugely important and spiritually forming experience for Mum. She often spoke fondly of her time at Colm’s and throughout her life would attend reunions and keep up with the other missionaries she met there.

Mum was delighted when I started my studies at the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church (TISEC) in 1997 which for the first few months was housed at St Colm’s, before it moved to Old Coates House next to St Mary’s Cathedral on Palmerston Place. I got to worship in the same wee chapel that Mum did 34 years before me.

While sorting through some of Mum’s papers recently, I found a booklet written by Jean Fraser, printed in February 1962 giving the reader a brief history of St Colm’s as well as a practical tour through the building.

I thought this information would be better in the public domain for any interested in the history of this predominantly women’s missionary college.

Continue reading A brief history of St Colm’s Missionary College, Edinburgh


Photo: Andrew Bunyan, engraver

Mum’s name has now been added to the gravestone, along with an introduction, “In loving memory of…”

We also added some context to the years, although without the ’19…’ I doubt that people would have thought that Dad was a time-traveller born in 1845 who married a woman in the following century, but it immediately clarifies things.

I like the Scottish tradition of using the wife’s maiden name.

In a way, it feels good to see them together again after so many years without Dad.

Rest in peace, Mum and Dad x

The police visited me following up a possible Covid breach that wasn’t

Original photo of Police Scotland officers in face masks by AFP on BBC News

Last night, around 17:30 there was a chirpy knock on my door. I opened it to see two police officers standing a pace back from my doorstep.

“Hello, we’re following up a possible Covid breach.”

Continue reading The police visited me following up a possible Covid breach that wasn’t

Everything but the kitchen sink

Kitchen sink

Last month, while clearing out Mum’s flat I came across this tatty old thing, the kitchen sink (model 1.024) from my younger sister’s old Caroline’s Home doll’s house.

You know the saying “everything but the kitchen sink”, that means “nearly everything one can reasonably imagine; many different things, often to the point of excess or redundancy”? Lots of people used to say that about my late Mum’s handbag. She kept a lot of things in it.

“Blimey! Rosalie, you have everything in there except the kitchen sink,” they’d laugh.

And my mum would rummage at the bottom of her handback and proudly produce this old thing.

“Actually,” she would counter, “I do have the kitchen sink in here.”

But it served a purpose other than just a comic retort. Behind the tiny cupboard doors, which over time broke and were repeatedly taped together with masking tape, Mum kept three ten pence pieces—the right amount of money to get her into most public toilets in an emergency.

That’s the kind of practicality that I admired about my mum.

Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on an old Asus X551CA laptop from 2013

Welcome to Ubuntu screen

One of the items that I inherited after Mum died was her old laptop, an Asus X551CA that I bought her for Christmas 2013. This month I replaced the battery, upgraded the hard drive and installed Linux.

Continue reading Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on an old Asus X551CA laptop from 2013