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May 8, 2020 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

VE Day 2020

Thank you mum and dad for everything. ‘Lest we forget’ we will remember today and always.

Our day May 8th is somewhat different in 2020 as celebrations will not be the same as we are in lochdown for another 3 weeks

Mar 30, 2020 - Just Now, Lockdown    No Comments

Lockdown week 1

It is just over 10 years that I have been running this blog. I started in 2009 when the snow came to Glasgow in December to keep contact with the boys.

We are just one week into a lockdown in the whole of the UK due to Covid-19 pandemic so it seems appropriate to keep a note of my self-isolation routine as the weeks develop.

I find the pandemic quite scary to contemplate the conditions that are slowly unfolding around the UK and the whole world. There are so many issues that we are being asked to cope with especially as history shows that the UK was not shut down to this extent during WW2.

I was on holiday via Singapore to Australia from January 13 to February 19. The only time we saw anything relating to testing was on arrival at Singapore Airport. There was temperature taken and all the airline staff were wearing masks. We went to the Australian Open tennis with over 800000 spectators and nothing re isolation etc. Obviously, we were being informed re the situation in Wuhan, China via the internet. It had not reached the level it is now, but I believe somebody knew something on January 13 hence the precautions in Singapore.

So, one week has now gone very quickly only been past the gate twice to the shops and a couple of walks in our little park across the road. I have been busy in the garden getting ground dug ready for potatoes and other produce. Spent a few hours in the greenhouse getting beans started, Broccoli, cauliflower and herbs. Tomato started in the propagator in the garage. Spent the last couple of days thinning bamboo but not able to get the debris to the tip as it is closed and no brown bin pickups now due to restrictions.

On Sunday 22 March I set up a live stream of the church service from Sandyhills church. This was put together over three days with a lot of cameras and cables from my hoard of bits at home. On the whole it was quite successful, but the lighting was not as good as it should be, and the main camera was not of sufficient quality. I recorded the service on my cameras and did an edit and uploaded to YouTube by the midweek.  The service is now being done the minister from the manse as I am taking self-isolation seriously.

So, one week down will update in a week’s time.

Jan 31, 2020 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

Remember for ever

As the lyrics recall there are so many place I remember that we went to as a family and on our own when I retired from BBC Scotland. Moments I will cherish especially the last twelve years we had together.  You are always in my thoughts no matter where I am or doing at any particular time in my life just now. Obviously there are times that bring back those memories we shared especially around our wedding anniversary in September and family gatherings when there is a place missing at the table.   

In my Life

There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed

Some forever, not for better
Some have gone, and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead, and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I’ll love you more
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I’ll love you more
In my life I’ll love you more
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
In My Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Jan 10, 2020 - Just Now    No Comments

Leuchie House 2019 review

What a year!

Well what a fun-packed year that was! So much happened; special visitors, new roles appointed, makeovers, fundraisers and events – it’s impossible to include them all here.

The support of the Leuchie community has, as ever, been overwhelming; the generosity of our donors, the dedication and commitment of our fundraisers and the time given by our volunteers will allow us to continue our commitment to providing unique respite breaks to those who desperately need them in 2020. 

A Royal visit.
On 4th July 2019, Leuchie marked its 8th year as an independent charity with a visit from a very special guest, HRH Princess Anne, Her Royal Highness. She was able to officially open the Aviemore Lounge, which has been restored in memory of former guest, Margaret Abbott. She also met day guest, Rachel Mylne who was celebrating her 84th birthday by displaying a selection of her beautiful artwork in the lounge.

Matthew and Michael meet HRH

Full pdf here

See Leuchie Facebook for more details

Dec 25, 2019 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

Christmas 2019

This time of year, we are reminded of the nativity story and the star that came to rest over the stable where Jesus was born. The wisemen followed a star also to pass on gifts.

 I think of the stars that shine in the sky the brightest reminds me of Margaret and that star shines in my heart forever. Fifty-one years ago on December 26 1968 Margaret and I met for the first time and had a wonderful life together. Margaret loved this time of the year she was a star that shone always. 

Sep 16, 2019 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

Forever in my heart

This should have been published on Monday.

Today would have been our 49th wedding anniversary. In the last few weeks a number of things have come together to make today just as special as it was back in 1970

I would like to share my thoughts as I remember Margaret today.

It is always very difficult when someone close to you passes away and even more difficult to find a tangible way to remember them as the memories are so deep and forever.

We found Leuchie House in February 2000 a place that Margaret and I were looking for to combine both work and pleasure. For Margaret it provided a much needed opportunity to have all her needs catered for whilst she was there and managed at least twice a year from 2000 till her last visit in 2016.

When Margaret suddenly passed away in January 2016 myself, Steven, Philip and Matthew did not take long in setting up a ‘JustGiving page’ to raise money for a project at Leuchie House in Margaret’s memory.

Margaret was such a caring person that we should fund something that would benefit as many people as possible. The Aviemore Lounge was the project that is finally now complete, it was one of Margaret’s favourite rooms which gave her an opportunity to relax looking out into the woods and see the Roe Deer especially early in the morning.

So, it is in Margaret’s memory that as many guests will find the Aviemore Lounge a peaceful room to further charge their batteries during their stay.

Forever Michael

My thoughts are also go to a couple of special people Gill Hark and Dorothy Thompson on this day.


Jul 5, 2019 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

Leuchie House new Lounge update

Yesterday 4th July Matthew and I were invited to a reception at Leuchie House, North Berwick. The main purpose was a Royal visit by HRH Princess Anne  as part of the eight years to the day of Leuchie House reopening after the closure by The MS Society. The closure caused great anxiety by all the guests who had come to look forward to their respite holidays at Leuchie. Margaret was especially devastated by the news of the closure as she so looked forward to travelling across to Leuchie and catching up with her friends. She would often book up before she left for the next visit.

The pictures in this gallery are from yesterday to show the room now completed. It looks very fresh and calming for the guests to relax. The view out the bay windows always excited Margaret as the roe deer would congregate early morning in the wooded area right in front of the windows. The sun travels round and spills straight into the windows for a good part of the day.

The room is dedicated in Margaret’s memory from donations on a JustGiving page which was setup after her death in January 2016.

Me and the boys were so taken aback by everyone who contributed so generously to make this room restoration possible.

I have as yet not mentioned the name of the room it will be known as Aviemore Lounge keeping the room naming already in place at Leuchie.

Why Aviemore?   In December 1968 we met in Aviemore for the first time and as they say the rest is history we were blessed with over 45 years together and three sons Steven, Philip and Matthew. The boys are now all married to Yvonne, Jacquie and Fiona. Our family now has four lovely grandchildren GG, WM, Logan and Ellis.


Just to complete this post pictures on Leuchie’s FB page


Jun 30, 2019 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

30 June 2019

Margaret Abbott

This would have been your 68th birthday today. I remember celebrating your 18th birthday which was my first 50 yrs. ago today with you on the banks of Loch Lomond.

It is fitting that on Thursday this week Matthew and I will travel through to Leuchie House to be presented to HRH Princess Anne in the room that we (me, Boys and Friends) have renovated in your name. I have chosen the name Aviemore as the name after where we first met in December 1968 and later started our live together for over 45 yrs. I am sure that the guests will love what we have done to the upstairs lounge in your memory.

Some thoughts for today: –
‘I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
© Helen Lowrie Marshall

‘When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many years.’
© unknown

You are forever in my heart Margaret
Love Michael

Feb 14, 2019 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

For my Valentine

This time of year the memories of Margaret just keep flooding back. I seem to see and hear her in many different places as well as the influence she had on my life then and now. I found this track on one of my searches to find something that would fit especially for today.

Loved then always will. Michael

Jan 31, 2019 - Blog, Just Now    No Comments

Margaret my Love Never forgotten

I was sitting in church last Sunday with mixed feelings as the 31 January was soon upon me. I wrote on the 28th December my thoughts about meeting Margaret for the first time 50 years ago. What was to unfold over that week in 1968/69 and more importantly the next 48 years was beyond my wildest dreams. A dream it was to spend and to be married to such a wonderful and caring person.

I was reading the other day how much you can learn from each other in a relationship, no matter what is thrown at you as a couple you adapt and learn to cope.

I was blessed to have met such a wonderful person, words can never really describe how much I loved Margaret and so miss her smile and raucous laughter.

I hope these words convey my feelings: –

© Louise Bailey

Published: February 2006

I feel a warmth around me,
like your presence is so near.
And I close my eyes to visualise
your face when you were here.
I loved the times we spent together,
and they are locked inside my heart
As long as I have those memories
we will never be apart.
Even though we cannot speak anymore,
your voice is always there,
because every night before I sleep,
I have you in my prayer.

Loved you then, always will


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