2013 : Moments

Well, that was 2013.   A quick year in our household, Amélie appears to grow a little more every day and in every imaginable way.   As I write this I’m battling a cold and have conjunctivitis.   So, not on the finest form, and pretty much feeling sorry for myself.    I thought however, that this was an ideal time to stop and look at the moments that shaped our 2013.   These simple moments that follow are in no specific order at all, except really the order in which they came to me as I thought of the past 365 days or so.

One of the great advantages of keeping a photo diary on great websites like Blipfoto mean its easy to look over your year(s) to see what you actually did and when you actually did it. .

  • We decided to visit our favourite little log cabin in Canonbie near Dumfries for the holidays at Hogmanay and New Year 2012.


  • We took Amélie to Edinburgh Zoo for her first birthday on the 6th January.
  • My good friends Chris and Jennifer had a little baby girl on January 7th called Simone.


  • I managed to get back to boxing training this year for a while.
  • I took my Dad to our first ever experience of a 5 nations International Rugby game, we went to Murrayfield to see Scotland beat Italy.
  • I had two whole weeks with Amélie in February as Joni had decided to work full-time for a month.
  • I was involved in filming a piece for Vito Dance Theatre called Withdrawal.
  • The Catholic Church has a new Pope, Pope Francis I.   Amélie and I watched the election on television live from the Vatican.
  • I was involved in a 5 aside football tournament as a fundraiser for Callum’s Cabin and managed to really damage my left foot in a tackling incident.


  • I finally had the opportunity to see Icelandic musicians: Sigur Ros and Ólafur Arnalds
  • Our garage was broken into and two bicycles were stolen, thankfully the police retrieved one and managed to catch one of the people involved.
  • I was lucky enough to have my first photograph placed in an exhibition in gallery.
  • Attended some bicycle maintenance classes as part of the Glasgow Bike Station.
  • Margaret Thatcher died.


  • I attended two stag parties: we travelled to Bolton to enjoy a day of hospitality to watch them play Blackpool for my friend Paddy’s and then had a day at Auchentoshan Distillery (2nd visit) and greyhound racing for my brother in law Liams’.  
  • We had a trip to Morecambe for Joni’s Grandmother’s 80th birthday party.
  • I visited Glengoyne distillery (2nd visit) with my good friend Sace and we spent the night in his hut in Carbeth.
  • I had my very first rides on a Brompton folding bike, a  Dahon folding bike and even a Penny Farthing on the Harris Tweed Ride.
  • My Dad retired.


  • I was asked to host the Refugee Week end of week showcase.
  • My brother in law Liam was married to Lyndsey.


  • My good friend Paddy was married to Nicola.


  • My good friend Findlay’s had a daughter called Lucy.
  • We had our first family cycling / camping trip to the outer Hebrides, to Barra.
  • I toured Arran twice (by bicycle), once with my good friend Alasdair and once on my own.
  • We had plenty of time in the garden, eating outside, playing with Amélie and enjoying whisky by the chiminea.
  • I had a few experiences of up-cycling, I created a pallet bookcase, a pallet mirror, made a gate and also made some fencing around our plants.
  • We enjoyed another Harris Tweed Ride.


  • My good friend and I had a tour of the Glasgow Velodrome.
  • The Clydebank Town Hall has a new exhibition space, so we enjoyed visiting the Jolomo exhibition and the Harry Papadopolis exhibition.


  • I rode 110 miles for the Glasgow to Edinburgh Pedal For Scotland.  (3’350 miles this year)
  • Amélie got her very first passport and we had our first fortnight trip abroad to Kefalos, Kos.  It was Amélie’s first time on an airplane and she had a great time.


There will be many many things I’ve missed.   Until next year!


More Samye Ling Things. .

Finally got around to creating the video mentioned in the blogpost previously from our trip to Dumfries & Galloway – this is from the day we spent over at the Samye Ling Buddhist Centre & Monastery.   Enjoy!

So I Married a . . . .

Its been 4 years now since Joni & I were married.  I thought it would be an ideal time to update the blogpost that I previously had written about married life.

As a teenager I knew I wanted to get married at some point in my life and looked forward to having a family and spending time with my wife and children.  Its only when you decide on settling down to this lifestyle do you realise the pace at which life moves.   Its terrifying and exciting all at the same time.  Now that we have little Amélie Sofia on the scene its even faster, I can’t believe its been six months since she was born.

Joni and I waited until we were married before we lived together for purely religious reasons (both of us being Roman Catholic) and wanted to celebrate our wedding and beginning of our ‘new’ life together in the way it was once seen as the norm among young couples.    We began our journey working on the house we now live in and spent a year preparing the house to make it livable  – it was a challenging time and a time I learned and developed new skills and countless limitations to my skills and by skills I mean both skills as a handyman and worker in a physical sense and also as a husband and a person in an emotional sense.   Nothing can really prepare you for the day you have a daughter and you hold her in your arms for the first time, the sounds, the smells and the emotion that you experience all at the one time – it surely must live with you forever, I know I will struggle to forget this moment.

We are blessed in the lives we have and the friends & families we have that surround us; we have a laid back relaxed lifestyle that allows us both to be great friends and not take everything seriously.   We spend a lot of time outdoors in the garden with Amélie and enjoying the world around us and try to enjoy things together rather than apart; surfing, gardening, going to gigs, travel, visiting friends.

Lastly I think being in a marriage gives you a stability that cannot be described in words, just knowing that you will have support and understanding from someone whenever and wherever you need it is a truly unique gift.   It took me a long time to ask Joni to marry me because I had worries about money and security for us both and always seen myself as someone who would be a ‘provider’.  This is not the case for a number of reasons; We never have money worries because we never have money & also there is only one ‘Provider’ and its not me, He is much bigger than any of us.

So, Yes! I love being married, I love Joni, I love spending time in our house with our beautiful daughter Amélie, we work hard and as much as  struggle everyday leaving the family home to go to work, I love going home to the same beautiful understanding woman every night and waking up next to her every morning. . I wouldn’t have it any other way!