Sunday 3 August 2008

Twenty years a Lifer

Friday marked my twenty year anniversary at Standard Life. Over half my working life (I hope, but the way pensions are going these days I could be working way past sixty) has been spent walking, bussing and driving from various parts of Edinburgh to other various parts of Edinburgh to work at this company. "Standard Life. For all of your life." was a strapline they used a few years back. It looks like it could be for me unless I get sussed and find myself out on the street!

We broke up the drive to Ireland by stopping off overnight at the Bobbin Guest House in Gatehouse of Fleet. The original plan had been for Sharon to do a show in Kirkcudbright but that was cancelled so we had dinner instead and watched telly together in one room while we tried to calm the boys down in the other. They were late in going to sleep. Gatehouse of Fleet is a pleasant little town but the weather was so wet and miserable that we only got as far as the large parkland behind the house. Sharon took the boys into a waterlogged bouncy castle. They made friends with Erin, the daughter of the house, who was ages with Finn.

At least the drive from Gatehouse of Fleet to Stranraer (Stran-rahhrr)for the 0955 sailing was less fraught than usual, as the early start was not required. Rowan ran his legs off on the boat and Sean and Finn enjoyed the new kids play area near the stern. The drive to Athlone (with traditional loading up of butchermeat in McEnerny's in Armagh) was through some torrential showers and the boys just about kept their patience.

Rowan has been ruling the roost, his shouts of "MINE!" and "MY blank!" scuppering any hope of getting a lie-in in the morning as he battles with his brothers for possession of cars, books or Lego. Everyone is impressed with his counting and he's been eating well too. Sean and Finn have been out playing on the trikes and, a rare event, playing football on the new mono-blocked driveway. We miss having a level, non-grass space like that on which they could play with bikes and balls.

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