Sunday, 13 February 2011

Susie turns 50!

Another celebration at Anne's house.
Cupcakes are the order of the day!
Well, the calendar says 2011, so, if you subtract the year Susie was born - 1961, then I'm sorry to have to confirm that the result is 50! Yes Susie, you've just reached your half-century!
Susie was determined to keep her 50th birthday low-key. But, friends and colleagues had a different understanding of what low-key actually meant!
The first celebration took place in Elgin at Susie's sister Linda's house in early January. Since Susie's twin, Pauline, was going to be in India for their actual birthday it was decided to hold a celebration a few weeks early. After a lovely meal with what members of the family could be there, Linda presented the twins with a copy each of a family album Linda had researched. Her research went back generations into the mid-19th century and the photographs she found to about 1895. What a treasure! Linda had been working on this research for 18 months - and what a result! Thanks, Linda, from all of us.
Birthday meal at Crieff Hydro.
When Susie's actual birthday came along later in January, we took a couple of day's holiday in Crieff Hydro in Perthshire, Scotland to mark the event. Susie, being Susie, wanted to resist the acknowledging of the ageing process and went quad-biking on the morning of her 50th! It was a great couple of days. Crieff Hydro is a great place to chill, or to be active, just as you please. The hotel is in a vast area of land and apart from indoor swimming pools, gym, sauna, cinema and a beautiful Edwardian Garden Cafe (where you can sit all day reading and drinking coffee if you wish), there is golf, horse riding, off-roading, the aforementioned quad-biking, walks, etc. outside for those who wish to partake in these activities. We've been there several times over twenty years, and guess what? We've booked to go again in March, since we liked it so much!
Coming back home, our friend Anne had asked a few friends round for a Sunday lunch. After the meal, a plate of cupcakes with birthday candles came out and we all sand 'happy birthday' all over again! 
Susie and 'the ladies' from Cumbernauld.
Friends from Cumbernauld took Susie out for yet another celebratory meal. They went to The Grill on the Corner in Glasgow, where the food, I'm told, was superb and a very happy evening was had by all. Thank you ladies for your kindness.
Susie's final birthday celebration was provided by her work colleagues who took her for a meal to celebrate and presented her with a birthday cake adorned with photos from her growing up years (I was partially to blame for that). They also gave us vouchers for a night in the luxurious Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond. Thank you so much for that. So, a new decade begins! Let's look ahead to see where our good God will lead you in these coming days and years! Happy birthday, Susie!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Well, it's finally happened: I'm retired.
The management of the University quite rightly started the ball rolling in August or September 2009 in the procedure of retiral through ill-health. Part of the reason I've not been updating the blog is that I didn't want to comment on the process when it was part way through, so I've intentionally waited until it had run its course to completion. So, here I am, retired at 50. As I mentioned in a previous post, I developed tingling and numbness in my right hand and could no longer safely hold dental instruments. Therefore, I could no longer do my job: dentistry or teaching (much of my teaching was 'hands-on'). I will miss dentistry, the patients and possibly most of all, the students. They are so kind to me - whether looking out for me in corridors and at doors, or making sure I have everything I needed in the canteen - carrying trays, coffee and the like.
I feel I've been tremendously privileged to have had the trust of my patients to provide dental care and privileged to have assisted young professionals acquire the dexterous hands-on skills they need to be day-to-day dentists.
So, what next? I don't know is the answer to that. I've got a backlog of recording for the Church to get on with and after that I'll see what opens up. But for now, I'm actually quite happy it's worked out this way. Watch this space for the next instalment!