January 14th 2010 was a bit if a mixed bag of emotions for me. As it happened it was the 4th anniversary of my old papa’s death. That’s what I called my grandfather on my dad’s side.
I’m not going to say too much about that, but I can’t let it go unmarked. He was a martial artist too and one of my over-riding memories of him is when he taught me about focussing strikes. He was a judo man (I’m a karate guy) and he used to say to me, “If you lift a man six inches off the ground, you put him back down for eight.” I have him to thank for my interest in the news and the world around me – he was ALWAYS watching the news. Seriously…ALWAYS.
As a kid it used to bug the crap out of me. News is boring when you’re wee, right? At least that’s what my son says when I’ve got News24 on, “Daddy, you’re watching boring stuff!”
My papa never met Layne, and I dearly wish he had lived to meet my kids. He missed his birth by just over a year, and I often picture him laughing and cooing over them. He used to stare at the babies in the family with his big gumsy smile and say thoughtfully and to nobody in particular “Ahhh, magic. Just magic!”
I loved him; still do. And I miss him every day.
My other grandad (we call him Pop) passed away the following year, just two weeks after my son was born. He never met Layne either, but the last time I saw him alive he told me he was proud to have another great-grandchild, and he could puff his chest out a wee bit further. I cannot tell you the comfort that memory gives me. But Pop’ll get his own post in March, and I’m starting to choke up, so enough about all that.
I said it was a mixed bag, didn’t I? I did.
It was also a day which brought something quite exciting.
Last week the Scottish (and a large section of the UK) media went a bit nuts when a chap called Stewart Kirkpatrick announced that he was launching a new online newspaper venture.
It launches on the 25th January – Burns Night – and will, apparently, be aimed at Scots the world over. There are whispers and rumours and all kinds of things, but nobody knows anything unless Stewart Kirkpatrick has told them.
Anyway, when the announcement was made I spent a morning tracking down an email address for Stewart and sent him a message asking for a bit of work experience once he gets up and running. And he emailed me back on Tuesday evening asking me to meet him for a chat.
We met up in Glasgow at 3pm on Thursday and had a chat and a cuppa tea, and the upshot of the thing was that I’m going in for 5 days from the 25th – 29th. Ruddy launch week! If I was a bit girlier I’d be going “squeeee” with excitement about now, but as I’m a 29 year old hairy-arsed* bloke I’m remaining a stoic sea of zen-like composure.
I would like to say more about the kind of chat we had, but given the veil of secrecy around Stewart’s whole venture I’m not going to say anything - just in case I say something I shouldn’t.
I’ll blog more about it on the 26th.
*in reality my arse isn’t actually hairy. It’s freakishly smooth. Like a baby’s.