Family ties

Ralph Mellon
Ralph Mellon

By Ralph Mellon

Family business has loomed large in my extra-curricular activities over the last few days. Earlier this week, I zipped through to Glasgow after work to meet up with my cousin from Hertfordshire, who’d been holidaying up north for a few days before heading to the west for a couple of days in a four-star hotel (flash sod) and getting together with some of our other relatives who still live through that way. I think he was taking a last look at Jockland before he possibly becomes a ‘foreigner of our acquaintance’, depending on how things go next Thursday. We share a strong reverence for the music of Ry Cooder, and a deeply crass sense of humour, so a pleasant night was had by both as we enjoyed a curry – or a Ruby Murray, as I still love to call it.

Student pad: The weekend saw a trip to our capital city to appraise Mellon Junior’s new student accommodation for the coming year – his second – at Edinburgh University. He has a good-sized room in a flat near The Meadows, and the most essential shops, i.e. off-licences, are all within a five-minute trek, while several of his friends are close by too. Knowing he was well set up gave me a reassuring feeling to complement the one I felt the week before, when he left after a three-month summer languishing at the parental home.

Spanish stroll: As a belated 50th birthday present, my brother is treating me to a short break in Tenerife at the end of October. On Sunday, I decided it was time to hit the shops and avail myself of a couple of new holiday shirts and shorts while there was still summer garb to be found on the shelves. The garments I opted for weren’t quite as lurid as they could have been, but I now have the requisite grotesquely patterned shirt, silly-looking too-big shorts and ridiculous sandals. Luckily, I’m only going for four days.

This week: Re-reading selected books by Joseph Wambaugh. Tore through ‘The Choirboys’ and ‘The Onion Field’ in five days and now almost finished ‘The Glitter Dome’.