New horizons ...

Ralph Mellon
Ralph Mellon

By Ralph Mellon

My two nieces (‘two’ referring to those on my side of the family; I have five in total) are making potentially life-changing decisions involving overseas travel this summer. One is putting her law studies on hold and going to Namibia as a volunteer with the Project Trust charity. The other is putting her sound engineering studies on hold and going to Sweden to work as an au pair. She’s actually had some TV work as well – I was puffed up with pride to see her name in the credits last week on ‘Gun Sgot’, BBC Alba’s mishmash of music, chat and pub quiz – but she thinks the Scandinavian visit will teach her about life. The Africa-bound one held a quiz night – almost won by yours truly’s team – to raise money for her trip, which was very well attended indeed. It was deeply touching to see how many people want to help send her to a foreign country.

Happy birthday: Attended a very enjoyable surprise 70th birthday party last week for a friend’s dad. Leven Thistle Golf Club was the venue and the birthday ‘boy’ was successfully deposited there without realising anything was afoot. But, all credit to him, he joined in admirably once the initial shock had abated. If I ever make it to three score and 10, I hope I’ll be half as sprightly and energetic. And he still insisted he’d be up at 7.00 a.m. the next day to play golf.

What presents: On the subject of milestone birthdays, I’m still enjoying a gluttonous frenzy of DVD and book buying, afforded by the kind allocation of gift tokens which some people thought were merited by me recently turning 50. Knowing I like music in the car, friends also gave me ‘Driving Rock’, a CD compilation with five discs and 100 songs. Just the thing for a drive to the Cornish coast – it might be just about finished by the time I get back.

Looking ahead to ... finishing reading a biography of sexpot British actress Imogen Hassall so I can start on the new Irvine Welsh novel.