Memories, music and eclipses

Where has the last year gone?

Dad, in his hat! This pic was taken 4 years before he died, during a very happy trip to Cape Town.

At 3.10pm (Zimbabwe time) a year ago today, my Dad died. I can’t believe that it was 365 days ago that Mum and I stood holding each other up as he slipped away from us. In some ways, that moment seems like yesterday. In others, it was a lifetime ago.

And so much has happened in this past year that he missed; things of which I know he would have loved to be a part. He missed my failure to be elected to the European Parliament. He wasn’t there to see such a wonderful week of music that celebrated 50 years of Musicamp in Zim. He didn’t get to discuss the consequences of the No vote in Scotland’s Independence Referendum. He didn’t get to see me become Lord Rector of the University of Aberdeen. He missed the snow on New Year’s Day in Perthshire, and the first snowdrops in February.

But he was there, through all of these times, with me, with my Mum, with us. In memory and thought.

This morning, I stood outside in the strange light that was the eclipse (93% complete in Edinburgh!), in the middle of Sighthill, with some of my students, marvelling at the world in which we live. I had the song I sang at Dad’s funeral – Schubert’s “Du bist die Ruh” – going through my head (for most of the time anyway, until one of my students started “Total eclipse of the heart” …). It seemed like the perfect way to remember him extra specially. He and I often used to lie on the lawn stargazing. He woke me up one night to see my first ever lunar eclipse. And he pointed out Halley’s Comet, when it passed our way in 1986, urging me to remember to look out for it as an 82 year old in 2061.

Here’s to you, Dad. xox


Happy 41 years!

My mum and dad celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary today.  They are two truly remarkable people!  Lots of love to them, today especially.  Apparently it is sunny and warm in Harare, just like it will be all week (not that I’m jealous at all!).