Emma Family

Emmas 16th Birthday

 Well her birthday is not until Wednesday but there was a surprise party last night.

The hall was full and there were loads of surprises: Fireworks, Stripper and an excellent rendition by her cousin Danielle.

Photos can be seen here:


Home Improvements

What a difference a week makes !


What a difference.

Yet again I’m blown away by how quickly the extension is progressing:

This was taken yesterday


As I type, the roofers are crawling over the top and the electrician is crawling under the floor !

Watch this space !

Home Improvements

Building Work About To Start !

After lots of discussion, the plans are in, been to planning and passed.

I spoke to the builder, Colin Scott of Scott Builders (who also did the bathroom conversion), this morning so he could arrange access. So, it’s full steam ahead !

In preparation, I read many reviews of the best water softeners and I took the obligatory “before” photos:


As you can almost just see I have filled in the swimming pool that was under the window.

As the build progresses I’ll be recording the details. See my Flickr Set here.

Emma Family

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly !

It’s been quite a busy week.

  • Emma went and met the Rangers players
  • We got a new front door
  • The extension may be getting back on track.
  • Unfortunately Emma is getting slightly worse.
  • Neighbours !

Snooty Pottybrains

Time for some fun !

So why is my new name Snooty Pottybrains?


Technology – All Pervasive?

OK, I fill a technical role, for a technology company and tend to work closely with the IT staff on customer site. With that I know (hope) that I have a better than average grasp of technology. Conversely, I often have to explain technical concepts to business (non technical) users. Another good example would be helping my dad to use his computer and “make the internet work”

I must have been having a bad week but it struck me how there are certain concepts that we take for granted that maybe we shouldn’t.


Rant Of The Day

I hate to sound like a grumpy old man but………

I had to take Emma to Gartnavel  Hospital in Glasgow.

One of the nicer things that I have found about about getting older is  an increasing ability to be punctual.

We arrived 15 minutes early for the appointment and I dropped off Emma and Elaine at the front door. 45 minutes later I finally find a parking space. Don’t bother following, or even looking for the signs for the overflow car park, there aren’t any.

I arrive just in time to meet the doctor as they are leaving.

My advice: Pay the £2.00 and park in the car park of the adjoining Pond Hotel, it was empty and would have cost me less than the fuel I used driving in circles in first gear for three quarters of an hour.

Rant Over

I’m off to look out the tripod to take some night time  photos.


Recent Photos

I have just got around to going through the photos from our recent holiday in Florida.

The highlight (for me at least) was seeing the Shuttle launch.


More can be found on my Flickr page.


Emma’s History

Emma my eldest daughter has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease this comes on the back of a very long period with no diagnosis.

Originally the only symptoms she presented was sore legs: this they put down to her not tying her shoes properly.

From there after almost a year of fighting and losing more and more strength in her legs the doctors finally admitted that she had a neurological problem.

At first they thought it was Guillian Barre Syndrome so there then followed a year of treatments, once a month to receive immunolobulin at Wishaw General Hospital where she received the very best of care.

A year down the line and after showing no real improvement Emma went through a battery of further tests and it was confirmed that she was indeed suffering from Motor Neurone  Disease.

Family Home Improvements

Home Improvements

With Emma being in a wheelchair now there are certain modifications that are required around the house. These range from the simple; ramp to the front door and safety rails to grab onto; to the major, adding an extension to add a bedroom on to the ground floor and convert an existing room into a wetroom/bathroom. Now all of this is being done by the local social work department, and, after speaking with others in a similar situation I know that we are actually getting things done quite quickly !

All of the “simple” items, such as the ramp to the front door and getting a chairlift were done in a matter of weeks of asking, however the major items seem to be stuck in a morass of paperwork and processes within the social work department.

I don’t intent for this to turn into a name and shame session, or alternatively a blatant advertisement but if I see an extreme of behaviour, especially when it comes from an unexpected source I’m going to give plaudits.

Initially we were told in August that the work, a bathroom conversion and a small extension could be done in 3 months start to finish. Of course we were sceptical but this is what they do for a living so who am I to question them. There was an initial flurry of activity; architects came out, we reviewed the plans, we asked for a few amendments, all seemed fine. Then time passed. The official line was that the funding required to carry out the work was not in place.
Luckily, my mother in law has lots of contact with our local councillor Jackie Burns through her work with the community, who promptly told us in no uncertain terms that the funding was indeed in place.

One quick meeting later in order to try and get something done, they agree to split the work into two phases: the bathroom conversion, which only needs a building warrant; and the extension, which needs planning permission.

Then the builders arrive.

Normally this is the most stressful part of the project. However two factors come into play here:
1. We were on holiday
2. Elaine knows the builder

Work starts on the Monday and by the following Wednesday the work is completed and the bathroom is in use. Exactly on schedule. Strangely enough, it was the builder that was putting pressure on us, we were in the shop choosing the tiles and he had the van en-route to collect them. I cannot recommend Scott Building Services highly enough
Only the extension to go. Apparently the plans will be submitted for approval in January but they have yet to come out and inspect the foundations so who knows what will happen.

Watch this space.