About Me

This blog was born on 19 April 2015. I was born much farther back than that. This month, Oct 2018, I’ve invested in a great WordPress theme called GridLove and am building a whole new look for the site. 

Some time ago I had a blog called Buddhist Alchemy but it got infected and died and unfortunately I didn’t have a full back-up of the content. 🙁 Silly me.

However nothing like clouds with silver linings…. I mostly think about different sorts of things these days than the sorts of things I thought and  wrote about when my main occupation was leading Buddhist retreats. These days I think about

  • Climate Change and the Age of Stupidity we are currently enjoying. The rate of global warming we have at present is not going to effect me much. I’ll be dead. But it is going to effect billions of human beings, perhaps as much as threatening the resources we reply on to support our current human civilisation.
  • Yes, I’m a Buddhist. No, I don’t believe in rebirth.
  • reincarnation joke


  • Scottish Independence. I’m in favour. I’ve been supporting a few grass roots independence groups for a while now, like Commonweal and The National newspaper. The National has a long way to go before to be an in-depth commentator on Scottish affairs but it’s all we’ve got at the moment and it deserves as much support as possible. I’ve started going to meetings of Pensioners for Independence too. I’m now the treasurer of the national group (This is not an onerous position!w)
  • Politics. There was an awful lot of it happening in UK when I launched this blog in April and May 2015 as we tried to decide who we’d like to run the country. Unfortunately the English voted for the Tories. And then they went and voted for bl00dy Brexit! 
  • Civic campaigning. We got very good at that in the Independence Referendum Yes Campaign in 2014 and it hasn’t stopped. I’m involved – a bit – in
    • Bairns Not Bombs Scotland Against Trident missile campaign
    • Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
    • Scotland against TTIP a particularly nasty trade agreement that was being foisted on us by USA though I’d have to say with the help of quite a few EU and UK politicians. Happily we managed to see it off by campaigning all over EU. But now after bl00dy Brexit, it’s likely that any trade deal with USA will be even worse. Especially given that US voters have voted in you-know-who!!
    • Anti-Trump protests have been happening this year , 2018, in UK. I went on the Glasgow protest.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau where I volunteer once a week as an adviser. My husband says I’m getting more right wing since I started doing it about 18 months ago. I don’t think that’s quite right but I do understand just how complex it is to change something like the UK Benefits setup; and I do see first-hand how a few people take everything whilst giving back very little into the system. Mostly though I just see people in need of a bit of help and it’s satisfying to be able to lend a hand in that.
  • MOOCs. Look it up. Try Coursera or edX.
  • Genealogy. I volunteer with Barnardos Scotland as a family researcher for their clients who want to trace birth families, or adopted children, or siblings. I don’t have any direct contact with those clients. That’s all handled by Barnardos highly experienced adoption support services team. In a month, I usually have at least one case to research which means using the Scottish National Records (NRS) accessed via the Mitchell Library.  Can’t tell you how good a setup we have for tracing Scottish birth, death, marriage records. It’s centralised. All the records are available in one database. It’s computerised and accessed via NRS itself, ie they haven’t sold off their database to a commercial setup like Ancestry. And historically Scottish records are very detailed. If you look at a Scottish death certificate you don’t just get the person’s own details, you get their spouse(s)’ names and their parents’ names. It’s a genealogist’s dream.  And marriage certificates have the names of the mothers of the bride and groom as well as the fathers. Think that’s obvious? Not in England where only the fathers’ names are recorded. I think that’s changing now and about time. For English records, I’m stuck with using Ancestry. I get free access, via Glasgow libraries, but it’s nothing like as good as NRS

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