'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane; Alba 1

Picking up the memoirs proper, we are at the point where the 20-year-old was settling down in the land of her birth, regaining its accent and feeling its vibe.

Edinburgh was the best of all places to be for one of cosmopolitan mind.  Scottish society in general is very polite.  Edinburgh society is particularly so.  A place of strong and sturdy professionals (lawyers, surgeons), lovers of the arts (visual, aural, dramatic), yet with bohemian tastes. ...those links are a random selection; you could spend forever just on Edinburgh!

During my two and a half years at Johnson's the arthritis had made its presence felt.  It is considered that the dogged determination not to stop, not to refrain from shinning up and down ladders, to keep carrying substantial weights in the form of wallpapers and cans of paint actually helped to keep me mobile.  It is a condition which is better for movement. Which is why Mac3 was not particularly well-served by the enforced three months of bed rest in South Africa.

The enormous amounts of soluble aspirin were taking their toll on my digestive system though. What is more, the doses just kept going up as my tolerance did.  I made a personal decision.

Stopped the tabs cold turkey. At about the same time, a passing comment by a customer at the shop had me thinking in an alternative direction.  Herbal medicines.  Devils Claw and ginger to be precise.  I went to the long-established and reputable Napier's Pharmacy. This was their prescription.  After several weeks, the inflammation and pain reduced with no recourse to other drugs.  Stiffness remained but still, I was content that there could be another way.

By this time, too, I had become well established with Marchmont St Giles church, singing in the choir and teaching Sunday School.  I got tricky and managed to filcher this piccie, which shows the church, the unbuilt expanse behind (a cemetery with some fascinating stones and chambers in it)...and on the left, the tenement in which the family base was established.  Top floor, one along from the corner, facing over the church - which being due South, meant the best of the sunshine and some wonderful views.

There came a natural break from the shop.  At the time when we were heading to Kenya and South Africa for what was supposed to be a few weeks, something inside me whispered it would be the time to hand my resignation.  This proved to be appropriate for two reasons.

Firstly, with Mac3 taking ill, I was able to stay for the full duration of his being kept under medical orders (very nearly six months absence in total).

Secondly, on return, I was to find work in surprisingly short time at the East of Scotland College of Agriculture (ESCA); not in the studies area but in the research department, based at Oswald road, which was within 15 minutes walking distance of this flat.  This was to be another major marker in life.


  1. Our MOM has always DREAMED of visiting Scotland. It is such a Gorgeous Place.

  2. How wonderful it was that the herbal medications worked to reduce the pain. I'm sure your digestive system was relieved. A research job sounds fascinating.

  3. Your buildings are truly amazing!
    Devil's claw?! I'm taking MSM and glucosamine!

  4. Beautiful church!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley


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