24 years of doom

Little did Mrs H know, way back in 1992, that she was doomed to spend the next 24 years married to me. It says a lot for her sheer bloody mindedness that she’s still hanging in there, or it could be that she knows when she’s on to a good thing.

After all, how many husbands would take a day off work, and jump on a 26 bus to the Toby Carvery for an all you can eat six quid buffet AND offer to pony up the extra 30 bob for a King Size. That woman’s got it made.

I’ve even offered to take her back next year for our silver wedding and splash out on a pudding.


Once upon a time Part 2

Continuing the notion that I used to be a real person, here’s a picture taken at Northallerton on some kind of corporate beano.  I can’t remember what I was doing, or who many of the people were, but it must have cost a fortune to ship us all there.

I’m in the back with the impenetrable shades.  The bloke two to the left from me was called Chris, the girl on the right at the back was Nicola.  Front row, far left was Catherine, and in the middle of the front row was Sarah Bellamy.  She moved to Cyprus, became Sarah Karmiotou and, last I heard (2015), was very poorly. Fingers crossed.


Once upon a time …

in a far and distant land,  the venerable Mr H was a proper person with a proper job and everything.  I know that children today find this hard to believe, but it’s true.  I was a high flyer with responsibilities and all sorts.  And here’s pictorial evidence that I once knew people who grew up to be fancy Dans.  Now I know it looks like I’m about to remove from the premises but they were actually almost friends of mine.

On the right is Tracy Keates (later Tracy Lerpiniere) and on the left is Campbell McCafferty.  Mr McCafferty went on to do top secret hush hush work for the Ministry of Defence, which was so secret and hush hush that he ended up in the Honours List, adding a CBE to his name.  Ms Lerpiniere ended up as Head of NATO and Europe Policy (MOD), which also sounds very important indeed.  I, however, abandoned such petty matters, instead concentrating on the nature vs. nurture debate, ending up as an emotionally stunted (thanks Dad),  mentally unstable (cheers Mum), unemployable jakey (both sides).  So we’re all winners.  Happy New Year.


Tracy Lerpiniere Campbell McCafferty

A Letter to Santa from Mr H, aged 6 years and 2 months

Quite why my auld Irish mammy kept this with her bits and bobs is beyond me.  But there it was, when I was going through her stuff, after she died.  Perhaps it was a reminder of the last proper Christmas we had as a family.  Certainly, it’s a reminder of when things were much simpler.  I hate to think of the catalogue that kids present to their parents these days.  Anyway, Christmas 1971 saw me composing an ode to Santa.

A letter to Santa

That’s a grand total of two things, only one of which I got.  And it wasn’t a bike!


PS – Santa – if you see this, I’ve flitted since 1971.  So, if you’ve got a bike for me this year, email for my new address.  Thanks.

Mr and Mrs H, aged 12 and a half

I didn’t think cameras had been invented back then, but lo and behold, what should turn up, but a picture of Mr and Mrs H, aged 12 and a half.  Of course, Mrs H wasn’t Mrs H then.  If only she’d known what lay ahead.  What a gorgeous couple we made.

Mr and Mrs H

Mr H – model for hire

It may have been a fallow 45 years since I was an award winning model in the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch (see picture 1, below), but I’m back!

Yes, I’m the cover star on the latest issue of Thelma, the magazine of the Living Memory Association.  So it’ back to a diet of 20 fags a day and fresh air, while I push on my with on hold career.  Granted, I will be close to 100 before I snag a gig, but a dream’s a dream.

Mr H 1968












Thelma - Living Memory Association

The only time I went to the pictures with my Dad…

Alexander Walker Hamilton and Stuart Alexander HamiltonWe went to see the film down below.  Cos men didn’t go to the pictures with their children back then. They had important things to do like working and going to the pub.  As it should be.  But he made an exception for this one as I was deemed old enough not to show him up.

It was his third favourite film ever, after Shane and The Man Who Would Be King.  And he was right about THWWBK.

He still called it the Regal, even though it had been renamed ABC many years before, but I don’t think he had been back to the pictures since he was winching his wife to be (aka my Mum) back in about 1960.

There was none of that nonsense about buying food and drink in the pictures either.  That was for rich folk and eejits, but he did buy a packet of Opal Fruits out of Mrs Thomsons before we walked along Dundee Street.

It was a very exciting day for me, and one of the last good days I remember with him, as he was already smitten with the cancer that was to kill him 3 years later.

The strip of pictures of the two of us was taken a couple of years earlier at the photo booth that used to be at the side of the Caledonian Hotel in Lothian Road.















A Bridge Too Far Original Half-Sheet

Bangour Village Hospital

Bangour Hospital was where I went for many (many) eye operations when I was a wean, back in the sixties. It was in the back of beyond, which meant I only got to see my Mum and Dad once a week, when they took the bus in on a Saturday afternoon, when I got to see them for an hour. Although, my Dad was usually busy, and my Mum would sometimes be on shifts.  I was there on and off between the ages of 2 and 7. I remember white buildings, nice nurses and ice cream. So, apart from the pain and the temporary blindness, it was alright.

The original Bangour goes back to 1902 when the Edinburgh Lunancy Board purchased the 960 acre Bangour site, and by 1906 Bangour Village was offically opened by the Right Honourable Earl of Roseberry. Bangour General was built in 1939 to cope with wounded soldiers from the second world war. Originally built as prefabricated huts Bangour General was only meant to last 10 years, but it outlived it’s expectancy and eventually closed in 1990.

The site is derelict now, although George Clooney and Keira Knightley turned up in 2005 to film “The Jacket”. Here’s a then and now.

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