Wednesday, 2 May 2018

befriending, mentoring, peer support [episode 2]

[following on from episode 1]

boys 1987 Perth
The 1980's at Rigside, near Lanark, for me were about grassroots community development and Christian work, education and Bible study, alongside bringing up my 3 sons, being involved in their school and holiday activities, encouraging them to learn piano which I had missed out on, also accordion lessons for my middle son, taking part in competitions.  I didn't do paid work until my youngest was nearly at primary school age towards the end of the decade, getting PT jobs as Area Co-ordinator with Strathclyde Youth Clubs Association and Adult Literacy Development Worker with Clydesdale District Council. 

My sons did well at school, in different areas, academically and sporting activities, my middle son by Primary 7 was Captain of Douglas Water Primary School football team and 100m inter-schools champion, had joined the Lesmahagow Running club which I took him to and also trained with them (not easy, up these hills in jogging shoes!).  My oldest son Edwin did well academically and musically, taking up the flute at Lanark Grammar, alongside piano lessons with Mrs Whitefield in the town, from age 7, we'd drive older sons in to their music lessons weekly.  
[Edwin is now a Music Therapist, Face the Music, and teaches piano, having changed career from engineering in 2017]
Gigha 1980 with Edwin

We lived in a council house at Rigside and got Family Credit as my husband wasn't on a big wage, however I was good at managing on a low income and he had a company car through his work which gave us freedom in travelling to towns and cities, also taking a towing caravan on holiday in the summer to Keswick Christian Convention.  

So in 1990 after my husband's redundancy from the Milk Marketing Board at Paisley, a job visiting farms in the West of Scotland, including on Islay and Gigha, down to Campbeltown, where we sometimes went with him, we moved up to the Cupar area to be near my middle sister Frances who was expecting her first child.  I thought she would be in need of support and this was the case, moving in with us at Dairsie Mains Farm by 1991, then eventually buying her own house in Cupar.  Meanwhile my own marriage was in difficulty for a few years, eventually moving into a council flat in Cupar by 1996, with my youngest son who was 11yrs old.
July 1998 son Edwin & I

Being in a tied house meant that I had to go homeless to be housed by Fife Council, having already achieved an HNC Office Administration at Elmwood College, Cupar, best student, I then went straight into 3rd year of BA Administration Management at Fife College, after the summer of 1995, when my oldest son was a patient in Stratheden Hospital, having experienced a psychosis after leaving home for university in Glasgow.  I moved into the Cupar council flat during my degree year, supported my oldest son through his psychiatric treatment, advocated for him at clinical meetings, until eventually he recovered and transferred to Abertay University to complete his BSc in Mechanical Engineering, 1st Class Honours, only person to achieve that in his year, 1998.  
after baptism, sister Frances & I

I got best student award on BA Admin Management, 1996, having completed the degree in 2 years instead of 3, and had a year out before going into a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Education at Northern College, Dundee, after summer of 1997, recovering from a basal cell carcinoma operation on my face just a few weeks before.  Local anaesthetic, about 15 stitches, face swelled up with infection, antibiotics to the rescue.  

I maintain it happened because of a stressful time at Leslie Baptist Church where I was baptised and sang, played guitar in the worship band, on occasion leading.  I'd become a Christian in 1981 when I got baptised/sprinkled, however the Church at Leslie said I had to be immersed so as to join.  I conformed then found out later that it wasn't required according to church rules.  So I had a second baptism for no good reason.  Many other things also occurred that were similarly obstreperous.

[to be continued ...]

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