With Aunty Christine gone, I’m almost out of the older generation.

So I’ve been thinking back to Lily. My paternal Grandmother. Oooh. She was STRICT with a capital SuhTuhRuh. Full on Scottish Presbyterian from the Gorbals in Glasgow.

And I was a bit of a nightmare toddler – according to my mother. Even aged 18 months in Singapore. I’d refuse to wear anything but the dress that Lily had sent from Scotland. That’s a true fact that my mother often threw back at me when I did the stubborn, independent thing. Even as a teenager.

I was about 7 years old when Lily died. We were living in Arbroath and only my Dad went to her funeral – compassionate leave from 45 Commando. Mum had to stay home and look after 3 kids.


Lily, oh lily I don’t feel safe
I feel that life has blown a great big hole
Through me
And she said
Child, you must protect yourself
You can protect yourself
I’ll show you how with fire (Ooh, ooh)