Monday, July 02, 2007

Being a bit dwelly

On Saturday, we had friends to visit who live near Glasgow. One of their daughters works part of the weekend at Glasgow airport. Mid-afternoon, the phone rang and it was this daughter, very upset. She was now home, but had been getting lots of text messages from friends asking if she was all right, because – I don’t know how much this has been in the news world-wide – attempted suicide bombers had tried to crash a burning car loaded with explosives and nails into the arrivals lounge at the airport. She had actually walked out of the relevant door on her way home half an hour before the attack.

By a miracle, or possibly by the ineptitude of the would-be bombers, everyone escaped injury apart from one of the terrorists, who had set himself on fire. The car got stuck in the doorway, the men were captured and the only result – and of course, it was no doubt one of the desired results – is major disruption of the airport (and other airports too) and huge inconvenience for many people.

Here in Scotland, up till now, I think most of us have felt reasonably immune from such events. Well, I suppose I can only speak for myself, but though I was of course aware that my complacency wasn’t really well-founded, I did half-believe that terrorists wouldn’t be awfully aware of Scotland. Goodness me, the BBC have only recently noticed that we exist – and even now, we all get told on the radio that it’s exam time (when it’s exam time only in England) or school holiday time (in a few weeks’ time, when English schools are on holiday) or bank holiday time (for purely English bank holidays). Scotland is just a wee bit on the top of England, and most of the time I quite like it this way. Rather like being middle-aged – no one really notices you and so life is peaceful.

That illusion is now gone. Saturday was the first day of the (Scottish) school holidays, so most of people at that airport would be families with children. How impossible to imagine the mind-set of those who would target specifically them. And Glasgow is, I’d think, the most cosmopolitan city in Scotland – still not all that cosmopolitan, but with quite a lot of Asian families, particularly. So it’s not as if the passengers would be wall-to-wall Anglo-Saxon.

It’s absolutely not that I think it’s all right to bomb London, or Baghdad, or anywhere else. But however much you empathise with people in other places, suicide bombers only fifty miles away seem horribly near.

At more or less the time of this incident, my mother was arriving at Edinburgh airport from a brief visit to Cambridge to attend my niece’s graduation. The plane was late, so our son, who was collecting her, spent a lot of time in the arrivals lounge there. Hmm. And if our friends' daughter had been a bit later leaving work...

I once said to Daughter 1, who as a teenager was sometimes a bit mournful, “There’s no use in dwelling on the gloomy side of life.” Well, that’s what I meant to say. What I actually said was, “There’s no point in glooming on the dwelly side of life.” This has become a bit of a mantra in our family. And it’s true. We just have to get on and hope for the best.

So here are some kittens.

My blog has become so much more visited since I started posting kitten pictures, but most people aren’t commenting.

I suppose that once the first person has said, “Ah, nice kittens”, there’s not much more to write. But go on, say it all the same. Come on, all together now: “Ah, nice kittens.”
(Look, there's Mr Life. He's looking a bit grumpy, but he's not really. He's a major kitten fan.)


  1. Guilty. I haven't commented in a while, but they are lovely kittens. I can imagine what you feel about the bombing. Terrorists in NY, LA, even Chicago, seems all too possible, but terrorists in my backyard in the quiet, unassuming mid-West?????

  2. Ah, nice kittens! ;-) You're setting a precedent here -- we'll be expecting a kitty picture, no matter what your subject! As long as I live, I'll never understand the terrorist thing. We've been so impressed with your security in the UK -- it's so amazing that they can find those cars before they blow up. And, lastly, isn't it amazing how those little creatures can melt our old men??? ;-)

  3. Sweey kittens, and welcome light relief after a weekend of news watching and wondering who would be next. I just do not understand the minds which devise atrocities like these (thankfully averted) ones.

  4. Kittens are fascinating and having 2 makes the pictures & your wonderful stories even more inviting. Your husband looks so much like my husband from the side. It's probably the age.
    The terrorist behavior is beyond our understanding. They just want to go to paradise to be met by 21 virgins. What about their wives?
    Looking for a good scone recipe... do you have one to share? They're popular here, but I want the kind I had in the UK.

  5. I'm glad your loved ones are safe and well, and I'm glad that these particular terrorists were relatively inept. I imagine that your daughter is feeling rather shaken; she has my sympathy.

    Terrorism is bizarre and inexplicable, as alien as if it were performed by a bunch of creatures who'd come from outer space.

  6. Thought of you and hoped you were all safe when i heard this on the news. these terrorists seem able to shake us up no matter what unassuming corner of the universe we inhabit...Stay safe.

  7. ah, here I am in internet cafe in the snowy mountains, I was wondering what was going on in the uk, I am cut off from tv and newspapers and head some talk on the radio regarding suicide bombers.
    I am planning to be in glasgow in october, so I was worried.

    Glad all is well with you. I agree re bombers etc. Awful. Please take care.

    AH KITTENS!!!!

  8. Am glooming a bit on the dwelly side myself these days ....

    Monty Python's ... 'Always look on the Bright Side' pops up occasionally in defiance of the world's insanity ...

    Magnificent beasts .. the kittens.

  9. (\__/)

  10. Lovely kittens.

    I am truly grateful that I can't understand terrorists or suicide bombers. I think it means I'm relatively sane.

    It's such a relief to hear that an attempt of this kind failed.

  11. What everyone else has said.
    And, I suppose I shouldnt say this, but how fortuitous that one idiot terrorist got 'his', so to speak.
    Ah lovely kittens!
    And a very nice looking Mr Life! Not grumpy at all!

  12. Somehow I had lost your blog; but on finding you again, you appear to have been taken over by small black cats!

    As my younger son lives in London and has been minutes away from such incidents we also have to keep a positive attitude.
    Cheers Alison in New Zealand.

  13. I agree with you Isabelle, it's not that bombing anywhere else in the world is right, or ok, but somehow, some places just seem totally wrong!

    Like Bali. Like Scotland. When I saw the news about your bombing, I commented to my husband "Scotland! What have they ever done to deserve that!" (please understand, I don't believe that any other country "deserves" it either).

    It just doesn't seem to matter where you are located anymore. Nowhere is safe. Gloomy thought...

  14. But hey!

    Nice kittens!


  15. Terrorists. Scum of the earth. Enough said. But as for kittens - not just NICE kittens: DARLING, BEAUTIFUL, CUTE, CUDDLY, ADORABLE kittens...and BLACK! Keep posting photos. For some reason, I could never get a good photo of Topsy as a kitten. Maybe because she was living up to her name - "Topsy" turvy cat.

  16. It's already the 5th here, but I am sure I can sneak this in before your midnight.

    Happy birthday!!

  17. Happy Birthday Isabelle and Ah nice kittens.

    I'm so grateful that no-one was hurt in the latest attempt at carnage. And I wish all this terrorism stuff would stop. I know that's naive but there you go.

  18. We mhad heard the news about Glasgow. Frightening being so close to home.

    The kittens are gorgeous!!!

  19. Hi Isabella,
    Gina has been round today telling me about blog protocol, so here I am. Thank you for your encouragement.
    Yes, it did snow in London, not enough to settle of course, except on people's hair and shoulders. It was Freezing!
    We have been to Scotland several times and just adore it! My forbears were Scots and Yorkshiremen. I believe I have some connection with clan McLeod via the McNicols of Lewis. Have been to Dunvegan. Last time we were in Scotland we went up the west coast via Ft. William and Skye, across the Cairngorms, up to the Orkneys, and then back down the east coast into England. Loved your current entry, will take the time to browse the others now. The world is full of kittens, isn't it? Our 18 year old cat chose to go to the great cattery in the sky on Christmas Day last. We are still petless, as it is nice to head off without having to worry about pets but we do miss her fiercely. I have broken protocol already with the length of this but I am sure you will understand.

  20. I did leave a comment!!

  21. I forgot to mention the terror in Glasgow. I coudln't believe it, and now to hear that a doctor in Australia is being questioned is scary stuff. We all have to keep on keeping on and praying that nothing more will happen.

  22. Better late than never....Bappy Hirthday, Isabelle! Hope you had a great day! Did you have fireworks? No? Shame! We had some---in your honour, and also, incidentally, for the fourth!

  23. Here again, to wish you a belated Happy Birthday. How nice the Americans turn on such a nice show for you!

  24. Why didn't you warn us it was your birthday?? We could've had CAKE ...

    Anyway, Isabelle, hope you had a lovely burpday ..

    How are the dictators ... oops I mean ..kittens???

  25. Awww nice kittens.. how are the sofas?

    Last Friday was awful. Thank goodness that none of the cars (i typed cats there by accident) blew up.

    belated Happy Birthday!