Ten Years a Resident of Girvan


I have now lived in the town of Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland for ten years exactly.  This anniversary kind of crept up on me really since I had kind of forgotten how long I had been here but since I was reminded of it by my lovely wife I decided a short blog post was in order to celebrate.  So ten years.  What does that mean to me?

I came to Girvan knowing nothing of it.  Not even a name on a map.  A total unknown.  I came with no expectations of the place more than the purchase of a place to live.  In the time that has passed since then the town has changed and I have changed and do you know what we have both had problems and triumphs and I feel that we fit together well.   The town is friendly and the people hardy and industrious too.  Crime has not touched me and the summers have warmed me and the skies and seas nourished my children.  To know the names of many people you pass in the street is wonderful and to have the chance to assist the community is great too.

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My work keeps to tied to a computer screen almost all the time and I have done well and achieved much in the environment that this little town has given me.  I am happy here.  I have brought people here from the rest of the UK and Europe as well as North America and further afield as guests and they have all enjoyed their time in Girvan.  Admittedly those who came in the summer enjoyed it more!

I will not get into politics or problems as this post is about my ten years a resident and I am sure some people reading this will disagree with them and point out issues.  Issues like the Swimming Pool and empty shop units for example but those are by the side for me.  All places have issues and I much prefer being here rather than in any city.  Eyes bright and cheeks rosy.

So ten years in Girvan…here is to ten more years from this man who was once a son of ‘Maither Glasgow’.

Thanks for your time.


School Daze a report from October 2014


Parent’s Evening.  Its an event that most parents don’t look forward to.  A couple of times a year you attend the local school at a given time and then the teacher tells you all about what your little darlings have been up to in class.  What they have really been up to, not what they have told you after school each day.  This was the event for me last night in Girvan.  Now that only two of my three are at primary school for the first time it meant only two appointments rather than three which meant less running about making to a room on time.  So how did the Poet and the Warrior do….

How they did was a ringing endorsement of the parenting that myself and mainly my good lady made an effort to keep to.  Rewarding effort and initiative and punishing bad behaviour while giving the children as much responsibility as their ages can allow and not treating them as anything less than capable within their own limits.  It works.  It really does.  Both were given top marks with remarks made about their healthy attitude to life and high scores in tests and group work.  I may have to rename the Poet since his tendency towards mathematics and numbers is becoming ever greater and the Warrior is so sociable that his name may also change.

In short happy days.  Well done my sons!


Happy Birthday Darling!


Happy Birthday my darling wife.  Though I sometimes do not pay enough attention to you know that I love you now more than I ever have.  Know that I and our three wonderful children could not do without you and that you are the loving bond that holds us together.  We have been together for a long time now but that has made us stronger and while those around us suffer their problems know that with me your future will always be golden and that you will always come first.

One of the many pictures from today.  Special thanks to Edward Jackson who sent my fine lady another of his excellent Dodo cards.  This one will join its fellows on the dresser in pride of place.  A new convert to the ways of the Dodo.

Enjoy your presents my love.


NO and perhaps its change or its trouble…

I don’t get involved in politics, I don’t get involved in religion,  I don’t get involved in social movements if I can help it.  Sometimes it cannot be helped.  I have to still see and listen to it and act.  The Scottish Referendum was one of these occasions and on 18.09.14 Scotland voted and decided to stay part of the United Kingdom; what had once been Great Britain the nation that built and ruled the modern world.  The vote was NO to the choice of independence by a margin of 55% to 45% and I think it was the result most people kind of knew was going to happen.  While I had prepared myself for either event I had noted down my own result and I was pretty close to what occurred.  I avoided putting this up publicly as I wished to stay neutral since I have friends on both sides.

So what now?  Well firstly politics will sink from this blog until and unless something big happens and it will be back to fun and games and family which is what I like (I still have eighty odd prog rock albums to source and listen to for the top 100 count I blogged about last month).  Secondly aside from some thugs causing problems in Glasgow city centre this weekend which frankly, take it from me, had little to do with the vote and more to do with being scum that take any chance to cause problems most people have accepted the result.  Some are trying to create a ’45 rebellion through social media which is amusing since from what I have seen they on the whole seem unaware of their own history and the coincidence of the actual ’45 Rebellion and Bonnie Prince Charlie.  Thirdly and most vitally I would like to follow up on the passionate speech former Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave yesterday as it links to my own feelings on what will come next.  Let me tell you what I think is going to happen for Scotland and the UK over the next couple of years.

Well Scotland said NO as I predicted.  The SNP were voted into power in Scotland to govern not as a signal for a thirst for separation but as a protest to the Labour Party who had been in power really forever in Scotland and had produced such failures and third raters for leaders such as Jack (now LORD!) McConnell.  The same thing happened a year plus later in England as Labour was put out and a Conservative and Liberal coalition took power.  Since then the financial crash and recession that followed it has shown the total lack of spine of the political classes in London, in the ‘Westminster Bubble‘.  Despite putting the UK nearly to the wall not a single banker or politician (don’t forget the expenses scandal too) was jailed or even seriously penalised.  The people of the UK have lost their remaining faith in the political class, of career politicians who have never worked in the real world and frankly stand for nothing as they are all ‘consensus’ and ‘middle of the road’.  The end result was a scare for Westminster as this all added fire to the YES campaign but also to the rise of UKIP as a party in England on the issue of Europe and the loss of power there which again no politician will even admit never mind speak about or do anything about.  So where from here.  Well promises were made to Scotland for further devolved powers being granted to Hollyrood in the event of a NO vote.  The BBC and the political classes have it seems already put the issue of Scotland Independence behind them saying ‘that’s it for a generation’.  Trust me its not.  Here we go.

If Westminster forgets or reneges on enough of these promises from September 2014 then I think the election next year in Scotland will see the SNP remain in power (they may well do since I also think the Labour Party is finished in UK politics as it stands) on a new mandate and will push again for another referendum.  If that is the case then the next time the YES vote will win as the momentum combined with swinging the NO voters who believed in union who will have seen the lack of action after the last time will move to YES.  It would only take a 5% swing.  Meanwhile in England the voice for a devolved English parliament will continue as will the one for a Welsh and Irish one too.  David Cameron will not be prime minister after 2015 regardless as to which party wins (the men in grey suits will ‘retire him’ from leadership).  The Labour Party will shrink and other parties take its place.  Then there is the promised vote on membership of the Euro Zone….

Pessimistic yes but based on this week I think Gordon Brown was pretty much right.  This is not over, not by a long shot.  The Scottish debate is a small part of something happening the UK over and actually all across the Western World too.

I am not interested in Politics beyond the local but as I said I thought I might put something out about it since its happening here and now.


Club Tropicana for me the drinks were free


I am back.  Not that I ever really leave the virtual world.  A week off work, the first in quite a while.  It was nice and the fun did beguile.  Not much to say really.  I see no need to talk about it beyond that I enjoyed myself and got a tan.  I like flying and heat makes a refreshing change too.  Really the reason for this little entry was just to thank all those who wished me well on my time off knowing I don’t get a lot of it.  Thanks chaps and ladies.  It was Club Tropicana and the drinks were free…my dancing was not videoed…just as well really.

Things are back off to a flying start though.  What I am up to?  Well click on these links to see.

Alternative Armies


The Ion Age



Collectormania 2014 Glasgow


I had a great day on Saturday from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed late on after watching the taped new episode of Dr Who.  Among the highlights I can share with the public the brightest was my trip to Collectormania 2014 in Glasgow.  Its not often I get enough time together to do something like this but the trip had been planned for two weeks and I was raring to go.  Why you ask..well for the chance to meet two childhood heroes of mine and the chance to get some new t-shirts too.

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I got the shirts and as you can see above it was a smaller sized event, nothing like Salute at Excel in London, but that was good for me.  It meant that there was virtually no que to wait in for an autograph and it meant that you could actually spent a bit of time talking to the person too.  Sylvester McCoy is a really nice person and it was great to be able to speak to him.  I did not mention the seventh Doctor once rather it was more a meeting of two men from the former region of Strathcylde.  However for my good lady the star of the show was Dirk Benedict who took a real shine to her!  After that he was quite happy to talk about the A-Team and his time as Starbuck too.


We got our autographs which my eldest son who came with us found quite funny.  For you see I put no stock in religion or celebrity or anything else that is beyond my normal grasp as a Man.  I take each on its own merits but actually conversing with these two put a grin on my face that he found amusing!  I might well go back next year.  I missed Sophie Aldred as she was only there today and not Saturday.  Shame but there is always next time.

So I will finish on a last picture of my good lady with The Face Man as he was and still is known.  Hands off mate…she’s mine!



Start of a New School Year 2014


Today was the start of a new school year here in Girvan for my three sons.  The Thinker, The Poet and The Warrior donned their new uniforms and took up their new jackets (it is Scotland so it was cold in August!) and bags and headed for the class rooms.   This is an occasion for celebration every year but this year there was an extra event as my eldest was now attending secondary school going from a big fish in a little pond to a minnow in a lake.  So he headed off to Girvan Academy while the smaller two went back a year up to Girvan Primary.  As you can see in the image here they looked very smart indeed which is due entirely to my loving wife and not I who has now not shaved in near a week!

As is the duty of all good fathers I asked each how their first day went.  The replies were as follows starting with the youngest The Warrior.  He said that school was cool, that music is now his favourite subject and that having a class smaller than last year made him happy.  So a happy lad.  The middle lad, The Poet, was more reflective and while musing over a new book of tales published in conjunction with the school (in which he had a full entry) said that he hoped it would be pacer quicker than last year as he liked a challenge.  Now the eldest The Thinker looked all grown up in his shirt and tie and what did he think of his first day at a new school?  With a weight of years he said it was a big change with many more subjects and a lot of new faces to get to know.  He was most taken with the idea of responsibility in that he is now allowed out for lunch into the town as well as the canteen.

A big day then and it was a pleasure to see once more what fine lads they are and how they will make their parents justly proud in years to come.


Mistress Shani burns for The Ion Age!

Sometimes art takes many forms and today I got to see an example of Pyrography which is, to us lay folk, the art of burning images into wood. An ancient and worthy form of art in my opinion. Now to the matter in hand hot as it is!  Shani wife of Mark and a fan of The Ion Age made her loving husband a unique present of a dice box as seen in the image above. It was fashioned to match the cover of the coming Patrol Angis rulebook which you can see below.

I think Shani did an excellent job of it. You can see the original post HERE.


Find me on Facebook…finally

I reached the needed one thousand asks and finally signed up for Facebook this week.  I actually have been trying to avoid it due to the extra work involved.  Those who know me know that I just have to answer every comment and email and message sent to me and sometimes it takes me literally hours each day.  I do wonder sometimes if the old adage ‘if someone takes the time to write to you then you write back’ is meant to apply to the information age but in any event its what I do.

You can find me by searching Facebook for me as:  Gavin B Syme.

As result of this taking up of Facebook I am making efforts to join up with communities on that platform and making friends too.  By extension the weekly news, blog posts and product releases that I make from work are also going to feature on Facebook too.  It will not take long for me to get as noticed as I am on Google Plus.


Aside from this the current heat wave that is going on in Scotland is making life sticky for me and its been a ruddy long day too.  That being said that fact that we are so busy is a great thing and as I look towards the first birthday of my baby (that is The Ion Age not one of my actual children!) I am so proud of how well it is going.  It seems that honesty, quality, service and pricing never go out of fashion.  My good lady cheered me up by send me a picture this afternoon of the Poet and the Warrior having fun in the park in Girvan with the free kite display.  These huge kites are easily 50 to 150 feet long and it really makes the sky line pretty in the 25c to 30c heat.


Now we are Twelve the Thinker


I waited until the day after, the morning after, my eldest son’s birthday to make this small blog post.  The Thinker is now twelve and the time has passed so quickly it hardly seems real to me.  He had a great day yesterday electing to travel to a local leisure pool and enjoy the flumes and fun with his family and close friends (it was also the first time that I have been down a flume in more than a decade!).

It was an important birthday for him in my eyes as it marks the start of his journey to adulthood and I will tell you why.  The Thinker now has his own bedroom and has moved out of the shared room with his two brothers for the first time.  That room has a brand new desk and book rack in it for his soon to start school work for secondary school after the summer holidays.  He now has his first mobile phone which is an entry level model on a pre-pay contract meaning he can begin to interact with the digital world and learn those lessons too.  As always I am humbled by the adoration that people have for my son who is a wonderful boy, always helpful and always polite.  Cards, gifts and mementos came to him across the day.  Even a great new cover for his new bed!

It will not be long before I am speaking about him becoming a teenager….

Happy Birthday my Son.  From the very start and your first smile until each passing moment and your smiles of today you are the centre of my life.