Category Archives: jim



One of my most precious possessions is a 10p coin minted in 1962. It’s not a special coin in itself. It’s just an ordinary 10p coin, but to me, it means the world.

Jim, my hero-worshipped grandfather, and I were walking along Rink Street, probably heading for Lilwills, the bakery that made the best egg sandwiches I have ever had. They also made the best cheese and tomato sandwiches, now that I think about it. I was about 6 then and, as was my habit, was walking with my nose to the ground. I like to think it was so that I could spot coins, but it was probably out of a fear of tripping over a crack in the pavement. I was just that kind of kid. On this occasion, though, I did spot a coin, much bigger than the coins I was familiar with. Pounds and pence had been out of South Africa for some years by then.

Jim told me all about the pence. He was Scottish, you see and knew about these things. To me, that was the most exciting of all… a coin from ‘his world’! The fact that angels leave coins for people to find was even more special. We took the coin home and Jim put it on a chain for me. This chain is very long by my adult standards, so it must have hung at my knees back then, which is probably why I never wore it, but I treasured it. As an adult, I wear it a lot. It reminds me of Jim and makes me feel he’s still watching out for me.

It’s funny that… that I feel he’s watching out for me. Someone mentioned once that I had an angel watching out for me. I was going through a really rough time. It was about then that I had a dream that mixed Jim up with a lion and words of courage. Still, it was, to me, just a dream with a message. I thought no more of it. Not long after, here in Ireland, I found a shiny new 10c piece lying smack dab in the centre of a doorway. Still, I didn’t think much of it, as someone could have dropped the coin. When I found another one, also new and shiny and 10c, I started thinking it was odd, but what made it far more unusual was that this one was smack dab in the centre of the doorway of a chicken shed! Not the sort of place one would usually drop a coin. Ok, I was paying attention by then. I found 4 more coins. All of them, without fail, bright shiny new 10c pieces and all lying in the centre of doorways. This was in the space of a couple of months. Too much coincidence? I’d say. So don’t mind me if I believe my beloved Jim is watching over me and holding my hand when times get a little rough. I still have all those coins. Perhaps one day, I’ll put them on a bracelet to match my necklace.


Posted by on October 23, 2013 in jim, memories


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Do I or don’t I?

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Naturally, I do. I don’t want to, but I will.

Jorge had to go into the village yesterday to resolve a tax issue. It was hot again. We’ve had a couple of days of what I consider typical Brazil weather, blazingly hot day with temperatures around 97°F (37°C) and thunderstorms in the late afternoon, early evening. He took very long coming home, which surprised me, as we’ve all been pretty much staying indoors to escape the heat. It turns out, he had met up with a buddy of his who asked him about English classes. It’s well known around here that we’re English speaking. He told this friend that I was the one who taught and that I’d give him a call later to arrange classes.

This is where the “do I or don’t I” comes in. When we moved here, I gave up my students. The travel time and cost made it impractical to continue, as they were all right in town. One student would require 3 buses. For the amount I earned, it wouldn’t be worth it at all. At first, I thought of taking up with an English school here, but once we’d moved in, I got hopeful that I could earn a living with my photo restoration and photography. I’ve been trying to phone this prospective student, but so far haven’t managed to catch him at home. Typically, they only want an hour a week anyway, so its not such a big deal. We’ll see how that goes.

Today, we got caught in a heavy storm rainfall when going into the village. We got thoroughly soaked and enjoyed it immensely. This evening, while figuring out the colour codes for my page here, I was listening to Andy Stewart (courtesy of Paula) who I found quite by accident.

I grew up listening to Andy Stewart. My grandad, Jim, as many of you know already, was a Scot. I think he would listen to Scottish Soldier when he was feeling homesick. He must surely have been homesick at some point. I can understand that. Hm…. perhaps I’ll put some music in here. Everyone knows “Scottish soldier”, but who of you know what this song is all about…….

Did I lose you there?

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Posted by on November 1, 2007 in andy-stewart, jim, scotland, teaching, work

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