Published: 08/09/2017 11:20 - Updated: 07/09/2017 11:22

From our September 8th 2017 edition


That’s a whole week passed since we came back from holiday and already it seems like a distant dream!

Actually, I count myself incredibly fortunate to be able to go away.  There are lots of people who don’t have the opportunity to travel either because they are ill or simply because they don’t have the means.  I am spoiled, I know!

That was brought home to me fairly forcefully while we were away.  We were in Romania where there an awful lot of people living on what amounts to pocket money.  I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I have so much more than many.  For us, it was cheap to eat out.  It didn’t cost much for entry to museums or galleries.  For too many Romanians however, their income could not stretch even to the cost of fast food.

That’s a humbling thought.

Young people out for the evening, sat in café bars with one drink all night.  And it wasn’t alcohol.  It was water or coke or jugs of proper lemonade.  Beer was about the same price, but they chose soft drinks. We didn’t see any youngsters worse for the wear and we were in two university towns and another two cities the size of Inverness. 

We don’t do normally do posh, but for our last night, we booked into an upmarket hotel that cost only a little more than a travel lodge does here. They upgraded us to a suite.  Complete with full length balcony.  The bathroom had one of those sit up baths and as I sat in it I found myself thinking back to my childhood.  It reminded me of bath nights when we were little.  A bath would be put in front of the coal fire in the living room because that was the only heated room in the house.  The towels would be warming while we were bathed and then we were swaddled in their warmth when the bath was over.  For us back then, trips away were in the bus or when we were going really far (to my Granny in Falkirk) we took the bus and the train. 

Life has moved a long way since those days in a wee council house in Penicuik.  As I think back I really do count my blessings and my heart goes out to those for whom even a bus ticket is too expensive. Surely in this modern age, we can find a way to care for each other more?

In the Bible, we are challenged to “have the same concern for everyone” (Romans 12:16).  Perhaps we need to start making that a priority and not an optional extra.  Then no one will go hungry while others worry about diets.  What do you think? – Susan Brown. 

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