The last printed column……
Hey ho. So here we go for the last time. No really. This is it. For ten years I have sat down on a Monday morning and written this column.10 years, 52 weeks a year without exception. No high days, no holidays, no Xmas day, boxing day, birthdays off . Every week no matter what was going on in the world or in my life I wrote this column and sent it off on a Monday, of course by Sunday I can’t remember what I’ve written so propped up with a head like a bag of bolts and a face like a crumpled bag I read it when it is delivered on a Sunday morning. Sometimes cringing, often hiding it from my husband.
I wrote it in bed, at desks, in cafe’s, hotels, strangers laptops and long hand with the help of ye olde fax machine in the UK, Spain, London & USA.
During this time my son grew from a podgy Primary 1 boy to battling hormonal highs and lows of his teenage years. All covered candidly on this page.
I’ve had highs and lows of body weight, mood and of course times when life’s walloped me so hard I fell over and didn’t think I would ever get up. But I did. And in no small way thanks to you. Letters, cards, comments in bars, incongruous party conversations with readers in lifts, bars, supermarkets, airports, the western isles, more bars, Glasgow, Banchory, Dumfries, Spain, London. Youngsters, middle-aged and older folk and men. Seems the hairier sex can’t resist a wee look when their wives say ‘God I know exactly what she means’ as we share the universal joy of living with the lesser spotted and often annoying Scottish male.
Dave my long suffering husband has had the peshwari ripped out of him for his snoring, his dress sense, his habits and for just being a typical curry eating, wine gargling, slightly further back down the foodchain Scotsman. Many a time he has turned to me after I have done something appalling and said ‘God I wish I had a column’ and I thank the Lord he doesn’t. He too has mixed feelings about the column coming to an end – mainly joy.
Everywhere I go people ask about Dynamite?Well I am happy to say she is here riding shotgun as ever my dear pal who as stood by me through thick and thin – that refers to both the size of my body and the state of my life. A better cheeky wee boozy pal you could never wish for and she’ knows only too well she is lumbered with me for the duration.
There have been world changing days. Awful days. 9/11, The Tsunami, Haiti .
There has been humiliation like new years eve live broadcast when I stood like a lemon on a rooftop in Edinburgh as the entire TV program blew away round me but as my Dad would always say. You live a long time after you’re laughed at. Aye if that’s true I should make it to about 250.
It all started when I was presenting a chat show on STV when the then editor Allan Rennie asked me if I would like to write a column. Me? God I don’t think I can do that. Och give it a shot he said. I did and 10 years on here I am. When the TV show was axed I asked you going to axe me ? No he said keep going and I did. The column changed from being about celebs to being about life in Scotland with a bloke, a kid, 2 mutts, and a deep love of crisps, chocolate and wine.
The papers support and encouragement spurred me on to write a book, The Nappy Years which was a bestseller in Scotland So thank you for that Ed. Forever grateful as I hurtle into 2010 with two novels in the pipeline.
The response I have had over the years has been heart warming and moving. The hardest day not only in the past 10 years but in my life was the day in May 2008 when I lost my dear Dad and I was bowled over by the literal hundreds of messages,cards and letters you took the time and trouble to write. Each one was so special to receive and read and through that there was a genuine feeling of comfort and not being alone. It’s dawned on me that that’s exactly what this column has become about. Unplanned and unexpected you, me and that hairy fool over there we are all the same. Warts and all. Mainly warts in this house admittedly but that feeling we all suffer from the human condition together has made me feel better about everything good or bad.
So today is the end of an era and the start of a new one. Only this week a friend texted me saying she just met a fan of the column on a ski tow in the Alps and I got a letter from a lovely lady suggesting before I strangle my Mum I get her daughter to teach her how to use her computer. Thank you for your support, your letters, your kind words and your hilarious stories it just won’ t be the same without you. I wish you well and with a tear in my eye.
Of course I will continue to write my diary, I can’t stop now! So if you have a Computer click on http://alisonsdiary.com From paper to cyberspace it’s new, exciting and a seismic shift. Here you can meet Dynamite in living colour, hear her cheeky nonsense first hand and even better join in too – oh and you can win a fabulous designer handbag and bottle of champagne ! Take care of yourselves – see you in cyberspace http://alisonsdiary.com