Wise mums and Experiential Learning.

Two fantastic items helped cheer up my Sunday morning, with huge thanks to Mahe and Dr. Rebus.

The least said about the rest of the day, the better…to be discussed another time.


The good Doctor had reminded me about a wee story, one that I had almost forgotten. It was around his theme on the benefits of ‘experiential learning’ and the use of rubbers…ahem!

An association of ideas.

In the summer of 1969 I was 7 years old and fascinated to be watching tv pictures on the old DER black and white tele. In the morning BEFORE school!!

Watching Apollo 11 whisk Neil Armstrong and Buz Aldrin to the moon to take “one small step for man”. We were all completely transfixed.

I later discovered that Neil had wanted to say ” there’s no way a cow jumped over this…”

No, it’s all true…

Having access to 24 hours tv is something we now take for granted.

Then, it was a huge novelty, and of course the other news was being covered too.

I clearly remember watching images of rows of terraced houses burning in Ulster, and people being forced out their homes in the night. Also, police officers & soldiers throwing stones at locals. It was confusing to a 7 year old, as you can imagine.

What struck me was the look of sheer terror on my mother’s face.. this was a new thing to me.

My mum was the least excitable, most composed person in my wee world. At that time it was obvious to me she knew about everything. She had patiently taught me how to use a knife and fork, tie my shoe-laces, tell the time and to read & write. She was solid as a rock and I relied on her for absolutely everything and loved her dearly.

Yet here she was chalk white and distressed, trying to hide her tears. Not bubbling or anything, but she was dabbing her eyes and trying to avoid my inquisitive looks.

Then my questions…

I was curious and intrigued… even although I hadn’t any clue what those words meant then.

“Mum, why are they burning people’s houses and why are the policemen shooting people?”

She hurriedly explained it wasn’t real bullets, and that was the first time I heard about rubber bullets. She tried to explain they weren’t deadly ( yes, I know differently now…and she certainly knew the dreadful truth) the tv newsreaders were also talking about rubber bullets all the time.

My mum was attempting to reassure me that I wasn’t watching people being shot dead on morning tv. Of course she would.

Something wasn’t adding up. That didn’t explain why my mum was so clearly upset, in a way I never seen her before…my mind was working overtime.

Gradually, my ‘take-away’ was that rubber bullets aren’t dangerous, or even sore. So, just what was their purpose?

I also noticed that was the end of morning tv for me.

However, I must have been prattling on and on about how rubber bullets aren’t sore. Etc., etc. And my mum was probably just glad that I had not been having nightmares. Which would have been her primary concern at the time.

Then one night I was sitting beside my young brother on the couch watching kids tv… my mum sitting in an armchair with knitting bag on her knee. Next minute I felt something scudding off my shoulder….a ya!!

Then another off my arm…. a ya a ya aya!

Confused I looked around at my mum and she was taking aim at me with yet another missile.


‘ So, you didn’t think rubber bullets were sore?’

In her hand she held an eraser. My dad was an engineering draughtsman and the house was full of propelling pencils and long dark two/tone erasers/rubbers. They were unlike the wee white ones we used at school. These were very hard and shaped like …wee bullets.

Clearly my mum had waited a few weeks to make sure I had calmed down and wasn’t experiencing PTS, before deciding it was now safe to conclude my education on the effects of sundry public order control techniques.


Experiential Learning!

It was many years later I remember discussing those events with her,as I now had kids of my own and she was babysitting. I joked that I would be checking her knitting bag for grenades and molotov cocktails.

Just in case…

She was genuinely surprised I had remembered the story. Her own memory of those events was vivid and she told me how she really feared that the conflict could escalate and come to Scotland.

Then she told me her tears at the time were for all those poor mothers in Derry and Belfast!

Her eyes were filling again.

This time, I knew to look away…then give her a huge hug.

30 years later emotions were still raw.

God bless all our wee mums. The wisest people on earth.

Guest article by Saltires en Sevilla.

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December 19, 2018 7:13 am


When I was that age,telly was what those old people did. Never watched it. The first time I recall watching something-rather than being planked down in front of it,so that’ll be Bill n Ben then-was when we got beat by Ajax. I was seven at the time,and I still think we were robbed,two late goals then played them off the park in the second leg.

Still don’t watch telly much,never have. More music or books,me. But who do you think I watched Bill n Ben with?

Awe Naw
December 19, 2018 7:16 am

SECRET SANTAS Hearts supremo Ann Budge has revealed mystery backers have offered MORE money IF Craig Levein needs backed in transfer window
The mystery benefactors only condition is to have a relaxed dress code in the boardroom as they don’t like wearing ties

By Robert Martin
18th December 2018, 10:41 pmUpdated: 19th December 2018, 12:32 am
ANN BUDGE has revealed Hearts’ secret Santas have offered to give the Jambos more money — as long as there is no SFA scrutiny and they don’t have to wear a tie to Tynecastle.

Jambos chief Budge told shareholders at Tuesday’s AGM that the mystery benefactors, who gifted the club £3million last season, have already handed over a further £1m this term.

And Budge revealed they are prepared to dig deep again in the New Year if Craig Levein needs backed during next month’s transfer window.

The identity of the contributors remains confidential, to the frustration of many supporters who are wary of the motive behind their cash injection.

But Budge admits their support has been invaluable while the £15m redevelopment of Tynecastle has significantly drained resources.

She said: “I can understand the curiosity or concern because they have been incredibly generous, so yes, it’s almost human nature to wonder what’s in it for them.

“We’ve already had another injection during this financial year and it’s to help us.

“But they just want to be philanthropic. They like what we are doing.

“I can give 100 per cent assurances that the benefactors take no part in running any aspect of the club.

“I receive a phone call that says, ‘Do you think Craig Levein would appreciate a three million pound donation to help with the team?’. But they have no say beyond that.

“The only thing they’ve asked of me is that we relax the dress code in the boardroom because, on their very occasional visits, they don’t like wearing ties!

“During the conversations we have had they have said they’ll continue to support us while they are going through their period of rehabilitation, which I hope will come to an end fairly soon.

“So now that their need is presently not so great, the conversation has become, ‘Does Craig still need a few million?’.

“However they are not saying, ‘Take this money and spend it on X’. They want to continue helping and want to know where the greatest need is.”

Levein has already claimed Hearts won’t do much business in January with the likes of John Souttar, Uche Ikpeazu and Steven Naismith due to return from injury.

That could mean Czech striker David Vanecek, who signed a pre-contract in the summer, is the only January arrival.

But Budge has vowed Hearts will be in a position to move quickly if anyone leaves while the window is open.

She also confirmed talks are ongoing with regard to signing Scotland striker Naismith on a permanent deal when his deal at Norwich City ends in July.

Budge said: “I’ve asked Craig the question about January and his view is, ‘Get the players back fit, get David Vanecek in and we’re good to go’.

“We’ve got the usual things on the football side of trying to tie up players that we want to keep, which is ongoing, but we’re in pretty good shape.

“We’re talking to Steven Naismith. We want to keep him, there’s no secret about that.

“Steven’s at the stage of his career where I think he will make the decision for the right reasons.

“Does that mean he’ll stay with us? I don’t know. I know he’s been happy here.

“We know players move on, but if it’s right for the player and it’s right for us, so be it.

“We might lose one or two, but we won’t lose many.”

Budge revealed Levein has her full support as he prepares to fight the two-match SFA ban he received for comments about referee Bobby Madden following Hearts’ defeat to Rangers.

Levein branded the whistler’s performance abysmal and claimed his side were up against 13 men, which led to a notice of complaint from compliance officer Clare Whyte.

But Budge, referring to similar comments from Hibs rival Neil Lennon which went unpunished, reckons Levein has a strong argument ahead of his January hearing.

She said: “We’ve already put in our reasons why I didn’t think Craig should have been charged.

“In this sort of situation, there have been similar remarks made about referees and no action taken.

“Why should we take action against one but not against Neil Lennon? These are my two main arguments for Craig.”

Reply to  Awe Naw
December 19, 2018 7:40 am

Mystery donations to the order of millions of pounds to a major PLC,not a question asked.

How much for a political party,is it everything over £5k? Millions,but we’re fine as long as we don’t have to wear a tie. Mindblowing.

You coming over to Spain,or do you want me to send you a postcard?

Awe Naw
Reply to  majoc
December 19, 2018 7:43 am

I can´t make it Bud. If only I was rich like you 😉

Reply to  Awe Naw
December 19, 2018 7:46 am


Mail you in a mo,but trust me,church mice had a whipround for me at their last ludj meeting!

saltires en sevilla
Reply to  majoc
December 19, 2018 8:31 am


Honestly my first specific memory was May ’67 because everyone was in our house that night and the noise/reactions at the goals that stayed with me.

Do remember Watch with Mother and Andy Pandy and Bill n Ben. Mainly radio playing in our house.

When it wasn’t raining we were all outside playing.


saltires en sevilla
Reply to  Awe Naw
December 19, 2018 8:36 am

Aw naw

Dodgy as..violin cases with no strings attached?

December 19, 2018 1:22 pm

Saltires en Seville ,,
Great stuff partner and drags up memories indeed .
The burning houses was probably Cupar St , 1969 . Gearoid98 is the man for Belfast history though .
Rubber bullets eh , see a few but it was always its big brother the plastic bullet that was in use in my younger days . How those effing things became legal at all is another reason the witch should burn in hell , they were pure lethal . I was in the crowd when poor Sean Downes was murdered with one , while lying on the ground pleading dont shoot to the pig only 10 feet away , yet this non lethal round proved fatal ? Still werent banned after that of course .

We all love a good yarn and if it cant be done over a beer in person , best done over a blog I suppose .
For some reason an oul memory jumped at me there , a suit I worked for fired a McDonald’s worker one night . He didnt work there or anything , he just figured as a suit he had that power and thus fired him , I kid you not . They are a different breed all together .
We had been out on the lash all night and he convinced us not to go for a chinese or kebab but try his own personal favourite , le big mac . HYpes it up walking there and we get to the place , as its slow ( 2 am or so ) the manager on duty decided , lock the doors and 30 minute – 1 hour deep clean or whatever . The staff were there , it just wasnt serving .
Thoul boss stood at the door and fired everyone , never working in this town again etc .
I swear though , for all that money ( the boy had 2 houses , 3 cars including a sportscar , and a couple motorbikes ) him and the missus had zero class whatsoever . He acted like he owned you ( and offered up dirt on employees if you wished it and sometimes if you didnt ) and she washed the dirty laundry in public every chance she got ffs. Started off normal and hit some money and the head never stopped growing at all .
Visited me lying in a hospital bed with a 2 week off doctor note and said my ma was back to work 3 days after getting her appendix out , ill see you on Friday , and then threw a wobbler there in the ward when I said im sticking with that doctor over you sorry .
Funny now they are divorced ( of course ) and hes driving a private hack and I heard shes working in a petrol station . Oh it must have hurt coming down to earth !
The icing on the cake though , just this week I got a Christmas card from one that said I wish we could go back to those good old times ,,, yeah you loaded again and busting my balls to work every minute of every day , no thanks ! Fine where I am .

Hearts mystery benefactor ,,, sounds like a speed dating event ffs ,
I have no issue with anyone wanting to stay anonymous and they sound down to earth not liking ties , so fine there . But surely having income under anon in your accounts doesnt fly ,, so do they provide the governing bodies with the name and ask for confidence ?
It is strange but then its SCottish football and anything can happen , we should all know that by now !

Hail Hail

Reply to  mahe
December 19, 2018 2:05 pm

Bosses eh? What are they like?

By far most of the bosses I worked for were fine. But I had one when I worked in Airdrie. I worked for him for about 9 months, usually around 50 hours per week (unpaid extra hours).

About a month before Christmas I took a half day on a Friday as I was going to Blackpool for the week-end. As a manager I could more or less decide my own hours. But I failed to tell the area manager about my half day. Just my luck he turned up on the Friday afternoon! He was raging apparently. Even although I had a very competent deputy manager and I had more than worked enough hours to compensate. I didn’t think it was a big deal.

He was waiting for me on the Monday morning. Tore strips off me. I responded by handing him a months notice!

On my last day (Christmas Eve) he came into my office and handed me a Christmas card. Within it was £20. He said that’s to let you take your wife out for a drink. I replied ‘I’m not married!’ He blushed and stammered. I said to him that tells you everything about your ability as a manager.

(I kept the £20, stuff him!)

big packy
Reply to  saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 3:00 pm

SALTIRES EN SEVILLA never forget watching it on the little black and white tv remember my big sister telling me about andy pandy and bill and ben cant rememember them myself far too young.????

big packy
Reply to  jimthetim53
December 19, 2018 3:04 pm

JIMTHETIM53 well done pal, as a glenboig /Coatbridge bhoy ,never did like airdrie..hh.

December 19, 2018 3:48 pm


That was a great story! But wait a minute, you had a tele? You were lucky! We lived in a paper bag in the middle of the street!

The things people do to one another! In 1967 I worked in Rolls Royce Aero Engines in Hamilton working on test bed data from Stockholm. Little did I realise that my middle son would end up living there.

Amazing old thing the human brain, someone else’s story can ignite a long forgotten memory. Your story has me thinking of my mum who passed away four years ago. Her father was a gypsy and, sadly, she was ashamed of that. I have researched my family tree on the gypsy side but it is very difficult to get info on people who roamed through the UK.

I had two surreal experiences with gypsies, who I have often felt close to. First was in St Petersburg, Russia. Outside the Church of the Spilled Blood(great name, eh!) sat an old gypsy women begging. I gave her some cash and she looked into my eyes and said something. My friend who spoke fluent Russian said she was babbling something about you being one of them. She was correct, I did feel connected to her as she stared after me.

The second was in Florence after another cash donation to an old gypsy women outside a cathedral. She spoke English and asked me what tribe I was from. At that point I did not know the answer to that, but I do now.

Mum left me a lot but one of the most important was an insight into my background. Mums…..you cannot beat them!


Reply to  Awe Naw
December 19, 2018 3:58 pm


Money going into Hearts? Probably innocent but one wonders why.

One aspect of the current ownership of Sevco that has always puzzled me is why is DK so interested in a loss making business in a country that he no longer lives in?

I do not see how he can make money out of this venture as share price falls and losses mount. Perhaps he is altruistic and wants to give back……..but does that really fit with his track record?

He has opportunities to bail but still he hangs in there. Why?

One by one his allies fall away but he endures. Why?

Answers on the back of a Canadian one hundred bill, should be addressed to Rebus’ Malaga fund.


saltires en sevilla
Reply to  mahe
December 19, 2018 6:25 pm


They sound like a right pair indeed.

I’ll bet you have a thousand stories… one day we will have that beer.


saltires en sevilla
Reply to  jimthetim53
December 19, 2018 6:35 pm


Sounds like another eejit. He didn’t know you were single?… What a tube.


saltires en sevilla
Reply to  Rebus67
December 19, 2018 6:43 pm


Rented tele, Domestic Electrical Rentals…

It was ‘first up, best dressed’ too… hopped to school sharing a pair of sannies with my brother.

You must tell us more about your research some Sunday morning. I’ll look forward to that buddy.


saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 6:48 pm

Hoping we bounce back and send out a clear message to the rest that the farting about with experimental fitba is parked until we are back at the top and have some clear blue water between us and second team.

Must ask the top bhoys to deliver no room for anything but a solid victory in next 4 games.

Whats the betting on Lenny spending time in the stand tonite?

saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 6:52 pm

CELTIC: Gordon; Ralston, Simunovic, Benkovic, Izaguirre; Forrest, McGregor, Brown, Sinclair, Ntcham; Edouard.
Subs: Bain, Gamboa, Ajer, Hayes, Morgan, Mulumbu, Johnston.

saltires en sevilla
Reply to  saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 6:52 pm

Erza fissul team…

Reply to  saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Big night for Ralston, sinky and Olly. The later 2 dont really deserve a start .
Delighted Ralston starts , no point having him otherwise.
And yes Lenny will be sent to the stands,,I fancy they take something.
Hail Hail

big packy
Reply to  saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 7:01 pm

SALTIRES ,you haven’t seen my post 3 hours ago, ok ill forgive you, btw lets hope we win.hh.

saltires en sevilla
Reply to  mahe
December 19, 2018 7:11 pm


Glad Ralston given a go.

Sense a better defender than going forward. Will be interesting,no doubt about that.


saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 7:30 pm

Big Packy

Aye missed that , it was farther up the page buddy,I saw it now ?

Do you remember the very early Magic Roundabout? – i only watched it because my uncles found it hilarious. It was years later i discovered why …

Hope ye are keeping well and dugs cozy by the fireside.

What prediction tonite?

I’m going for a rock solid no frills 1-0


big packy
Reply to  saltires en sevilla
December 19, 2018 7:44 pm

SALTIRES, a scrappy win will do, all by the fireside hope you ar ok.hh.

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  big packy
December 19, 2018 7:50 pm


I’m good thanks

As young Ralston drives forward and spins an excellent ball across the 6 yard box-,asking to be tapped in.

Good start son!

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  big packy
December 19, 2018 8:07 pm

First 20 mins looking decent enough – just need a wee bit more composure around their box.

Much better.

Brother Madden ignoring Sammon plating Ralston- sneaky bassa

Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:15 pm

Ralston 1-0 brilliant son

As good going forward as defence just shows ye


Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:17 pm

Penalty Celts stonewaller

Sinclair 2-0 yasssssss

The Gombeen Man
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:23 pm

2nil, don’t have the game on, thanks for the update.

Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:24 pm

Mothers must come out now and seem unable to press so high. We are moving the ball quickly tonight – pinging ball one touch. They not handling us too well

Looking very confident and much more encouraging.

Anthony Ralston looking the biz.

Odsonne looking in some discomfort now …

Coming off for Mickey Johnson

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  The Gombeen Man
December 19, 2018 8:27 pm


We are looking good tonite


Just lost Odsonne to thigh injury didnt see what happened

Johnson is on

Hope just a precaution

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:31 pm

Goooaaaal Mickey Johnson

What a belter

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:31 pm

3-0 and running riot now

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:35 pm

HT 3-0

Very very solid show from Bhoys.

Ralston, Broony N’tcham, Jamesy Sinclair and Micky Johnson all looking the biz

Well are awful but mainly because we are moving the ball so well

Zipping it aboot!!

The Gombeen Man
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:39 pm

Just logged back in and it’s 3… world-beater’s again.

The lift we all needed.


Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 8:42 pm

Looking at goals again – Odsonne is laying off great ball for Ralston goal.

Involved in Jamesy penalty – is the big man a No 10 or No 11????

December 19, 2018 8:43 pm

Superb goal by Mikey. Game over. Hh

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Gordon64
December 19, 2018 8:46 pm

Aye make the changes at 60/65 mins

Rest Jamesy and Callum ??

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:10 pm

65 mins Lewis Morgan coming on for scott Sinclair

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:29 pm

Surprised no more subs – Great opp to rest Jamesy or Callum here ?

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:37 pm

FT 3-0

Easy a 3pts as we are likely to win all season.

Well done Bhoys

Broony MoTM on his 500th appearance


Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:38 pm

Top of the league – again !!

Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:42 pm

Great stuff , and 2 youngsters shine! Give the kids a chance and they usually take it. Why not use then both from now on?
Seen fair bit of der hun there,, should won. If morelos had a bit of football intelligence he would be a goodun.
Tav missed a sitter . Ah well .
Hail Hail

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:42 pm

Every player stood up and counted tonight – a perfect reply to Sunday.

Excellent games by both Ralston and Mikey Johnston. Both scoring their first goals for Hoops

Very impressed by these two lads.

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  mahe
December 19, 2018 9:45 pm


They both deserve more game time now abd proved they are ready

Mrs SeS has the currants game on and laughing at their rolling about

Saw that sitter too

Anyway Hoops bounce back and very positive attitude tonight.

Job done ✅

The Exiled Tim
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:47 pm

Very decent performance after the weekend, virtually the same team, the mind boggles so it does.
Madhun was at it all game, a cheating scumbag.
Back to the top tho, good to see Tony and Mickey playing let alone get on the score sheet, it will do their confidence a power of good, but will they get the chance to show it, I have ma doubts, thot Broonie was good tonight, moved the ball quicker and forward more than normal, I think he knows he has to.
Mothers, I had a good one, there is a saying that the good die young, happened to my mother, yet the not so good ling so much longer, life’s no fair sometimes.

The Exiled Tim
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 19, 2018 9:48 pm

I am sure both have scored before tonight, I know for a FACT that Tony has 😉

Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  The Exiled Tim
December 19, 2018 9:49 pm

Good result buddy.

Nice thoughts about yer mum too ?


Saltires en Sevilla
Reply to  The Exiled Tim
December 19, 2018 9:51 pm


saltires en sevilla
Reply to  The Exiled Tim
December 19, 2018 10:02 pm

League goals – my bad buddy