So a 88 year old passed away after a full life. No, I don't mean Tony Benn but my own father who passed away peacefully 2 weeks ago. An end of an era for our family. It is at times at this that you put things into perspective. What is important and what is not. I suppose we all look inwardly or selfishly at things at times and it is only when a life changing event occurs that you are brought back down to earth. The important things -your family, children, honesty, integrity, health and love. Lets leave the nastiness of life at our door. I am not really into poetry other than the odd Burns poems and ones learned at school by the Great Anti-war poets. I remember reading this poem as a small boy on a piece of paper written in pencil by my Grandfather born in 1893 in Pollokshaws, and kept fresh in the family bible. No name of the author. I didn't quite understand it then as to it's meaning but as I grow older it is beginning to hit home. Maybe for you also? Cheers.

“Toddlin down the Brae” Yestrun a puir auld beggar man cam toddlin doon the brae His feet was sair his face was wan 1 , his shaggy beard was grey Some whelps “o” boy’s were playing there, Wha’d nai mair sense thay kye For sneers and jeers they dinna spare as he gaid hirplin by- The puir auld man had heard their crack an slowly turnin roon Tae that hauf glaiket pack he read a lecture soon; Oh boys! said he, I’m woe to see ye stop yer hairmless play Tae rile a puir auld man like me, Wha’s toddlin doon the brae This life said he is yae lang brae, we a’ mair toddlin doon We’ve a oor’ ain wee bit tae dae as langs the world gangs roon The rich an puir, The big and wee ha’e a’ their pairts tae plae; An you my boys are just licht me Ye’re toddlin doon the brae The sky sae blue that smiles on you yince, looked as fair on me An’ visions bricht that meet yer view I yince myself could see Ye’re on the road that I hae’ trod this mony a lang lang day Tho’ braids yer back an lich yer food Ye’re toddlin doon the brae The road I’m share to you look fair, but oh ye little ken, There kittle2 places here and there that try the best of men So when ye meet wi’ yin like me, wha’s feeble auld and grey, just whisper tae ye’rsel That he is toddlin doon the brae I hope ye’ll no be angry noo if I’ve been ken o’ snelll’ God grant yer troubles may be few for I’ve had lots myself Then, as the boys gaid ower the stile I heard the wanderer say May fortune smile on you the while Ye’re toddlin doon the brae Weel cowed, they a’ gaid slinkerin hame, an pleased was I to see On every face a look O’ shame, A tear in every ee’ Then turnin slowly roon’ again the auld man went his way An limpin on thro’ win’ and rain Gaed toddlin doon the brae 1 pale or sickly in appearance 2 difficult