This week we had a nice email from Duncan McLaren - a writer we've now known, it seems, a long time - although we never get to see him now as he lives up in Scotland, close to his parents and with Kate - their partnership formed some seven years ago now on the Bata-ville bus.
Anyway, he has just launched a new website covering much of his work. I cannot recommend highly enough the section called 'Mabel and Ian' which is about Zimmersong A Lifelong Love Story. This is essentially a blog that Duncan has been writing about his time spent with his aging parents, much of which reflects on his mother's life. He draws from her diaries and their current conversations, which are often given a surreal and at times deep intensity by her dementia.
Whenever I go to the blog I think I'll just read a couple of entries and before I know it I've spent a couple of hours reading back through the story of their times together. There is something very touching about the calm and precise way Duncan recounts their excursions. For anyone who has spent time with an elderly relative or certainly in a carehome environment they are very familiar - they are about his mother's life but they are also about much more than this.
I looked today for a picture of us all on the bus, instead I chose this image of Duncan's (much discussed) contribution to the communal bunting - hanging bold in biro clarity amongst the other jaunty felt and stiched contributions.