Peeling an orange this morning I remembered how I’d been taught by my mother who, in turn, had learned how to do it from her father. My grandfather (among many jobs) sold fruit and vegetables between the wars. Nuggets of advice filtered through to us about skinning oranges and packing bananas last…I am still careful when bagging my shopping at the checkout. I guess there are certain things you can’t unlearn. There’s a family saying I’ve even managed to pass on which involved a young schoolboy’s visit to a distant cousin of my mother’s. It all happened so many generations ago it’s impossible to clarify the true origin of the tale. I’m sure the main players in the story would be surprised at how a simple comment at the tea table has become immortalised into family folklore.

Some of this came back when I happened upon an advertisement on twitter for Peugeot cars. Latching on to our innate love of nostalgia they printed an image of a 60’s estate car and asked people to share their Peugeot memories. As I looked at the picture I remembered the visit of my father’s cousin and her family home from the Belgian Congo in their own vehicle which (apart from the colour) looked exactly like the one in the photograph. There was something very exciting about a car which had made it all the way back from Africa and contained so many people. In the haze of memory they looked not unlike the family in the advert.


Memories are incredibly important to us. Our photo feed on our computer wants to remind us and our social media does the same. ‘Look what you were doing this time last year. Do you remember this special day? It’s a birthday.’ In truth I gave up on Facebook for fear I couldn’t keep up with the anniversaries. I like to pick and choose my moments of nostalgia; but memories sneak up from behind. Songs in films and TV shows are great at putting the emotional energy into a scene that can often just be a face or a still shot. Match it to the music and suddenly we’re back where we first heard it first. One of the best ever was Tiny Dancer‘s moment in the sun in the tour bus during ‘Almost Famous.’

How will your photo albums remind you of 2020?  Mine will have an absence of friends, foreign travel and a surplus of sunny Scotland shots and garden improvements…it could be worse. For those of us who like to spend a few nights of any month at a gig we’ll perhaps notice the blank spaces in our diaries and the lack of live shots from our nights out. It really has been very quiet. Until now.

This week on BBC Radio Scotland we’re inviting in some special friends to make a bit of a racket again. You may have already heard some snippets on some of your favourite shows. There’s been jazz, classical and rock so far and on this Tuesday’s Another Country we will welcome Ferris and Sylvester into the BBC to entertain you with a live set recorded earlier in the afternoon at the Quay. We’re excited to welcome the band in as we’ve been playing their music for the last year or so and we can’t wait to hear the session, a great choice of cover version and spend a bit of time chatting over their own story. As well as that we’ll have some fab music from Brad Paisley, Luke Combs, Darlingside, Emily Barker and The Long Ryders.

It all starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland. Join me if you can.