Troon from Dundonald Hill

This is Troon, the town in which I was brought up. The "sron" (the Gaelic word) or "nose" is clearly visible - it is the point on which the harbour is now built, with the breakwater emphasising it. In the background is the Island of Arran.

I was speaking today at the NUS Scotland conference in Irvine and was slightly early. Out of nowhere came the thought that I should use the little extra time for this blip, as the view is one I have known since I was child. In fact the reverse of it was what I could see from my bedroom window when I was very young - Dundonald Hill in the distance.

I left Troon , more or less, when I was 17 to go to Edinburgh University. Although my parents stayed on there until I was 21, I only visited, as students do. But I had all my secondary education at the Marr College , where my father had been in the first intake and where , because of my published criticism of how the building had been allowed to deteriorate, I was banned for some years, even though I was a regional MSP for the area.

Perhaps there was something in the air today that guided me to this picture. Within a couple of hours, whilst I was on my way down to see her in hospital in Annan, I got a message to say my Aunt Janet (my father's sister) had died, who was in a sense my last real link to my parents and this town, though I have a cousin who still lives there. I blipped her last July - I am glad I did becaue there are very few pictures of her and none in the last few years apart from this one, which she didn't want taken.

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