In June 2017 Di and I left Sydney and spent two weeks in Amsterdam and then ten days touring around the Scottish Highlands. As much for myself as anything else, I decided to set out my impressions and thoughts of Scotland in this period of great uncertainty about the future of the place I was born. In the canal house flat where Di and I spent most of our time
It started in the shires of the English midlands and finished in the arid saltbush of Whyalla, South Australia. It was the year my life changed. In September 1966 I turned 13. Two days after my birthday my family—my father, mother, sister and brother—got on a train in Kettering, Northamptonshire. It took us to London, very much still the Swinging City, where we changed trains for Southampton. There, berthed at
I was sitting on the bench at St Joseph’s College on Saturday doing the paperwork after refereeing the Joey’s versus Riverview seconds. Two reds and four yellows—not a bad haul for 50 minutes work. The coach of the Joey’s First XI looked familiar. ‘Is that Jason Culina?’ I asked the Joey’s Master in Charge. He nodded. I finished my reports and caught Culina’s eye. ‘Hi Jason. Did you see that
I guess my dad started following Leicester City shortly after we made the move from Kinlochleven in Scotland to Corby, Northamptonshire in 1957. At the time Leicester was the only First Division team in the East Midlands. It was 25 miles by road and although we didn’t have a car, I vividly recall him taking me to a couple of games on the bus. I don’t recall much about the
A selection of images from the slide show put together by my sister Carol and her daughter Zoe Tooby and played at my father’s funeral in Whyalla, South Australia on 20 January 2015. Thanks for everything dad and as they say in the Highlands: Gus am bris an là agus an teich na sgàilean (until day breaks and the shadows retreat).
The eulogy delivered at my father’s funeral on 20th January 2015, in Whyalla, South Australia. Family and friends—thank you all for coming today, especially those who have travelled from outside Whyalla. We are here to pay our respects and honour and remember the life of my father, Ian Robertson, born 20 August 1926, Kinlochleven, Scotland, died 11 January 2015, Whyalla. To paraphrase the words of the poet, Dylan Thomas, my
The date was in the calendar on the fridge—28 September—but it was a pretty low-key build up to this year’s Australian University Games in the Robertson household. Calum had picked up a knee injury playing club football with Mosman and it was touch and go as to whether he would play any part at all. He got the all clear from the physio the week before and went for a
My father had been living at home since my mother died last year. I had arranged to spend a week with him in August, but two weeks before I was due to fly over to Whyalla he fell and broke his hip. He had a successful hip replacement operation, but the general anaesthetic really played havoc with his (previously mild) dementia. He was in hospital for three weeks and then transferred