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‘There’s Something About Susie’

True Friendship. Wholesome. Spiritual. Richer. Uncomplicated. Honest.

Susie Elaine worked as Commercial Sales Manager at Apple’s outlet on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

During the winter months of 2016 I was on the lookout for upgrading laptops, so visited Apple’s newly opened prestigious store.

This was my first time meeting with Susie. Ahead of detailed discussions, I explained my neurological inability to deal with a quick-fire information deliveries due to the onset of diagnosed Parkinson’s.

An immediate connection was established, and there was a sense I wasn’t alone here in all things neuro’ disorder.

Atop a flight of internal stairs to Apple’s  commercial section, Susie took time aside to explain her own recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I fell silent as Susie’s take on illness and brain conditions were spoken with such positive resolve.

I was mesmerized, transfixed, and simply gobsmacked by her delivery, and by her obvious natural beauty. But it wasn’t just the physical, it was Susie’s inward spirituality and warmth. Her face shone with belief in greater protective powers.

Susie’s emotional response produced moistened eyes. We shared the warmest of cuddles, one which seemed to be a passing on of celestial positive messaging.

It is a moment of humanity always to recall, and it sealed not just a business association but a valued new friendship too.

Susie’s career has moved on from her time at Apple, now using her gift as a life coach helping others to transform their lives.

There are few who have inspired and enriched my eventful life. Fewer still, those whose qualities set themselves way above what we hope for ourselves. Susie is inspirational. 

How fortunate we each are to suffer in small measure, while others endure so much yet head forward in positive belief.

How fortunate I am to have good positive friendships, especially with Susie.  

Extract from:
‘Being Malcolm – Too Many Heartbeats’  ©


Cara – ‘The Day Sunshine Returned’

It wasn’t the diagnosis of Parkinson’s which impacted most, it was the initial journey through a mental health darkness so black I cancelled the future.

Over five years ago I denied my own future, parked the business, surrendered to the onset of this degenerative brain condition, and then indulged in feeling terribly sorry for myself. 

Relocation brightened the horizon. It was just a wee step, but a step forward nonetheless.

I could breathe freely again.

Regaining control of life’s basic daily grind was a slow, but spiritually rewarding experience. It was still very dark, but a lighter shade of black.

Starbucks Coffee House on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile provided calm environs.

It was a dreich Scottish rainy December’s day.

Christmas was looming, the shops were bustling with seasonal cheer, and here was I sat alone in deepest thought.

Then something, or rather someone caught my attention in a random kind of way.

That someone was the strikingly lovely Cara, also sat alone at an adjacent table, seemingly lost in her own thoughts.

Our conversation started with ease.

Time seemed non-existent as we swapped emails, telephone contact, aspirations, plans, even life stories, and drank lots of coffee.

The sunshine returned that day.

Cara inspired and encouraged a return to my business with her artistic and creatively beautiful mind.

Our story since makes for an interesting read, with bizarre real-life links to the executed Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu; and with a strangely juvenile, ever-present and jealous Edinburgh Jack-In-The-Box stalking our every move. 

It was Cara who inspired my hitherto hesitant return to a stalled and moribund business. And it is Cara’s lasting inspiration that continues to return the sunshine.

I am forever grateful.

Extract taken from:
‘Being Malcolm – Too Many Heartbeats’  ©


Kat’s Caring Vocation Finally Realised

A different kind of night shift greets former Starbucks coffee barister Katya these days, as she achieves her ultimate career ambition in nursing.

When the Covid pandemic slammed shut the doors of Glasgow airport’s primary land-side coffee outlet, Kat instinctively knew another door of opportunity had already opened.

Her regular nightshift warming welcome so often became a haven for travelling public, for numerous night time taxi drivers, airport workers, and for journeying journalists!

During quieter shifts Kat would often share with me her personal story of burning ambition and desire to change direction.

What makes Katya stand out from the crowd isn’t just her devotion to caring for people, it’s the incredible stoicism she shows while totally disregarding her own issues. Shared confidences with me will remain just that, but my admiration for Kat’s drive and passionate resolve will also be recognised by those managing colleagues within the NHS.

Starbucks’ loss, is our wonderfully caring National Health Service’s gain.

You’ll be missed by many Katya.