There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I thought I'd give followers of The Stair a wee heads up that I intend to bring the Blog to an end on the 30 December, 2012.
I feel there's a nice synchronisation to this. By then I'll have written about 75,000 words which I intend to marshal and edit slightly into a purely print version. When I've done this if anyone would like a copy please let me know and I'll be delighted to forward you a download.
I could continue well into the future in a similar vein, but I've always been a big fan of David Daiches lovely book Two Worlds set in Edinburgh in the 1920s and 1930s. It's approximately 70,000 words long and I think it's a good model.
I've still got much to write about so will have to prioritise what goes in and what stays out over the next three weeks or so. If there is anything that any reader would like to see featured or edited or mistakes rectified then please let me know.
Also is there anyone missing who really should be included? Of the themes covered are there any glaring gaps? My approach has been to do little vignettes whereby key themes have ebbed and flowed throughout the Blog-particularly work, life and play, with sub themes of class; economics; health and well-being; education; rights and wrongs; etc. as displayed through the quirks of the way we all behaved or situations we got ourselves into.
I'm concious for example that there has been little if anything on boy/girl romances and relationships; love and sex; also religion hasn't featured enough; politics has only been touched upon at the fringes; and similarly death too. I also feel I should have made an effort to meet up with others to get their stories-in particular the Hanlons-I did once arrive with some cakes on the doorstep of 6/7 and knocked on Hilda's door-Hilda being the very last remaining resident at The Stair-Hilda was out-I wasn't sure whether that was a good thing or not. There's a wonderful book called Akenfield by Ronnie Blythe which records the way of life of a small English village in Surrey which simply records the various members of the community's own stories. I'm very aware that this is a significant gap in the Blog. I had hoped otherwise thinking that others might have got in touch-again I haven't been proactive enough. If I'd been based in Edinburgh I might have tried harder; is it too late?
In the occasional comments exchanges I've mentioned that I've taken more of an instinctive approach rather than an intellectual one, whereby I've partly allowed it to almost take on a life of its own allowing it to go off in certain directions but always coming back to the core concept of life at The Stair. This has led to it being much more weighted toward others, but perhaps that has been because they featured more prominently in my life at The Stair. That said, individuals such as Michael; Colin; Alan; Gail; Esther; Les; the Sibbalds-remember them?-and even my sister, Anne, were all children who I played with and were important in my day to day life at The Stair.
One last thing, which Liz Blades suggested several months ago is a Where Are They Now column which would bring the Blog to a natural conclusion. I would need a little assistance on this-especially as I'm not on Facebook-so I may well be in touch with one or two of you!