Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Tweeddale and Lauderdale

Men’s Sheds debate

I led a Member’s Debate in the Scottish Parliament featuring Sheds across the Borders but also our very own Peebles Men’s Shed, now located in the Ex-servicemen’s Club premises. Sheds come in all shaped and sizes, some with a small membership but not in the case of Peebles which, although in its infancy, already has over 70 members. It was a pleasure to welcome Malcolm Bruce, Les Silk and Iain Coates to the debate. My dad had his very own 'man’s shed' halfway down the garden. It was just called the garden shed in those days. Apart from the garden and carpentry tools (he was rubbish at carpentry by the way) he kept there it was his own personal space, though we didn’t use that term then. It was just far enough away from we five children corralled in a very small council house. Mum was glad to let him go there as it kept peace in the household and a marriage that lasted 60 years until her death. Men’s Sheds have much in common with dad’s shed: a place to go to, to have time to yourself if you wish, to make but also to chat. Maybe wives and partners are glad of having their 'own space' too. One thing, I’ll bet my bottom dollar the wood work they produce is miles better than dad’s but all his work was indestructible I’ll say that. Oh and women can join too.

So Stobo

It was good to have the Minister for Skills etc visit SoStobo and have the grand tour. Stephen Winyard is mischievous and very naughty. For once the Minister met someone on the mischievous par with me. Yes he is a man full of fun but also a good businessman and employer. Many of his staff, whom I met have been there for decades so that speaks for itself. Stobo is a big local employer with some 190 full time and part time staff including around 40 EU employees. We still don’t know the outcome for them with the Brexit bourach. During my visit with the Minister I also met folk from Aberdeen and South of the Border all enjoying a break at the spa. It’s given me a great idea for my daughter-in-law’s birthday. Still I suppose that will also mean I am left to supervise my eight-year-old and one-year-old granddaughters. Ach why not.