Tonight I celebrated Burns Night at my sister's house in Port Glasgow. Her husband's family were there as was our friend *Fraser who came from Darfur seeking asylum after some truly horrific things happened to him. And he fell in love with Scotland. He got his leave to remain at Christmas and he's been a changed person since then. His love of all things Scottish includes Burns and so he was really happy when my sister invited him down.
Now my family is a very loud one - sometimes you can't hear yourself think when even two of Clan McLaughlin are around so a house full of us is quite something. I remarked on that to *Fraser as we drove back up to Glasgow and I asked if his ears had recovered.
And he replied by simply saying: "I was so lonely and so depressed for such a long time. So it is not too noisy for me, it is wonderful".
Once again I was reminded of how lucky I am.
* Fraser's not his real name but protecting his personal stuff in case any of you meet him any day.