Conversation Corner ZOOM update

From the International Welcome Club

ZOOM 6 was good! Reflective of the population as a whole, the ZOOMers of the international Welcome Club are slowing up, sleeping more, and relaxing into a different way of living during this HOME STAY time.

Altogether 33 people signed up for the three ZOOM Conversation Corner sessions on Wednesday 29 April 2020. Quite a few of them didn’t appear and said later they had ‘fallen asleep’ or thought it was ‘only Tuesday.’

The theme across all three sessions was: ‘The person who inspired me to be who I am today or who helped me follow my dream.’

It was inspiring to hear who inspired each of us.

King Robert the Bruce statue by sculptor Andrew Currie
The statue of Robert the Bruce, designed by George Cruikshank and sculpted by Andrew Currie in 1876-77. The carved stone statue stands on a square stone pedestal and depicts the King as a tall chain mailed figure resting his hand on the pommel of his sword. At the feet and to the rear of the king is his shield and axe. The front (southeast) face of the pedestal of the statue is adorned with a copy of Bruce’s shield complete with Lion Rampant. The figure of Bruce faces southwards to the battlefield of Bannockburn.

Andrew had an ancestor who, with eight children to feed, and aged in his 40s, changed careers from stone mason to sculptor. One of his statues is of Robert the Bruce in Stirling Castle.

Marion had an elderly neighbour who encouraged her from early days and insisted that things should be done properly. Which taught Marion to want to do things properly too.

Lai said his teachers in his boarding school and university in China were among the people who inspired him. Interestingly for the UK citizens among us, he mentioned that the University chose what course he would study. It is not, as here, the person who chooses which subject to study.

Elisa from Spain – paid tribute to Adelaide, also from Spain, as a person who inspired her. When they shared time together in Glasgow, Elisa said she was always impressed how Adelaide was able to do what she wanted to do and get what she wanted to get in a nice way despite her lack of language or ability to get around.

Adelaida, in turn, said her grandparents who struggled through bitter civil war, helped her to understand that you should stand up for what was right, what was good and what you believed in.

ZOOM screen grab with baby Kelly and Mum Dion and Dad Kenny and the Club Members singing Happy Birthday.

Grace told of a 100-year-old man she interviewed as a junior reporter. He had a timetable for himself each day and he stuck to it. He read his Bible for an hour, read in French for an hour, and read in German for an hour. His first language was Gaelic and his second language was English.

Another happy event at one of the ZOOM Conversation Corners was the singing of HAPPY BIRTHDAY to little Kelly on her 100 days as the new daughter to Mum Dion and Dad Kenny. It is a Chinese custom to wait till the baby is 100 days old to have a public celebration. So the pretty pink cake was shown for all to see – even if it couldn’t be shared! And little Kelly seemed blissfully unaware of the good wishes and love being directed at her and her Mum and Dad. Big thanks to Dad Kenny for setting up that ZOOM session. And thanks too to Liz and Lai for the other two sessions.

In a different session Club members learned that Abdullah had arrived home safely to Kuwait. But he was having to self- isolate for 28 days. And he had been given a smart watch on arrival at the airport to limit him to 30 metres outside his home. This knowledge raised questions with locals here about our lack of similar procedures for people arriving in Scotland.

Club members have been invited to suggest a theme for next week. Till then, everyone is wishing everyone else to stay safe, stay at home and keep smiling!


Beautiful Scotland waiting to be explored after HOME STAY is over and we can go on the summer AWAY DAY visits the International Welcome Club Team are working on. This way, we’ll be READY TO GO – when that is permitted – maybe even to Stirling Castle!! 

ZOOM Conversation Corner updated

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