It is with mixed emotions that I report that I must, for a wee while at least, cease my weekly contribution to this wonderful paper.

The reasons are simple, and they are, as I write, crawling over and wriggling on me.

You see I am a lucky man, for I have, at an age when most people think of putting their feet up, responsibility for a gaggle of beautiful, joyful and demanding children.

They have, I am sure, aged me beyond my years, but life is for living, and look beyond my tired eyes and worn out expression and you will see unmitigated joy and love of life.

But it is not because I am too tired to write at the moment, for as anyone who knows me will testify, I thrive when scribbling while burning the midnight oil or in the wee small hours, having got up early to write before taking on the day.

And in case some suspect I have run out of ideas or stories about East Lothian that is not the case either. Someone actually asked me when I began this page a couple of years ago: “What happens when you run out of stories?” Well that’s like asking a midwife: “What happens when you run out of babies?” Our county is knee deep in tales, legends and memories.

The truth is more simple. I need time to do these tales justice and in order to devote the time to this I have to take it away from my children.

What’s changed recently is the birth of our son. The domino effect of his care needs with the other children in the house have meant the time I need to research and write a story has become something I can’t justify to myself.

You see, there is a reason why, in history, philosophers we know about were almost always men. It was because while these men were writing about the meaning of life, the women were living it, raising it and caring for it. Indeed, the true philosophers have always been women, it’s just that they usually haven’t had the time to write it down. But they just quietly know it.

I have a huge bank of untold tales yet to tell and my hope is that I may return, hopefully soon and, if allowed, to this page. I also have a list of readers to visit who want to tell their family tales, but who I have unfortunately not had the time to visit.

My wonderful wife doesn’t want me to suspend the page, as she knows how much I enjoy it and what it means to me. And in truth I do love sharing tales and my thoughts with those who do me the privilege of reading my words.

But, and please don’t take this personally, I love my children more!

There was what educationalists sometimes call an ‘a-ha’ moment last week. It was a cold but crisp afternoon, the moon was out and the sun was beginning to set over a turquoise sea. My five-year-old wanted to go to the sea, to watch the sunset.

And I was glad she asked this. I have sat many times with my children and watched the sun go down as the sea lapped on the rocks by our feet.

Winter sunsets have a magic of their own and my daughter got herself wrapped up for the trip, but I had to finish writing a story.

We made it to the sea, but it was too late.

The sun had gone and Manja, who is developing her own way with words, looked at me and said, with piercing accuracy: “You made us miss a sunset that was waiting for us.” If just one sunset was the issue then I could live with it. But at the moment the pressure to keep a roof over our heads and body and soul together is sapping what little extra time I have.

It is the magic wee moments that build the meaning of life and, although I understand we cannot always capture all of them, we should at least try and prioritise so that most of them are in the bag of memory by the time we reach the end of our time.

And so I will practice what I preach, but I hope I will be allowed to come back when I know that I can balance my time without missing too many sunsets with my children.