Barnard Castle.  For many years of my life, the name was synonymous with some of the top British swimmers of the 80s but never took up more than a fleeting thought.  Last year whilst on holiday, we found ourselves passing through it several times and upon seeing the name on the road sign on the first occasion,  I became quite excited as I “knew” it as swimming memories came flooding back in the same way that a piece of music can trigger long forgotten times.  Barnard Castle itself turned out to be quite picturesque; a small market town nestled in the shadow of an imposingRead More →

Well, I did not think I would be able to do another Flag, but here I am again. Since the last Flag I did, 3 Jan, my life has changed quite a bit; on 20th January I fell at a pedestrian crossing in Corstorphine.  I was picked up by a lady, Karen O’Shaughnessy, and the Pedestrian Crossing attendant. Mrs O’Shaughnessy kindly brought me home. My son took me to the Western  General Hospital who found I had a broken arm;  we also went to Edinburgh Royal and got a brain scan which was OK.  The next day I was taken in to the Western General. Read More →

Boris is back and don’t we know it. The blunderpuss of British politics just couldn’t help himself last week when he rushed to make a point to Keir Starmer at PMQs that he would be announcing the next stage of the lockdown management in a televised address to the nation. The civil service were not ready to publish plans and messaging strategy in four days, but that didn’t stop Boris. Message-testing was through a select focus group of right-leaning journalists; just an average representative sample population! The televised address was lifted straight from a Yes Prime Minister scene. Full of contradictory rhetoric: manna from heavenRead More →

I’m not normally one who looks too closely at the dental work on opinion poll gift horses. But, while the figures in the recent YouGov and Survation polls are hugely encouraging I would caution treating them with a fair bit of scepticism, at least for the moment. The prediction that 54% on first ballot and 45% on the second would vote SNP are great reading in the 6th week of the lockdown. Even more so after 13 years in office and some of the “Nick Robinson” reporting we have seen over the reactions to the Covid19 virus. I’m not too surprised that there has beenRead More →

My last blog piece was just as the schools were shut prematurely before the Easter holidays. That feels like ages ago now and the situation no longer feels strange; this is now normal, there are routines and adjustments and we have all just got on with it.  It has been interesting to see how each child has dealt with the changes – the eldest has always struggled with school and friendships so the lock down was a dream come true for him. His desire to work has not increased however and he needs a lot of support but it gets done with good marks andRead More →

On Monday of this week the BBC Scotland journalist asked the First Minister if the building of the Louisa Jordon health facility was a waste of taxpayer’s money as it may never be used. She would have been the first to criticise it not being there if the cases requiring hospitalisation exceeds our normal capacity. On Tuesday of this week a BBC Scotland reporter asked the First Minister if the downturn in the economy was worth it to save lives. I thought I was mishearing but no, some of my friends heard him say it too. If that question does not flag up his politicalRead More →

For the first time in the 94 years of publishing the Scots Independent, there is no printed edition. Issue 1094 was only published online due to our printers being in lockdown. However frustrating this appears for us, especially with the beautiful cover illustration by Andrew Barr, we played our part in stopping non-essential work. The mainstream press has continued to print encouraging readers to risk travel to newsagents and supermarkets. The freedom of the press is important but when our global community has responded to novel Covid 19 by digitising our communication as much as possible, perhaps those papers need to reflect on their profit-seeking.Read More →

It’s part of our daily language just now. Our days revolve around the First Minister’s statement. I was so glad when our Scottish Government decided to take the initiative in dealing with the coronas virus in our country. I am one of the immense band of self employed creators that are going to be among the hardest hit by this, but the bottom line is that if we survive things can be repaired. If we don’t comply, we may not survive. I am finding the media a pain in the proverbial, more so than normal. Severe language is being used inappropriately and the level ofRead More →

As the severity of the situation began to sink in just over a week ago and the rumours about school closures began to intensify, the numbers attending steadily decreased.  By the final day of school, attendance wasn’t far off 50% and it showed – complete rows of dinner tables not set up, lots of space in the playground and less outside noise at break time which was probably the strangest thing to get used to. The children adapted readily as they do; news headlines heard but not fully understood made for some interesting retelling at the beginning of the piece but gave way to acceptanceRead More →

This Coronavirus is really showing our human race up for what it is. Maggie Thatcher’s policy of ‘me first’ has well and truly matured. It is not a pretty sight. Thanks to the UK parliaments lack of leadership and over reporting by media of scare stories from other countries, some people have shown their true colours. Yes, they may be panicked but that is still no excuse for the way they are behaving. Last night I read a comment on social media that a woman was buying gluten free products because the shelves were empty of the normal product. When challenged she said the coeliacsRead More →