Well a momentous few weeks in world and local history.  My job as an SNP councillor is to help everyone in the Ward, but wear my Party hat when the time is right.  However, the fact that Queen Elizabeth Second died peacefully in Scotland and the Tories died violently in Westminster illustrates our late sovereign had more dignity in death than our reigning government in the capital has had in life.  But the difference with her representing the people, irrespective of your views on monarchy, is hers was duty and our honourable friends in the other palace has always been about avoiding it. There areRead More →

The 10 day period of enforced bereavement has culminated in a day of the most British of Britishness. It was a historic moment, the type our media like to hype to the maximum of our endurance. They tried hard to include things from the nations but sometimes the irony of their choices seemed to be beyond them. To me it all seemed rather rushed, every day another service or ceremony. Announcing a public holiday was probably done with great intention, to allow those who wanted to line the streets or watch TV all day, the liberty to do so. In the real world though itRead More →

In the midst of all the preparations for the Royal Funeral, it seems an appropriate time to lift our horizons a bit and have a look at events away from these shores. It may not seem like it with the media doing nothing but wall to wall, 24/7, coverage of the funeral arrangements and constant reheating of the same tributes to a life well lived, but there are things happening across the globe and some of them will have a major impact on our lives. In the US, it seemed just a few months ago that President Biden and the Democrats were heading for aRead More →

I had been in London at the weekend and took the train to the airport on the way home as usual.  It was quiet when we boarded and found a seat easily behind an elderly well-to-do couple sitting diagonally on a 4 seater.  I soon noticed that the man had edged our suitcase forward and was using it as a convenient armrest whilst reading the paper and wasn’t too happy when the bairn retrieved it suddenly.  As the train began to fill, their empty seats remained free of people  but laden with bags until a young woman got on with a baby and proceeded toRead More →

My partner and I are both pretty much bald. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t enjoy visits to the barber. I’ve never mastered the art of the home haircut and like many middle-aged men I have hair growing in all sorts of inaccessible places. Men like me can now have their follicle challenges addressed by the army of razor wielding Turks and Kurds who have opened hairdressing establishments from Shetland to Stranraer. My partner was recently having his shave at the Turkish barber in Campbeltown. While one staff member attended to him the other was glued to his phone.  My partner was able to hearRead More →

Having seen and heard the two horse race at Perth it made me wonder that if they had been saddled and ridden over jumps, they might have performed better.  Can’t think what odds they would have attracted but the fact is, if they were from a decent stable they would have been sent off possibly to be ideal companions for abandoned donkeys, as opposed to the other way round, or indeed, languishing in the shadows of a glue factory.  If they had any pride, or understanding how the Scottish people think, or why we are wondering how this race is to end, most would sayRead More →

The two Prime Minister candidates are doing the Scottish tour as I write this on Tuesday 16th August. They have headed further north than they would usually consider doing as their hard traditional vote is there and presumably to keep in with their MPs. According to political commentators the Tory membership are loving what the candidates are saying, particularly Liz Truss. They see her as someone who can take on our First Minister. There seems to be an underlying thought that it is going to be possible for the Conservative and Unionist party to take over control in Scotland. They are unable to do it throughRead More →

Over recent months, I have become a bit of a fan of the “The Rest is Politics” podcast. Hosted by Alistair Campbell (Tony Blair’s Head of Communications) and former Tory MP and failed leadership candidate Rory Stewart. Not, I hasten to add because of their capacity to provide answers but for the unintentional irony they serve virtually every week. One of the things I like is that they aim to “disagree agreeably” and that’s a lesson many could benefit from. Just because someone doesn’t see Scotland’s future the way we do doesn’t make them a traitor or any less of a Scot. Equally, not everyoneRead More →

We have been glued to the TV this week watching the swimming at the Commonwealth Games and feeling so proud of how they have all done.  Swimming is probably one of the few sports where there is not the same sporting rivalry between the nations as it is such an individual sport.  I was a swimmer as is one of my children so I understand only too well the hours of training and discipline that the athletes have put in and to see all the swimmers not only qualifying for the events but reaching the finals is incredible.  Hearing the roar of Flower of ScotlandRead More →

Last weekend saw the great English school holiday getaway start. Obviously many did not forward plan, simply did exactly what they did pre covid restrictions. Result – hour and hours of queuing to get away.  People seemed not to understand the reason. Obviously, the phrase ‘we want to get our passports stamped’ did not set alarms ringing when used during the Brexit campaign.  When I was 19, my fiancé was a travel agent who got discount on holidays. I had my passport stamped in Tunisia and another year in Greece. Once the mortgage came along foreign travel was no longer affordable. On the Tunisian holiday weRead More →