Hotting Up

August 29, 2014

This week I have:

  • Discussed how the last BBC #indyref debate went with in a pub with a poet and an artist (they felt Mr Salmond had won it but as they were wearing one ‘aye’ and two ‘yes’ badges between them they may not have been entirely disinterested in the matter)
  • Discussed with several cyclists over breakfast this morning how the local TV debate had gone (they felt the ‘nos’ had won it as the Yes side were merely making speeches without answering the questions)
  • Swapped flyers with a radical indy chap (I was publicising our bike breakfast, he was campaigning for a better world; I said that one the whole while I liked the idea of a radical independence I thought what we were likely to get was a rather conservative one, he suggested we get independence first and build the Scotland we want later)
  • Discussed how the independence campaign generally was going with an extremely well-spoken chap I met on the way home as he was diligently picking up litter from the verges, something he has done every week, he tells me, everywhere he has lived for the last 50 years (he felt Darling had the best lines at the last debate and didn’t feel just going it alone for the heck of it and seeing what happened was the wisest course).

This week I have not:

  • Got any further making up my own mind – indeed I have noticed that I have a tendency to want to vote the opposite way to the last person I have spoken to on the matter, and the more firmly they have made up their minds, the stronger this effect is.

I think it’s safe to say I’ll be having many more conversations on the matter over the next 20-odd days …

More Testing Times

December 11, 2013

We’re off to the US tomorrow, via an airport hotel this evening (I should probably pack) so stand by for what I hope will be a few weeks of bright winter sunshine, cycling adventures and cookies. Apart from the usual worries of travelling (I would feel more confident, for example, if the online check in would actually let me check in, although on the plus side, if it won’t at the airport then at least I won’t have to fly anywhere), there’s a slight worry about coming back in as they seem to have instituted a quiz to let people back in. Now, my informant on this is a man in a hat at a bus stop in Bigtown* so it may not be 100% reliable, but it was a very nice hat. According to him the process goes like this

Airport official: Are you British?

Man in Hat: Of course not, I’m Scottish.

AO: Well, can you tell me the name of the naval hero of Trafalgar?

MIH: Admiral de Villeneuve

AO: (I suspect quite exasperated by now) Who is the Archbishop of Canterbury then?

MIH: Whit kind of a question is that to ask a Scot? John Knox

AO: And who was the wartime leader who defeated the Nazis?

MIH: Eamon de Valera

He admitted that the last one was a bit cheeky – but he still seemed genuinely outraged about the Archbishop of Canterbury question. I hadn’t realised the Presbyterian battles were still so fresh in the folk memory. Despite all this, they seem to have let him in anyway – you’d have thought just asking for his passport would have been easier. But should Scotland ever get independence, I’m hoping they don’t institute a similar system as I would surely fail…

* I can blame the Brompton for this one as it starts more conversation than a dog. ‘Can you no make it any smaller?’ was his opening gambit