The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

Today the wind has abated, but still icy cold out there, I did however move the plants outdoors in a sheltered spot, hoping for some better weather so that they may remain outside permanently until planting time. The disappearance of the wind means I can once more climb ladders so will put up the netting down the outside wall at the front of the building as support for the climbing French beans. Once commonplace as a vegetable on the diner plate, but seem to have gone out of fashion, maybe getting them for free will revive their popularity, personally I love them.

St Andrews is still very quiet, I thought with the lifting of some restrictions more people would have returned to the streets but alas no, looks as if it will take better weather to bring them out of hiding.

I did service the tricycle and a bit of spring cleaning, how can one man get the place so untidy? I must go on the internet, for sure there must be instructions somewhere on there to tell me,

“How do I get bike chain oil stains out of the carpet, before my mum comes home?”

Audio wallpaper today, The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, “Got a little hometown jam so they put a rifle in my hand, Sent me to a foreign land to go and kill the yellow man”. Born in the U.S.A.

I listened to Alex Salmond’s speech yesterday, opening the Alba campaign, (Alba pronounced as if there were another ‘a’ after the ‘l’ Alaba, sort of rolls off the tong) He was brilliant, the man has not lost his common touch with the people, or clarity of message. Next week it is the turn of the women of Alba to have their say, (who incidentally outnumber their male counterparts standing on the 6th May for election) and there will be weekly sessions all the way up to the election, these at the moment will all be on the internet, which kind of rules out many older citizens of Scotland who do not frequent Facebook, Twitter or the likes. However, Alba lawyers are in negotiations with the BBC, making sure that Alba is represented on any further political programs.

The reality on the ground has shifted the attitude of the media and the SNP (especially Nicola sturgeon) she is now saying she will work with the parliament chosen by the people, whatever its make up. I think she knew she was acting like a petulant child, I’m sure the other members of the party would have had a word in her ear, for no one wishes to see the demise of the SNP party, for this is no longer about one party it is about Scotland’s right to exist as a country.

A NEW DECLARATION FOR SCOTLAND

Speech by Alex Salmond leader of the Alba Party on the 701st Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.

“Last year for the 700 anniversary I contributed to a project on the Arbroath Declaration. What struck me about the essays in the book was how the concepts which underpinned the declaration still resonate today.

We are shaped and moulded by our history. But we are defined by how we apply those principles to our own lives and to the here and now.

A document from history with profound and modern ideas.

Of course the Arbroath document was not, in reality, a declaration.
Rather it was a letter asserting Scotland’s rights to the international authority of the day – the Avignon Papacy.

The importance of the “Declaration” was not that it came just from those in positions of wealth and authority. Rather, it’s enduring power and appeal was that it was rooted in the whole Community of the Realm of Scotland.

It was the recognition of the need for that essential endorsement by the Community of the Realm which elevated the letter far beyond what it could otherwise have been if simply endorsed by loyal supporters of The Bruce.

And how successful that strategy was.

Within a couple of years of the Declaration, international opinion moved in favour of the Scots.

It was the English King who became diplomatically isolated and eight years later Scottish independence was negotiated, acknowledged and accepted.

As it was then, so it can be now.

The appeal for Scottish independence cannot – should not – be restricted by the party. No one party has the ownership of Scottish independence. It is rooted in the sovereignty of the people, all of the people. 
Scotland’s Parliament is the modern democratic expression of the Community of the Realm. It exists to allow modern Scotland to define its own future. To tell the wider world who we are and who we want to be.


And in this election more than any other, it is about putting the nation before the party.”

In his address, of which this is just a small portion, the whole speech can be found online for anyone interesting in reading it. Alex handed power back to the people, this forthcoming election is about just that,

“Who rules Scotland – the people who live and work in Scotland or Boris Johnston, or Nicola Sturgeon, for that matter?”

I attended all of the AUOB (all under one banner)


Grey skies and showers did little to dampen the spirits of marchers taking part in what’s been described as the biggest and boldest demonstration of independence ever to have taken place. Photograph: Colin Mearns

march before coronavirus closed down protesting in large numbers on our streets. And in the last march which took place in Edinburgh the estimate given, by police Scotland, of people marching was over 200 thousand, and for me, that was a very conservative estimate. Not only the people marching but the pavements too were lined with like-minded people all cheering us on, a sea of satires. You can rest assured that none of those on that day were marching to secure ‘baby boxes’ or ‘controversial legislation’ but to secure ‘Self Determination’ for their country and its people – the right to chose their own destiny not have one hosted upon them by a party at Westminster, especially parties that the Scottish people have rejected in general elections after general election, some since before the war.

The ball is firmly in the hands of the Scottish people on March 6th 2021, Will they run with it?

Stay safe.

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