Thursday once more, and the sun is splitting the skies, another warm one, but at least we have lost some of the mugginess. It’s a funny thing you know when I have put in a bit of exercise during the week, I do not feel tired at all, in fact, quite the opposite I feel alive. If I sit around reading, or whatever, I am falling asleep in front of the television by 9 o’clock in the evening. Yesterday was an alive day, and by the time I did make it to my bed, I still felt the buzz from the day’s adventure. Slept late so missed the Alex Salmond show must try and pick it up later in the day. I put the kettle on for breakfast and noticed the strong smell of onions from the bin so set off to empty it. Passing the roses I noted that many needed dead-heading so popped the bucket down and returned to get the secateurs, this lead to cutting out the runners on the strawberries and…… where did all the time go?
I set out to replenish Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, the town was remarkably quiet, it was a pleasure to be out in town. I don’t normally buy The The national newspaper now, preferring the Guardian far better, and more balanced views of what is going on in the country. However today Lesley Riddock was firmly displayed on the front cover of The National with the headlines “Indyref2 must be held in 2022” so two papers to read today.
I not only like Lesley’s casual style of writing, but the girl seems to have her finger on the pulse of Scottish politics. Today however I felt she was more ‘travelling hopefully’ than hopeful. I believe she is underestimating the shock wave that ran through the SNP party when the Alba Party arrived on the scene, far too many staunch supporters of the SNP have become disillusioned with her wheeshed on indiref2, I’m concentrating on Covid -19. Sadly for Nicola the crutch of Covid-19 is looking more and more like her playing the old soldier, it is well documented now that Covid -19 will be with us for many, many years to come, we are somehow going to have to live with it.
Lesley is asking the SNP branch members to act and push the leadership into declaring a fixed date for a referendum on independence, I think they would be wise to follow her advice, and for the SNP leadership to get their ducks in a line. Some believe that the SNP have nothing to fear from Alba, after all, only polled a very small percentage of the vote, and won not a seat at the Scottish Elections. However for a party that had only come into existence weeks before the election to poll in the numbers it did was something remarkable in its self, and if Boris goes to the country early as he is predicted to do, what then for the SNP at Westminster? Take comfort in the fact that alba only won a token number of votes, if you like, but remember, Nigel Farage was never elected to a seat in the Commons, or won a bi-election, but his influence went right to the heart of the Brexit debate and some will argue turned the tables on Cameron to call a referendum on Brexit, why? Farage like Alex Salmond in Scotland had his finger on the pulse of English politics. Nicola would be wise to better judge the mood of the Scottish people, ignore them at your peril.
I did not go far on the bike today, but I feel I have to make the effort, in fact, the morning ride has become addictive. Tomorrow I will be riding over to Hill of Tarvit, another of the National Trust for Scotland properties. It has been closed during the coronavirus pandemic, now open two days a week, but you have to book in advance. I booked this along with Kellie Castle, open on Saturday, at the same time but when I came to download I chose the wrong download, I chose electronic which it would seem is for Smartphones and of course, the office printer would not accept the information, so no proof that I had booked. Thankfully when I was over at Falkland Palace yesterday I noted that they have you listed in a book and score your name out when you arrive. I travel hopefully that Hill of Tarvit, use the same system, or the gardens, golf course and a walk to the summit of Hill of Tarvit, will be all that is open to me.
Hill of Tarvit is a mansion house with extensive gardens (including a 9 hole golf course) the building dates from 1696 but was extensively expanded in 1904, From what I have seen of it from afar it is a beautiful Edwardian stately home reputed to be stuffed full of Chinese porcelain and Raeburn paintings, looking forward to seeing inside this beautiful house.
Finally, I did get to hear the Alex Salmond show, this week it was trying to get to the bottom of the politics of Northern Ireland, for me they may as well have been talking about the dark side of the moon, I don’t think anyone will be able to get to the bottom of Northern Irish politics.
The Staunch Unionist, dedicated Brexiteer, and Labour member of the house of Lords, (Hoey) was up first and is still as much stuck in her ways and thoughts as she has always been over Northern Ireland so we learned very little from her except NI is British, and it is all the fault of the EU, they are using NI to punish the UK for Brexit, Boris must love her.
Then came Mick Fealty (a respected professional blogger on Irish affairs), he told us that when the censors is published, he believes you will find that, for the first time, there will be fewer Roman Catholics in NI than protestants. What he sees as the big change in the political landscape of NI is the 20% in the middle – not protestant not Roman Catholic no real religious leanings and not Nationalist and not Unionists. He believes they will ring in the changes in NI. He said that NI has at present the best of both worlds, able to trade freely with the EU and the UK (apart from a few exempt goods), so he sees real hope for NI. Me I’m still confused, then a lot of things confuse me these days.