They say that Corsica, that small island in the Mediterranean, is possessed of many small villages high in the mountains, gleaming white boxes with a tall spired church, and natives who speak only the Corsican language to one another and French or Italian to visitors. None it seems ever makes the short journey to Sardinia, the Italian possession to the south, even though ferries trip back and forth constantly to France and Italy.
Imagine being born high up in one of those villages. Growing up with a view of the sea ahead of you and towering snow capped mountains behind. What would be your ambitions? Would there be a desire to leave and see the world or would a loyalty to Corsica, your village and family dominate your thinking? How many Corsican's have you ran into on your travels?
Humans are strange beings, we have no choice in where we are born, who brings us into this world and where we land on the earth, yet we are often loyal to the place where we are raised. It is common for people to show their patriotism at football or sporting meetings, even if they detest many of their fellow countrymen! Why is this? Some say "My country right or wrong," yet would you stand up for your nation if it was imperialist in outlook or justify this in some way? This can be a difficult decision if your claim your country is in the wrong and all around you are following like sheep, nationalism brings people together but it can blind them to wrongs also.
I mention this as I consider Scotland as she approaches the great referendum in a short time, a referendum that will restore her nationhood and lose the ball and chain that is English oppression! I would certainly vote yes if I could as Scotland will be successful as a nation and there is no reason to be locked into a secondary relationship under English rule. However this does not blind me to Scotland and Scots faults. Indeed living outside of the nation I can see many things clearer things that I may not notice if I still lived there. That said I remain Scottish in my attitudes and this reflects my upbringing and the influence of my family and education. The era in which I grew also influences my thinking. I am lucky in that I was born at this time and not later when things are less clear in my view.
The greatest influence of course has been Jesus as this enables me to see the good things in the upbringing, much of Scots culture is biblically based, even that of those who call themselves 'secular,' and it also reveals the many things that require change. These things affect me and wherever I am I find I am both Scots and able to stand back and consider the Scots in a way many in Scotland are unable to.
It is strange how we are so loyal to our nation, our village, even if it is not a great place to be. So many I met in London lived their lives awaiting the retirement 'back home,' knowing that if they ever got back, and the vast majority would never return, the home they left would be a very different place. I could never return to the Edinburgh I left as it no longer exists. Places and people have changed, many I knew are dead, others may as well be. Only the Heart of Midlothian remain the same, and there the players could be my grandchildren! Jings!
Oh and Scotland were robbed by Germany tonight! Two lucky goals and our bad misses, bah!
It could of course be that all the improvements in my diet, my lunch is seen above, have led to hallucinations. It certainly has not led to weight loss but it has led to hunger, bah!