Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Each St Andrews Day the sky clears and high above travellers heading from Europe to far of lands such as Canada, USA or Luton Airport helpfully form a Scots Saltire Flag in the sky above us all. It is a gift from above we ought all to be grateful for.
There is a growing movement that suggests that this day ought to become a national holiday in Scotland, I am sure all will be glad about this bar the Banks which work to London time of course. They can work to London time if they wish but as the Bank of England keeps indicating the Scots Banks are not being run properly I can see their point of view. A far cry from the days the Banks in Scotland were trusted and even then the one time chairman of the Bank of Scotland, long before the corruption of recent days, was famed for saying "Don't listen to the sound of another drum, just take the cash!"
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has been contacting foreign powers with the intention of having Scotland remain in the EU rather than run into poverty with England and has recently been rewarded with support from the Republic of Ireland. I am sure some of her supporters back in her hometown of Irvine, Ayrshire, would be less happy about this than most of us. Supportive words have been offered from other states but there again Nicola you must never trust a politician!
My eatables tonight will represent the Scots diet of today - Moussaka, a Greek dish obtained through the helpfulness of Tesco who reduced its price because of the sell by date. Scots of course have always been happy to contact Europe, some have even lived there and refer always to the friendly nature of the natives whenever they mention that they "Are NOT English!" Historically Scots have traded with northern European states since this land was occupied and there is no reason for this to change. We have much in common with them, and here I do not refer to a liking for too much beer, but so many things in Scandinavia and Scotland ring true. Holland and Northern Belgium also as well as Germany have much in common with Scotland and long may this remain true. I know these places well as I flew over them once, in the dark, and once with cloud cover! At least I have eaten their cheese and drank their beer, and Belgian beers strength must be noted before consuming by the way!
The English on the other hand are divided re Europe. In the south they consider the Continent to be isolated if there is fog in the channel, in the northern parts they can often be similar to Scots in their approach. It is the 'Little Englander' in the south who led to the Brexit decision, his papers spurring those up north to support him by lying in his teeth daily about immigrants. Interesting to find any poll that asks Brexit voters whether they enjoy a Curry takeaway or not?
Scotland must have strong ties with Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia and we must not let English navel gazing take that from us.
A pot boiler! Or at least a boiler going to pot! Today it runs smoothly, switching on at the right times, heating the radiators and even the water if I wished to make use of it. Today it runs well but when I required it early yesterday morning it was a different story!
I came through into the east wing and found all the little red lights shining brightly as they ought. So confident in their heat I turned on the tap at the bath and proceeded about my business. Later I plunged my hand into said bathwater to check it was not too hot and instead it was freezing cold! The brute had switched off! I fiddled with the thermostat and waited, and waited and waited! The little red lights would not light. No matter what I did this brute would not switch on. One red light appeared for a while, joined by another but seconds later they were gone.
My entreaties, not particularly considerate ones as I was in a hurry to get ready to leave, did not work. Speaking forcefully to it in a full and frank manner made no difference so I added a kettle or two of hot water to the tepid bath which remained tepid as I made use of it. I was pleased I can tell you, I was so pleased....
Shivering I took my skinny seven stone body through to the kitchen and made an unhealthy breakfast, I ought to have made porridge but I was afraid the microwave might blow up. So naturally as I sat there, hair combed, shaved, almost dressed and checking the time before the off the blessed boiler sprang into life! All the little red lights came on one after another! One, two, three, four, five...six, all of them smugly pumping hot water around a soon to be empty dwelling.
Since then the boiler has worked perfectly and obeyed each and every command. When I next attempt to bathe my physique, on Sunday next as usual, I suspect funny boy will play up again.