All posts filed under: Miscellaneous

Down, But Not Out

I’ve neglected my blog for the past few weeks. Brexit Blues and middle-age health woes are to blame, and I’m fairly certain the former lead to the latter. Less than six months to go and I have no idea if I can trade past March of next year. Do I stockpile? Do I wind down? Do I renew the lease on my premises? What do I tell my employees? My customers? It’s no wonder I’ve not felt my best. But even in this rather dark time, I’ve been enjoying things I’m looking forward to sharing here. I’ve tried some fabulous new vegan meat substitutes; bought a beautiful dress from an ethical designer; and discovered a glass water bottle I love. I will post reviews on all of these soon.    

Grow Your Own Country

The recently released Growth Commission report hasn’t had a universally positive welcome, with some critics arguing it isn’t radical enough. Fair enough – it isn’t possible for a document like this to be all things to all people. But the document, and the response to it, got me thinking. Whose responsibility is it to bring about an independent Scotland, and whose responsibility is it to make it work when it happens? For me, the simple answer is: All of us. We all have a stake in this. It isn’t up to the government to do the heavy lifting while we snipe from the sidelines. They can provide a framework, but it’s up to the rest of us to put the meat onto the bones. Business, citizens, and the government each have a role. We must become the change we want to see and there is no reason to wait. If you want a more socialist country, then start behaving like a socialist. Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to do it for you. …

Liberal and Progressive

I was surprised last night to come across a tweet from a prominent historian insinuating that the independence movement in Scotland was neither progressive nor liberal. It seems extraordinary to me that any educated person can’t – or won’t – recognise parallels between 2018 Britain and the darker forces on the rise in the 1930s. My own history degree may come from a university in the American south and not a fancy British one, but it seems to me that the academic in question is tweeting up the wrong tree: Scotland’s clear and growing desire to reject these ‘values’ is definitely progressive and explicitly liberal. To put Scotland’s position in context, let’s take a look at what the UK government has been up to lately. Do any of these policies sound liberal or progressive to you? Ditching friends and partners and running into the arms of DJT in the hope of a trade deal. Bowing and scraping to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia in order to sell more weapons so more innocent civilians can be murdered in Yemen. State …

The Currency of Outrage

Back in the early days of Live Journal, one of my friends stated that attention is the currency of the internet. It didn’t sound nice, but she was right. How many times have we thrown our virtual net with the hope of catching comments, likes, and retweets? I’ve done it. I still do it. That little hit of dopamine we get when we get approval is hard to resist, and some of us have managed to turn it into an actual brand. When I think of the attention the Kardashians receive daily, I figure they must be high all the time. But sometimes, the hits don’t come and a certain personality type finds itself reduced to trawling for any attention at all – even if it’s negative. The idea is to post something questionable, controversial, or outright horrible in the hope of provoking a backlash. Then people are talking about them. They matter. They’re important. They get to revel in being ‘the person you love to hate’ – it becomes a brand, a stock in …

I Marched

A couple of weeks ago, I did something the me of 2014 could never have imagined I’d do: I marched for Scottish independence. Followers of my blog will know I was a no voter in 2014, but you might not know I suffer from social anxiety and the thought of walking with a huge crowd of people is pretty high on my list of Terrifying Things To Do. But I packed up my husband and my dog (not necessarily in that order) and hopped a train for Glasgow. We waited to join the march as it made its way from the west end to the city centre, and our first sight of it, as flags and banners crested the brow of a steep road, was astounding. I couldn’t believe how many people there were. Nervously, we joined the crowd and began to walk. My sense of calm was immediate, and I was surprised to find myself welling up. I didn’t expect I’d feel tearful, but I knew what we were doing was important, and I was …

Winning Minds

This won’t be a particularly wordy or thoughtful post, because I’m tired and not full of enthusiasm at the moment. I’m sensing a general fatigue has come over many of us, so I’ll keep this short and pointy. I voted No in 2014 for a couple of reasons – the main one being that I feared Scotland would be out of the EU. Now that we really are on our way out and I can see the damage up close, my eyes are fully open to the possibilities for Scotland taking its place as an independent country within the European Union (or least EFTA). Not only can we become independent, we can become spectacular, and I truly believe we can succeed, which is why I want to see independence in my lifetime. And I believe I will. To help fulfil this wish, I want to share some insight into my experience as a No voter. I hope these points are received in the spirit in which they are given – with a resounding Yes vote …

Tired

I badly need a holiday. I’m tired in way I’ve never experienced – and I do have a bit of experience with being tired. I’ve been newborn-baby tired (twice), grief-stricken-at-the-loss-of-a-loved-one tired, and gutted-at-the-end-of-a-relationship tired. I’ve been tired after being sliced open and having bits of me removed. I’ve been tired after relocating over an ocean (several times). I’ve been tired after leaving a life and completely starting again. I know what tired feels like, but this tired is different. No amount of rest, therapy, or antidepressants helps with this sort of tired. I’m tired of pervasive, wilful ignorance. I’m tired of incompetence. I’m tired of being lied to by charlatans. I’m tired of worrying that my life is about to be irrevocably changed because of racism and xenophobia. I’m tired of going to bed at night knowing I’m one day closer to having everything I’ve worked for snatched away by politicians who have no clue what they’re doing. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and heartbroken every time I see an EU national in knots because …

Acceptance

Thank you to everyone who took time to read my post about my learning to appreciate the indy movement and SNP. I was quite nervous admitting that I’d been blinkered and silly, and didn’t expect the outpouring of genuine compassion and understanding I undeservedly received. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, though, as this has been my experience with independence supporters since I switched sides. In 2014, I wasn’t an active no campaigner, and I stayed away from online discussions about the vote. I’d been warned that I’d be attacked by ‘cybernats’ if I mentioned my voting intentions, so outside of a few friends-only Facebook posts, I kept my thoughts to myself as I am not a fan of conflict or drama. But to become a more active campaigner this time, I had to reach out to other Yes supporters for and bit of help and guidance, and I must admit I was a bit scared. As I’ve said before, voting No wasn’t pleasant, and I worried the animosity I’d carried against the SNP and the …

More United / SNP

I was extremely dismayed to read this morning that Gina Miller’s tactical voting group will not be supporting any SNP candidates at this time (sorry – link behind paywall). This makes me sad because I do admire her and the work she’s done to hold the Brexiters to account – all at great personal cost to her. At the same time, I do appreciate her honesty. She’s forthright that she values the union, and as someone who once shared her views, I accept and respect this – but I won’t be donating. While my views on Scottish Independence have changed, my desire to have friendly neighbours to the south has not. I do not want to see the rUK stuck with decades of Tory dominance and all of the misery that will bring, which is why I joined More United a few months ago. Their ethos is admirable and I believe they’re working hard to stamp out bigotry and intolerance, and I’ve been impressed with the candidates they’re fielding for England. Sadly, though, I am not at …

Ben Folds & the Visceral Response

My husband doesn’t like Ben Folds. It isn’t the music he doesn’t like as my husband would be hard-pressed to name a Ben Folds song. He doesn’t know why, but he knows he really doesn’t like Ben Folds. He thinks he might have read something years ago that gave him the impression that Ben Folds was shifty and unreliable, but he doesn’t remember any of the details. What he does remember, quite clearly and strongly, is how that forgotten information about Ben Folds made him feel. It’s a funny thing – people can forget your face, your words, your ethos – pretty much everything about you, but they never forget how you made them feel. In 2014, the independence movement made some people feel scared and out of sorts.  I know because I was one of them.  Even being asked the question played havoc with my sense of security and identity. As an immigrant with British citizenship and no other nationality, would I become a foreigner in my own home? Would I lose my EU citizenship? Would I still …

Blisters and Landmines

It’s an unfashionable view in the wake of the Brexit campaign, but I tend to trust experts. I like to hear from people who know more than I do about complex issues, because it helps me make an informed decision about my family’s future. I listened to experts during the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, and I voted No. There were questions that were not properly addressed by the Yes side, and those to do with currency, pensions, the economy and – most importantly for me – the EU swayed my decision. I can now see that experts on both sides of the debate could have done a bit better with their accuracy. Through the Spring of 2016, I listened to numerous experts on the subject of the UK’s leaving the EU. Questions about the value of our currency, the impact on business and trade, and the loss of the UK’s influence in the wider world were conclusively answered – there would be serious damage if the UK left the EU.  EU leaders also told us exactly what would happened if …

A Political Journey (Saying Sorry)

Here’s a confession: I used to really dislike the SNP.  I’d go so far as to say I actively disliked them. Were my reasons valid? I’m not sure. I voted against Scottish independence in 2014 because I didn’t find the SNP’s case to be credible, and I believed Scotland would be out of the EU if we left the UK.  From my perspective, the 2014 referendum was exhausting. For those of us on the No side, there were no marches, no gatherings, no messages of togetherness or hope. For us there was nothing but negative news (‘project fear’) and a really uneasy feeling in the gut that we were voting against fear instead of voting for hope. As I’ve said many times, there was no joy in saying no, and I felt low for months afterwards – which is part of what caused me to dislike the SNP. I held them responsible for my low mood because I felt they’d pushed me into making an awful decision I didn’t want to make. And I worried they were going to ask …

Stress Reduction Sprays

Today’s post is a little different as I don’t have beauty products to review.  Instead, I have three fantastic sprays which can help you to relax, destress, and sleep.  I often get stressed out before I even realise I’m agitated, going from zero to freaked in seconds and finding myself in a flap.  To combat the stress (and prevent myself behaving like a loon), I spray a little Mio Liquid Yoga Space Spray around and instantly feel better.  It’s a gorgeous blend of lavender and chamomile which calms, relaxes and soothes tattered nerves. To say a product is life changing can sound hyperbolic, but Susanne Kaufmann’s Leg Vein Cooling Spray could be classed as a miracle.  It stops my restless leg syndrome.  If you’re not familiar with this ailment, you are very lucky indeed.  It’s a twitchy, creepy, slightly sore and terribly uncomfortable sensation in the legs, usually at night.  When I feel it coming on, I spritz both legs and my feet with this miraculous spray and within about ten minutes, the symptoms are gone and I’m able to sleep. …

Dates

I do not enjoy marking time, but my brain seems to love it.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t get past ‘a year ago today’ or ‘this time last year,’ and it’s especially hard in June. So I’m off to stare at sand and sea for a couple of days.  It is true that salt water (in many forms) has a restorative effect.