Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland the Brave (and Wise)

As you know I try to keep politics out of my blog but I don't feel I can post today without mentioning the Referendum that took place yesterday in Scotland.

This has dominated the news both sides of the border for weeks. And like most people I felt, and I do recognise how important this day was, the media went into overkill. In fact it was so bad that I believe even the death of the Queen wouldn't have topped it.

The run up has provided both concerns and laughter.

The concerns come in the viciousness, particularly of the 'Yes' campaign it has to be said, of some of the supporters. I always feel that it is those who do not have the intellectual capacity to put their point across verbally that resort to violence. So it was proved time and time again as people were beaten just for voicing a different point of view. At times I did wonder what Scotland would become if the 'Yes' side won. Would English tourists ever be safe to visit every again? Though the same can probably be said of a 'No' result. Unfortunately some people revert to childhood when they don't get their own way. I have not doubt some 'No' voters will be wondering whether it was worth it over the next few days.

Then there is the attack on celebrities that dared to voice their opinions, in particular those who are not even British. Some comments were justified, after all if you don't live in this country and are not either English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh what has it got to do with you? Some were not, if you are Scotland born but now live elsewhere I believe you are still entitled to your opinion, Scotland is after all your homeland. Others do not that think that and the nastiness was profound and unwarranted. The most vitriolic criticism was directed at Andy Murray. Andy dared to come out and say he would prefer to vote 'Yes' and suddenly he is public enemy number one. Yes he did make his fortune by representing Great Britain, not England or Scotland you note, Great Britain. Yes he did get a lot of his funding from English companies and clubs, though I'm pretty sure they all consider themselves to be British, and yes he lives in England so doesn't get a vote. However he is a Scot and as a Scot he has far more right to voice an opinion than I, being Welsh, does. No one has come after me with burning pitch folks but they are all out for him.

The loudest laugh was provided by a woman ringing up on my local radio station yesterday morning. 'Can you tell me where the polling stations are because I haven't seen any advertised?' A stunned silence followed before the presenter gently told her that those living in England didn't get a vote. I blame the media, anyone would think it was a general referendum .

As it is I woke up this morning to find I still lived in the United Kingdom. To be honest I don't feel particularly glad or sad. I'm just relieved that this time next week something else will be boring me to tears on the news.

I was sent home from work yesterday.

I'd been feeling off all week but couldn't quite put my finger on it. I thought it was holiday blues combined with a virus but there was nothing to give me enough of an excuse to stay at home so I just got on with it. However by Wednesday I was really down in the dumps and yesterday I just burst into tears in the tea room. Once started I just couldn't stop and I was sent home to rest.

The sort of job I do is quite stressful and it is very rare that you feel you've done a good job. Most of the time people are angry and abusive because you haven't given them the answer to their problem they were hoping for. Sometimes when you've been told for the seven millionth time that you're useless you start to wonder whether it's true.

However I'm now wondering whether there is a more physical reason as I don't feel all that good. I don't have a temperature and I don't have a productive cough either. My SAT's are good at 92% but my chest feels raw and my breathing laboured. I was debating whether to start my antibiotics and then the weather came on. Apparently the South, especially around the London area, has been suffering from smog over the last couple of days. Right around the time I felt my breathing change. So why were there not the usually warnings to stay inside etc. I watch or listen to the news and weather every morning while preparing for work and didn't hear a peep about any smog from anyone. The good news is that it is going to clear over the weekend due to wind and rain. Hopefully my chest will ease a bit too but for now I'll be almost permanently attached to my oxygen. If I've not improved by Sunday it will be doctor's and not work on Monday.

Andrew is moving out today to take up residence with three of his university mates. It makes sense as he has a lot of work coming up with his private company and it is all around London with early starts. Moving back to Hatfield will knock an hour off his travel time during rush hour. He also needs to visit the university office to pick up his official letter of graduation. Without this he cannot register and he needs to be registered in order to take up his post with East of England in October.

My feelings are mixed. Of course I will miss him, I'd got used to having him around again, but I shall also enjoy the days when Peter is at work and I'm on my own for a few hours. The blow will be softened by Laurence though, who is coming to see me on Sunday.

Well better get going, more tomorrow.