Tuesday, 9 September 2014

An angel in the north

It is the most extraordinary time to be in Scotland...will they won't they?  It easily beats Eastenders for a plot line.  I've always said that they would go, as much because I couldn't see the 'stay togethers' marshaling the arguments to encourage a continuing Union..and so far it looks as though I'm right.  If he strongest argument revolves around the Pound, then I too would be voting for an independent Scotland.  I've also always argued that the wrong question was being asked, and it would have been better to seize the initiative and ask the whole Union about a looser, federal-style state...it would allow each country to develop a strong identity with policies specific to each region within a stronger United Kingdom...though as I've said before, a lack of political vision by the political elite (aka political pygmies) made the likelihood of that becoming a reality remote.  If the Scots should panic and stay at the last moment what's likely to happen is the creation of an even more skewed political system that is not good for anyone south of Hadrian's Wall...and ultimately that is likely to cause real problems in the short-term.

So with that as a background, it was an interesting weekend taking McFred as he will henceforth be known up to Scotland.  But before that, Friday night we celebrated The Cat's Mother's birthday at a pop up restaurant.  The themed night was called 'The Art of Colour' so you can guess that each course...and there were five...were each a different colour.  Delicious.  As usual with things I organise we, and our friends, were the oldest there, and it may not have been coincidence that we were put on a separate table to the rest of the attendees.  It was a late finish which mean that when we rose in the morning I was rather more bleary-eyed than I would have liked for a seven hour journey.  Hey ho.

I had thought of renting a car, or perhaps renting a car one way and flying back as I thought my beloved Jeep was probably not a long distance cruiser.  But expense, inertia and something else, meant that the Jeep was called into service...after all it is just 344.3 miles from home to Edinburgh.  It was packed to the gills and we left on a sunny Saturday morning (just) eventually arriving in the trendy dock area of Leith at about 6.30.  Having checked-in we had time for a wander and a beer...I suspect he wanted more than one beer, but I though a gentle break into student life was called for.  The next morning we headed across town to his halls and under the stern watch of various marshals unloaded quickly and installed him into his room.  Compact yet comfortable.  He had a lot to do, people to meet, places to be so I departed with a tear in my eye...I hadn't expected that as this wasn't the first time he'd left us, but I guess it is a new era...an exciting one for him...and knowing how he works, he will throw himself into it 250%.  I don't doubt that by the end of the first term he will have adopted a Scottish accent, and who knows found the family tartan.

I headed south, stopping only to admire The Angel of the North - it had long been my ambition to see it, and I was delighted that my expectations were met.  Spectacular.  The Jeep proved to be an adept long-distance cruiser, and particularly enjoyable as the sunshine enabled me to remove the roof...I may even have caught a tan.  removing the roof takes quite an effort...undo a couple of clips, turn half a dozen levers, unscrew two locking knobs, remove the two sections and store in boot...something not doubt if here is any possibility of rain!

So there are a couple of pictures I like more than most...the fisheye ones make The Angel look as if he is embracing the people and land around, and the very, very overexposed one gives the wings a translucent effect, almost like a dragonfly..