I have a penchant for white stilettos, regardless. I have a tendency to terrify chihuahuas and I am known for my self-control. Me? Call someone a fascist and a racist in the street while en route to my local polling station to garner votes, at one with the people? I have no recollection …
Who am I? No, her struggles with memory loss do not seem to extend to her identity. Whoops, just let slip another clue.
I do believe there’s a comedy sketch in most things but voting? Apparently so. Leaving it until after 9.30pm, we braved the weather to walk to the church hall, mere minutes away. Why so late? I’m not really sure. To avoid the crowd, I suppose. There were one or two stragglers of similar mind to us but approaching 10pm, I did feel sorry for the two volunteers, freezing behind the desk. There was a young guy in front who, handed his two ballot papers – one, seemingly, the result of felling an entire rainforest – proceeded to the makeshift booth where, strangely, he stayed for some time; far longer than necessary to engrave two crosses on two sheets of paper. Then, in the silent hall, all we could hear was the noise of said booth vibrating! Several more minutes past until, eventually, he emerged. Had he failed to bring a pencil with a rubber on top? I mean, that in itself is worthy of humour, pitching up with one’s own pencil! We could only surmise that he had made a mistake. Had he not made his decision prior to finding himself in the voting booth? Honestly, it’s not rocket science!
It was only when I, myself, was handed the remnants of an entire rainforest that I began to have some sympathy for his problem. I think, perhaps, the only party not named on that peach ballot paper, whose length challenged my height, was that of The Answer Is ‘No!’ fraternity. Meanwhile, I did look for the declaration that it was made from recycled toilet paper – or just that it was worthy of being used as such! I wish I could have taken one home – or even voted for the party on that list to whom I am truly aligned but … contrary to my beliefs, right now that would be a ‘wasted’ vote. Eliminating crimes to fashion must take priority.
I have never squandered the opportunity to vote, effectively denying oneself any future right to complain – God forbid! I have little sympathy for those who do either due to apathy or a lack of knowledge; one and the same thing, really. I do think the situation in Scotland is unique, however, as the vote of the masses – subject to strategic encouragement – is rooted in grievance rather than intelligent foresight. It is left to the remainder to steer a path for reason, in earnest. One can only keep everything crossed. I do take comfort in the fact that those incensed by the misplaced rabid ambition of the Nationalists are silently waiting for the right time to come forward, choosing patience over aggression. Thus, as in 2014, ubiquitous saltires and bright yellow posters, in the end, do not necessarily reflect the outcome.
What of the passing week? Aside from the wicked weather decrying any known season whatsoever, I feel there has been little change. As tensions continue to rise between the US and North Korea, and Putin amasses his troops, poised to invade Ukraine – while opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, languishes in prison – the mainstream media, here, continues to push the vaccine rollout, all the while coveting praise for its success. We hear of little else. Fear continues to be upheld with caution remaining a priority. However, be reassured, millions have been spent on securing further doses to be administered in the autumn, as boosters – along with the flu vaccination – in a bid to counter any variants and any demise in immunity over time. For those of us who shy away from paracetamol, favouring more natural remedies, this is tantamount to a chemical overdose! The thing is, without the required research afforded by time, too many questions remain unanswered – for now – and, to my mind, as with the prescribing of anti-depressants, it is a case of, continually, upping the dose, regardless.
Oh, one bright spot in my week, Justin Currie – he of Del Amitri fame – was the guest on Ken Bruce’s Tracks of My years. He didn’t let me down! Among others, he chose Gilbert O’Sullivan’s, Nothing Rhymed and the Buzzcocks, Ever Fallen In Love. Classics. His educated Glaswegian lilt was joy to the ear as he spoke of his childhood and the reasons for his choices, referring, repeatedly, to his Mum. I wasn’t surprised to learn, either, that he has two sisters – further corroborating my long-held belief that a guy with sisters is that much softer and more respectful of girls. So, my perfect guy? He would certainly make me laugh and there is little more important. He does, also, happen to have penned some of the most thoughtful and emotive lyrics to the tune of unforgettable melodies and the man and his band have a unique sound – unmistakeable Del Amitri! Lucky enough to have seen Justin, solo, many times – and Del Amitri, too – I am thrilled that they are back, releasing their first album in nineteen years. Proof that talent pays no heed to time. You Can’t Go Back? Ironically, just listening to that first single takes me straight back! Just don’t ask me what I think of the album cover … aware of the Currie intelligence and humour, suspect I’m missing something. Actually, aesthetically displeasing though it most definitely is, I have just studied it more keenly – and, yes, by jove, I think I’ve got it!
‘Nothing good, nothing bad, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost
Nothing further than proof, nothing wilder than youth
Nothing older than time, nothing sweeter than wine
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn’t say
Nothing why ‘cos today
Gilbert O’Sullivan, ‘Nothing Rhymed’.
This is Trish, signing off.