So, the Day of Judgement duly arrived, and Scotland’s people flocked to the polls. When I switched on the TV before breakfast on the Friday morning, it was at the instant of the declaration – the ‘No’ camp had won.
Against all the odds, the polls, pundits and predictions, the gap was 10% ~ a bigger margin than forecast.
The sheer shock and relief experienced had an impact. I sank onto the sofa and couldn’t see for tears. Two and a half years of stress, the depression, the misery ...
The rest of the day was curiously quiet ~ no one about, apart from tired dog-walkers in a village as subdued as it is on New Year’s Day.
Salmond’s resignation wasn’t a surprise. I’m sure I blogged some time ago this would be the upshot, win or lose. I almost feel sorry for him. Don’t forget, 45% of the voting populace wanted independence. But Scotland will never be the same again. No doubt the bitterness will re-surface.
One correspondent from the Scotsman blames the pensioners. She’ll be a disappointed ‘Yes’? It wasn’t just the grey vote, y’know. The silent majority kept its counsel and duly made its crosses.
Now it’s up to the politicians ~ not a trusty breed. Funnily enough, the re-emergence of former PM, Gordon Brown, was a real surprise. I’ve never heard him speak so well.
’Nuff said. In politics, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
The village returned to its autumnal diversions: a local ploughing match was held. We’re a rustic outpost which tries to keep former days alive. In our time it is tractors, although a few heavy horses were in evidence as well.
No doubt modern farm machinery, guided by satellites and computers, contributes to straight rigs, furrows and geometric patterns. I don’t recall my ancestors’ efforts being anything like so tidy.
Country living has its downsides. On 21 September a crucial joint in the kitchen pipework went ~ waste water gleefully flowing down between the units and the outside wall. Crisis! Have you ever tried to get hold of an emergency plumber in a rural location – on a Sunday?
So, UK’s bent on helping out in the conflict against ISIS. I suspected this was on the cards some time ago. One night, ca. 9.30pm, Tornado jets were racing alongside the hillfoots hereabouts, flying very low. #2 daughter saw their burnt fuel fire streams disappearing along the hills. The RAF executed these practice night sorties ahead of Bosnia, Afghanistan etc., so I figured something was afoot.
There’s a ‘gap’ right across Scotland; the slit of the Forth/Clyde valley and the Great Glen. The jets can scream overhead at top speed, out to sea on the opposite coast and bank up over the Western Isles without frightening too many people. Just a lot of sheep.
May not be ‘boots on the ground,’ but bombs and fighters are different. Or are they?
I didn’t mention it here because ~ well, you don’t want to be accused of giving info to hostile forces, do you? However anti-war you happen to be. The Internet’s an international space.
I trust this isn’t going to be ‘Cameron’s war,’ to follow on from ‘Thatcher’s war,’ and ‘Blair’s war’ ...
Orpheus is being awkward. It’s not the shallow self-absorbed post-modern Orpheus of literary feminism who’s proved a distraction but That Eurydike Business (pace Robert Silverberg). Because it’s anachronistic, it is necessary to be wary in deconstructing it, or allowing it to dictate. At times ancient myths are impossibly garbled. The content of Orpheus’s ‘history’ has passed through too many hands; it illustrates the risks of an uncritical or sustained but erroneous consensus.
At a basic level, much of what we now think we have is owed to Victorian popularisers, like Tanglewood Tales, censored ‘Greek myths retold,’ (as a child, I liked the Dulac illustrations) or the American Boston banker and Latinist, Thos. Bulfinch, and his Mythology. Of course, Bulfinch was heavily reliant on Ovid and Vergil, but these two are examples of how easy it is to hi-jack and mangle, misconstrue or misread mythical narratives, especially in translation. And then we have all the poetic and musical adaptations. Aaagh!
Our inheritance is really a sum total of appropriations, interpretations more often connected with each other rather than the world they purport to depict. Myth is not to do with real events. In distinguishing logoi from muthoi the ancient Greeks consigned myth to a different reality – a reality where actions, reactions and language wove, and re-wove again, poetic ‘truths’ into the warp and weft of the fabric, or logoi, of existence.
Picture credits: Two flags, © Telegraph, Scotland; ploughing and local woods, © Saline & Steelend Trust; ‘Tanglewood Tales,’ © Google images;