Buyouts, books, Barack, bikes (and a birthday)

Well, they kept us waiting but the votes have been counted and the results are in.

No, not that election. Although if you want to read about the lessons Scotland can learn from Obama’s victory, this post on Better Nation is a good place to start.

I meant this election. The good people of Scalpay have voted to take on the running of their own island, after landlord Fred Taylor offered it to them as a gift. Base Drones has a good piece looking at this buyout in the context of others on Lewis and Harris, and while we’re talking about that Na h-Eileanan Siar, I will include this piece on Bella Caledonia about the treatment of Gaelic in the press.

As I’m sitting writing the roundup, on Saturday night, the breaking news on the BBC Website is of their own Director General George Entwistle’s resignation. This incredible post from In a Bun Dance is a good a plea as any I’ve seen for us to remember what we’re trying to achieve with all of this.

A couple of other good political posts this week too. Scottish Mum writes about the issues that are will decide her vote in the Indy Ref, while  Nine writes in The Skinny about Rhoda Grant’s proposals to criminalise the purchase of sex in Scotland, and Ellen McAteer guest posts on Pedal on Parliament with a very powerful piece about cycling on Glasgow’s streets.

In a totally smooth and seamless way of segueing from posts on politics to posts on culture, I give you this post from Edinburgh Eye which combines the two, as she writes about the latest controversy in the Creative Scotland saga.

There are a lot of sad faces in Edinburgh this week at the news of Avalanche’s likely closure in January. If you would like to support a local indie shop, why don’t you buy some stocking fillers in there before Christmas, and we’ll see if we can help change their minds.

In jollier news, comics podcast House to Astonish celebrates its 4th birthday this week, and I’m sure they would love you to pop over and join them for the party.

Once you’ve done that, you should check out this pay-what-you-want short story from Alan Trotter - a hugely promising young Scottish writer (or as he wryly describes himself once-young once-promising…).

There are some brilliant old photos in this post on the Leith Library blog, and also some lovely recent ones here from Just do It Mummy – a Hertfordshire mum who spent last week’s half term on holiday in Greenock with her family. If photos are your thing you should also bookmark 100 Weeks of Scotland, showcasing images from around the country in the weeks leading up to the Indy Ref.

A plea, to end with. The Burd’s excellent project Books for Kids for Christmas has just relaunched for 2012. If you have a wee bit of extra money this month – even a few quid – then buying books for vulnerable kids in Scotland seems a bloody good way to spend it.

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