Say hello and wave goodbye

Scottish Roundup is brought to you this week by Gavin Hamilton who blogs at The View from the Hills.

While politics often seems to dominate the Scottish blogging firmament it is actually full of many topics – art, culture, sport, even food.  The week for me started by picking up on two pieces of beautiful writing, both of which struck a chord of poignancy as they explored emotions that mean something to all of us.

First, I read this piece by Audrey Birt called ‘For auld lang syne’ in which she muses on the subject of goodbyes and the particular vulnerability she feels having recovered from serious illness.  Then I read this piece, which rather than considering the changes we have to deal with in the present, looked to the future in a most ingenious way.  Sarah Rooftops wrote about what letter you would write to your future self.  What would you say about your life and how would that change as you move through the decades?

The future is very much on our minds here in Scotland as we prepare for a referendum on whether or not Scotland should be an independent country.  The Electoral Commission presented their recommendations on what question should be asked this week.  The whole issue has caused quite a political stramash.  Lallands Peat Worrier saw the whole thing in terms of ‘dating advice from the electoral commission’.   Alex Massie got to the nub of the political argument about whether this was a setback or a triumph for Alex Salmond in his piece ‘Is the press biased against the SNP? Probably not but we are all nationalists now’.  Scot Goes Pop opined the conspiracy theory that the Electoral Commission is biased in ‘Electoral Commission’s reputation for impartiality in tatters as its opinion leaked to unionist rag’.

Last week also saw a thoughtful and interesting piece which asked the question, ‘Is unionism a form of nationalism?’ from Open Unionism which considered the question whether unionists in the Scottish national question can be considered British Nationalists.

Thankfully, Scottish life is not just about politics.  Football – love it or hate it – is pretty central to our national psyche.  The week was book-ended by cup disasters for the Old Firm – St Mirren knocked Celtic out of the League Cup to line up a Hearts v St Mirren cup final; and Dundee Utd knocked the new form Rangers out of the Scottish Cup.  I very much enjoyed catching up with the always entertaining Narey’s Toepoker who asked, ‘Are Rangers fans starting to lose interest?’  You can also scroll down to their Jan 3 entry to see what their predictions for the Transfer window were.

This week it is also worth doing a couple of shout outs.

The first edition of Mosaic Scotland was published.  This is Scotland’s new online LGBT news and lifestyle magazine.  There’s a lot in it, including an interview with Ruth Davidson and the ‘must see’ LGBT films at the Glasgow Film Festival.

Finally, Anabel Marsh highlighted National Libraries Day on 9 February and Glasgow Library Tweet Ups.

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