Nights are drawing in…

The kids go back to school tomorrow in some parts which accounts for the tardy Roundup as I’ve been in a flurry of pencil cases and new shoes. It never gets any easier.

But what’s everyone else been up to?

Elizabeth left her kitchen for a trip to Unst which really makes me want to visit.

Mummy Central is pondering the fact that kids have it so easy these days. Well they do, don’t they?

Celebrations for All At Sea as she publishes a collection of poetry and prose.

In a stroke of genius, Foodie Quine flings some Tunnock’s Teacakes on the BBQ. I can’t wait to try this one out.

Ginger Bread Woman is baking as usual. This time, it’s fruity tea loaf.

A farewell post from Jane at A Jack To A King. Her blog has done its job and she’s saying goodbye.

I hope Nicola Barry‘s soap box isn’t too high as it might need guard rails. She’s on it to rant about Health & Safety.

Speaking of health, Naturally Inside Out has a home-made treatment for psoriasis.

A heart-felt plea at Touch and Tickle about SMA screening. Please read.

Meanwhile, Last Year’s Girl is out and about reviewing an Adam Stafford gig.

Bravo to the Moiderer for her decision to become a foster carer.

Little Mummy has been to loads of kids shows at the Festival. If you’re planning a last minute trip, she could inspire you.


And the new Doctor Who is….


I suspect everyone knows by now. What do you think? Here Caron Lindsay muses on who might pick up the sonic screwdriver next.

And as Peter Capaldi prepares for the challenges ahead, so does Polar Scott.  She’s decided to prove she has the Comando Spirit. Hat’s off to that woman.

Hats off elsewhere too. Touch and Tickle talks movingly of an encounter with a devoted mother and the affect it had.

And for making taking a huge decision to move down under, hats off to Dorky Mum. She will very much be missed.

Mary de Bastos who some time previously made that huge decision to move to another country – this time Scotland – has some words on rain.

While All At Sea is still at the seaside with a poem for her children.

And still at sea, Scottish Boating  – went skiff cruising, with some lovely photos of what looks like a great adventure.

It’s August so it must be Festival time, Audrey Birt finds it – and other things – life affirming.

Tartan Tights has fond memories of Alison Hunter.

And as we gear up for work tomorrow, Mike Ritchie recommends The How Not To Guide to PR for anyone on either side of that particular fence.

A Wean’s A Wean For A’ That

I swear, I had no intention of writing about a certain blessed event this week, except perhaps a snide riff on the number of major retailers that have hastily managed to print celebratory bunting in these times of austerity (I’m sure Wills ‘n’ Kate appreciate the thought, but Tesco, there’s no way they’re popping in for a pint of milk and some Pampers as part of one’s royal commute). It’s just that, with some bad news about the health of my little ginger kitty tonight – yes, I’m one of those irritating childfree folks – I’ve got babies on the brain.

That said, it’s not a subject to have occupied the keyboards of many Scottish bloggers this week (to the surprise of nobody, I’m sure). My other half touched on it in his weekly column at Do Some Damage*, and A Scottish Liberal was suitably incensed by blanket coverage of people in London standing about outside a hospital doing nothing as to complain to the BBC. As for the unsavoury cabal of queers, feminists and trolls at A Thousand Flowers: well, they covered the birth in their own succinct and evocative way.

My favourite posts though are the ones about kids that are known to us in the Scottish blogging community: we’ll soon be waving goodbye to DorkyMum as she sets off on an Australian adventure with the family in tow. Sean McP reminisces about his first county cricket match as a nine-year-old, and All At Sea has a beautiful original poem that stirs up images of childhood, even if it's really about the changing weather.

There's an argument that when the nonsense news is getting too much you should just turn over, but that doesn't really hold if you have to keep an eye on news outlets for a living. In my colleague's absence I had the joy of covering David Cameron's porn proposals (oh, how I wish that was a story about somebody else) for the day job, and Jennie Kermode has hit upon exactly what the problem is with automated filters. It’s the point I keep coming back to in discussions about the proposals, reminding me of similar problems I experienced as a result of the Three mobile network’s automated filters as far back as 2009.

Ian Smart has also been on holiday, the lucky bugger. I shouldn’t really complain as it’s my turn next week, but it feels like a long way off right now..!

That post is just one of some particularly well-written, thought provoking posts that popped up in the Scottish blogosphere this week. Take Audrey Birt’s musings on some of the big social, political and demographic issues that affect her world; or Tartan Tights on what makes a true friend. The View From The Hills has reposted a piece on pension deficits and municipal debt in Detroit following the city’s recent insolvency, which is also worthy of a read; and there’s a great post over on Bella Caledonia about why an independent Scotland does not need a creation myth.

Sticking with the serious stuff, Lallands Peat Worrier has one of the best legal posts of the week, discussing a barely-commented upon Scottish court decision that appeared to indicate that “raping someone with whom you have any sexual history, even years after you ceased to have sexual contact, actually mitigates the seriousness of the offence on sentencing”. Read it. Then tell everybody you know.

If you’re in need of a palate cleanser after all that, Gluttons for Punishment have photos of an adorable afternoon tea they won. Author Russel D McLean talks about how difficult it is for “naturally insular” writers to meet their public for the first time, and the Burd comes to a similar final conclusion about Wickerman as I did about T in the Park. Way less arse cheeks hanging out of denim shorts at her choice of festival, though. Sticking with the music, new Glasgow Southside promoters Pop!South wrote about their upcoming events on my blog a couple of weeks ago – you’ve missed their first couple of shows now, but they have lots coming up (starting tomorrow!).

Lots to get through there, but if you’re looking for more the Islay Blogging Roundup is live with some great posts from the islands. We’ll ignore their wondering at where the Scottish Roundup got to this weekend… um…

*It was our third wedding anniversary this week. I wrote something about that too.

In Summary… It’s Summery…

If you’re reading this then all I can say is ‘Phew! Made it’. I’d love to blame it on the sunshine,  but the truth is I had forgotten all about my stint editing this week’s Scottish Roundup. Luckily there have been plenty of interesting posts by those people for who no amount of good weather will tear them from their keyboards. But this weather isn’t all Zoom lollies and pillar-box red kissers, there are dangers, particulary for man’s best friend, as Brighton_Jock reminds us.

I love music with a passion, and love to read about others who share that passion, so it was a pleasure to read Gibberish who outlines the most sublime musical experience of his life, and his conversion to T in the Park. If only he had read Lauren of Living in a Boxx‘s handy guide before going he would have been prepared for anything. Over at Elvish Tendencies , Lirazelf recounts a life-affirming night spent in the company of Amanda Palmer and reminds us that music, perhaps more than any other art form, has the ability to bring people together.

For many people, politics in Scotland is on hold until next year’s referendum, and both sides are trying to swing the undecided in their direction. Bella Caledonia comes up with a handy guide as to the tribes who are yet to be convinced, and how to sway them. Gayle of Tartan Tights fame wonders if the heat is getting to some of our politicians, and if at least some people are counting their political chickens ahead of the big day.

Two instituitions which seems consistently out of touch came together this week at Muirfield for the Open Golf Championship. The R&A deem the course an acceptable place to host this world famous tournament, even though half the world are ineligable to play there.  The BBC are covering this event on TV and radio, and who do they get to front their radio coverage? ‘Gentleman’ John Inverdale, of course. Both R&A and Auntie had to release justifications about their respective choices, a sure sign that something is very wrong. Personally, my rule of thumb, (deliberately twisting Groucho Marx’ words), is that I wouldn’t wish to belong to any club who wouldn’t want my mum as a member. A Burdz EYe View looks at this situation in detail, and calls it spot on.

It is the summer hols, and for those of us without the worries of looking after weans life goes on pretty much as usual, but Donna of Mummy Central is here to give advice to her younger self as she looks forward to the new school term, and back to the last eight years of motherhood. She also advocates gin on cornflakes, but I’ve been starting the day like that for years!

At a time when every penny counts, Fergus Muirhead gives advice as to the best way to claim tax back without paying someone to do it for you, something that is not going to be a problem for Westminster politicians, according to Lallands Peat Worrier, as he outlines yet another pay rise to their basic wage.

And finally, if you’ll excuse the indulgence, Ian Gregson and I recorded the latest Scots Whay Hae! Podcast with one of Scotland’s greatest writers, James Robertson, and we are rather proud of the results.

Right, I’m off for a FAB and to put Gordons on my Golden Grahams. Have a cracking week…

Tennis, politics and holidays but life isn’t strawberries and cream for everyone this week.

It’s the first week of the holidays ( and recess) , the sun is shining and Wimbledon is working its magic on the Nation. (C’mon Andy). So tell me why did I think this was a good week to volunteer to do the roundup?

That  said it has been an interesting week with some fairly explosive local political issues, indyref ping pong, tales of glamping, Dr Who conventions, Wimbledon distractions and some thoughts from carers amongst the birthday celebrations for none other than that wonderful institution the NHS.

So tear your eyes from the telly, don’t light the barbie yet and catch some if this week’s fine Scottish blogs.

Let’s start with by stimulating those taste buds with the Foodiequine’s tales of glamping , quite fabulous picnics that almost have me persuaded and not just because of the rhubarb vodka! These days require a good thirst quencher and if Brewdog’s beers are your tipple you will share Bucketoftongues pleasure at their recent crowd funding success, this new model of growth being all about involving their  community and good beer of course.

Spotsandsparkles takes us through a wet but fab weekend in Edinburgh ( it’s beautiful today!) leaving her readers with a taste to see more. And of course holidays can go hand in hand with romance ….so the Skinnydippingcharter gives us some wise lessons in love. Caron a dedicated Doctor Who fan has been celebrity spotting at a recent Doctor Who convention and wondering how she missed some good gossip ( I did too Caron….unlikely couple?)

Well that’s enough pink and fluffy stuff let’s get down to politics. The Burd is suggesting the Scotland needs British influence, her message being that the other referendum (on EU membership ) is significant for Scotland too and urges the Scottish government to join with the other pro EU parties in a pro EU message. Ian Smart reflects on the language of the indy ref campaign currently with Better Together being re-titled  project fear by its opponents who by default then position themselves was project hope. Ian suggests the truth is much more complex and more honesty would strengthen arguments. And the controversial Falkirk by election is discussed by James in Better Nation who wonders if Unite are truly listening to their members?

As some of you will know I’m a health blogger so I’m glad to be able to share some blogs which offer powerful insights into the impact of loss. First of all Todayoutoften tells of watching the documentary I am breathing about Neil who has MND. She describes how she stops thinking about the condition and starts to understand him, a powerful reason to blog and to hear those with lived experience tell their stories.

“Is this why any of us blogs, to exercise this most powerful freedom?  I love how it allows those of us who share that drive with Neil, to give of ourselves, to have the platform – for the most part, freely – to leave something of ourselves behind.
 And this is my reflection on Neil Platt.  He showed incredible dignity in his fight with MND and  incredible courage to allow the world to see him, as he thought, at his worst.  And I’m sure he was so much more.”

Others who are generously giving of themselves in this way are : Michael who blogs in Carers speaking out, giving us an insight into his experience and learning in his emerging role as carer and Tommy of Tommyontour gives us not only a rich insight into being a carer but along with Extraardvaark in Forever is  an Awfully Long Time, into the pain of loss. Ian Smart leaves politics for a moment to tell of another loss, a loss of a life time partner to Alzheimers and how this year it means he has a holiday to face on his own for the first time.

Each with huge courage and in very unique ways giving us very moving glimpses into their experiences.

Staying on the subject of health my blog this week was on the 65 birthday of the NHS and my wish list for a future vision and commitment to match Nye Bevans original one.What would yours be? For Derek blogging as an associate nurse director from his experiences flying back and forth to Orkney it’s the importance of what makes a service person centred, and asks is not being bad, good enough?

And finally, it’s Wimbledon weekend and all of you watching Murrays match on Friday will have witnessed roofgate! Ellen asks us what we did when the roof was closing? She was incredibly productive, I admit  to being less so. According to Andy his opponent was on the phone…can only guess who to…… But the final thing I want to share with you is this wee tune -a sort of musical blog-which the artist ,Jim asks Andy to download “Hey there Andy Murray” to his iPod by way of encouragement. It’s charming and every so slightly bonkers in a very Scottish way I suspect. I loved it. And all together now (c’mon Andy !)