Kettles, kids and kindness with a bit of culture and politics on the side

Autumn is here with a vengeance now. Soon it’ll be Christmas and children across Scotland will be getting excited about Santa coming – and some will be looking forward to seeing  the Singing Kettle, the show that’s been going strong  for the last 30 years. This year’s Christmas show will be the last for stars Artie Tresize and Cilla Fisher, who are retiring. From next year, Little Bunny Fou Fou will be sung by somebody else. I wrote about our fond memories of the shows. It seems too soon for all my daughter’s childhood heroes to be stopping.

This week the Scottish Government unveiled its national Parenting Strategy and both Ellen Arnison and Dorkymum gave their visions about what would make this country the best place in the world to bring up children. Is there a Plan B might never go away again as she finds the trauma of returning from holiday too much to bear.

In politics, Wings over Scotland reckons that the Labour party is giving in to an English hegemony. Clearly this is unnecessary as money grows on trees in Scotland. Ian Smart, on the other hand, who so far has never been one to heap praise on his party’s leadership, is impressed with Johann Lamont’s call for a debate on the future of universal benefits. Sean McP tackles the issue thoughtfully as part of a wider post about the independence march and over at Liberal Democrat Voice Mark Valladares and I (in the comments) mull over the implications of governing in these cash poor times. Bright Green, meanwhile, has been live-blogging the Scottish Green Party conference. Shuggy’s blog, meanwhile, comments on the passing of Eric Hobsbawm while Town Mouse contacts their MSPs. I’ve seen some of the correspondence sent to parliamentarians and believe me, this missive is extremely measured and respectful and doesn’t come close to qualifying for the Green Ink Brigade.

Politics is full of aspiring leaders and maybe they would do well to read Lynne Douglas who’s written about the “essence of self leadership”.

The Peat Worrier turns his attention to the presence of cameras in court rooms.

Now, I promised you some culture. It was National Poetry Day this week and Love and Garbage gives us some Norman Maccaig to mark the occasion. I don’t read a lot of poetry but one of Maccaig’s which has stuck with me since childhood comes in his poem “Brooklyn Cop“. That link is to Maccaig reading it and talking about the harsh realities of  the life of a police officer and the violence that could erupt at any moment. That poem brought an extra tear to my eye as I watched the funerals of the Manchester police officers who were shot two weeks ago.

Clair from Kids, Craft and Chaos gave up on A Tale of Two Cities and gives a list of books she wishes she hadn’t bothered with and a list of books to persevere with until the end. Raymond Weir explains why he gave up on Doctor Who.  Scots Whay Hae tells us about today’s must-have literary journals.

Sometimes it’s worth getting into an argument on Twitter. The writer of 42 Grounds took exception to something I said and during our conversation, I thought I’d have a quick look at his profile. I discovered he’s blogging a Grand Tour of Scotland’s football  grounds and I enjoyed this post in which he argues that Scottish football fans deserve better catering.

Finally, Audrey Birt’s breast cancer blog talks about the Breakthrough Scotland reception at Holyrood and the inspiring people she met – and how one simple act of kindness at a vulnerable moment meant so much.

That’s all for this week. If your favourite post of the week is not here, then you might want to take a turn in the editor’s chair. There are still some spaces in the rota between now and Christmas. Email or tweet @scottishroundup if you fancy a go. We will hold your hand through the process and it will give you the chance to introduce some of your favourite blogs. We could particularly do with some sporty, arty or musical editors.

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