………Do we ‘own’ our country?………

Retirement has given the Lady of the House, and me,  the opportunity to travel round bits of our country at a rate which is bordering on dawdling.

Instead of cramming our travelling into a hasty run, we can now turn-off on side roads and let our Garmin ultimately guide us back to our intended destination. Yesterday, on a bright, warm, Autumn day, we had set our course for Tillicoultry. We headed over the River Forth using the old Kincardine Bridge, and went westwards through the back streets of the old village of Kincardine, now a town.

We had been through here many times before, over the  decades, but yesterday was somehow different. There was a strange nervous expectancy, and the streets had a  hushed fear of the future, as we were led along the banks of the Forth. As we were guided northwards, the flat countryside reminded us of our recent trip to the Netherland. But then, the Ochil Hills came into view. There are 60 hills in the Ochils, all over 300 metres.

Some of the most spectacular scenery in the Central Belt of Scotland is here as an East-West massif stands proudly as a barrier to the greater hills farther north. But as you drive along the road which follows this range, you suddenly realise how small you are.

We partook of afternoon coffee and scones at a lovely farm shop near Blairlogie ( http://www.blairmains.com/farm-shop ) and sat facing directly to the hills. The sun was perfect, the sky was cloudless, the shadows on the face of the hills accentuated the indentations worn by aeons of weather.

These hills have lasted for countless years, which makes our threescore-years-and-ten seem miniscule. Their height, extent, majesty, and sheer bulk make us see how we have to ‘fit-in’ with nature, and only succeed when we work hand in hand with our environment. The scenery in which we live does not ‘belong’ to us who live within easy travelling distance . We are entrusted with its care so that those from further away on these islands, and indeed from the rest of the world, can come and enjoy the beauty.

Surely it is not too big a step to see that this small  country of ours is only part of much-larger groupings, a bit like a Russian doll. We cannot be Independent in any kind of ancient sense, but we can become Separate. Even Clan Munro, to which I belong, had to continually forge alliances to stay in existence. Having done so it produced many great names over the centuries and is known world wide. Our countryside ‘belongs’ to the world, and our country belongs within the Union.

As an Irishman who has happily dwelt 52 years in the land of Scotia, I shall be voting on Thursday, to preserve the co-operation within which we have worked instead of breaking-up our extremely-interwoven world.





5 thoughts on “………Do we ‘own’ our country?………

    • Thanks ShimonZ…..I can trace my ancestry back to 1100AD and he was a soldier Prince who was living in the north of Ireland. It is believed that his father came from Scotland, so | suppose the circle has been closed.

      As a parallel, one of my ancestors was hanged in Northern Ireland in 1798 because he wanted a United Ireland. He did not want divisions between men of different beliefs and religions.

      Unfortunately, this debate in Scotland has caused terrible divisions…which will take a long time to heal.

  1. Hi Harry! I’ve been following the debate via US press and have found both pro and com sides fascinating. It’s interesting to get your take. I look forward to hearing the vote later this week.

  2. Hi,
    85% of us voted in The Scottish Referendum for ‘Yay’ or ‘Nay’ on the 18th September 2014. (Contrary to some odd reporting, the vote was voluntary and approved by observers). 85%
    voted!! This is a superb event in its own right. I, for one, am very proud to be able to say I was in that number. To witness such an energising of political interest from the ground up, in a diverse demographic, to hear the intelligent considerations of the young voters, (the over 16’s and under 18’s who were given the franchise) was heartening.

    I don’t think all that has come out of the Referendum has been divisive, even though there is a large number of disappointed voters at this time – 45% who voted yes. The Scottish National Party are already utilising that energy to continue insofar as they can, their Scottish political agenda. To add to that number, currently, the SNP membership is increasing and probably with people who voted ‘no’ in the referendum, which is an interesting combination and evolution . It is not one, though, that I find particularly surprising. In all probability, much of the voting population is happier to unify to obtain ‘Devo Max’, (Maximum Devolution, whatever that will be defined as) which, Westminster did not allow to be included in the ballot paper to be voted on, but which, it has now promised to save the Union.

    • Thank you all for your comments. It is good to hear quiet and well-reasoned arguments from inside and outside th UK.

      I think we probably have not heard the last of this, ………so whilst there was a palpable easing of tension immediately after the Referendum, it may, like the comedies in the West End, just ‘run, and run’.

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