I seem to be very weary this week.   Occasionally, I fall into these moods.  It’s not a depression.   It’s more a need for  time to myself, to reflect and recharge one’s batteries.

We set off on our travels North fairly soon.    We’ll be seeing Joanna and her family, visiting friends , going to the Ryder cup, meeting (but not sailing in) the Arran ferry.   We’ll be in Scotland when  they vote for the Referendum, but without a vote.

I am anxious about the vote.   Not about the actual outcome.   If they vote No (every expert opinion declares this will be the outcome) – well, it will be a grave disappointment in some quarters, but we’ve managed well enough for 30o odd years.    We know how to survive in a union.   If they vote Yes, I am confident that we’ll be able to make a go of it.

What I’m anxious about are the feelings of the losers of the vote.   If the Better Together side wins, the movement for Independence will be extremely disappointed to have come so close and to have failed to inspire their fellow countryman to take their courage in their two hands and come.   If the Yes campaign wins,  the No campaigners will be unable to believe that they lost and such sweeping changes will be made from a small majority.   They will also be afraid for the future.

Whatever the outcome, some damage has occurred.    Some of the views of disrespect and dismissal expressed by some English commentators have taken my breath away.   One wonders, if they hold us in such contempt, why they would not welcome the opportunity to  be rid of us.     Also the lack of understanding of many of the English as to the differences between themselves and the other three nations is quite astonishing.     There appear to be two polarities on Scotland.   One view, supposed by its holder to be flattering, is that Scotland is a pretty country, mountains, lochs, Balmoral, heather, whisky, tartan, tossing the caber, the pipes, and it would be a nice place to go on holiday if only the weather were more reliable.     The opposite view is that Scotland is a cold, wet, windy, midgie-infested country, with unfriendly natives you can’t understand, troublesome socialists who demand too much of the national budget and aren’t in the least grateful, silver tongued rabble rousers, and a population that is largely work-shy, fat, violent and drunk.    While some evidence for all of these views can be found in Scotland, that is not what it actually IS.

I could write comments, favourable or unfavourable about the English.   But I don’t think that’s helpful right now.   Suffice it to say that I have lived in the beautiful England for 26 years and have been kindly treated and made welcome wherever I have gone, and have come to love the English like a brother.    One gets irritated by siblings from time to time, but when all is said and done, they’re still nearest and dearest, and you can never be indifferent to them.   You want them to live and prosper.

The Scots are famous for their generosity and big heartedness (the allegation of meanness is a calumny);  the English for their tolerance and sense of fair play.   Whatever the outcome of the vote, we need to express our very finest qualities.   The winning side should not crow over the losers, but express genuine sympathy for their disappointment and see what can be done to ameliorate their losses.   A fair and just settlement should be sought for all the nations.      We share a small island.    We should be kind to one another and remember our joint triumphs, what we’ve achieved together, our kindnesses to one another.       We’ll always be neighbours.   Let’s try to ensure, whatever the outcome, that we’ll always be friends.

I wish we could stop talking and vote now.      I’m going to fall silent for a few weeks and I’ll talk to you in October.