Thursday 13th. February, 2010 – A Day of Comings and Goings 

Mum in her new Garden Room – the plates are up and ornaments in place

Lots happened today: Rachel spent the day in Berwick at her stained glass class and then spent the evening in Berwick (again) this time singing with the Berwick choir. Mum was collected this evening by a new friend and taken to the meeting of the Women’s Rural Institute in the Village Hall at Gavinton. Digger went off in the late afternoon to collect Olive from the station at Berwick.

Alone, I spent the entire day here at Mount Pleasant. Started the day by walking Mix and, at the risk of being both boring and of repeating myself, it was extremely cold. I know that compared with many we are extremely fortunate to have avoided the flooding and the horrendous winds, but it is very cold.

I breakfasted on porridge and then Tom and I were at it once more. First we nipped into Pearson’s to buy some six inch nails and then we were up into the top floor of the Hen house to complete the task of stabilising the roof beams (we used a lot more than six-inch nails which were used as a temporary measure while we disconnected some previous remedial work).

Tom is checking that we have done everything properly

Once that task had been completed we abandoned the Hen house until next week when we will be joined on Monday by our electrical contractor. Things will start to move quickly then.

We moved across to the farmhouse where there were two tasks remaining. The first was to fit up a curtain rail to enable the washing machine and fridge to be screened off from the Garden Room. We had collected the rail from IKEA yesterday and this morning we fitted it. Secondly, Tom fitted a wooden angle -bar down each angle of the corridor leading from the Garden Room – just to hold it all together (aesthetically rather than physically).

Tom fits the curtain-rail into place on the ceiling

All that remains to be done is for curtains to be fitted and the door re-hung in its new position. What a transformation has been made and it hasn’t taken very long at all.

For the rest of the day I was largely left to my own devices and so the dogs and I camped out in the summer house where I did some ukulele practice, read my book and answered some emails. I dined with Olive and Digger (Mum and Rachel were both out) and I sorted out plans for tomorrow and the weekend.

I made a point of watching Newsnight and to try to understand what was happening with the debate about the future currency of an independent Scotland. I can see both sides of the argument. How can we be totally independent if we share a currency with England? Why should the rest of the UK guarantee our banks? But equally why wouldn’t the rest of the UK wish to have a system which prevented additional transaction costs between businesses both sides of the border? I also began to understand where Alec Salmond was coming from: of course, we must have our share of the assets and pay our share of the debts, but both do go together. It surely shouldn’t be beyond the wit of men and women to solve this particular conundrum but I suspect that it will only be after the referendum vote that minds will start to look for solutions to the problems which are being identified now.

I think that it is for this reason that Alec Salmond is wise not to allow himself to be forced into expressing alternative plans at this stage. His task is to articulate the plan which he and his campaign believe to be for the best; the task of the No campaign is to articulate the reasons why we are better off in the union as it stands and as it may develop in the future. Both sides need to be positive because the danger is that if they aren’t we will be pushed into voting against the negativity of one side rather than for the positive vision of the other.

Mix and I walked the policies and retired to bed


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