Flying out of Gatwick on Saturday morning, it was noticeable how many spring sown fields were still brown. Quite a contrast to last spring when these crops made an early start as they benefitted from the warm wet spring. This year the dry cold conditions have delayed just about everything.
Normally we are well ahead of Scotland, but as we flew across Aberdeenshire it was interesting to see the fields looking remarkably similar. It was certainly much colder across the border, the difference being most noticeable as we returned to Sussex on Sunday.
The Scots certainly know how to throw a good party. The generous hospitality we enjoyed at the wedding of offspring of my closest family friends, would be hard to improve upon. The occasion was enchanting with a stunning bride and a handsome groom taking their vows surrounded by family and friends. Many had flown in from all corners of the globe, including Singapore and Tasmania!
There were contributions from family members; six young cousins were all eager to add their one liner prayers, wishing the couple a happy life together, filled with love, joy and adventure. They almost but not quite, stole the show, but it was a moment of sheer enchantment which emphasised the importance and resilience of our traditional close family values.
There was much talk about the rise of the SNP not just since the General Election but subsequent to the referendum last year. There is genuine concern that the angry minority of Scots who feel they were robbed of the independence they so crave, will do almost anything to have the result reversed.
Had the vote gone the other way, one has to ask would these people be allowing the No supporters to get another opportunity to persuade the electorate to change its mind?
The rise of the Scottish National Party could in the long run end in tears. Michelle Mone, the entrepreneur and founder of Ultimo, a proud Scot, who was raised in Glasgow, her home for the past 43 years, and from a working class background, has decided she no longer feels safe in Scotland and has moved south to London. If feisty successful business entrepreneurs like her are driven out, one has to feel a deep concern for the people of this once great nation.
Mrs Mone was persuaded to get involved in the battle to preserve the union between England and Scotland during the referendum. She found herself caught up in a growing, and extremely vitriolic social media hate campaign, after becoming one of only a few business leaders to come out in favour of both nations remaining together.
She was told she was ‘going to get it’, and was threatened, abused and told she would be ‘thrown across the border’. She is now convinced that the SNP’s Scotland is becoming a place consumed by hatred and ill will, a place where free speech is being crushed and enterprise despised. Anyone who stands up for the union, or demonstrates the entrepreneurial passion Scotland is famous for the world over, is targeted, intimidated and abused.
If people like Michelle Mone are driven out by the SNP’s attitude that it is unacceptable to work hard, be entrepreneurial and successful, God help Scotland.
Having posted my Single Farm Payment form some two weeks ago, I am beginning to worry. So far I have heard not a word from the RPA, neither to acknowledge it has arrived, or to tell me I have got it all wrong. It would be reassuring to know all is well.
Perhaps they are still trying to decipher the codes which I elected to attribute to each field. Having decided to keep it simple, I did not tempt fate by suggesting I was growing cannabis or tobacco, both of which featured prominently in the index.
I think it is now time to make the call to the RPA which will either tell me to start again or relax and know I got the job done.
Having researched the matter I am assured that spiders do not climb up plug holes! Apparently it is impossible because the U bend in the waste pipe prevents their ascent. Well, tell that to my new best friend, who for over a month is to be found waiting for my in the bath each night. I scoop him up and gently drop him out of the window and bid him farewell and a safe journey. Then the following day he is back.
I know the house has its fair share of flies, moths and other delicacies which spiders like, but I really do prefer to relax alone in my bath without the company of my impressive eight legged friend. Mind you when he does decide to give up on me, I think I shall feel somewhat forsaken!
Carola Godman Irvine