Campaign Diary – Week #8

  • Best bit: Two inspiring days in Dumfries with artists, Greens and family
  • Worst bit: Not realising *just* how far Ayr is from Dunbar and being really late (twice)
  • Folk of note: Beth, Tim, Cat, Charles, Pauline and Jody from Borders branch who organised the brilliant action day on Saturday + local members and my wonderful pals Claire and Blu who were fantastic first time canvassers
  • Miles travelled: 913 (!)
  • Things I learned: Some dairy farmers in Scotland are getting just 13p or 14p per litre for their milk whilst the cost of production is around 26p per litre.

What a week! It’s been a great few days of campaigning and I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders and South Lanarkshire and meet some really inspirational people. Continue reading

“You can do both!” Thoughts on art, politics + cultural policy

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 19.42.44“Don’t think of art and politics as separate parts of your life – you can do both”. These were the simple words of Katharine from The Stove in Dumfries that, in a few seconds, managed to make disparate bits of my life make sense. Our conversation took place at a thoroughly inspiring event – Art_Inbetween – at the newly refurbished Stove on Dumfries high street last week. Luckily for me, it was just one of a whole day full of provocative, compelling and exciting conversations with artists, performers, community workers and more.  Continue reading

On Lanark, creativity and our cultural cringe

Last night I went to see David Greig’s phenomenal theatre adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s epic novel Lanark. Afterwards David’s mum asked me what I thought. I was dumbstruck.  And not just because it was a brilliant piece of theatre but because I knew that if I started to talk about how I really felt, I’d burst into tears. With more time to think it over, here’s my thoughts on why Lanark made such an impact on me.

Continue reading

Crawick Multiverse – in pictures

ON the Summer Solstice (and Father’s Day) my Dad and I went to the opening of the Crawick Multiverse. It’s a huge 55 acre piece of land art by Charles Jencks on the site of an old coal mine near Sanquhar in the Nithsdale valley. It’s owned by the Duke of Buccleuch and he put £1 million into the project – more thoughts on that whole set of issues yet to come.

Until my thoughts have formed themselves, here’s some photos from the opening day…

Crawick Multiverse launch IMG_0936 IMG_0937 IMG_0939 IMG_0940 IMG_0945 IMG_0949 IMG_0953 IMG_0955 IMG_0961 IMG_0971 IMG_0972 IMG_0973 IMG_0974 IMG_0978

On Remaking Or Starting Anew

Common Weal nightOver the last few days I’ve been undecided. Luckily not about how I’ll cast my vote in September, but rather, undecided about whether independence is about starting over, remaking Scotland out of the crumbled walls of the union we’d break by leaving it. Or about a blank canvas, a fresh start, full of potential. The somewhat messy conclusion that I’ve come to is that it’s a bit of both, and that both metaphors need work. Continue reading