Scotland’s devolved government has today eased COVID lockdown restrictions in the Caledonian nation. From today, the land of my roots will allow pub/restaurant visits, sojourns to the barber/hairdressers and use of the exclamation “Hoots!” in public places. The latter, though, only if the word’s recipient is a minimum two metres away.

Consequently, as I write, the finest bistros in the land will be firing up their deep fat fryers and hastily stocking chillers with Irn Bru and Buckfast. The foot traffic on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, now ramping up a tad, will once again witness joy, along with the bustle of social distancing compliant throngs…… That’s if Joy finishes her ironing on time.

Footnote – My sweeping generalisations about the Scottish lifestyle are made with tongue firmly in cheek. I love Scotland and with the surname of Strachan, posit with some certainty my ancestral roots lay deep in Grampian lowlands soil. Arguing further, the fact I’d a heart attack in my 50s, also strongly re-enforces a presence of Scottish genes. 

iu-9

Scotland’s new existential liberties are all concessions made with a strict caveat risk measures are undertaken by those patronising the measures. The Scots government, sensibly in my view, adhering to a more cautious approach to easing lockdown than the English.

A cynic may suggest this is resultant of the Scottish Executive valuing their wider populace’s wellbeing more than our leaders. The English tie and crest brigade deeming lockdown impact on cronies pockets usurped scientist reservations that England was relaxing edicts with reckless haste.

However, I’m not a cynic, and know Mr Johnson and his buddies love us all really and have our best interests at heart. Something of which I’m as certain about as the muddled messages given during English governmental press briefings.

Perhaps, though, I should be more grateful for our leaders approach to this chaotic pathogen – At least they have a strategy. Their advocacies aren’t always that clear, but there’s definitely a strategy.

The situation could be far far worse. We English could be governed by a leader who’s on the record as telling his nation coronavirus will simply go away; like a miracle. In my view, a most reckless borrowing of the old adage ‘Time is a great healer’.

Blimey, as I write, a chaffinch the size of a wood pigeon has just landed outside my French doors. Oh, hold on!……. It is a wood pigeon!….. Perhaps, yours truly needs the varifocal lens settings on my new gigs checking!

Maybe I should follow the lead of the UK prime minister’s senior adviser and drive to Barnard Castle to test out my vision……. Or, maybe not!

Talking of Scotland, I’ve a current urge of journeying to the village of Strachan, in Aberdeenshire, for a break. Lately, I’ve been very tense and in low mood. Perhaps the tranquility of that beautiful area, which I’ve visited twice in recent years, could impart GJ Strachan with catharsis to mitigate this malaise.

It’s a longish, tiring drive from West Yorkshire, consequently I might stop in Edinburgh en route. Just me, my laptop and tools allowing to embark on my new creative outlet of drawing….. Oh, and my car of course!…… Not forgetting clothing and bank debit cards.

I’ll give it some further thought!