Blowing gently in prevailing West Yorkshire zephyrs a single strand of proteinaceous spider silk lays entwined within the pergola beams above my head. It’s gentle movement reflecting a bisque colour drawn from overhead solar rays.

As we lay on the cusp of June’s equinox, with sub sequential onset of ever darkening evenings, it warming (both literally and figuratively) the UK summer catalogue has at last turned onto a page affording sights and redolences of sunshine.

Looking upward at the silk strand, I see no evidence of further web building or, indeed, a spider. Consequently, my staring at this fairly unremarkable event 8ft above my patio barely compares to Robert the Bruce’s legendary arachnoid tale borne while hiding clandestine from the English army.

Scottish leader Bruce, upon witnessing a spider’s tenaciously constructing its web irrespective of numerous setbacks, inspired to once more fight the English army. Although the Scot’s had lost the previous six encounters, their leader drew from this spirit to reengage against their foes. A battle where Bruce’s troops finally defeating the sassenachs on the fields and hills of Bannockburn.

As alluded to above, history will view my spider’s web yarn as fairly tepid fare. Although the eddying silk strand provides GJ Strachan with a hypnotic landscape, unlike Brucie boy, it’s not inspiring me to embark upon a noble crusade.

I’ve certainly no intention of mimicking Rob”s antics of forming a Scots army to stand sabre’s drawn with a bunch of English troops. There are many reasons for me following this non-confrontational avenue. Of which lack of motive for such wanton recklessness and lack of being Scottish currently sit proudly at the top.

Sure, with a surname like Strachan, there’ll be Scottish roots within my forebears. However, the facts are that I’m English, and my recent genealogy has been for several generations. Such factors would no doubt be taken into account when cruising the pubs of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee in search of a bunch of Scottish renegades to take arms against enemies south of the border.

I’d posit there are several fellas (or indeed ladies) is Scottish ale houses who’d be keen to give the English a kick up the arse. However, I’d be surprised the gig of leader would go to an Englishman whose pretty indifferent about the job in hand.

Footnote – When I say I’m indifferent about raising a Scottish army to fight the English, I actually mean I’ve no interest whatsoever in embarking of such treasonous skullduggery.

Anyhow, changing the subject……

After being in possession of the same car for ten years, I’m currently looking at updating my vehicle. The automobile’s and my divorce all very amicable – Including terms asserting yours truly gets the kids and the Vauxhall Astra collects the CDs….. As I won’t require CDs because my new motor has bluetooth, the latter an easy concession for GJ Strachan during post relationship recompense.

I’ll miss my old car when it leaves my life. It’s been at my side for the worst years of my life. A prevailing shit storm which’s lived me from 2010 onwards.

A time in my life which’s played out to dismal screenplay; including my wife’s cancer fight, the death of my father, my heart attack and a long running battle with depression. Not to mention, my mum’s stroke in early 2021. My twelve year old Astra playing a large part in supporting me through these stark times.

This black 1.6L petrol engined motor transporting me all over the UK for over a decade. Road odysseys including trips to Scotland, Wales, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Yorks Moors and the Skyliner chippy in east Leeds.

I’ll miss you little buddy…… After ten years of being my mechanical sidekick, I just hope your new owners will introduce you to a happier world; not to mention, expose you to fewer episodes involving mislaid Gingster’s pasties.

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