Scottish ‘Independence’



As a sympathetic Englishman I understood the emotional and sentimental appeal of Scottish independence in the referendum of 2014. Indeed if I had been a Scot I might have voted in favour of independence given the economic and political circumstances at that time. But times have changed.

Notwithstanding that original sympathy I am perplexed by the action of the SNP in seeking a new referendum on leaving the Union. If they won a majority for ‘independence’ from the historic Union where would that leave Scotland? Ultimately, with Scotland having a population a little larger than Lithuania, perhaps as a minor province of a federal European Superstate dominated and controlled by Germany. This would hardly amount to ‘independence’ and seems a far worse option in terms of having control over the economic, political and social fabric of Scottish society compared with remaining part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore the time to negotiate and achieve that subordinate role in a European Empire would be measured in many years not months as is obvious from previous EU trading and membership negotiations  (not to mention the vehement opposition of Spain to any deal). During that time Scotland would be adrift on its own without any trading agreements, without access to the single market, and without the economic support which EU membership might possibly confer.

As oil prices collapse once again and thus with reduced income and necessarily a new interim Scottish currency until the possible adoption of the Euro as a precondition for EU membership, what would that mean for Scottish Society, for schools, social care, health services and all the rest? The resultant massive deterioration in social infrastructure would surely not be compensated for by eventually becoming a minor ‘subject’ nation within the European Empire, riven as it is with its own internal schisms and problems especially within the Eurozone.

It is clear that there is a sense of ‘now or never’ for the nationalists but the consequences of leaving the United Kingdom seem dire and the exact opposite of what the nationalists are calling for, that is “independence”, because the end result would be subjugation and loss of independence and national identity within a European Superstate.


Traditional Haggis served up with Mashed swede and potatoes



Burn’s Night is the 25th January. This is the haggis seen in the previous post now sliced and served with onion gravy made by Anthony J Sargeant as an accompaniment along with the  traditional mashed swede and potato. It tastes better than it looks says Tony – It is after all Peasant food.

Small Haggis cooked for Burn’s Night



This traditional haggis was bought by Anthony J Sargeant from Ludlow Food Centre in Shropshire and cooked for Burn’s Night on the 25th of January 2017. It is fair to say that it does not look that appetising here but sliced and served with onion gravy along with some mashed potatoes and swede does improve its appearance.


Wonderful freshly cooked Langoustine



The langoustines, sometimes called Dublin Bay Prawns, have just been cooked by Anthony Sargeant in boiling salted water and piled up on the work surface. These came by overnight courier from Keltic Sea Food Ltd who are based in Dingwall near Inverness in Scotland. The langoustine are kreel caught off the West coast of Scotland and delivered live (and nipping if you are not too careful!). Another wonderful crustacean feast after the lobster of the previous evening – also from Keltic Sea Food. Highly recommended. Served with a little mayonnaise to dip the tail meat in they are delicious – and then the head meat (excavated from the body with a lobster pick)  which some would say is even better. After all of that you are left with the claws and although it is a ‘picky’ job it is well worth the effort of excavating that meat from these largish langoustines – to be used later as a filling for fresh ravioli.

Kellie Castle, 4th August 2004 with Eileen and Patricia by Tony Sargeant


In a corner of the garden

full of straggling roses

scumbled through moss

embedded trees –

a quiet corner

a wondrous sea

of cornflower blue

gently lapping 

in the summer breeze

against a lichened rock

crowned by a chevron

carved stone bowl

overflowing with

wayward  flowers

from long forgot

childhood, unkempt,

wild, unnamed,

bringing peace.