Friday, 14 August 2015

...counting down summer (my summer in numbers)

Oh look. Yet again I've not blogged for two months. So, here's a picture by numbers run down of summer in Hughesville.

7 - years of marriage to this guy <3 p="">

6 - books finished - here's three of them...

5 - books in progress

4 - days it has actually felt like summer

3 - plants I've managed to keep alive for a month

2 - bloggers turned pals I had an Edinburgh adventure with ~ cakes reviewed for #100 cakes. I am a cake reveiwing failure. I have eaten LOADS of cake.

1 - Sister married/Brother-in-law gained (I don't want to spoil Hazel's future wedding post, but I reckon I can get want with these two photos) ~ HNC offically gained( meaning I am actually qualified for my job) ~ Committee role (local tenants' association) added to my pile of jobs.

Add to that a few gigs, a few records, many dog cuddles/walks and a lot of work stress, an that is pretty much my summer.

Sunday, 21 June 2015


 Recent happenings...

I attended a conference on Supporting Older People with Learning Disabilities for work, as part of Learning Disability Awareness Week.

I took part in the Anti-Austerity Rally in George Square with others from my SNP Branch.

 Dave and I went to see the Gaslight Anthem, who I love.
I was part of organising and holding a stall with my SNP Branch Women's Committee at Renfrew Fair. It was very successful!

 I attended my little sisters hen do!...

 And we all ate cake.

Dave and I had a mini-break in London to see the The Replacements at the roundhouse, along with several of our Glasgow pals, and I met up with Zoe for tea and cake. :)

We were guests at Dave's best friend Aileen's wedding.

 We have been on MANY dog walks...
. Including several in Wales, where we went to visit the in-laws.

 ..and New Lanark, where we did the Falls of Clyde walk, which is pretty spectacular.

In addition to this - work has been frantic and stressful, but also good and challenging. I have managed to read several books, and watch several films/documentaries. Oscar continues to be an absolute joy and I haven't eaten completely terribly.

In the next month or so, after my sister's wedding on Friday coming, I am hoping for a little bit more time at home, to deal with our garden (which is getting a bit wildernessy), and to organise some of the stuff we need to do to the flat - number one and two being rewiring and havng a new bathroom fitted. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015 activist (campaign experiences and the SNP landslide)

I mentioned in my last post that I'd been campaigning. If you told me then that I'd be sitting here having witnessed our candidate Gavin Newlands win by 9000 votes, I'd have laughed. Of course we were hoping for a win, but every poll said if we achieved it, it would be by 2% - around 900 votes. I stood at my table at the count after standing up since 7am that day, taking samples and thinking mine must be an anomaly - I'd obviously got the good boxes. But my boxes weren't from our traditionally good areas. They were from Labour strongholds. I looked around at the expressions on the faces of me fellow activists, and they echoed my disbelief. We talked to our counterparts in the neighbouring team - those working on Mhairi Black's campaign, and saw our results mirrored. True verificiation can when each of the stood at the podium in the Lagoon Centre, with the screen behind them showing them far ahead of the other candidates. Not for the last time that morning, I stood surrounded by Team Newlands and cried happy, astonished tears as each of them spoke of their commitment to a better future.

Gavin Newlands, MP!!
 If you'd told me the wee party I belong to would become the third biggest part in the UK by some margin I'd have said that's the dream - but to gain all but three of Scotland's seats, sometimes by massive swings, would have been unfathomable. It still is. It is too big to comprehend. The media call it a landslide. Alex Salmond calls it 'the Scottish Lion Roaring'. What it is, is the people of Scotland making themselves heard.

In the months running up to the election, I had the privilege of being part of the most hardworking team imaginable. People who, through belief in the message of the party and the ability of the candidate, gave every spare minute. We leafleted and canvassed every street in our constituency in every weather imaginable. There were days where by noon I'd walked to the point where i felt i couldn't go any further - and was still at it at midnight. I'd wake up the next morning sore, and do the same again. our campaign officially stopped for me when I left our hub at 5am on Friday, and I still hurt. The entire team experienced this. Folk ask me how I think we got such massive gains. and though I can't fathom the enormity of it myself, that's how.
Literally through blood, sweat and tears. Our message has always been positive - a voice for the people of Scotland, anti-austerity, pro-growth, and aiming for a fairer, better future. But without people to deliver it, we wouldn't have had this success. While other parties had leaflets posted by the poor postman, ours were done by activists.
Our activists were part of a team that became like a family, working on a positive campaign, talking to people of all political persuasions and all walks of life. I love campaigning. I'd walk every step again.
Erskine Street Stall - tipping rain

Renfrew Street Stall Selfie

Campaign photo, Banksy style.

SNP Women at Scrap Trident Rally

After Count Party at our campaign hub. A few of the Women's committee members, including #theLaurens. Feminism ahoy. (photo by John Shaw (I think))

The launch of #SNPbeacause (Photo by John Shaw)

Dave performed at Anne McLaughlin's adoption night. Also speaking - Nicola Sturgeon. Anne won 'the Safest Seat in Glasgow', with a swing of 43%. It broke the BBC swingometer.

Top photo by John Shaw, bottom right by George Adam MSP

Centre and bottom left photos by John Shaw.

We face huge challenges now. We had hoped to be part of an alliance with the left leaning parties. With the Tory majority, and the incoming of further brutal cuts, the possible removal of the Human Rights Act and a referendum on EU membership, we have work to do. We go forward with an exceptional leader in Nicola Sturgeon, and with 56 MPs committed to pushing anti-austerity measures, and retaining laws that protect our rights. I'm pleased to know that the person I've worked to send forward has great values, integrity, and an incredible work ethic.

For a few more days though, I will quietly celebrate this amazing win. During the yes campaign, a quote by Nelson Mandela was bounced around a lot. "May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears". The people of Scotland have voted with hope, and that is a thing to be celebrated - for a long time, our votes have not counted. At least this time, they have been used to send a party forward to challenge the status quo.