Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Preoccupying times

There is always something going on in the world, somewhere, which is preoccupying, and occasionally, throughout one's lifetime, that something comes very close to home.  At the present time I am finding the impending Scottish Referendum more than a little preoccupying - there is so much to lose if it goes the wrong way, and the 'Yes' campaign achieves the greater vote.

I have been out a couple of times, in the last few days, with the Better Together campaign, helping gather information on how local communities are intending to vote.  
In this part of the world, at present, it is roughly a 60/40 split in favour of 'No, thanks' vote.  It's probably the radical campaign taking place in Glasgow that we have to worry about most.  What I find distressing is that this situation is creating division - within the country, between friends, and worst of all, families.  I have heard about it on peoples' doorsteps so I know it is happening.  Once the vote is over, whichever way it falls, these divisions will still be there. Memories are long.  I am not sure Alex Salmond factored that in to his crazy case for independence.  Looking ahead, it would seem, to me, to be deeply damaging for the wellbeing and happiness of Scotland.  In the meantime, the Act of Union beech trees on North Berwick law are hanging in there,
and Tilly is doing her bit, from the comfort of her lookout spot.
So, in order to distract my buzzing head from all this stuff, and to find some peace, I have been concentrating on berries.  I've been picking lots of blackberries and we have enjoyed blackberry and apple for pudding every evening this week.  Mr Gaucho is partial to ' à la mode' so ice cream has been involved too - very indulgent and yummy!  

I have also made a new batch of elderberry vinegar.  I found a different recipe here http://www.gallowaywildfoods.com/?page_id=1219, which involves sugar, and making more of a syrup than just berries and vinegar.  It is rather wonderful, so yesterday Tilly and I ventured forth to find more elderberries and they are now steeping in white wine vinegar, and I will deal with them at the end of the week.  
It is a purply time of year.  Nearby there is a field of clover.  I have never seen a whole field planted with clover before.  It's lovely, especially in the early evening light.

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