I spent six happy years in Germany, dividing my time between Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, rural Baden-Wuerttemburg and Heidelberg. Germany is a very rational country, a country of philosphers, musicians, poets and thinkers, as well as an inspiring capacity for design and manufacturing.
These eminently sensible people erect wind turbines where-ever possible to generate electricity, and have just announced that from 2022, no nuclear power will be generated in the Bundesrepublik. Many in Britain would want to decry these decisions as deluded, but I think it's fair to say that the Germans have made a much better set of economic decisions than any other country in Europe in the last fifty years, and it's hard to dismiss a choice made by such a successful economy.
Scotland has similar ambitions. Are we going to see a North - South split on energy policy? France and England continuing to use the 20th century nuclear solution, whilst Northern Europeans move onto renewables and the 21st century?
I think I'm impressed with my new GP practice. I get the sense that they have no great experience of ME, but they are positive and supportive. I've been having a bad time with mood swings lately, ands a visit to the practice resulted in an appointment for a psychological service for the chronically ill. A previous visit about a bad episode of eczema had me at a dermalogical clinic within 10 days, and has resolved the problem. So, three cheers for the Leven Health Centre.
Meanwhile, I'm back on the Benefits treadmill. I've found a good source of support in the local Citizen's Advice service. Just thinking about the task of making a claim without help makes me feel ill, so I'm glad of the help. It's probably useful that I have crossed the 'I can do that' barrier - as so often these days I cannot.
I potter about with my raised bed vegetable garden, my polytunnel, and my chooks. All this is doable in the 20-30 minute episodes of energy I can muster two or three times a day. The 'Battlestar Galactica" boxset has proved a great way to pass some of the bad times. Less often, I read, but the concentration is so shaky.
Hey now baby, get into my big black car Hey now baby, get into my big black car I wanna just show you what my politics are. I'm a political man and I practice what I preach I'm a political man and I practice what I preach So don't deny me baby, not while you're in my reach. I support the left, tho' I'm leanin', leanin' to the right I support the left, tho' I'm leanin' to the right But I'm just not there when it's coming to a fight. Hey now baby, get into my big black car Hey now baby, get into my big black car I wanna just show you what my politics are.
I've neglected this blog for a while - I've been using the energy I could muster to get my vegetable garden organised, though energy has been in short supply. But today's a hopeful day. The recent spell of good weather has helped me feel better, the garden's growing, and things seem well.
Today is Parliamentary election day in Scotland, and I'm very hopeful of a good progressive result. The tradtional British parties have offered little talent and less hope in their campaigns, and it seems this will benefit the positive and optimistic approach of the SNP. Saor Alba.
I'm going to go the whole hog and through in a touch of sentimentality. Here's Dougie with the alternative national anthem.
I'm having a rather different mid-life crisis. I've been unwell for three years with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - M.E. I've found it to be a Major Encumbrance. I've lost my job, we've sold our house and moved to somewhere rented, and recast a lot of plans. How will we cope? What will happen next?
58 years old, became unemployed in April 2009 because of ME after 31 years as a Social Worker.
I've been married for nearly 33 years to Susanneke, and we have two sons and a daughter, all now astoundingly grown up.