Tag Archives: Scottish Referendum

Thursday 18th September- Scottish Independence Referendum Voting Day

At college we had a lecture about learning differences within our college. Apparently at most colleges there’s 10% dyslexic and learning different students. At ours, there’s 25% and that’s just the ones they know about. I’ll be right at home. Horticulturists on the whole, really struggle with spelling. A lot of them, probably almost everyone, is dyslexic. Or their brains are wired for more practical purposes than memorising letter combinations. And then their job throws latin plant names at them every day. Its really not fair. Luckily I have my coloured letters, which are easier to remember. We filled out questionnaires to identify what kind of learners we are- Visual, Auditory, or Tactile. Or whether we’re a mixture of all three. My college has the best Learning support system I have ever seen.

At the end of the day we had a quiz. We split into groups in the atrium, a corridor with lots of seats, including box-shaped padded stools with wheels on the bottom. These wheeled stools are a lot of fun. And a constant source of frustration for staff. The questions were spoken by a lecturer, but my Auditory Processing was clear and fast enough to understand and keep up.

Most of the questions were general knowledge, but some trickier questions had been specifically tailored to Horticulturists, including, Spell “Guarantee”.

Passed parliament again on my way home. Huge two-story media circus tent parked in the grounds along with vans and trucks of people and filming equipment.

It’s the Referendum Vote today. I’ll find out tomorrow what the result is.

Megaphones are being put to use. Hardware stores are still selling megaphones and affordable amplifiers from their window displays. People wearing kilts, tartan, union jack and saltire flags as capes, Yes and No badges. Loads of Yes bumper stickers slapped onto motor vehicles. Police are out and about.

In the kitchen, defrosting dinner, I heard bagpipes speeding past the building. It was a van playing loud bagpipe tunes, not a piper running very fast down the street.

We’ll see the results in the morning. I hope it’s a good decision either way. But a yes would be nice.



Wednesday 17th September- Day 10 of Student Life- Second day at College

Today I cycled to college. Not getting run over in unfamiliar traffic was a good start to my day.

After a busy Freshers week and lots of listening at the yesterday’s information day, I was too tired to concentrate in lectures. But I enjoyed the first years’ barbeque. They don’t barbeque first years. We had burgers and sausages in buns, and a choice between orange juice and Irn Bru.

Irn Bru is an original Scottish drink which is made from girders. I’m inclined to believe this because I have never seen anything of the same colour or flavour in nature. Scotland is the only country in the entire world, whose favourite drink isn’t a Coca-Cola product. I think this is something to be proud of. Irn Bru kind of sums up the Scottish Spirit- it may just be a patented mixture of unidentifiable chemicals, but it’s our chemicals.

I was on my way home when someone leaned out of their window with a megaphone. The Scottish Independence Referendum is not far off now. People are getting their voices heard- whether the shoppers below their windows want to listen or not.

Local hardware stores are making sure to keep them well-stocked, selling megaphones and Saltire flags (capes) at discount prices. 

I cycled home past the parliament to see what was going on. As a cyclist, I was allowed onto the blocked road. The policeman let me through. It helps that I’m quite unthreatening in size, and don’t have a likely-to-stab-people kind of face. I’m not sure what a Stabbing Face might look like, only that police probably know it when they see it. For anyone who does have a Stabbing Face, but wouldn’t hurt a fly, you have my sympathy, probably along with as the MET’s unwanted attention.

In front of the Scottish Parliament was a bunch of people waving banners, dressed up, singing, playing music, flags, and a man in a white-on-black Westminster Scum tee.

Writing about the Scottish Referendum in this blog, I should probably include my view on it. I’m not wearing a flag/cape to go to the shops, but I think that a Yes vote could be a good thing. My reason is that I want Scotland to be ruled by the governmental party which we vote for.

Dinner was defrosted Spag Bol.

Saturday 13th September- Day 6 of Student Life -“Surfing”

It’s a nice day for a Freshers Week activity. Surfing. Edinburgh city centre is surprisingly close to the sea. The sun is rising behind the tall block of flats which block my view of Arthur’s seat, hopefully warming the North sea I’ll be swimming in. Can I surf? Not really, although I’ve only tried once before. I’d like to learn. The free barbeque swayed my mind in favour of going.  

Unfortunately, the waves were only ankle high, so we had a swim and floated on some boards for a while. I was very buoyant in the water because of some huge air pockets trapped in the University wetsuit I had borrowed. It was a female wetsuit, but designed for a taller girl with more curves.  I was in there somewhere, the suit having more of a rubber concertina effect than a glamorous beach babe look. I wondered why I kept falling off my board then I realised I was lying on it backwards. The barbeque was good.

On my way back to the flat I bought 30 frozen fish fingers for £2. Frozen food is really cheap. And there’s so much of it! Since I left home I’ve spent a lot of time browsing the freezers, calculating price versus weight. Freezer-box window shopping. The student dream.

Dinner was Fish Finger Sandwiches a la Ketchup, ketchup being the vegetable. The box claims that the fingers are made with “White fish”, identifying the fish in my dinner by colour, rather than species. In the end, white fish tastes just like any other fish which happens to be white. I’m not too fussy to eat fish fingers of mixed species and am not put off by wondering what the species diversity in a SUPERSAVERS fish finger actually is.

Did my laundry. I made friends with someone else in the student building in the laundry room. I instantly liked him. His colours are luminous light green and light aqua blue. The only colours I’ve seen around anyone all week.

Tonight I went home to spend some time with my family and friends since it’s my birthday soon. After all my chores were done, I got to Edinburgh bus station for the journey home just before 11pm. The city was busy, and there was a huge procession of people. Hundreds and thousands walking down the pavement in a line. I think they were marching against Scottish Independence.

I learned later that while I was out “Surfing”, the Orange Lodge and Ku Klux Klan were out and about in Edinburgh. I didn’t know that the Ku Klux still existed. I had hoped their mentality was extinct by now. The Ku Klux don’t want Scotland to leave the UK. In fact, they threatened that if there is a Yes vote, they will leave Scotland. I miss them already.

Bus to Glasgow. By the time I got home it was nearly 1am. Really happy to see my parents. My room is still the same more or less. I’ve only been gone for a week. It is much tidier though, and partly a storage space for attic junk. My mum said that if I’d known how many spiders were living under my bed, I would have left home sooner.

Monday 17th July 2014- People are complicated, but that’s okay.

Volunteering at the botanics today, I helped the outdoor gardener with pulling out brambles in the cafe garden. This is satisfying, but can also be a bit prickly. A man sitting at a patio table talked to us about the Scottish Independance referendum for a long time. Although I agree with some of what he said, I had a feeling that he had an agenda. He congratulated me on points I made, which I hadn’t really made and had an air of educating someone who knows less than him, treating me like someone who has been duped and misinformed. I may be a gardener, not a rocket scientist, but I’m also not stupid.

Over the past few years as my hearing has improved (after Johansen IAS therapy made my Auditory Processing Disorder manageable), I have been able to listen to and understand conversations. Because of this I have learned so much more about people. Mainly that people are complicated. There are tiny little nuances and inflections in every sentence, relating to their mood of that moment or perhaps memories which the conversation is bringing up for them. Sometimes they are trying to lead the conversation a certain way, and they want you to say a certain thing. As in the case with this man, they may be trying to persuade you of something. He was confident, assertive, and a little flattering of us when the conversation went in the direction he hoped. He was a very intelligent speaker.

In the past, before Movement and Learning Centre (MLC Scotland) and Johansen Individualised Auditory Stimulation (Johansen IAS)therapies, I would not have recognized this. I used to be permanently strung out from lack of sleep (anxiety issues relating to a fully-retained Moro Reflex), my brain processing at half-speed. Before I went to MLC Scotland, I was too unbalanced and shy to talk to strangers. Without Johansen IAS, I would still have serious Auditory Processing Disorder. and I would not have heard clearly enough to have a conversation with him if we were sitting side-by-side at the table, let alone while I was a few feet away inside of a shrub, fighting with brambles.

I like talking to other people, even although they seem more complicated than they used to. I always learn something new. Nowadays I understand that it is up to me to decide what I take away from conversations. I don’t have to believe that everything people say is true, just because I like them. That was a big learning curve. Before MLC and Johansen therapies, it was extremely difficult for me to interact with other people and make friends. I had a sort of two-dimensional, children’s picture book idea of people. I assumed that most people were uncomplicated and didn’t have much of a personal agenda. Without Retained Reflexes and serious Auditory Processing Disorder, life has got easier for me. I’ve learned more about myself and my own feelings and I think that this has helped me to understand other people more too. Without Retained Reflexes and serious Auditory Processing Disorder holding me back, I’ve had the opportunity to become more emotionally and mentally more complicated than I used to be. I suppose that this might be what growing up is all about.