Plan A was firmly set in place; it was the only option to counter the dread and despair of the what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking-Scotland lunacy of a no vote.
If armageddon was announced I was packing my tent and my rods and heading to the highlands for two days of solitary grieving. And fishing.
I simply couldn’t countenance being in the city then; too much like the scene of the crime. Glasgow after Yes would be vibrant and alive, a joyous celebration that even unionist media could only report in those terms. With a no vote, given the type of people most likely to openly celebrate a negative verdict, newspaper copy could plausibly include words such as ‘abusive’, ‘glassed’ and ‘arrests’.
So the decision had been made, I’ll leave them to it and head off for some quality private introspection and rage.
It was a good plan, simple with no compromises but a quirk of fate has forced a reappraisal.
September 19th sees the start of the Tarbert Music Festival.
My mum came from Tarbert and every year since I was born, up until my late 20s, I travelled on the West Coast Motors bus to visit my family in the village. When you have been brought up on a scheme in the south side of Glasgow there is something slightly otherworldly about a fishing village in Argyll; it’s beautiful and picturesque but also comforting, I haven’t lived there apart from extended summer stays but it feels like home in a way that the city doesn’t. Cousins and nephews still stay there, my sister works there, half my family are buried there. Glasgow may be a fantastic, cosmopolitan city but Tarbert is where I feel most Scottish, not as a notion of romantic Brigadoon pish but as a real, unremarkable slice of Scotland. It is part of my history and my family’s history and I’ve been away too long.
The music festival is an Occasion. It is an event in the Tarbert calendar which most people look forward to and one which involves copious volumes of alcohol and an eclectic mix of musicians ranging from folk to Glasgow pub bands. I haven’t been for more than ten years but I remember the last time like it was yesterday.
My visits to Tarbert are sporadic these days, family and work commitments make that inevitable but any time I make the three hour bus journey, regardless of how long it’s been, it always feels like home.
There’s no shame in changing your plans if a better option presents itself, so Plan B it is. Catch up with family, get uproariously drunk, listen to some music, relive some memories. The referendum will be over and the result will be in. Yes or No I’m going to have a good weekend.
Yes will make it a great one.
I`m also from Tarbert, lived in Glasgow for 12 years now. Sad to say the last time I was back it was to bury my grandpa Colin Clark husband of Martha Clark ( Totie) who worked in the Tarbert Hotel a good number of years. My mum Flora Clark has just moved back after a few years up in Stornoway. Thanks for a good read.
I knew you’re grandpa and Totie, good family friends for many years. You’ll know Toly then? My cousin…
We are in Tarbert, the first house on the left as you come down the hill into the Village, just past where Hamilton’s garage used to be.
You are more than welcome to pop in– but not as part of Plan “B” because that means a No vote. We will stay up all night probably, like most people, I would think and hopefully celebrate a Yes win !
You may even have heard of me, personally. I made the front cover of the Squeek when the police” investigated” my polytunnel -” acting on information received” that I was growing drugs.. It was amazing, people who had never spoken to me before came up and chatted to me. There was always one of three things said:
” That was dreadful, who would have done that to to you?”
“That was hilarious, I have never laughed so much!”
“Have you got any?” !!
It certainly raised my profile.
Tarbert is a lovely place to be, we have been here 13 years, and has so much happening all the time. I don’t think we will see you on this occasion because you will be celebrating in Glasgow, but any other time you are more than welcome and so is your previous commenter, Colin. Funnily enough I was born in Tarbet Street in Glasgow City centre. So lots of connections.
Hi Wilma, thanks for the lovely reply. Tarbert is my destination whatever the result, though a wee stop over in George Square may be called for first 🙂
Well, “Come on in!”
We can celebrate or commiserate.