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.