Just realised that I spelled ‘sights’ as ‘sites’ in my last post. Whit?! Human Rights and Scots Law exam must have been messing with my head. I don’t even make grammatical mistakes when I’m intoxicated, so no idea what was going on there.

I apologise for such a ridiculous error, and will work hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

In other news, uni is now finished until September. I don’t think I’ve ever been as relieved to come to the end of an academic year. Ironically, this was the year that I enjoyed the subjects more, and actually had less contact hours than previously, but a few things have added to the strain of it all. Like I’ve mentioned before, the people I really get on with have either graduated or are abroad for a year, and it’s been a heady mix of demotivation and motivation, with a whole host of other facets taking up my time and enthusiasm. Hopefully that’s been reversed a bit in recent weeks, but it is what it is.

It’ll take a while to get used to being ‘guilt-free’. Unlike work (at least for me), you can never switch off the feeling that you should be doing something towards your degree. The perpetual looming of study-guilt. The worst part about it is that it’s not a productive force; you end up doing nothing, as you don’t want to do something else apart from studying… even if you aren’t doing that. It’s ridiculous. Even now that everything’s done for the summer, it takes a while to shake that off.

I headed over to Paisley come the end of the final exam to meet up with a friend that I used to work with. Much wine and beer was consumed before we headed to her local pub. A bunch of folk who were in from a funeral were there, and one of their number had just won a fair whack of money on the bookies. They had no qualms about chatting away to us, and before long were refusing to let us buy any of our own drinks. The victor had slapped down a few hundred quid on the table and was supplying a whole variety of shots and Jack Daniels…

Such a wonderful, funny insight into the culture of the West of Scotland. In diversity you band together and slag off your friends; treating things seemingly less seriously… not to trivialise what they’re going through, but as a way of giving it its place. It’s such a particular idiosyncrasy that has perplexed many who aren’t familiar with it, but to those of us who are, it makes a lot of sense.

Taking that on the one hand, and the generousity to complete strangers on the other hand on the other… what a bizarre, but strangely workable mix. It’s the sort of thing that makes me ‘proud’ to be Scottish. I know that the idea of pride in a nationality is contested, but I think there’s something to it; not just the idea of forced, inbred, blind allegiance to a flag like perhaps some other countries across the Atlantic. I’ll articulate it better another day.


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