Thursday, 9 December 2010

It's fair, it's organic, it's fabulous eco chic for babies

My sister has designed some very cute baby clothes (from 0 to 18 months) some of them especially for the Christmas period and I love them so much I just have to spread the word. They are all 100% organic unbleached soft cotton which is also non sweatshop traded from Tanzania.

The one shown is a baby gro with tartan lettering saying "Bonnie Yule" and I've bought one for a few babies I know. They're only £8 and they are unique. She also has a baby hat with a tartan star and now that I've seen that I'm going to have to buy it to match the baby gro. It's only £5 so I'm sure I'll manage.

For all you vegetarians there's a design with a turkey wishing everyone a "very merry veggie Christmas".

For environmentalists there's an owl on a skateboard saying "flying's for featherbrains".

And for anyone with any sense there's a design with a very cute baby calling for "peace".

You can see all the designs on Ebay and you can order via Ebay or via me as I will hold a small amount which could save you postage! Have look anyway and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

If only I had a helicopter

Well! How was your day? Travel anywhere nice? Travel anywhere at all? Let me tell you about MY day. Actually let me tell you about somebody else's day - yesterday.

Aileen Campbell, our youngest MSP, due to give birth today (excited about that) had to travel from Glasgow to her home in Biggar last night. Normally it would take 50 minutes. Last night it took 13 hours. She sounded quite relaxed when she reported via Facebook that she'd finally got home but she can't possibly have been. I'd have been out of my mind. In fact when I heard about it (after the event) I got really stressed out on her behalf.

Another friend was stuck for ten hours on the M80 with her husband and one year old baby boy. How on earth do you cope with that kind of situation? It's unthinkable.

So I DO know as I tell you my tale, that I got off quite lightly. Nevertheless, this blog and you readers are great therapy so allow me to begin.

I had to be at petitions committee today so I thought I'd get the 11am train in order to get in nice and early. In normal circumstances I would get there 2 hours early using that train. I had a suitcase with me as I'm staying over 2 nights. And I'm female, I NEED everything in that suitcase. So I called a taxi. But not only could I not get one to come out, I couldn't even get through on the phone - to any of them!

So my sister (who was staying with me) and I decided to walk to Bellgrove Station and get a train to Queen St. It was quite hard humphing the suitcase over the packed ice especially as most of it was downhill but I managed and felt a great sense of achievement when I reached Bellgrove. And all would have been well if it hadn't been for the fact that we waited a while and then discovered that the trains were all cancelled. Marvellous!

We decided to walk. It's only half an hour normally but normally I'm not mountaineering with a suitcase. Anyway it was fun but the fun ended when I got to Queen St. I was there on time for the 12.30 train which was cancelled as was the 12.45. I was obviously there on time for the 1pm but couldn't get on it. The queue filled the concourse and went out into Dundas Street, looped round and back into the station. We stood in the freezing cold for ages and then we heard the great news. An extra train was being put on and it would leave at 1.15pm.

Not only did I get on that train, I got a seat! And I sat in that seat for over an hour waiting for the train to move! Points problems, something like that, I was past caring. "Give me a solution" I wanted to yell "not a problem". I wanted to yell but instead I smiled sweetly at my fellow passengers.

It worked! The train decided to get a move on and after quite some time we pulled into a station. It's hard to recognise towns in the snow and I was wondering "are we at Linlithgow or Haymarket?" but NO we were at Croy. I wouldn't have minded if the heating had been on but it was baltic. (Actually that's a lie, I would have minded but I wouldn't have been so cold.)

Eventually we got into Waverly at around 3.30pm. I went to the ladies' loo and put my face in the hand dryer and I'd have stayed there had folk not started giving me funny looks. Ha! I'm kidding about that one. Not the face-in-hand-dryer tale, that bit's true. I finally plucked up the courage to walk to parliament and got there at 3.50pm.

So it was only 5 hrs 20 minutes and to be honest although it was cold and uncomfortable it wasn't that bad. Like I said, I'm pretty sure that had more to do with remembering what my friends had to go through. Anything is better than that. And besides, the clerk to the committee must've been feeling sorry for me and he came up to my office with a wee chocolate muffin for me. The world is full of good people and Fergus is one of the goodest today lol.

I hope people stay indoors if they can. Don't be martyrs. I had to come through but unless you're really needed please don't put yourself through it. Stay safe and warm and remember this could last a while. And on that cheery note ... I'm off!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Margo MacDonald's down but not out

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the then forthcoming End of Life Assistance debate that was coming up. Yesterday I spoke in the debate and I voted in favour of it. It was defeated by 85 votes to 16. Margo MacDonald who brought the bill to the parliament really came under some sustained attacks in the build up to the debate and there was a fair bit of criticism during the debate.

I know she was disappointed by the result of course and bearing in mind that Margo has Parkinson's Disease, she must have been exhausted by the time she got home last night.

I wondered if she'd be in today. I needn't have wondered for she was there and in fine spirits. In reaction to some of the scare mongering that went on about the bill, she was wearing a red diamante encrusted ring in the shape of a large skull. She did it in reaction to those who all but accused her of standing over the beds of dying people planning their deaths.

Whatever you think of Margo's bill, her intentions were good. Her intentions were to support those people now who know the time will come when their pain becomes unbearable to them and they want to end their lives on their own terms. She is a compassionate woman and to demonise her in the way that some did is a disgraceful way to have treated her.

Disagree with her if you will. But don't demonise her. Still, at least she came back fighting today. I might have been tempted to stay in bed and I have nothing but admiration for her that she didn't.

You can watch the debate by clicking here and scrolling down to Ministerial Statement: Scotland Bill - the debate follows the statement. It's about 1 hr 30 minutes in.

AND another thing ...

Still on Question Time.

As always when they talked about tuition fees in England, it got onto talking about how unfair it is that Scotland's students don't have to pay tuition fees. John Sargent was the voice of reason when he pointed out that it shouldn't spark a constitutional debate, it should merely tell us that the governments of Scotland and Wales were managing their money better than the government in charge of education in England.

Sir Christopher Meyer, former UK ambassador to the USA however felt differently.

According to this guy, if Scotland and Wales don't charge tuition fees, England really has to look again at how the cash is divvied up in the UK. We should not be able to "live better" than England, bloody upstarts that we are! (He didn't actually say the last bit btw.)

What he means is that England should cut our pocket money until we learn to behave ourselves and that means that whatever we do, England gets to do better. Like it's our fault the UK government is so appalling!

BBC Blood Pressure Time

A few weeks ago the Deputy First Minister of Scotland was a panelist on BBC Question Time. They were discussing the economy and Nicola Sturgeon began describing what the SNP government in Scotland was doing to boost Scotland's economy. I say "began" because David Dimbleby butted in and told her she was not allowed to talk about Scotland. She had to talk about UK wide issues. "This is going out to a UK wide audience and Scottish issues are not relevant to all of them, you must keep it relevant to the UK as a whole" he told her. (I'm paraphrasing but fairly accurately.)

So how come tonight more than half the programme was taken up with English only issues?

The first was England's failed bid to host the world cup in 2018.

The second was how Lib Dem MPs are going to vote on tuition fees in England.

Am I missing something? If I am please tell me because I'm racking my brains and can't figure out how THAT is any different to Nicola talking about the Scottish Government's approach to Scotland's economy.

Enlighten me please dear readers!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

It's Thursday night and time to raise the blood pressure

Nadine Dorries the Tory MP has just explained on Question Time why she's proud to be a daughter of Thatcher. Apparently it's because she grew up on a council estate in Liverpool and her mum bought her council house then presumably sold it for a large profit so she could move away. Had it not been for Thatcher's right to buy policy (severely curtailed in Scotland now by the SNP government) her mum "would still be living on a council estate". Shock horror! Well thank goodness for that then. Nadine's mum doesn't have to live on a council estate anymore. Because if there's something in life you need to avoid it's living on a council estate.

What a piece of nonsense and if she really believes that then she should be ashamed that anyone still does.