Wow - We have been so busy the last few weeks with Malika starting school and getting settled into the new routines. She is at school from 9am-3pm which is quite a long day for a four year old. On top of this there is a lot of homework, words to learn, books to review, messy letters to write...
She has started Highland Dancing on Monday evenings in the draughty local church hall and will start Rainbows in a few weeks. I have no idea how I will manage this when I'm back at University in a few weeks but hopefully awesome Granny will step in again!
Anyway right now I am glued to the newspapers at all times for the latest referendum news...IN eight days time in Scotland voters have one simple question to answer: Should Scotland be an independent country? And here in Fife Street, Banff we will answer a big fat:
I'd made my mind up a long time ago, way before the referendum was on the table. I studied Scottish Literature and History at Glasgow University and was so impressed after reading Alasdair Gray's brilliant "Why the Scots should rule Scotland."
Into this cauldron of questioning and cultural renaissance author Alasdair Gray published an incendiary pamphlet titled ‘Why Scots Should Rule Scotland.’
13 years after graduating (from that degree!) and with two daughters assisting me, we spent last weekend musing on Gray's wise words as we assisted on the campaign trail with Dr Eilidh Whiteford SNP MP at Westminster. Malika and Ameenah are the youngest Banff and Buchan Yes Campaigners and we had such fun delivering the latest YES Campaign newsletters all over town.
As a full-time working mum, I really want Scotland to become independent. One of the flagship policies in the White Paper is that a comprehensive childcare system will be introduced for all children over the age of one. This will be funded through scrapping our nuclear weapons which cost the taxpayer billions to maintain every year.
During my recent social work internship in Finland my mum and I were honoured to meet and befriend so many strong, active, interesting and powerful women. Award-winning tattooists, University Professors, Heads of City Planning, Art Gallery curators, Chefs etc etc...And I really believe these women have such power in Finnish society because they have such awesome and comprehensive child care facilities all over the country at minimal cost. Finnish mums also have the option of THREE years maternity/paternity leave - if it's a no vote on the 18th my bags are packed!
Back in Scotland current childcare facilities are really inadequate and prohibitively expensive. If Malika and Ameenah were full time in childcare I would have to pay around £1500 per month. So this would present the absurd situation whereby I would have to pay to work because of the steep childcare costs! It's completely absurd, it doesn't serve women, it doesn't help me or my family at all, it doesn't aid me to raise Malika and Ameenah as strong independent powerful women -It is definitely time to become an Independent People and elect leaders who want to ensure that half the population are holding up half the sky.
I want to show Malika and Ameenah these pictures when they are older and show them that we tried to ensure our wee voices were heard. And they did have such fun racing to see who could deliver the most leaflets...
Stay tuned folks. Not long now...and remember to vote