Balnacra Arts by Vicky Stonebridge

Electioneering and Trainspotting.


Today was a strange day. The sun was shining. I took my politics away from the safe zone of peers, friends and the internet into the scariest arena of all, my home village. It is fashionable to be disinterested in politics, or cynical, they’re all good for nothing, liars, corrupt etc, at least that’s what we’re told all the time. Which is odd as I’ve met many of them who are really good, genuine hard working people of integrity.  These happen to be also have come from a variety of political parties. Sadly I’ve also met a couple of horrible people, from different parties. Can’t say I’ve met many from the more right wing parties, maybe they’re lovely too, despite all their sociopathic policy’s, prehaps some of them mean well?   What I don’t understand is; what do the people who don’t vote, hate politics and hate politicians actually want? hereditary rulers? a dictatorship? anarchy?? Have they thought that one through?

I have also learnt to work with whoever is at whatever sits on whatever committee or council or layer of governance, from whatever party. If they get the job done, or if that is their responsibility okay, I’ll write them a cranky e-mail, letter or bug them at events or surgery’s. I’m not picky or partisan. At least not until recently.
If no one likes a politician, people like those in power even less! we love the outsiders, the little guys. who wants slick speeches and clever tactics! not us!

Anyway I’ve eventually come out of the closet, and joined up with a party that I’ve been broadly agreeing with for years without realising it. That’s my cynical outsider credentials ruined. It’s a strange place to find myself. So today was my first public outing, to help deliver council election campaign leaflets, in parts that have strong loyalties to another party’s representative. Everyone I saw was friendly, chatty, not in the least not bothered or surprised to see me in this context. The Harsh Judgement I feared lies sadly closer to home. Out an about it seems to make no odds. I hope the best Councillor gets in, I hope whatever shape council we get will work together constructively for the betterment of our fragile remote communities, I hope they can work with the Scottish government to withstand the onslaught of capitalism induced economic crisis and cruel, oppressive, unjust social policies from Westminster.

Our Village is a long village, we must have walked a good 4 or 5 miles today, which the blisters on my feet attest to  ( having messed up metatarsals means a trade off between support and walkability and different types of pain – very tedious ). Primroses and celandine painted the crofts yellow, the spring birds sang, tradesmen and crofters worked, and those draft excluded letterboxes snapped at fingers painfully, who’d be a postie!

Eventually heading home ( no longer on foot- hurrah! ) I spied a stream train chugging up the lochside, next to the Bypass roadway which opened again today after 4 months in various states of closure. So since I was heading the same way for work, a quick dash and from yellow flowers and leaflets to trainspotting in 5 minutes.

A small child stood on the platform, covering her ears in discomfort at the steam noise as the brakes were released, clouds of steam escaping. She seemed to capture peoples attention, a symbol and reminder of time passing, what once was, what we remember, what our grandparents lived, now gone, romantic, nostalgic, held precious from an age of solidity. An age where things were made, manufactured, worked, tangible, strong and lasting. An age where you could see how things worked, and they worked. Off she went pulling away from the platform billowing white and black smoke with the loud cartoon puffing sound, part of our cultural collective memory briefly made real.

Then I came home, made up a flat pack strimmer, attacked the grass that we haven’t really been able to cut in over a year. I further pondered how to sort out my art room and create enough space for painting, sewing and power tools to co-exist, no solutions yet. Then I did some work. But I forgot to eat, is 2am a bit late to think about cooking dinner ?

Life is changing, more that usual. These are strange days.

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One comment on “Electioneering and Trainspotting.

  1. Rosie Cheeks
    April 24, 2012

    2am is a perfectly normally time to eat, time for a bath first though 🙂

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2012 by in Blog and tagged , , , , .

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