This evening I am in the Scottish Borders. Don’t need to click on Birdsong Radio – there is wall to wall blackbird, sparrows and ring collared doves chorusing away all day and for quite a long time in the evening as well. No nasty noisy and noiseome traffic, just cherry and pear blossom drifting everywhere like confetti and trees and hedges a dazzling green. This helps to mitigate all the nasty research I have to do for my novel. It’s all ministers and mercenaries and bombs and betrayal. Oh, yes and national identity. To union or not to union? Better the devil you know or a blast from the past? Shall I write it entirely in cliches? Is that subversive enough? Would Deleuze and Guattari approve? Perhaps approval is the last thing I should want from D and G. Dolce and Gabbana are more my style. Mmm. A chain store and a chain bridge. A chain link to a chain of ancestry. Blue cloth, houndstooth, tweel and tweed. Tartan terror. riotous rideouts. Ruined rascals and teetering towers. Such tales as would fright the strongest of men. Ach weel, this willnae put the pinnae on the bairn.