OK so there's nothing political about this and nothing particularly European either - except, of course, that he IS European - but I love this photograph of my nephew Daniel and being the caring sharing type that I am, I thought I'd share it with you.
Daniel is leaving primary school tomorrow and going to the Port High - lucky boy! Earlier this week he was presented with the Agnes Mungin Award for music. He kept forgetting what it was called so I told him it was the Senga Nignum award which I think sounds much better. Anyway he got it for playing the chanter.
Last week I went to the Inverclyde Piping Project concert to watch him perform "I see Mull" on the chanter. He was very good and at the interval one of the teachers came over to my sister to tell her they thought he was good enough now to progress to the bagpipes. "Nae luck" I heard someone say - don't know who, somebody nearby but not me.
That's the thing about being in politics - you have to be nice about everyone and everything lest ye offend. And the thing about being in the SNP is that you have to be nice about all things Scottish.
I have no problem with that because I LOVE all things Scottish but I have a friend called Imogen Airy and she is a bit different. She came along to the piping concert with us and she really does like the bagpipes - as long as she doesn't have to listen to them. She was quite badly behaved because her favourite bit of the show she claims, was the start when all the newbies are up "catterwauling" as she put it. She reckons they were out of tune, "all over the place" and that this was funny! Thankfully she's quite polite and stifled the laughter.
She snorted with laughter, however, when my mother said, in all seriousness, "you'd think the older ones would have learned to play without the droning in the background"! I soon informed her that droning is what they're supposed to do and the more simultaneous drones the better.
Imogen told Daniel the tunes were great but that it would be much better if he could practise cool stuff like The Simpsons theme tune in future. "Don't worry what the teacher tells you, they're not there when you're rehearsing"! Daniel giggles whenever Imogen suggests this but I think it's a terrible example to be setting. And using his chanter to itch her back? Well HE might have laughed but I certainly didn't!
I, of course, as an individual as well as an SNP candidate, fully understand the importance of protecting your culture and heritage and I think this project does a terrific job. I'm very happy that Daniel will be one of the SNP's resident pipers. He doesn't know it yet but he won't mind. And I have to say that even Imogen Airy was quiet during the finale when the stage filled with pipers and drummers and the sound crashed down on us sending shivers up our spines.