There has been much talk of independence on the Dark Angels course this week. Location has a lot to do with it. Our venue, Moniack Mhor, the Arvon Foundation writers’ centre, is perched on a hilltop just above Loch Ness with huge views north and west to the big hills of the Highlands. History is all around us.
Then of course there was the referendum agreement. Among the students were two Americans, one living in Helsinki, four from England and one Scot living in London. They were curious to know whether the independence question was all just media hype or whether it’s a serious issue that really engages people. By the time they left I don’t think they were in any doubt.
On the last night of the course everyone reads something personal that they have written during the week. It’s customary for the tutors to join in in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Stuart Delves and I both ended up writing about Scotland. I used a marvellous Roger McGough poem, In Two Minds, to give shape to my piece – see above.