Hannah Macmillan

Ayrshire Vehical Rental

Passports and politics

Ah, finally. The days are getting longer, the mornings brighter. The wind is dropping, the rain is lessening, and everyone’s mood is a little lighter. That is until you see that man in his late forties dondering through the local park topless, a lukewarm can in one hand, a damp T-shirt in the other, all because it’s over 5 degrees.

Well Scotland, congratulations. We’ve made it through another winter. Now let the madness of spring and summer begin. Personally, I can’t stand the cold winter days or nights. And part of me can never trust people that do. You know the type, the minute you mention that you can’t stand winter, it’s like a trigger:

“Oh, I love the winter. How can you not love it?! The crisp frost, the pretty snow, being all cosy in your jackets while out in the bitter wind, there’s nothing better!”

I don’t mean to be dramatic, but these people should be sent to a warm beach with a fruity beverage, then made to repeat the same sentence with a straight face! Or perhaps something more science-based. There must be some sort of negative chemical reaction for you to truly believe that sort of chilly lifestyle is better than lying in the sun with a sangria in hand.

I could live like that. All day, every day, anywhere in the world.

Talking about anywhere in the world, I suppose this is the year where we have the complete freedom of choice to go anywhere we like. Now that the majority of restrictions (oh, I just shuddered typing that) are gone, we are almost back to normal. Well, forgetting the airport strikes, flight prices, other restrictions… Oh well, I guess not.

I used to dream of travel when I was younger. I was going to be one of those kids that left university and did a year of travel. Interrailling. Yes, interrailling. Hair in a messy bun, wearing those floaty elephant-print trousers and fake Birkenstocks, hopping off and on trains to my whimsical delight. Living life to the absolutely limits, roughing it up and really taking the full experience in my stride. But by the time I got to that point in my life, I guess I couldn’t be arsed. I have the floaty elephant pants, even got the elephant tattoo, but the Birkenstocks cut up my feet and that rucksack would’ve been far too heavy. Also the thought of not showering and using holes in the ground as toilets is an experience I’m pretty glad I avoided. Nah, I’ll just go on the casual holidays. EasyJet never looked so appealing.

But you know what isn’t appealing to my wanderlust eye? That blue passport.

“Oh, it looks so smart though. Much better than those burgundy ones.”

No Ma’am, that blue is an awful colour. It’s not even blue, it’s almost black it’s so dark. The colour is restrictive, conditional, and in my personal opinion, the visual of the voice of Scotland that was cancelled out completely with a single vote. Since then, it’s been one bumpy ride.

It feels that the boat of Westminster hasn’t stopped rocking since Theresa May. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say: “You know what, I think this person has a really good shot at this. Yeah, they’re going to do amazing things for this country.”

It’s only been a few short months, and a lot has changed within politics, especially the Scottish one. Maybe I’m just a bit naive to politics in general, but when Nicola decided she was knackered (don’t blame you, love) and took her step down, I didn’t have a clue who would even be up and running, never mind having a chance at running the country!

It’s an interesting time, and could definitely go one of two ways, based on the statements of the current favourites. All we can really hope is that we don’t take a step backwards in what we’ve already successfully changed for the better. Especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights.

I myself am surrounded by the gay community. My friends, my lifestyle, my nights out… my entire perspective on the world has always led back to this community. We have fought so hard over hundreds of years just to gain basic human rights, just to simply stop being slaughtered on the streets for being in love with someone of the same sex. A lot of people don’t know, but February was actually LGBTQ+ Awareness month. Loads of charities and communities came together to educate the general public on how hard we fought for basic rights. A lot of people think that being gay is a ‘recent thing’ but, in all honesty gay rights are the only thing that’s recent. In reality, it should have been a basic right from the beginning.

I always do this. I always have a set plan of what I’m going to write about. It’s going to be cheerful, it’s going to be a lovely little easy read, and I suddenly find myself revolting against the government! I’m sorry, I get carried away. What was that? What’s new with me? Oh well… I got a puppy. His name is Milo. I’ll be sure to talk about him in the next issue.