A Scottish #indyref journey through Singaporean eyes

I don’t remember what first got me to look up online chatter on the Scottish independence referendum. Perhaps it was because my Welsh-Scottish then-fiancé (now husband) and I were moving up to Scotland, and I felt I needed to know something about the country apart from a quick Danny Bhoy guide. Perhaps it was because, as journalists, we both knew it was major news and I was still hoping for a job (this was before my healthy optimism about the UK media, at a time of major cost-cutting, was ruthlessly crushed). But I remember sitting in that cluttered postgrad dorm room in Cardiff, Googling the independence referendum while Calum was out.

I did not find the Braveheart nationalism that we had both assumed would be at the heart of the pro-independence campaign. I did not find Yes campaigners painting their faces with blue woad and promising that Bannockburn would come again.

What I did find was a Bella Caledonia article on the potential of #indyref and how it has allowed Scots to really think about the sort of country they want to live in.

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Of internal conflict on National Day

The flags have been meticulously hung out by the town council; there are no faded, upside-down or mirror-image flags in sight. People have flags on the side mirrors of their cars, and everyone’s sending out “Happy Birthday, Singapore!” tweets. Even the sushi store by my local Cold Storage is having a National Day sushi set.

Some years I’ll participate, letting myself get swept up in the festive feeling. Or I might complain about the quality of the song (okay, I have done this fairly often). Sometimes I find myself getting teary during the fireworks, while other times I feel little more than a vague discomfort. My feelings about National Day have not remained constant. As I get older I find myself feeling more and more conflicted, unsure how to feel, how to react, what to say.

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#Calirsten: Looking back on our wedding

The Wedding Cake

Our Hans Solo and Princess Leia Lego Minifigure cake toppers.

The house feels quiet now, after the utter madness of the week before. Everyone who travelled to Dunblane for the wedding has now gone, the whirlwind stilled. There will be another mini-whirlwind this weekend as Calum and I pack for our honeymoon and move back to Singapore, but for now there’s a moment to sit down and think about everything that’s happened.

Of the ceremony itself I find myself focusing on and remembering tiny details. The way my dad gripped my hand tighter than I held his. The fact that I barely recognised Calum’s friends as I came down that long, long aisle. The two tiny spots of blood on Calum’s shirt collar from where he had nicked himself shaving. The undone button on the minister’s robe. How blessedly cool it was inside the cathedral, because it had been boiling in the tiny room we were getting ready in and roasting outside (thank you, random heatwave in usually cool-and-rainy Scotland).

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