August has been a slow painting month with holidays and general admin prior to getting on with some meaningful studio work. To be honest I have also been distracted by what's in the news: Iraq, Gaza and closer to home, Scotland. I was born near the end of Hadrian’s Wall, I spent my formative years alongside brother Scots, and served with them, I enjoyed the banter and the characters. I like the Scots and Scotland, but I am not sure I like what Scotland could soon stand for. I have always said to my Jock friends; you can hate us (The English) but we still love you - that usually confuses them. However with an independent Scotland, the English wouldn’t be obliged to like or assist the Scots in future. This Scottish patriotism was fuelled by a bitter Australian actor screaming out of the cinema screen with a painted face. The Scots may think this intimidates, but it’s all just a little too vocal and the Zulus did it better anyway; instead they should beware of the quiet, angry Englishman; focused and determined. I also believe the English have a deep inner patriotism which ideally doesn’t shout out, we don’t feel the need to prove it. Neither should anyone assume that the Scots have the edge on passion when competing against England in sport; if they do they don’t really understand the English. It’s a shame that Alex Salmond (an intelligent but bitter Republican with a wicked tongue, who like most politicians likes the sound of his own voice) has created a fractured Scotland, some families at risk of becoming foreigners to each other overnight. The Scots will vote and get what they deserve. Good luck. Either way we will probably still love you, our dear petulant siblings. Scots will always try and annoy the English; so if you want to annoy a Jock ask him if he is "Scotch" he'll hate it. Now I just wish I could create an epic painting to sum all of this up!