The life of Brierley
Guilt free luxury
Imagine the toilet facilities at a typical music festival and go on to imagine this same scenario every day, all year.
The fact that there are people living in housing schemes in North Glasgow that are not a kick in the arse from being ‘off grid’ (not through choice) is another more serious point that I won’t go into here.
Off Grid, though – it’s all the rage. I’m talking from a bit of experience here because, dear readers, as a visionary/luminary/radical thinker/poet and as a child of the 60’s, I already do this most weekends.
I relieve myself of the burden of finding how energy saving lightbulbs work and having to turn down the central heating (again), to live in a back-to-nature hut, near the Trossachs, It’s a bit like the Louisiana swamps, without any alligators but it’s still as dangerous.
The Scottish midgies are harder than any American ‘gator’, I’ll tell you.
Off grid’s fine on a Kath Kidson-esque Sunday, where the sun always shines, you’re surrounded by scented candles and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has just rustled-up a rather splendid bit of Sunday lunch.
However, pooing in a freezing chemical loo, or chopping logs surrounded by an angry swarm of those aforementioned midgies, in the pishing rain, doesn’t quite have the cachet that some of the Sunday supplements portray.
It’s harder work than you’re being led to believe.
Basically, I’m trying to scare off anyone else because the last thing we need is another West End media tosspot like me, coming to spoil our fun. However, the larger, ‘green is good’ drive has to be good for the marketing of our fair and largely empty country, along with everything we do here.
As you might have noticed, the Homecoming Scotland 2009 diary of events has just been launched by our tourism czars to a rather muted fanfare. Because we’re good at being totally unexcited about great opportunites.
No, Homecoming Scotland’s got lots of brilliant events and if you’re being cynical, you’d suggest that a diary of great events to attract tourists to our verdant nirvana is something we should have been doing decades ago.
That might be so, but perhaps there’s a benefit to us being slow off the mark?
We’re in the ideal position to capitalise on the whole ‘Guilt Free Luxury’ angle that’s de rigeur because, unlike a lot of places, Scotland hasn’t been totally ruined.
It’s ironic but this acute lack of under-investment we’ve suffered from now puts us in a great position to develop a sales and marketing platform that ticks all the boxes, for all things planet-saving.
If we can persuade ourselves or our clients to buy into this, we’ll have people flocking here, to embrace our clean, green, spacious and underdeveloped heaven on earth.
As recent amazing happenings like Rock Ness demonstrate and the soon-to-be T in the Park will show, Scotland’s great for events.
If we get right behind Homecoming Scotland and make a vibrant and environmentally cool diary of events for the country the annual norm, rather than a one-off, Scotland could become the Guilt Free Luxury and Eco capital of Europe.
True, I’ll have to invest in a shotgun, some chewing tobacco and a banjo, to scare the tourists away from my own wee bit of heaven, but I’m willing to make this sacrifice for the good of the team.