Another year, another reflective blog post. I do plan to keep this post short though, as 2015 has – on one analysis – been gloriously uneventful. My Hogmanay 2013 blog was written in very different circumstances and with just a few health challenges to negotiate, while 2014 was a raw reflection on health matters, and one or two other things like that year’s indyref. 2015 has been comparatively tame. In fact, I toyed with the idea of making this a four word blog: “Nae cancer, nae bad.”
That would have been true (for me, at least), but then again the odd trip to a hospital (for ongoing check-ups, or to visit others affected by something) reminds you: a) just how fragile things can be; and b) that crowing about your own relatively healthy situation might hammer home another person’s not so healthy situation. So I will resist the urge to crow, but I will direct you to my one piece of cancer literature this year if you want any further insight.
What else did I get up to in 2015? I was involved in a number of law/land reform/law clinic type events, which are Storified as follows:
Professor David Carey Miller’s conference at Aberdeen;
The Scotsman’s “Scotland’s Land” conference in Edinburgh;
A Scottish Human Rights Commission event;
I was also a participant in the Brodies Environmental Law Lecture at the University of Edinburgh, which I hope to spin out into a paper in a law journal (I am patiently waiting for the finalised text of the new Scottish land reform legislation before I finalise that). The Carey Miller conference paper should also become a chapter in a collection in due course.
Although not featured in a Storify or similar, I was also involved in a land reform symposium at Aberdeen (a few tweets were sent from the @RuralLaw account, if you are interested) and hosted the 2015 Scottish Client Consultation Competition for DPLP students. I also had a few press appearances, talking about either Nazis (no, I am not quite sure how that happened either), raising money for Cancer Research UK, or land reform (in English and Gaelic). I suspect there will be plenty more to write about on the latter in 2016.
That mention of Gaelic leads on to some chat about (rather than in) the Gaelic language, as per this Storify. I will write no more about that here, other than to document my hope that I will not need to stave off further anti-Gaelic weirdness too often in 2016 or beyond.
And that leaves one more matter. How could I fail to mention the Highland Titles thing? That blew up entirely unexpectedly in February, but became an internet sensation that was both comic and entirely serious. Links to the relevant material, along with my other popular blogs, are provided below.
For those interested, my top five posts of 2015 (excluding the blog’s churning home page) were:
Highland Titles Scam (the related Storify had over 18,000 views). My 3rd most viewed post was on the same issue: A Square Foot of Old Scotland: Ownership of Souvenir Plots. That blog also features a link to a paper co-authored with Dr. Jill Robbie of the University of Glasgow. I will treat the two of them as one overall best post.
My 2nd top post was Scots Gaelic, Scots law and Scots attitudes.
My 3rd most popular was a slightly serendipitous one, triggered by a long weekend in Glen Gairn
In 4th place, my Martinmas blog about the convulsions of the remaining limited partnership tenancies in Scotland: What is happening at Colstoun Mains? Land reform and agricultural holdings in microcosm
In 5th place, a blog on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill being introduced to Holyrood
Also, an honourable mention for the blog that just missed the top 5: Wild camping in Edinburgh: some thoughts on the
#indycamp. Tangentially, it might be noted that Edinburgh has provided another very interesting access rights cases study recently, per my tweets about Calton Hill
I concluded my last reflective blog thus: “2015 will be a year like no other too. Personally, I hope it will be rather uneventful, in the best possible way.” Yes, 2015 could perhaps have been more exciting, but I am absolutely fine with that. At some point when you have been affected by illness, your focus moves from surviving to living. So I will try to live it up when I can, whilst being ever so grateful for the mundanity a relatively healthy life brings. Here’s to 2016.
UPDATE (1 January 2016)
I forgot to mention how much I (and all my lovely donors) raised for Cancer Research UK in running the London Marathon: pre-tax, I cleared £7K, and with Gift Aid I think it came in at £8,395.70. So that was nice. The marathon itself was pretty cool, but tough, as detailed in this blog.