Wednesday, September 17 FOR those of us who were never quite good enough to become world class footballers, it’s always a tempting offer when you’re invited to take part in a charity match involving former junior players who sampled the sort of glory you always dreamed of. No matter what age you are, there’s always a little would-be Diego Maradona on your shoulder whispering that there’s still a chance you can make it. Maybe there will be a Barcelona scout walking his dog past Brig O’Lea just as you set off on lung-bursting run before sending a net-busting drive into the roof the net. It’s only when you find yourself sliding head first along the pitch on your belly after a despairing last gasp attempt to thwart a portly striker with a cream egg addiction that the penny finally drops. To be fair, our sports reporter Craig Ritchie could run rings round me with a football but we all had a chuckle when the pictures from last weekend’s Legends charity match landed in the paper’s inbox.

Thursday, September 18 So it’s finally arrived. The day everyone has been talking about for the past two years. Was it just me, I wondered, who felt a mixture of excitement and nausea at the prospect of what was about to unfold. Although the polls were consistently telling us the no campaign was out in front, with the odd exception of course, there was a real sense of uncertainty sweeping across the country as the votes poured in. For my part I took advantage of two days’ annual leave and made my way through to Edinburgh to see for myself the historic moment that could propel our county in one of two directions. The scale of the international interest in the referendum was clear to see thanks to two enormous media tents pitched outside Holyrood. There were reporters from all over the globe and I reckon there were as many tourists hanging around outside the Scottish Parliament as there were bona fide Scots. Few managed to stay into the early hours and for my part I called it quits and, no doubt like so many others, slipped into an uneasy slumber not sure what type of Scotland I would wake to in the morning.

Friday, September 19 We all know the Scots like a party but it’s hard to imagine what sort of scenario would have unfolded had Scotland chosen to go it alone. Safe to say it would have been messy, not least because, unlike the traditional New Year knees up, an Independence party would not have been celebrated by a fair chunk of Scottish society. That would have made for more than a few awkward moments in pubs, clubs and kitchens up and down the land. As it was, I couldn’t help thinking there was something to celebrate on both sides: the no voters relieved that the UK will move forward intact and the yes voters feeling like they have forced the London-based government into making promises they never would have considered had the opposition north of the border not been so strong. Time will tell how it will ultimately unravel but one suspects there will be plenty twists and turns along the way.

Saturday, September 20 The images of Scots shaming themselves in Glasgow’s George Square was quite sickening. What a way to finish a political journey that had been hailed the world over for being an authentic democratic process driven by the people. It’s hard to fathom what sort of mindset prompts people to disgrace themselves so shamelessly. It is of course an ugly side of Scottish culture that rears up now and again but the vile contribution of a tiny minority should not be allowed to tarnish the fact millions of Scots argued with passion without letting their behaviour descend into the gutter.

Sunday, September 21 I’m sure I’m not the only one who reached out a hand to a friend, or a brother who had been on the opposite side of the independence debate for much of the campaign. There were times during the past few months when I started to wonder if I actually knew some of the people who have been a source of fun and laughter for many a year. I can’t recall a time when there has been such strength of feeling about an issue. But I’m glad to report I’ve made it to the other side with my friendships intact. Or, at least, I think that’s the case. I’m assuming the absence of phone calls and texts is just a strange coincidence.

Monday, September 22 The fall out from the referendum is still bubbling away in the background but there are of course other pressing matters to discuss. More goings-on in Barrhead’s Main Street have prompted a flurry of online activity with local folks continuing to express concerns about anti-social behaviour. It’s evidence that people aren’t only worried about the ‘big issues’ which can often seem remote and disconnected from people’s daily lives. Every politician worth their salt, and every local newspaper for that matter, must never lose sight of that.

Tuesday, September 23 The past week is one Scotland will not forget for a long, long time and as we approach our deadline there is a feeling that the wheels are back in motion, although what direction they’re taking us remains to be seen.