It’s 6 am, you awake from your sleeping pod, in your communal accommodation, blurry-eyed to the sounds of ‘Scotland the brave’ playing on the alarm app on your phone. You languidly roll over to press ‘Stop’ on the screen to silence the shrill alarm. It coyly laughs as you touch its warm skin and a ‘love’ emoji appears on the screen with a thistle underneath and then winks at you before fading away into the electronic ether.
A small but diverse selection of clothes hangs up on a hook with the remainder deposited in the drawers of your ‘pod’. Specifically, your work clothes are rented rather than owned. You subscribe to the ‘Wanderlust’ plan, entitling you to ‘4 clothing items + 3 accessories’, which are recommended by the top ‘influencers’ on social media. This costs £110 a month. You forgot to charge your watch last night, so you’ll just have to leave it today.
You grab your facemask, 70% alcohol hand sanitiser and your SmartKey to avoid touching any surfaces and door handles and leave your communal accommodation.
Your Scotrail train is late again. When it does turn up, it’s coloured like a giant saltire. The livery from the outside creeps to the inside of the train. It’s all blue and white. Even the seat coverings have tiny saltires sown into them. You alight at the station and pass all the Scotrail staff dressed in pale ‘Yes’ blue as you hand them your e-ticket. The incongruity of this no longer even registers. Its been so long.
You stroll along the street and stumble onto a bus. Buses are the main form of transport for the majority of people now as parking is so expensive thanks to the Workplace Parking Levy; plus cars are classed as a ‘luxury item’ by the Scottish Government and are only for what they view as the ‘elite’.
You pass the window of the local authority ‘One-stop-shop’, an organisation that used to just manage schools, empty bins and grit ‘B’ roads. Now a decal on the window states that it’s ‘Here For You’. Quite how it’s ‘Here For You’ is never quite clear as it takes up another 2/8th’s of your monthly income in tax for very little in return.
At lunchtime, you listen to First Minster Blacks thrice-weekly Press Conference. These originally started as an emergency measure by her predecessor, Nicola Sturgeon in 2020, during the great Covid-19 Pandemic, but twenty years later they are now an indelible part of Scottish life. Today she mentioned that deaths from Covid-21 were at an acceptable level, the next round of food parcels would be distributed to those in need and she outlined plans to construct another addiction ‘recovery village’ in South Ayrshire.
Next, the news: The state-owned SBC states that Russian bombers are again menacingly skirting Scottish airspace. A common occurrence, since the four ageing Eurofighter Typhoons, one destroyer and three offshore patrol craft that Scotland received as part of the split with rUK are grounded or in dry-dock through lack of parts and the majority of funding to repair them is going to social programmes and support. The ‘Scottish Peacekeeping Force’ is largely a token regiment, with surplus and obsolescent equipment from the British Army, but it is still deployed by the UN to missions in sub-Saharan Africa where their disparity in arms, training and material is not as apparent as it otherwise would be.
The Scottish Government has submitted another application to start the ascension process to join the EU. This has been the third attempt since Scotland gained independence in 2028. The deficit has increased since then, but First Minister Black is undeterred by this, plus it’s a good ploy to distract from Scotland’s internal issues.
The reporter then mentions that the ‘Minster for the Nurturing of Scottish Children’ will be touring Schools throughout the Central Belt, checking to see if the nurturing quota is being met and that Scotlands children are being ‘emotionally nourished’. The position of Education Secretary was abolished in 2034 as being considered unnecessary as the primary function of schools was no longer to educate but to foster wellbeing in their pupils.
In other news: the ‘Alec Salmond’ Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh would be opening next week to much fanfare. Eight-six year old, Former Health Minister, Jeanne Freeman would be in attendance to cut the ribbon.
Finally, King Charles the III of rUK would be visiting his flat at Balmoral, which was converted into a home for those suffering from computer game and gambling dependency after it was seized by the Scottish Government in the transfer of Royal assets, two years after ‘independence day’.
Speaking of nurturing, your lifelong Scottish Social Services Worker phones and asks about the status of your mental health this week. The reason they stay in contact is that you were classed as having an ‘Adverse Childhood Experience’ because your parents divorced in 2020, ten years after you were born. A fairly common experience in the early 21st century. ‘I’m fine’ you tell her cheerfully and for the most part, it’s true. However, she reminds you that if you do ever consider self-harm that officially sanctioned Scottish Government ‘cutting kits’ should be used to ensure that you do so safely and are available at the nearest local authority ‘One Stop Shop’.
Back home (or pod) you spend a few hours on your phone again. While laying on your bunk you are alerted to the fact that Police Scotland are monitoring your social media content because you flippantly shared an offensive meme that someone found wounding. This also means that your social credit score has decreased. That means a lot of pro-Scotland posting tomorrow to build it back up again.
As a treat, you bought a Twix on your way home from work. Thanks to the gradually increasing Sugar Tax and inflation, this cost over five Scottish pounds, but as you gently peel the gold wrapper away and get an illicit hit of sugar and cocoa this is irrelevant.
Finally, you gently lay your drowsy head on the pillow, wearily draw the curtains of your pod and try to get to sleep to prepare yourself for another day in an independent Scotland.