There are many famous Paisleys.  There is the great Bob Paisley, the famous Liverpool FC manager who brought the club to so many victories including three European cups.


Then there is the Rev Ian Paisley, who passed away today.  The physically and morally imposing Presbyterian dominated the hardline Unionist position in Northern Ireland politics for many decades.  Some may see his passing as a reason to celebrate the removal of a granite blockage on the path to future progress.  Others will abuse him, using him as a receptacle for all the negative emotions of the Northern troubles.  I see his passing as the end of an era and a positive progress towards closer integration between the people of this island.  Ian Paisley was a contemporary of my father, and his passing reminds me of the loss of my own dad.  My sympathies to his children.  May he rest in peace.


Paisley is also a Persian cloth pattern based on a repetitive drop pattern, which yields a multitude of rich fabric in silks and carpets.  For me is the embodiment of richness of eastern cloth.


And Paisley is a town in Scotland which will vote on Independence next week.  And here is a preview of the Union Jack should Scotland take its leave.  Just not the same, is it?  Will Scotland grasp the thistle and vote for independence?  Are ye men or mice?  All shall soon be revealed.  Yes or no this cut will leave a scar.  Nemo me impune lacessit, as they say up North.


To a Mouse ; by Robert Burns
On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss ’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!