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A final word….

April 11, 2010

Jim Mather at the Tartan Day Parade

Plane delays are the stuff of travel !    We were late leaving San Francisco (a new route for the journey was needed according to the pilot, as we sat at the end of the runway for 45 minutes) and even later leaving New York (with no explanation at all).    Jim Mather was on the flight, having spent a wonderful warm day at the Tartan Day Parade and Henry McLeish was on board as well, and of course he works very hard on building and extending American / Scottish understanding.

I made it home by about 10.30 this morning – a journey of 21 and a half hours and something just over 5000 miles.    During the five days in the USA and Canada (there was a day of travel at either end) I have had 29 meetings , visits , photocalls and receptions and met probably upwards of a thousand people.  According to the Sunday Mail I have travelled 12,000 miles in total, though the piece is really (once again) about an opposition attack on ministers being away during Scotland Week.

The facts should speak for themselves.   My 29 meetings I am sure was more than matched by Jim Mather and Fiona Hyslop.   So something like 9o occasions at which Scotland was promoted, business discussed, ideas exchanged and opportunities opened up.   And several thousand people drawn to modern Scotland and what it has to offer.

One final example.   This little project brings together the children of Manhattan and the children of Gigha – two island communities


admittedly, but they could not be more different.   It speaks volumes about the desire for knowledge and the possibility of long term friendship.    It is typical of so much that does exist and of so much that could exist.    It makes all the journeys worthwhile !

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