"Independence seems to be the go to word across the world at the moment - at least in the media anyway. After moving to Scotland and listening to those who are willing to share their views about Scottish independence, it is fair to say that many have a point. Scottish independence means more to this fair nation after the independence vote involving the whole of the UK has left us all on the brink of leaving the European Union. This means that, ironically, more independence for Scotland could actually be an opportunity for Scotland to rejoin a larger union. Hard to get your head around, isn’t it?
I wasn’t really keen burying my head in the sand to avoid hearing the word “BREXIT”, so instead I head further north to put my head in the clouds and in the salty water found in highlands and islands of Scotland. There aren’t too many places that offer such an abundance of independence as there. A few hours on the train from Glasgow and you are miles away, both physically and mentally, from the urban sprawl. Don’t get me wrong; Glasgow is a great city. Sure it gets a bit of bad press, but there is so much love in Glasgow, no matter who you are; more than anywhere else I’ve lived. And when Mo sent me over one of the Jeckybeng padded shirts, I had a busy few weeks of work in the city and I wore it to my meetings, commuting on the bike, in the workshop, at the pub; pretty much everywhere. It keeps you warm, without overheating, looks cool, and packs down pretty small. But I thought it was more than just an urban fabric and as I had a few trips planned I knew I had to pack it in my bag and take it with me.
I’ve been wearing the padded shirt through autumn, winter, spring and summer - mainly due to the variety of the Scottish weather - and it has definitely been an essential for me in all four seasons. In March, I wore it on a late winter climb up Beinn a’Bheithir, which features two snowy Munro’s: Sgorr Dhearg and Sgurr Dhonuill. I wore it 24/7 when Eleni - my girlfriend - and I spent a week touring around the Isle of Skye and when a group of us made the journey to the Isle of Mull for a long weekend it was always close by. Many Munro’s and islands later, and many whisky flasks shared between friends and strangers, the padded shirt is still my go to for all outings.
Actually, the only time I was happy to take it off was when needed a pillow to rest my head at night in a Bothy. A cosy merino beanie and the padded shirt pillow was just the perfect solution after a long day of hiking. Whether I’m in the city, or in the highlands and islands, the padded shirt is like a Swiss army knife; ready for all occasions.
In the occasion of our future, who knows what sort of independence awaits Scotland, the UK, and Europe. In the meantime let us enjoy the good times together! Thanks for the jacket Mo! Peace."
Find out more about Tony in our interview