Working from home: Jamie Stone
What’s your home office like?
Years ago they used to call me the Scottish Parliament Harry Potter lookalike - now I’ve gone all the way and moved under the stairs. A wee bit cramped, but I’ve got wifi and an electric heater and it is very much my own special space - not that for one second I would compare my family to the Dursleys of No 4 Privet Drive! The view’s nothing to write home about, but I can hear the wind and the birds which I love.
Describe four of the items ‘on your desk’.
In 1981 my Tain councillor father went to Tain in France to see if the two towns could be twinned. He was given a commemorative medallion at the time and every time I look at it I remember him with deep gratitude. He was a wonderful father. Then there is Sir Nigel Gresley’s steam engine ‘Green Arrow’. I was brought up beside the railway line and steam engines remain an abiding passion. Daffodils from our garden. They give me hope during difficult times. Our finest hour - in 2004 I captained the Scottish Parliament University Challenge team to victory against the Welsh Assembly. Trouble was - not that many saw it as it was broadcast at the same time as a Wimbledon semi-final...
How do you avoid distraction?
With difficulty. But constituents asking for help cannot be ignored. Deadlines for newspaper columns are also a good discipline. I write two columns in Highland local papers. A rigid structure to the day helps too. My garden is the biggest potential distraction - but I say to myself “Jamie, you are not going out there until four o’clock” if the weather is fine - or “Jamie you are working right on to six, then you can have a glass of wine” if it’s raining outside.
What do you miss most about being in the office?
Getting out and about in my beautiful constituency during the coronavirus crisis. Still - I am the family shopper and you can still have a good chinwag from two yards apart.