Driving back over the moors from Stanhope is a sea of bright purple bell heather which it always is in August. We are almost into September and only three weeks from the vote on Scottish independence. I can understand why the Scots might want to go. The thought of a permanent Tory government - which we would have if they left - makes me want to beg to them not to but it's nothing to do with me because I'm not Scottish, officially that is.
I'm a borders lass. My family has lived here for hundreds of years on both sides, my mother's family have been lead miners and farmers, my father's family was in business of different kinds for as far back as I can see.
Borders people are really neither Scottish nor English. With a name like Gill I feel so much more Scottish than English. For me England begins where Yorkshire ends south of me and although I have slight affection for all of it my loyalties lie here where there is a deep connection. I call Cumbria, the Lakes, the whole of Scotland, Northumberland and Durham as mine.
My friend, Joan, who was born in Edinburgh says that when she was 'a wee one' she read Enid Blyton books about middle class English children and felt left out. So did I. Five have never gone to the pit village where I was brought up, not even in my imaginings.
So while I do see that many Scottish people want to leave the United Kingdom if they go I will feel deserted. I love Scotland so very much. If it wasn't for the fact that I have several very good friends in Durham the moment that independence was declared I think I would want to run to Scotland. For choice I would go and live in Morar where the silver sands are. Some of the most wonderful times of my life were spent there, sitting in a little blue boat with my young husband and a tiny champagne coloured kitten called Thomas, fishing by moonlight, the flash of silver under the boat as the shoal moved. I left my heart there.