Dear Scotland

21st May, 2008

It seems such a long time ago that we were married. I know that our courtship was long and difficult, and that I wasn't your first choice of partner; if you were to wed at all. I guess now, as our 300th anniversary itself passes into history, is a good time to take stock and decide if we're right for each other now.

It is true we married, each of us, for very different reasons. I remember at the time you may have felt you had no other choice, and I was not a chivalrous suitor. I know you haven't let those early hurts go; I'm sorry that I've never been able to make it up to you.

There comes a time in a country's life, whether they're ready for it or not, when they can't force their partners to stay. I fear my time has come, when I realise that all those thoughtless little things I did will be held against me. I know that you've been drawing away from me a while now and you may think I just don't care any more. Nothing however could be further from the truth: you're more beautiful today than you ever were. And it has been with a heavy heart that I'm getting ready to let you go.

Please know that whatever you may hear, I do want you to stay. Not anymore to have dominion over you, I know that time has passed, but because I like your company, the way you laugh, and all those other little quirks only an old couple can know about each other.

Yours, always

England