I then walked through the rain to Central Station and caught a local train to the SECC, which felt weird because (a)two of the characters in Halting State make the same journey** and (b) walking past the entrance gave me flashbacks to bumping into Charlie Stross in a kilt after the Hugo Awards ceremony at the 2005 Worldcon.
I then discovered that Google Maps is completely missing the footbridge from the SECC to the BBC Scotland headquarters as it tried to send me round the wrong way, but I managed to find it from memory, and avoid being run over by two cyclists on the way.
Once there I checked in, found a seat, admired the architecture and cool sliding glass security panels, and then waited about two hours for filming to start. Despite advising us that we needed to arrive early to avoid problems we were basically left milling around in the foyer, so I mostly watched the TV screens set up there and finished reading Halting State. We got let in around ten to nine, which was cutting it fine as the show was being broadcast at 10:30. They then took us through some basic information, did a warm-up question, and then just recorded the whole show live in one take. It's easy to be dismissive of politicians, etc. when they're doing interviews or appearing on TV, but I was very aware that in a similar situation I'd be terrified of messing things up,forgetting an important point or just fumbling my lines.
I remain fairly unimpressed with the pro-union arguments, the best of which was that if we had separate tax systems in Scotland and the rest of the UK then there's be competition rather than cooperation over business rates. But I can't see Scotland suddenly pulling a significant proportion of business out of England, so it doesn't feel like a major issue to me. And I felt that we spent too long talking about the issues of legality around the referendum rather than about the actual case for Independence/Union. But I'm still glad I went - not something to do often, but definitely worth doing once.
In any case, you can see the show on iPlayer here, and in case it's not available in your country here's a photo with me in it to keep you warm on the dark winter's night***
- cheers to Gary on FB for screencapping it!
*With original cast members! I feel like such a fanboy!
**Although I wasn't going to a MMORPG business convention.
***Those people in the antipodes should wait five months before using this photo.
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.